A Freemason’s Memorial to Alexander M. Dockery

W.A. Clark presented and read this Memorial on the late A.M. Dockery which was unanimously adopted and a page set aside on the records, with copies delivered to the Gallatin North Missourian, the Gallatin Democrat, and to newspapers at Kansas City and St. Louis. The memorial reads, in part, as follows:

W.A. Clark presented and read this Memorial on the late A.M. Dockery which was unanimously adopted and a page set aside on the records, with copies delivered to the Gallatin North Missourian, the Gallatin Democrat, and to newspapers at Kansas City and St. Louis. The memorial reads, in part, as follows:

Alexander M. Dockery was born near Gallatin, Daviess County, Missouri, on Feb. 11, 1845. He was the son of a pioneer Methodist minister, and was the only child in the family to live to the years of maturity. He attended the District schools of his native county but so far as is known he was not enrolled at any higher institution of learning.

While still a young man, he enterd medical college from which he graduated and practiced the healing art for some 8 years. The practice of medicine did not appeal to him and he transferred his activitis from this to banking and politics, to which he devoted himself through most of a long life.

When 21 years of age, he joined Jackson Lodge No. 82, and three years later was elected its Master. He afterwards served as the Master of Friendship Lodge No. 89, and Jamesport Lodge No. 201. He was District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge from his district for 10 years. In 1881 he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, and was elected to the Masonic Home Board in 1886, and was a member of that board continuously until 1926, except 10 years while in Congress.

He served as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Missouri in 1910. He was a member of Kadosh Commandery No. 21, Knights Templar and was its Commander in 1882. He was anointed to the Order of High Priesthood in 1870. His longest service and probably his greatest interest was in the Masonic Home and the Odd Fellows Home, both of which institutions he was very active for many years.

On Dec. 26, 1926, rich in honor and experience he was “cut down by the scythe of Time and gathered to the land where his Fathers had gone before him.” ‘Tis said that “Death loves a shining mark” and if that be true his arrows found the most conspicuous target that the ranks of Missouri Freemasonry could furnish. Whether Most Wonderful Brother Dockery was the most brilliant and learned Freemason of Missouri might be debated, but that he was the most striking and commanding figure in present day Masonry circles, I think, will be conceded. It is fitting that we should pause for a moment and consider the attributes that made him great — that made him the outstanding figure in Missouri Freemasonry.

High in the list of such an enumeration must be put his zeal for the institution, the progress he made in our mysteries, his unswerving fidelity to the principles of the order, and his wonderful appreciation of the necessity of preserving the ancient landmarks. He stated publicly that he considered being Grand Master of Missouri, if possible, a greater honor than being Governor of the State, and this, after he had held both offices.

He was not an orator as Wendell Phillips or Daniel Webster were. He was not learned in the knowledge of the schools and his addresses carried no ornate or well-rounded periods nor classical allusions, but they were so clearly worded, so sensibly conceived and forcibly expressed that they seldom failed to carry conviction.

One could not know him without acknowledging his exceeding reasonableness — his stock of common sense compensated for any lack of preliminary training. He had an ability to think clearly and an ability to put his thougths in homely but clear, forcible English that carried conviction not only to the man in the street but to the intelligentsia as well.

Among his many most valuable and outstanding abilities was an almost uncanny faculty of forecasting the outcome of political movements; for years he had his fingers on the public pulse and was the first to sense the symptoms of political change and unrest. The arrhythmia and the unusual in the trend of political events came to him as the first murmer of a failing organ might come to the ear of a trained physician before it was noticed by the prossessor himself.

He was a fervent hater of shams, imposture, hypocrisy, false tradition and deception of every kind. In the course of his many political battles his life has been searched with lighted candles, but nothing mean or base was ever detected and he emerged from every conflict with the admiration of his friends and the respect of his opponents.

Dockery represented his state creditably for 16 years in the Congress of the United States and served it faithfully as its Chief Executive for 4 years. Later in life when his country was in the throes of the World War he served the nation as Third Assistant Postmaster General in which capacity he directed the funds of the greatest financial institution in the world. As a citizen he was just to his country, and loyal to his government and in the discharge of his political duties faithful to the limit.

He was a pillar in the church, a political leader and seer in his state, a factor to be reckoned with in the national government, a success in business and yet withal, found time to serve at least two fraternal orders in every position from the most humble to the most exalted.

Written by W.A. Clark in 1927