Hi, Dad! A Story about Frank S. Land and the Order of DeMolay

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“The life story of Frank Sherman Land is the story of the Order of DeMolay. One would not be complete without the other. So begins the Reverend Herbert Ewing Duncan, as he weaves together the biography of a remarkable man with the history of the creation and promotion of the Order of DeMolay – a fraternal organization for young men, ages 12 to 21.

Frank S. Land, known as “Dad” by the thousands of boys he worked with and millions whom he never met, was an inspiring individual whose story is worth telling. From a struggling high school drop-out trying to support his family, to successful businessman and, eventually, a member of the Kansas City Board of Education; from a Scottish Rite social worker with a dream of helping young men to the founder of an international youth fraternity; from a timid young art student to a man of national Masonic prominence who counted among his personal friends the Presidents, Congressmen, Judges, and military leaders of the United States; Frank Land’s idealism and concern for youth touched the lives of millions of Masons and young men.

There are others whose stories involved the Order of DeMolay:

LOUIS G. LOWER, the first DeMolay, provided the spark within Land to organize a boys club and later develop it into a fraternity of international proportions. His tragic death was a deep loss to DeMolay and to Frank Land, who had regarded him as a son.

FRANK MARSHALL, author of the Ritual, gave poetic life to the visions of Frank Land in the creation of two beautiful degrees of initiation that, to this day, teach timeless lessons of virtue and morality.

ALEXANDER G. COCHRAN, the first Grand Master of DeMolay, spear-headed the formation of the Grand Council to provide a central authority for the rapidly expanding organization.

NELL LAND, the wife of Frank Land, gave quiet support to her husband, even though the dream he followed took him across the country and away from home for many weeks at a time. Her tragic estrangement from the activities of the Order made her the least understood of all those who gave of themselves to DeMolay.

Hundreds of other devoted workers aided in the creation and extension of this unique organization, but all looked to one man for guidance. Frank Land was the charismatic leader of the Order, and it is his life that provides the loom upon which Reverend Duncan weaves the history of DeMolay.

Duncan’s narrative style and intimate personal knowledge of his subject provides interesting reading for all ages, and he is at his best when recounting anecdotes that characterize Dad Land’s concern and gentle caring for his boys and his friends.

This book is for all those who are interested in the origins of the wonderful Order of DeMolay and those who have ever heard the cry, or issued the call, “Hi, Dad!”

Lessons

Hi, Dad! – Copyright Acknowledgment

Copyright Notice. In order to proceed, please certify your understanding of the Copyright Notice contained herein and acceptance thereof in the lesson quiz.

Forward

This book, Hi, Dad! A Story about Frank S. Land and the Order of DeMolay, was written more than two decades ago. This is not to say that the story…

Preface

The following pages written by Reverend Herbert E. Duncan, one of Frank Land’s “boys,” depicts in more than ordinary detail, the life and activities of Frank Sherman Land from his…

Prologue

THE LIFE STORY of Frank Sherman Land is the story of the Order of DeMolay. One would not be complete without the other. The life of the man and the…

Chapter 1: As the Twig Is Bent

FRANK LAND WAS to say in later years, after he had seen thousands of young men grow into manhood, that “It is the beginning that is most important. The early…

Chapter 2: The Formative Years

MIDWEST AMERICA in the first years of a new century was caught up in the potential changes and the high optimism of the time. The twentieth century was believed to…

Chapter 3: Nine Boys and a Man

Frank noticed that they were of the same height, of what was then called average, a few inches under six feet. The boy’s hair was brown, cut short and smoothed…

Chapter 4: I Do So Promise and Vow

Land found Marshall slumped in a well-worn upholstered chair, the picture of a man at leisurely ease. The old newspaperman was dressed in his habitual careless manner. His suit out…

Chapter 5: When a Dream Enslaves a Man

Master Masons by the score rose in standing ovation and crowded around Dad Land to extend congratulations and pledge support and help for what they called the “greatest thing” that…

Chapter 6: DeMolay Reaches Out

“I had never heard of this club for boys, but I understand they have a beautiful ritual. They call it DeMola, or something like that. Maybe it is DeMolay from…

Chapter 8: A Shrine to Youth

DEMOLAY WAS NOW in the throes of “growing pains.” Personality clashes, differing opinions and lack of financing pressed constantly for solutions. The sixth annual session of the Grand Council was…

Chapter 10: New Frontiers

Louis Gordon Lower was the man most “sought after” from all the prominent men present for the First and Second Founder’s Conferences. The boys wanted to meet him and to…

Chapter 11: With the Highest Honors

THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the Order of DeMolay in March of 1949, came as the nineteenth century approached its halfway point to look back upon a decade of violence and…

Chapter 12: Citizen Extraordinary

FRANK LAND was now a citizen extraordinary of America. He was known in every State and Province, and welcomed in cities and communities all across the nation. Shrine Temples presented…

Chapter 13: It Is the Beginning

The departed whom we now remember has entered into the peace of life eternal. He shall live on earth in the acts of goodness he performed and in the hearts…

Chapter 14: In Remembrance

“I feel that the greatness of DeMolay lies beyond the rituals, the pomp and ceremony, the necessary organization, and even beyond these Memorial Rooms. It is something as bright as…