The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Wyoming

Grand Lodge of the Month - October 2014

The first known Masonic meeting held in the territory of Wyoming was held at independence rock. It is located on the Oregon and Mormon trails in central Wyoming between the present day cities of Casper and Rawlins. The first meeting occurred on July 4, 1862, when several wagon trains of pioneers traveling to Oregon were camped there. About twenty Masons from the wagon trains decided to hold a Masonic meeting on top of Independence Rock. They carried rocks up to the top and built an altar and the stations for the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden. Lanterns were used for the lights around the altar. Bro. Asa L. Brown was elected Worshipful Master for the meeting, and he furnished this bible. One of the other brethren cut the square and compass out of a pasteboard box. Once the other officer positions were filled, Brother Brown opened Independence Rock Lodge №  1 on the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason degrees.

Brother Brown gave the Bible and jewels to Mrs. Jennette Parkhurst for safekeeping. She returned them to Grand Master Edgar P. Snow in 1898. They now reside in the Grand Lodge library in Cheyenne. Independence Rock is now a state historical site.

The Grand Lodge of Wyoming was formed on December 15, 1874, in Laramie City, Territory of Wyoming. Four lodges were represented: Cheyenne Lodge № 1, Laramie Lodge №  3, Evanston Lodge № 4, (all chartered by the Grand Lodge of Colorado) and Wyoming Lodge № 2, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Nebraska. Their total membership was 211. Edgar P. Snow of Cheyenne №  16 was elected the first Grand Master of the Wyoming territory. He was born in New Hampshire on March 23, 1841, and served two terms as Grand Master.

Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890. The first Grand Master of the state of Wyoming was Emile A. Abry. Bro. Abry was born July 21, 1844, in Hericourt, France. His family immigrated to the United States when he was age seven, first settling in New Jersey, then moving to Iowa where he was a banker. He moved to Cheyenne in 1881 and was made a Master Mason in Cheyenne Lodge № 1 in 1885. Bro. Abry died in Portland, Oregon, on July 5, 1934.

Wyoming Freemasonry reached 12,814 members in 1961, and at one time had 56 chartered lodges. Wyoming is known as the “equality” state or the “cowboy” state. It is the ninth largest state, with an area of 98,000 square miles. It is also the least populated of all fifty states, having approximately 495,000 residents. It is the home of the first national park (Yellowstone National Park) and the first national monument (Devil’s Tower National Monument). Its capital city is Cheyenne, the largest city in Wyoming, with a population of approximately 60,000 people.

Grand Lodge AF&AM of Wyoming
P.O. Box 1328
Lander, WY 82520