By Melissa Burnor
PALMYRA — A King James Bible that every Palmyra Mason since 1866 has laid their hands on when they were sworn in to the lodge will never return to its rightful owners. An anonymous tip to the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department in October led police to the suspect who they say burned the Bible after stealing it in July of 2011 along with some other ornamental fixtures from the Palmyra Masonic Lodge on Lenawee Street in Palmyra.
Ronald Morton Huskins II, 22, Blissfield, was arraigned Nov. 8 in Lenawee County District Court on charges of arson of personal property $200 or more but less than $1,000, breaking and entering of an occupied dwelling with intent and larceny in a building. According to a police report the Bible was an 1859 King James Bible.
Mason Dave Bailey said it was dedicated by the ladies or wives of the Masons in February of 1866 shortly after the lodge was chartered.
“It has been used for every meeting or every function we have had since then,” Bailey said. “Every guy who has gone into that lodge has laid his hands on that Bible to get sworn in,” he said. Also stolen were some ornaments that formed a plumb bob, square and level.
Huskins pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He will have a preliminary examination on Nov. 19.
Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. For the complete story, please see the Nov. 14, 2012, edition of The Advance. Just call 517-486-2400 for weekly delivery to your mailbox.