June 22, 2016

The Daniel M. Hailey Collection

By T.S. Akers

Daniel M. Hailey
(Courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society)

Visitors to the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma building or the Scottish Rite Temple in Guthrie are met by an assortment of wonders.  The same can be said of the McAlester Scottish Rite Temple, which leads one to believe that these three major collecting institutions have gathered up all of the Masonic treasures related to Oklahoma that exist.  The diligent curator knows this is by no means true, as un-discovered treasures can still be found in the most unlikely corners of the country.  This was just the case recently when a gold and silver dealer in Florida came into possession of an amazing collection relating to Oklahoma Freemasonry.

There are a few family names in Southeastern Oklahoma that really resonate with those that call Little Dixie home.  McAlester, Busby, and Albert are as much household names as Pete’s Place, Isle of Capri, and Roseanna’s.  One of those old names that has remained memorialized is Hailey, Daniel Morris Hailey in particular.  In fact, just a short drive east from McAlester on Highway 270 leads one to Hailey’s very own town, Haileyville.

Daniel Morris Hailey was born on February 9, 1841, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[i]  When war erupted in April of 1861, Hailey enlisted in the Confederate Army the next month.[ii]  He was mustered into service with Company A of the 8th Louisiana Infantry, known as the Creole Guards.[iii]  The 8th Louisiana was assigned to Hay’s Brigade of Early’s Division in the Army of Northern Virginia.  Hailey’s corps commander was Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.[iv]  The 8th Louisiana would see action at engagements that included the First Battle of Bull Run and Rappahannock Station.[v]  

In February of 1863, Hailey was appointed a Hospital Steward; he had studied medicine prior to the war.  That November, he was wounded and captured at Rappahannock Station.[vi]  Hailey was received at the Old Capitol Prison of Washington, DC, and later exchanged at City Point, Virginia, in 1864.[vii]  He returned to his unit and was ultimately wounded four times.[viii]  Hailey very narrowly avoided Sherman’s notorious “March to the Sea” while returning to Louisiana on furlough after again being wounded, this time at Hatcher’s Run in October of 1864.[ix]  Hailey would be actively involved in the United Confederate Veterans later in life, serving as Major General in command of the Oklahoma Division.[x]

Rather than returning to Baton Rouge at the end of the Civil War, Hailey made his way to Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Once there, he applied for a position teaching school in the Choctaw Nation.[xi]  While residing in the home of R.S. McCarty at Scullyville (Oak Lodge), Hailey fell in love with and married McCarty’s daughter Helen in 1868.[xii]  The young couple first took up residence near present day Canadian, where Hailey practiced medicine.[xiii]  They then moved to Perryville in 1871, where Hailey continued to practice medicine in addition to operating a small store.  The completion of the MKT Railroad through the Indian Territory in 1872 would see many take up residence in the new city of McAlester, Hailey included.  In McAlester, Hailey opened the first drug store in the Choctaw Nation, engaged in coal mining with J.J. McAlester, and served as editor of the short lived “Star-Vindicator” newspaper operated by Granville McPherson.[xiv]  

It was in McAlester that Hailey petitioned for the degrees of Freemasonry, being initiated an Entered Apprentice in McAlester Lodge No. 9 on June 15, 1877.  He was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on July 12 and raised to the degree of Master Mason on September 10.[xv]  

Hailey was then exalted to the degree of Holy Royal Arch in Indian Chapter No. 1 of McAlester on May 15, 1878.  He would serve as High Priest of Indian Chapter in 1897 and 1898.[xvi]  Hailey was elected Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of Indian Territory in 1908.[xvii]  One of the pieces comprising the newly acquired Daniel M. Hailey Collection is his Past Grand High Priest jewel.  The jewel is of a style that was presented to many early Grand High Priests, including other notable Masons such as Joseph S. Murrow.  The jewel features the breastplate of judgement surrounded by a wreath, indicating the rank of Grand High Priest.

Past Grand High Priest Jewel of Daniel M. Hailey
(From the collections of the McAlester Scottish Rite)

Hailey was dubbed and created a Knight of the Temple in Coeur de Leon Commandery No. 17 of Parsons, Kansas, on October 5, 1886.[xviii]  It was in Coeur de Leon Commandery that Joseph S. Murrow, affectionately called the Father of Freemasonry in Oklahoma, received the orders of Templary in 1880.[xix]  Hailey ultimately served as Commander of McAlester Commandery No. 3 in 1895 and became Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Indian Territory in 1902.[xx]

The degrees of Cryptic Masonry arrived in Indian Territory in 1883 at Atoka with the chartering of Oklahoma Council No. 1.  This council held jurisdiction over all of Indian Territory until 1894 when Muskogee Council No. 2 and Union Council No. 3 at McAlester were chartered.[xxi]  It was in Oklahoma Council No. 1 at Atoka that Hailey received the degrees of Royal and Select Master on June 20, 1888.[xxii]  Hailey would serve as Grand Illustrious Master of Royal and Select Masters of Indian Territory in 1901.[xxiii]  Another piece comprising the Daniel M. Hailey Collection is his Past Grand Illustrious Master jewel.  The jewel features the secret vault and nine arches central to the ritual of Cryptic Masonry.  

Past Grand Illustrious Master Jewel of Daniel M. Hailey
(From the collections of the McAlester Scottish Rite)

The degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry were communicated to Hailey by Robert W. Hill at Muskogee on October 26, 1889.  Hill was at that time serving as Deputy of the Supreme Council.  Hailey was elected a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor in 1897 and coroneted a 33rd Degree on October 24, 1899.[xxiv]  Hailey himself was made Deputy of the Supreme Council in 1913, ultimately becoming Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Scottish Rite in Oklahoma.[xxv]

Hailey left a lot of marks on Southeastern Oklahoma and had a hand in a great many enterprises.  In addition to operating stores and practicing medicine, he helped organize the South McAlester and Eufaula Telephone Company.  Hailey served as a bank vice president for many years.  He was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Confederate Home in Ardmore, serving on the board of trustees.  Hailey was also a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Library of McAlester.[xxvi]  His most profitable endeavor was probably the Hailey Coal and Mining Company, which operated some of the largest coal mines in Pittsburg County.[xxvii]  

It was coal mining that led Hailey to purchase a tract of land and establish the company town of Haileyville in 1898.[xxviii]  Of course a town associated with a prominent Freemason would come to have a Masonic Lodge.  Haileyville Lodge No. 245 was chartered on August 10, 1904.[xxix]  The Brethren of Haileyville Lodge presented Hailey with a beautiful sterling silver Past Master’s jewel, which is now part of the Daniel M. Hailey Collection.  The jewel features the Worshipful Master’s square, quadrant, and a blazing sun in gold tone.

Past Master Jewel of Daniel M. Hailey
(From the collections of the McAlester Scottish Rite) 

One of the last Masonic offices that Hailey held was that of Grand Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star in Oklahoma in 1916.[xxx]  It was during the Fall Reunion of the McAlester Scottish Rite Valley in 1919 that Hailey passed from this world to the next at his home on October 14, just six days before the biennial meeting of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in Washington, DC.[xxxi]  Oklahoma had lost its third Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Scottish Rite, but he left behind quite a legacy.  Hailey was honored one last time when a DeMolay chapter was established in McAlester.  The chapter was chartered on August 17, 1922, and styled Daniel M. Hailey Chapter.[xxxii]

[i]  Robert L. Williams, “Dr. Daniel Morris Hailey: 1841-1919,” Chronicles of Oklahoma 18, no. 3 (1940): 215-218.
[ii]  “Gen. D.M. Hailey, U.C.V.,” Confederate Veteran 28 (1920): 26-27.
[iii]  N. Wayne Cosby, “8th Louisiana: Company A ‘The Creole Guards,” Hardtack Journal, accessed June 21, 2016, https://sites.google.com/site/hardtackjournal/home/8th-louisiana/company-a.
[iv]  Daniel M. Hailey, Confederate Veterans of the State of Oklahoma (United Confederate Veterans, Oklahoma Division, 1913), 21.
[v]  “Gen. D.M. Hailey, U.C.V.,” 26-27.
[vi]  Williams, 215-218.
[vii]  Hailey, 21.
[viii]  Williams, 215-218.
[ix]  “Gen. D.M. Hailey, U.C.V.,” 26-27.
[x]  Hailey, 21.
[xi]  Williams, 215-218.
[xii]  Ibid., 215-218.
[xiii]  Robert G. Davis, The Honored Men of Oklahoma Scottish Rite Masonry (Oklahoma Lodge of Research, 1997), 32.
[xiv]  Williams, 215-218.
[xv]  Davis, 34.
[xvi]  Ibid., 34.
[xvii]  Kenneth S. Adams, William A. Hensley, and Norman E. Angel, History of the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons of Oklahoma (Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Oklahoma, 1964), 102.
[xviii]  Davis, 34.
[xix]  Raymond L. Holcomb, Father Murrow: The Life and Times of Joseph Samuel Murrow, Baptist Missionary, Confederate Indian Agent, Indian Educator, and the Father of Freemasonry in Indian Territory (Atoka County Historical Society, 1994), 105.
[xx]  Davis, 34.
[xxi]  Charles E. Creager, A History of the Cryptic Rite of Freemasonry in Oklahoma (Muskogee, Oklahoma:  Hoffman-Speed, 1925).
[xxii]  Davis, 34.
[xxiii]  "Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Oklahoma: Past Grand Illustrious Masters," Oklahoma York Rite, accessed June 21, 2016, http://okyorkrite.org/council/GrandIM.aspx.
[xxiv]  Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Transactions of the Supreme Council of the 33rd and Last Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America (Washington, DC: House of the Temple, 1917), 84-86.
[xxv]  Davis, 35.
[xxvi]  Williams, 215-218.
[xxvii]  Davis, 33.
[xxviii]  Stephanie L. Shafer, "Haileyville," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, accessed June 21, 2016, http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=HA001.
[xxix]  Masonic Centennial Lodges (Oklahoma Lodge of Research, 1974), 207.
[xxx]  Davis, 35.
[xxxi]  Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 84-86.
[xxxii]  Ron Minshall, e-mail message to author, April 12, 2016.

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