Masonic Building


The Masonic Temple, built in 1893 is a three-story brick and stone building that housed stores on the first story, offices on the second story, and a Masonic Hall on the third story. Architect and Builder, William S. Matthews and Lewis S. Sanders modeled the building in the Victorian Italianate style. Members of the Corinthian Lodge No. 265 funded the construction of the building in order to have an adequately-sized meeting hall. Mason Charles A. Shepard who later opened a dry goods store on the first floor of the Masonic Temple – was described as the moving spirit” in the building program. Although he was one of the first to rent commercial space for his dry goods store he was not one of the original occupants. Original first floor tenants were J. W. Snoddy, a jeweler, occupying the large store on the southwest comer; Welch & Embree Boots & Shoes in the large north storeroom fronting on North Holden; and the H. J. Wall Abstract Co., in a smaller first floor room east of the main entrance on East Market. The large southwest store and the east store were equipped with vaults.This combined building has served as a storefront for local businesses and restaurants since 1893. Previous businesses include a bank in 1913, Shepard’s Dry Goods in 1932, and Sears-Roebuck in 1958. Dr. Sam Bradley, an optometrist and Dr. Quibell, a chiropractor, also had offices here.


The Masonic Temple was constructed in slightly more than a year, from June 1893 through June 1894. However the basic building was completed by October 1893. It cost $20,720, including $4,500 for the lots. The basic building, including labor, cost approximately $10,050. Among other things, the remaining $6170 for sandstone sawed to order,, $438 for a tin roof with ventilators, $340 for a bracketed metal cornice, $252 for two vaults, $325 for plastering, $288 for painting, and $75 for electric wiring.

In March of 1914, wires dropping from the ceiling set fire to the goods at the Shepard’s store. Luckily, Mr. Atkinson, the manager, happened to see the fire and he and several firemen “attacked the blaze with their bare hands.” Eventually the fire was put out with an extinguisher.

Charles A. Shepard of Shepard’s Dry Goods store was one of the most prominent businessmen in Warrensburg, with his pioneering businesses lasting more than 60 years in multiple locations under the same ownership Charles A. Shepard, being a prominent businessman in Warrensburg, also loved to travel and share his findings of interest with the town.

Previous president of Sears-Roebuck, Julius Rosenwald, was placed under arrest for tax dodging a total of $2.5 million.
The Rainbow Girls and DeMolay Boys met here for many years.


The three-story two-part commercial block has brick and stone cladding and a flat roof. A modillioned, dentillated cornice with overhanging eaves caps the building. Engaged stone and brick pilasters divide the primary (west) elevation into two bays. On the first story, a storefront with a recessed entrance and flanking display windows fills each bay; a glazed transom spans each storefront. A dentillated cornice separates the first and second stories. Three one-over-one double-hung windows with fixed transoms fill each second and third story bay. The second story window openings have flat stone sills, lintels, and drip molds; engaged brick piers with stone bases and capitals separate the windows in each bay. The arched windows openings on the third story have stone sills and window hoods; a brick corbel table ornaments the façade above the third story windows.
Cast iron in the storefronts which also are regarded as indicative of Victorian Italianate style were removed from the west side circa 1920. Probably at the same time the double entrances were converted to singles. Storefronts have been altered although original cast iron columns and sills are retained in the south elevation.
Currently, the Masonic Temple has four entrances with individual addresses on its two public facades: 101 an 103 East Market Street (south elevation) and 301 and 303 North Holden Street (west elevation.)
 Typical of Victorian Italianate buildings of the period, these storefronts originally featured recessed central entrances with canted sides, double-leaf doors fluted cast iron columns with capitals, flanking display windows with large transoms, and low bulkheads. On the west facade, the overhaul including removing the the cast iron and filling the transom area with panels of prism glass. (The identical storefronts surrounding the main entrance on the south side are restored.) in circa 1980, central entrances were replaced with the present off-center configuration of single recessed doors flanking the middle sandstone pier.