Aladdins History

History of Aladdin Shrine

The founding of the Shrine in Columbus, can be traced to Nobles R.R. Rickly and Clark D. Higgins, the first to receive the order in this city. Others afterwards received the order. They were all members of (our Mother Shrine) Syrian of Cincinnati, Ohio. Noble R.R. Rickly issued a call for a meeting of the Nobles in Columbus to organize a club of Shriners and to reply to the said call, on the evening of December 7, 1887, the following Nobles met in the office of Capital City Bank with R.R. Rickly, Chairman and W.E. Joseph, Secretary, C.D. Higgins, R.M. Gilbert, W.E. Carpenter, JC Fenimore, Peter Sells, Harry Kauffman, Jno. P. McCune, C.S. Ammel, S.H. Barrett, E.N. Hatcher, Chas. Huston, F.E. Drake. The object of the meeting was stated by Noble Rickly, and Columbus club of Syrian Shrine, N.M.S. was organized, and the following officers of the club were elected: R.R. Rickly, President; C.D. Higgins, Vice President; W.E. Carpenter, Treasurer; W.E. Joseph, Secretary. “The object of this club shall be the cultivation of the social virtues of its members and thier families and the prevention of the intrusion of any profane unless they shall possess the qualities of head and heart which stamp them as gentlemen.”

With the above object in view the interest of the Shrine grew from day to day. A great many very pleasant social events were indulged in by our club.

During the existence of the club the following officers served: R.R. Rickly, R.M. Gilbert, Henry Kauffman, Presidents: C.D. Higgins, Henry Kauffman, L.W. Buckmaster, Vice Presidents: W.E. Carpenter, Treasurer: W.E. Joseph, Secretary.

At a meeting of the club held May 9, 1893, it was unanimously agreed that the Nobles of Columbus ask for a dispensation for a new Shrine to be known as Aladdin Shrine, and at this meeting it was unanimously agreed that Noble Jno. P. McCune should be named as the Potentate under said dispensation.

Ninety-two Nobles petitioned the Imperial Council and at the Annual Session of said Council held June 14, 1893, a dispensation was granted.

On January 16, 1894, the first meeting of Aladdin Shrine under dispensation was held. At this meeting Noble Jno. P. McCune, Potentate, announced the appointment under said dispensation of the following officers: Jon. P. McCune, Potentate; G.H. Bargar, Chief Rabban; L.W. Buckmaster, Asst. Rabban; Edward Pagels, High Priest & Prophet; C.M. Carter, Oriental Guide; W.F. Hoffman, Treasurer; W.E. Joseph, Recorder; H.W. Neereamer, 1st Ceremonial Master; C.D. Higgins, 2nd Ceremonial Master; F.C. McElroy, Marshal; R.F. Jones, Captain of the Guard; Wm. Morris, Outer Guard; R.R. Rickly, Director; L.F. Valentine, Assistant Director; Chas Huston, Alchemist.

On motion a committee consisting of Nobles A.G. Patton, H.S. Hollwood and W.E. Joseph to arrange for quarters for the Shrine to meet in.

On motion, the fee for the order was to be $25.00 under the dispensation and the dues to be $5.00 to July 1st 1894 and $5.00 per annum there after.

On motion the first class to be certified upon was limited to fifty persons.

There being no further business to come before this Shrine same were closed to form.

J.P. McCune, Potentate W.E. Joseph, Recorder

The Shrine with a charter list of ninety-two, during the year of dispensation admitted one hundred and ninety-two and four by affiliation, making a total of two hundred and eighty eight. That year one Noble demitted and two died, leaving a membership of two hundred and eighty-five. At the meeting of the Imperial Council held July 25, 1894, a charter was granted.

On Sept. 15, 1894, the first session under the charter was held. At this session the same officers were elected as were appointed under the dispensation.

Dates of Meetings held during 1894

January 25, 1894 – Park Hotel – East Town Street

February 1, 1894 – Park Hotel – East Town Street

February 8, 1894 – Park Hotel – East Town Street

March 1, 1894 – Park Hotel – East Town Street

March 8, 1894 – Park Hotel – East Town Street

March 10, 1894 – Park Hotel – East Town Street

March 17, 1894 – City Hall – East State Street

Ceremonial 50 Candidates

March 22, 1894 – Parlors of Park Hotel – East Town Street

March 29, 1894 – Parlors of Park Hotel – East Town Street

April 5, 1894 – Parlors of Park Hotel – East Town Street

April 12, 1894 – Parlors of Park Hotel – East Town Street

April 27, 1894 – City Hall – East State Street Ceremonial 51 Candidates

July 12, 1894 – Parlors of Park Hotel – East Town Street

Sept. 15, 1894 – Parlors of Park Hotel – East Town Street Election

The following were elected to Office:

Potentate, Jno. P. McCune

Chief Rabban, G.H. Bargar

Assistant Rabban, L.W. Buckmaster

High Priest and Prophet, Ed Pagels

Outer Guard, C.M. Carter

Treasurer, W.F. Hoffman

Recorder, W.E. Joseph

After which the Potentate made the following appointments:

1st Ceremonial Master, H.W. Neeramer

2nd Ceremonial Master, C.D. Higgins

Marshal, Frank C. McElroy

Captain of the Guard, R.E. Jones

Outer Guard, William Morris

Director, R.R. Rickly

Assistant Director, L.E. Valentine

Captain Patrol, C.S. Ammel

Sept. 29, 1984 – Parlors of Park Hotel

October 19, 1984 – Parlors of Park Hotel

October 23, 1894 – Parlors of Park Hotel

By-Laws were read and will be voted on next meeting

October 29, 1894. Wirthwein Hall, High Street South.

The Imperial Potentate Wm R. Melish of Syrian then installed the officers elected and constituted the Shrine.

After which (34) thirty-four sons of the desert were introduced and constituted Nobels of the Mystic Shrine in due and ancient form.

After the work the Nobles proceeded to City Hall where a very enjoyable reception was iven to the Ladies and the traditional banquet was enjoyed by 200 ladies and 205 Nobles present.

J.P. McCune, Potentate W.E. Joseph, Recorder

December 13, 1894 – Wirthwein Hall

Election of officers was held and the same officers were elected.

The Illustrious Potentate appointed the same officers as before. There being no further business the Shrine was closed.

In 1923 the Imperial Council Session was held in Washington D.C. The President Warren G. Harding was a member of Aladdin Shrine also his Secretary George B. Christian, Jr.

One afternoon during the session the President and Mrs. Harding received the Nobility from all five Ohio Shrines in the grounds at the rear of the White House. During the afternoon Mrs. Harding called twice for Jack Richards, Aladdin’s famous baritone to sing.

Today Aladdin Shrine is the Second largest Shrine in North America and has membership totaling over 9,000.

In a most productive and progressive manner Aladdin Shrine, Scottish and York Rite Bodies along with Lodges of F. & A. M. shared the facilities of the Masonic Temple, 34 N. Fourth St., Columbus, Ohio for many years. On April 1, 1978 we moved into our new home, a beautiful Mosque comfortably located within sixty-two acres, a portion, of which is mature timber.

Aladdin is proud of the forty-six affiliated Shrine Clubs and seventeen Units, all active and productive in many ways. The first Unit organized in 1901 was “Aladdin Patrol”. As membership grew and became apparent in an expanded geographical radius, much thought and planning was given toward organizing Shrine Clubs.

Our early clubs came into being during the period of 1910 through 1920. Indeed it is important to recognize and document the spirited support accruing to Aladdin Shrine through the efforts of these entities.

Aladdin’s Circus has become one of the highlights concerning those functions and programs scheduled annually. After some years of not providing the circus program, it was revived in 1951. Each year one performance is devoted to underprivileged children of our community and jurisdiction. Hundreds of Nobles assist with care providing refreshments and maintaining safety on behalf of these guests. Their facial expression and spoken word tells you how wonderful it is to be a Shriner.

We have a beautiful Dining Room and a great Lounge in our Mosque currently serving the needs of Shrine Units and Clubs. The rooms are also available for service to non-members and friends. The auditorium is spacious and can accommodate dinner serving up to 1900 individuals. We are quite active in renting facilities with respect to business, civic and educational events. During the years we have occupied our new home, two Presidents of our United States, President Ford and Carter, have been a part of events being conducted within the Mosque portals.

President Ford, a member of Saladin Shrine in Grand Rapids, Michigan was presented an honorary Membership in Aladdin Shrine when he was here in 1981.

Aladdin’s Nobility joins Shriners everywhere in expressing gratitude for past accomplishments and may our future continue happy and successful as our philanthropy provides healing and happiness to many.

History of the Shrine

Two Masons in New York City founded the Shrine. William J. Florence, an actor, and Walter M. Fleming, a physician, talked about having an organization in which Masons could set aside the woes of the world and have a good time. During a visit to France, Florence attended a party given by the Arabian Council. He was so impressed with the pomp and color of the entertainment that upon his return to New York he gave Fleming a detailed account. Fleming, a 33rd Degree Mason and a Knight Templar, contrived the ritual for the new organization.

Florence, Fleming, and 11 Masonic friends met on June 16, 1872 to lay the groundwork for the Organization that would admit to membership only Knights Templar and 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Masons. On September 26, 1872, the 13 men assembled to formally organize Mecca Temple in New York City.

Membership in Mecca Temple grew and other Temples blossomed into being. By the time the Imperial Grand Council was formed in June, 1878, there were five additional Temples, including Al Koran Temple in Cleveland and Syrian Temple in Cincinnati.


The Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.) was founded in 1872 as a fun organization and has been called the playground of Masons. The Shrine, as the organization is informally known, remains such today, but, along with having fun, its Nobles have established the worlds greatest philanthropy. Today the Shrine owns and operates 19 orthopedic hospitals for crippled children and three burns institutes for burned children. Treatment at a Shriners Hospital is provided without regard to race, creed or color and is fully paid for by the Shrine. Nobles have provided treatment for more than a half-million children.

What might be called the serious side of the Shrine had its beginning in 1914 when the Imperial Council appointed a committee to consider establishing a tuberculosis sanitarium for afflicted children of Shriners. The proposal was rejected a year later, but it had set Shriners to thinking and planning. A proposal was made in 1919 for the Shrine to do something for friendless, orphaned and crippled children, and, after much planning, the first Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children opened in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1922. The growth and success of this great philanthropy has been possible by the efforts of Shriners throughout North America.

Having fun and caring for orthopedically challenged and burned children are two excellent reasons for being a Shriner and being proud of it.

For more details about the history of Aladdin Shrine, the Shrine in general, and the Worlds Greatest Philanthropy, follow the links below.