Scranton, the seat of justice of Jackson County, is a growingly important town of one thousand one hundred and fifty inhabitants, on the Southern border of the county and state on the shore of the Mississippi sound, and on the Louisville & Nashville railroad.
Other towns in this county are East Pascagoula, West Pascagoula and Ocean Springs. The two Pascagoulas depend on Scranton for mail facilities. Ocean Springs, which is noted chiefly for the extensive pecan culture of Col. W. R. Stuart, has a population of five hundred.
Pascagoula lodge No. 202, A. F. & A. M. , is situated at Moss Point, and has seventy-five members. It was organized at East Pascagoula in 1855. Its charter members were Thomas L. Sumrall, W. M.; A. E. Lewis, S. W.; W. G. Elder, J. W.; J. E. Sarozin, secretary; Cheri Sarozin, treasurer; W. Griffin, S. D.; Lyman Randall, J. D.; Bernard Gillsley, tyler. The lodge was cordially supported, and grew and prospered till 1862, when the environments of war became too great for it, and in common with nearly all other interests it was compelled to succumb. Nothing is found of its work till it was reorganized in 1866 by H. B. Griffin, senior warden, holding over from 1862, H. L. Houze, a past master of Wilson lodge No. 72, acting as W. M.; J. M. McInnis, J. W.; A. H. Delmas, secretary; H. Krebs, treasurer; W. G. Elder, J. D.; J. B. Delmas, tyler. After its reorganization the lodge took on its old-time vigor and prosperity, and speedily took high rank among the Masonic institutions of the state. About this time it was removed to Moss Point, where a suitable building awaited it. It soon numbered among its members nearly all the leading citizens of the vicinity, and has for many years impressed itself upon the morals of the community, as well as contributed largely to all charitable enterprises. Its charities reach away up into the thousands. In each of the yellow-fever epidemics of 1874 and 1878, this lodge dispensed hundreds of dollars indiscriminately to initiated and profane alike. In the Masonic councils of the jurisdiction of Mississippi, Pascagoula lodge No. 202 has not been without her honors. In 1881 one of her past masters, J. W. Morris, was appointed senior grand deacon, and another, M. M. Evans, district deputy grand master, in 1880 and 1881. The same individual was appointed deputy grand master by the lamented Grand Master Patty, in 1884, and was elected junior grand warden in 1886, senior grand warden in 1887, and grand master in 1888; was appointed on the committee of complaints and offenses in 1889 and 1890, and on the committee of law and jurisprudence in 1891. J. K. McLeod, another past master, was appointed on the committee on complaints and offenses in 1886 and 1887. The lodge at this writing is occupying its accustomed position among the lodges in the state, and will doubtless continue to write itself in the history of Free Masonry in Mississippi. Its worshipful masters were: Thomas L. Samrall, two years; A. E. Lewis, five years; W. G. Elder, one year; H. B. Griffin, one year; H. L. Houze, seven years; S. A. McInnis, three years; M. M. Evans, three years; J. K. McLeod, six years; J. W. Morris, one year; T. A. Coulson, two years; W. Watkins, one year; J. H. Rolls, one year; J. W. Stewart, present incumbent.
H. L. Houze R. A. chapter No. 108, situated at Moss Point, was organized January 17, 1876. with the following charter members: H. L. Houze, H. P.; D. M. Dunlap, king; Nelson Wood, scribe; W. H. Rolls, C. Of host; J. W. Griffin, P. S.; W. C. Morrow, R. A. C.; George Wood, M of third V.; D. A. Yates, M. of second V.; C. W. Calhoun, M. of first V.; H. C. Horens, treasurer. This chapter was named in honor of its first high priest, a patriarch in Masonry. One who had devoted much of his life to its service, and who has always loved Masonry for its pure and elevating influence, his life has been an exemplification of Masonic tenets and principles. It was therefore but a just tribute to call the chapter which he did so much to establish and maintain after his name. H. L. Houze chapter No. 108 has contributed its share toward charitable enterprises, always joining with Pascagoula lodge for that purpose. Among the leading members of the grand chapter, she has her representative in the person of J. K. McLeod, one of the past high priests, who was installed grand principal sojourner in 1887, grand captain of host in 1888, grand scribe in 1889, grand king in 1890 and deputy grand high priest in 1891.
Pride of Moss Point lodge No. 1913, grand united order of Odd Fellows in America, composed exclusively colored persons, was organized in 1879, with the following as charter members: D. Anderson, C. S. Colland, A. Haskins, B. J. Mayo and W. W. McInyon. It now has thirty members, and is devoted to the care of the sick and destitute of its members. It expends considerable in this direction.
Scranton lodge No. 45, I. O. 0. F., was instituted April 5, 1886. Its charter members were W. F. A. Parker, J. H. Rolls, E. P. Blalack, S. J. Armstrong, J. S. Blalack, W. K. Mead and J. W. Mead. It has at present writing eighty members, and is a thrifty and prosperous lodge, embodying most of the prominent citizens of Scranton and vicinity among its members. It annually dispenses large amounts in charity, and is a useful, moral agent. Its members are liberal in its financial views, having built a very imposing edifice for the occupancy of the lodge, with several rooms and halls for rent for offices and other purposes. This building cost upward of $5,000 and is a beauty in architecture. Scranton lodge No. 45, stands in the front rank of Odd Fellows’ lodges in the state, and will doubt-less impress itself upon the history of that order.
Gulf lodge No. 2884, Knights of Honor, situated at Moss Point, Miss. , was organized June 8, 1881, with the following charter members: AV. D. Bragg, W. E. Bingham, A. Blumer, S. J. Bingham, George N. Cook, Burton Goode, AV. Fred Herrin, John W. Morris, E. C. Woods and D. A. Yates. It numbers at present seventy-five members, including most of the leading persons of the community. It has always been a useful adjunct to the moral and financial forces of the county, having in its brief existence contributed largely not only to the healthy, moral sentiment of the town and vicinity, but has dispensed to the widows and orphans of its deceased members amounts aggregating $18,000.
Escatawpa lodge No. 3115, Knights of Honor, was organized in 1884 with sixteen charter members. It now has thirty-two. It has paid out 16,000 in benefits.
Gulf lodge U. D. , A. F. & A. M. , is in process of organization at Scranton, Miss. Its charter members are S. T. Hariland, M. C. Pankey, W. M. Denny, R. D. Smith, J. A. Miller, M. C. Allman, W. A. Chapel, C. P. Bowman and 0. H. Alley. They are all well-known gentlemen and will doubtless conduct this new lodge successfully.
Source: Biographical and Historical Memories of Mississippi, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891