who had fallen in battle, but on the homefront as well. A positive
response to this critical situation came about with the development
of many charitable organizations. Frank S. Land was selected to
act as the director of the Masonic Relief and Employment Bureau
of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. This charity would come to
help hundreds and hundreds of families.
the end of the war, Land became concerned with the problems of boys
who had lost their fathers. He thought "how lonely it must
be for a boy not to have a man to talk with, or a man to provide
some type of inspiration and direction." Frank decided there
was a need for an organization where boys would have the opportunity
to associate with other boys, a place they could share common interests,
learn responsibility and other skills that would benefit them throughout
their lives. His ideal model for this organization included having
business or professional men, Masons, taking interest in the young
people, being a friend to them, advising them, and perhaps even
providing them with employment opportunities.
March, 1919, Land met with young Louis Lower. Louis' father had
died, leaving the young man without a father figure in his life.
Land took the time to listen to Louis, learn about his dreams, and
to help him. He learned that others, like Louis, sought companionship,
leadership, inspiration and competition. He asked Louis to invite
some friends to a meeting, the original group of nine DeMolays:
Louis G. Lower, Ivan M. Bentley, Edmund Marshall, Gorman A. McBride,
Jerome Jacobson, William W. Steinhilber, Elmer Dorsey, Clyde C.
Stream, and Ralph Sewell. At the second meeting, there was a total
of 31 young men present. They were excited about their new club!
group needed its own identity and its own name. After Dad Land related
the story of Jacques DeMolay, the group decided to name itself for
this historical figure connected with Masonry.
Land, as he came to be called, provided the philosophy and principles
to be embodied. As interest in DeMolay spread, Land answered many
requests for information and authority to start chapters. Initiations
and ceremonies took place in all locations. By the fall of 1920,
Mother Chapter had developed activities for its members as well.
These included an outstanding baseball team, a DeMolay marching
unit, and even a 100-piece band!
the end of 1921, Dad Land realized he had to devote full time to
this new organization and become a full time DeMolay employee. As
DeMolay chapters grew in numbers and strength, the organization
as a whole grew in prestige. With this greater prestige, interest
developed in the Masonic fraternity. Official recognition and approval
by Masonic groups began giving their seal of approval to foster
DeMolay in their states. Many distinguished organizations endorsed
DeMolay including the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons,
Grand Lodges, Knights Templar, etc.
devoted champion of Freemasonry and of its teachings, Land would
become a figure of international prominence within Masonry, eventually
becoming Imperial Potentate of the Shrine of North America. He counted
among his friends U.S. Congressmen, state governors, movie and radio
stars, military leaders, leaders of industry, Presidents of the
U.S. and a veritable legion of young men in their teens.
Land worked tirelessly for the Order of DeMolay until his death
on November 8, 1959. Hundreds of other devoted workers aided in
the creation and extension of the Order of DeMolay, but looked to
one man for guidance. Frank S. Land was the charismatic leader of
the Order. Frank S. Land was truly a great man, a proud American,
and a person who came to be known by millions, simply as "Dad".
Frank Land's life touched, and continues to impact generation after
generation of young people, young men looking to better themselves
by emulating the lessons and examples by which he himself lived.