Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rev. Ashbel Parmelee the Mason

Rev. Ashbel Parmelee was an early resident of Franklin County and its first settled clergyman.  He pastored the First Congregational Church of Malone from 1809-1845 and participated in the establishment of Congregational and Presbyterian churches throughout the North Country.  The Rev. Dr. Parmelee was the father of Franklin County businessman A.B. Parmelee and the grandfather of Congressman and NYC Controller Ashbel P. Fitch.  The Northern Constellation Lodge of the Freemasons was established in 1806, just four years after Malone was first surveyed. 

From the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society (1972.118)

                               Aug 10. 1812
To  All whom these Presents shall come
                     Know Ye
                                  That Brother Ashbel
   Parmelee has been regularly initiated,
   past and [raised], in Northern Constellation
   Lodge, and that he is in regular standing
   therein, and is hereby recommended to the
   favor and protection of regular ancient
   working Masons around the Globe -
Given under our hands and the seal of our Lodge at
Malone in the County of Franklin (N.Y.) Anno Lucis
Five thousand eight hundred and twelve, this tenth
day of August ~
                                                   Samuel Perk Morton
Samuel S. [Empsell] Secr            Noah Moody S Warden
                                                   Cone Andrus J Warden


  1. Thank you for your great work maintaining this blog. I also keep a blog, though mine is on US revenue stamps from the Spanish American War period. I have an entry for a stamp cancelled by an "A.B.P. & Son", Malone, NY, almost certainly AB Parmelee. Would you mine visiting my blog entry here: and posting what you know about Mr. Parmelee? Thank you in advance, John Langlois.

  2. Great find!

    The word in the ellipse is "raised". Also, the officers are called "Wardens", rather than "Warders".

    As an aside the Frontier Lodge #517 website url has recently moved to a new host, thus the link from your main website is now dead. Please update it to:

    I've recently posted a rare photo of Rev. Parmelee's colleague, Rev. Andrew M. Millar, seated in his library, on our site. These two men performed hundreds of marriages across the north country.

  3. You might want to check out item 232831248758 on ebay...two letters sent to Rev. Parmelee in 1845 by another local minister from Potsdam.