Thursday, August 1, 2013

PA's Senior DeMolays - Kendig C. Bare

The history of PA DeMolay is fairly vast. Hundreds of thousands of young men have called a PA Chapter home. Some of those DeMolays went on to lead ordinary, uneventful lives, filled with service and love. Others preferred the spotlight, fulfilling a deep desire to affect the world around them; of the latter, one stands out to me as a DeMolay worthy of emulation.

Bro.  Kendig C. Bare, colloquially known as “KC” by his Brothers and friends, was an early member of Lancaster Chapter. Born on November 5, 1913, KC was at the perfect age for DeMolay when Lancaster Chapter was founded in October of 1928. It is an interesting side note that Lancaster Chapter was instituted in a ceremony overseen by someone you should all know about – “Dad” Ralph C. Minehart, Founder of PA DeMolay.
KC was an active member of Lancaster Chapter, rising to the position of Master Councilor in September, 1932. His biggest goal was to have Lancaster Chapter publish a better newsletter. He quickly assigned a committee and got to work. The Chapter published the first issue of the Sentinel during KC’s term, with his older Brother, Howard, a PMC himself, at the helm as Editor. When KC completed his term of office, he took over the Editor’s desk and retained it for the next 14 months.  For his work on the Sentinel, KC was honored as the first “DeMolay of the Year” for Lancaster Chapter.

However, honors and awards did not satiate Bro. Bare’s appetite for service. In 1933, Lancaster Chapter undertook a major campaign to host the 1934 Conclave of the Associated Chapters of the Order of DeMolay in Pennsylvania. Bro. Bare headed up this committee, which did indeed win the bid to host the event. KC put in hundreds of hours of work to arrange all of the details for the Conclave. Everyone was very impressed with the event Lancaster Chapter put on. Riding high on this success, Bro. Bare made a fateful decision. He would run for State Master Councilor.
At this time in PA DeMolay history, one did not have to serve in another elected office to be State Master Councilor. While it was unusual for someone to jump straight to the top, it can and did happen, mostly thanks to politics. Think of the situation; Bro. Bare just arranged and hosted a very successful Conclave. Everyone around the Commonwealth knew of the success of the Sentinel, his newsletter. Finally, the vote was taking place in his home town, where several members of Lancaster Chapter could be mustered to bolster his vote count. All of these things combined to help KC get elected State Master Councilor for the 1934 – 1935 term.

KC’s claim to fame in that office was the development and publishing of the Keystone Crusader, the first newsletter of the Order of DeMolay in Pennsylvania, which is still printed today. Initially published out of Kendig’s home in Lancaster, the “Key Cru,” as it is sometimes called today, has been the main channel for distributing DeMolay information in Pennsylvania for close to eighty years.
So well liked was Bro. Bare, that, upon completion of his term as SMC, at the age of 21, he was inducted into the DeMolay Legion of Honor. The Degree of Chevalier had not yet been developed, so the Legion of Honor was used to show the Order’s enthusiasm for Bro. Bare’s hard work and dedication.

KC’s service to DeMolay was far from over, however. He would go on to serve on the Advisory Council for Lancaster Chapter for a number of years. He was later elevated to the rank of District Deputy for the area surrounding Lancaster, where he would administer and assist several other Chapters.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate much information on Kendig’s personal life following his DeMolay career. We know he remained a life-long resident of Lancaster, but we do not have record of his profession, outside of one important distinction. He was married, but had no children.

At the age of 37, in 1950, Kendig was elected as the Mayor of the City of Lancaster. He managed to serve only nine months, before being called to the service of his country to help win the Korean War. He served at the rank of Captain with the United States Army. In his absence, his older Brother, Howard, took over the reins of the City while his Brother performed his service. Upon his return to the States, Kendig was re-instated as Mayor and would serve another full term, before retiring from that office in 1958. The City of Lancaster honored Bro. Bare by naming its public safety building after him, which still stands today.
Kendig Bare was a paragon of service, both to his community and to Pennsylvania DeMolay. He passed away in 1989, leaving one heck of a legacy. Throughout his life he showed dedication, patriotism, and his ability to communicate well. All of these traits are something every DeMolay should try to master, ever keeping in mind the example of Bro. Bare.

Frat! ~ “Dad” Seth Anthony

Addendum: Following the publishing of this article, "Dad" Eric Ullom, PSMC, sent me a picture of Bro. Bare's PSMC key. Yes, that's right, a key - just like the Blue Honor Key. Prior to the institution of the PSMC jewel, Pennsylvania awarded keys to its PSMC's. Sadly, this key was sold at auction to an unknown buyer. If you know who owns this item, please let us know at We would really like to bring back to Pennsylvania!

1 comment:

  1. I have one PMC (Or PSMC) Key, see: