The Grand Lodge of Texas
Ancient Free & Accepted Masons

Grand Lodge of the Month — June 2013

Most Worshipful Brother Walter W. Rogers, Grand Master

GRAND LODGE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. By the end of 1837, three lodges had been chartered in Texas. Holland Lodge № 36 at Houston, Milam Lodge № 40 at Nacogdoches, and McFarland Lodge № 41 at San Augustine, all held charters from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. On December 20 that year, Sam Houston, president of the new Republic of Texas, presided over a convention of representatives of these three lodges in the senate chamber of the new capitol building in Houston. The members of that convention resolved to form a “Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas” and elected Anson Jones to become the first Grand Master of Masons in Texas.

In accordance with those actions, the representatives of those three lodges met again in the spring of 1838 and, on May 11, Sam Houston, president of the convention, installed the new Grand Master and his Grand Lodge officers. On that date the new Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas was born. It remains today as the oldest corporate body in Texas.

During the almost eight years that the new Grand Lodge labored under the independent Republic of Texas, 26 lodges were organized.

MASONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. Six years after he was installed Grand Master Anson Jones was elected president of the Republic of Texas and, as “the Architect of Annexation,” he presided over the annexation ceremonies in 1846, where he declared, “The Republic of Texas is no more.” Texas became the thirty-fifth state, and Jones retired to his plantation at Washington-on-the-Brazos where he compiled his memoirs.

By 1846, Masons had served in nearly every major governmental post in the Republic. All the presidents and vice-presidents of the Republic of Texas were Masons. Freemasonry was without doubt the single most important institution in early Texas. The first public building erected in a new community was often the familiar two-story Masonic lodge. The first floor ordinarily served as the local school classroom and town meeting hall, while the lodge room occupied the second floor.

Today, more than 170 years after its formation, Grand Master Walter W. Rogers presides over almost 90,000 members in 866 lodges. The Grand Lodge of Texas, is among the largest grand lodges in the world.

Copyright © 2009 Pierre G. Normand, Jr.

Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Texas
715 Columbus Avenue
Waco, TX 76701