February 26, 1923: Death of former Duluth Mayor Trevanion Hugo

Trevanion Hugo, Duluth mayor form 1900 to 1904 and again in 1920. (Image: Duluth Public Library.)

On this day in Duluth in 1923, former Duluth mayor Trevanion Hugo died of the flu. He was 75 years old. Hugo was born at Bodinnoc, Cornwall, England, and grew up in Kingston, Ontario, where he studied to be an engineer. He became a marine engineer on the Great Lakes, work that brought him to Duluth by 1878. He moved his family to the Zenith City in 1881 to take a job as the chief engineer of Grain Elevator B. He served as Duluth mayor from 1900 to 1905 and again in 1921 to finish out the term of Clarence Magney, who had resigned to become a district court judge. Despite Hugo’s work as an engineer, politician, and civic leader (including school board and library board president) the Duluth Herald’s story on his death focused on his involvement with fraternal organizations. By the time of his death Hugo had “attained one of the highest seats in Masonry in the world” and ranked “fourth in the Southern jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, Hugo was in line for sovereign grand commander, the highest position in the rite.” While Masons had established a lodge in Duluth in 1870, Hugo was credited for organizing the Mason’s Scottish Rite in Duluth in 1887 and the Aad temple, Mystic Shrine, Duluth (Duluth Shriners) in 1896. He would serve as vice president for the Shrine Hospital for crippled children in St. Paul. As if that wasn’t enough, he also found time to belong to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and had served as the group’s grand master of the grand lodge of Minnesota. He also belonged to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Duluth Engineers Club, the Duluth Chamber of Commerce, the Duluth Boat Club, and the Kitchi Gammi Club. And you thought you had a busy schedule. Trevanion Hugo is also the namesake of Hugo, Minnesota.

5 Responses to February 26, 1923: Death of former Duluth Mayor Trevanion Hugo

  1. Except for Trinity, I believe those others were built when the neighborhoods they are in were municipally separate from Duluth.

  2. Commenting a second time (more seriously than earlier). Yes, the Masonic Temple on Second Street now probably serves several lodges but I believe there are other buildings scattered throughout the city that are, or have been, masonic temples. The one in West End, on First Street between 21st and 22nd avenues West, is called “Trinity.” I think there are also or have been buildings in West Duluth, Woodland and Lakeside — don’t know what they’re called. Maybe there’s a Hugo among them.

  3. I don’t think a building was ever constructed. The lodges are particular groups of masons, and many of them shared space within the Masonic Temple along Second Street. A quick Google search turned up some recent obituaries that indicate that the lodge has since been renamed Lake Superior Lodge No. 349.H opefully a Duluth Mason will read this piece and help us track down the whole story….

  4. Thank you for another interesting article. In looking up the current Masonic Lodges in Duluth I see no mention of T. W. Hugo Masonic Lodge. I am wondering if it consolidated with another Masonic Lodge and also where was T. W. Hugo Lodge located?

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