Honoring RW Joseph H. Hough

An article from The New Jersey Freemason – Fall 2010


October 16, 2010

Most Worshipful Joseph H. Rival, Jr., Grand Master of Masons for the State of New Jersey, officiated at a ceremony honoring the life and many accomplishments of Right Worshipful Joseph H. Hough. Brother Hough had a long and distinguished Masonic career; a career which spanned 52 years. During the ceremony, which was held at Greenwood Cemetery in Hamilton, New Jersey, a cast bronze memorial plaque was dedicated.

Joseph Howell Hough, was a resident of the City of Trenton from the mid-1820’s until his death in 1890. Brother Hough worked for one of the leading mercantile houses in the city where he remained until he was then called to the Chancery Court Clerk’s office where he occupied the position of Deputy for many years. He was a founding member of many civic and fraternal organizations.

Right Worshipful Brother Hough was born in Pennsylvania 1816; he and his family relocated to Trenton in 1825. At the age of 22, he was raised a Master Mason in 1838 in Trenton Lodge No. 5. He was also a Charter Member of Mercer Lodge No. 50 and served as the Lodge’s Master in 1858. He served the Grand Lodge of New Jersey as Deputy Grand Secretary and then as Grand Secretary continuously for 52 years until his death; he was considered the oldest Grand Secretary at that time.

He is considered “The Father of Organized Scottish Rite in New Jersey.” On January 23, 1862 he was granted a Charter for a Consistory of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in New Jersey and is thus considered the father of the organized Scottish Rite in the State. He also served as the First Deputy of the Scottish Rite in 1866 until his death. He was also an accomplished author of many Masonic books and papers.

Right Worshipful Brother Hough also served as an officer in the York Rite bodies of Masonry – Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal and Select Masters, and Knights Templar. He served as a founding member and the first Eminent Commander of Palestine Commandery No. 4 in 1862. He served in these capacities simultaneously and continuously during his entire career in the Masonic Fraternity.

The dedication ceremony was hosted by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, attended by present and past Grand Lodge Officers, officials of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Royal Arch Masons, members of the Council of Royal and Select Masters, Knights Templar, and numerous other Masonic Brethren, and distinguished guests. An Honor Guard of Knights Templar presented the colors in full dress uniform.

The memorial plaque, which will be permanently placed at the Hough family grave plot, was donated by the management and staff of the Greenwood Cemetery Association; Bernard Stoecklein, Jr. is its President.

The event was organized by and was under the direction of Brother Moises Gomez, a member of Atlas-Pythagoras Lodge No.10 in Westfield, NJ. Gravesite assistance was provided by Greenwood Cemetery Association representatives, Debbie Jeanette, who provided the photos of the ceremony & John Novey, Family Service Counselor.

To view pictures of the ceremony go to http://www.cmsmidatlantic.com/greenwood.php?s=greenwood_gallery

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