Saturday, June 27, the Era Masonic Lodge installed its 113th slate of officers for the coming year.
Freemasonry is no stranger to Texas. It came with the first settlers.
According to the Texas Grand Lodge, “masonic membership was often the one common denominator among the early settlers and adventurers that came to Texas in the early 1800’s. Men of different backgrounds and cultures often found a hearty welcome in the “friendly grip” of a brother Mason’s handshake. The first Mason known to have entered Texas was Major Zebulon M. Pike, a member of Lodge No. 3, Philadelphia. He came in 1806 and 1807, scouting the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers, and the Spanish settlements of the Rio Grande.
As the winds of Texas’ war of independence began to blow in the fall of 1835, reads the Texas Masonic Grand Lodge history, there were many Masons in the foremost positions of authority, both military and political. The Texans’ first shot was fired by Eli Mitchell on October 2, 1835, near Gonzales. He and his commander, Colonel John H. Moore, were both Masons.”
Masonic historian Dr. James D. Carter counts twenty-two known Masons among the fifty-nine signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, signed at Washington-on-the Brazos on March 2, 1836. Records from the early 1800’s are often incomplete and sometimes non-existent. As a result, some memberships cannot be verified and many Masons are left uncounted.
On March 6, 1836, according to one of Carter’s books, after thirteen days of siege, the fortified Mission San Antonio de Valero, known as the Alamo, fell to the final onslaught of Mexican troops under the dictator General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Among the 188 Texans who died that day, only a handful can be reliably identified as members of the fraternity.
Early Texas Masons included: Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, William B. Travis, James Bowie, David Crockett, James Bonham, Ben Milam, David G. Burnet, James Fannin, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Anson Jones, Lorenzo de Zavala, Edward Burleson, Jose Navarro, Adolphus Sterne, Thomas Rusk, Robert M. Williamson, Juan N. Seguin and R. E. B. Baylor.
By 1846, according to the Grand Lodge of Texas, 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.
In 1844, George K. Teulon, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas, addressing a gathering of Masons in Portland, Maine, observed “Texas is emphatically a Masonic Country: Our national emblem, the ‘Lone Star,’ was chosed from among the emblems selected by Freemasonry, to illustrate the moral virtues — it is a five-pointed star, and alludes to the five points of fellowship.”
Sell-O-Rama returns to civic center
Every crafter has a story.
The Gainesville Civic Center was the site of multiple stories and exchanges as vendors sold handmade items at the 32nd annual Arts & Crafts Sell-O-Rama.
Golf tournament helps Special Olympics athletes
Proceeds from today’s golf tournament on behalf of the Gainesville Independent School District Special Olympics organization is the key boost in getting 16 of its athletes to Arlington.
Officials investigate freight train collision
A collision between a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train and a car delayed traffic at several Gainesville railroad crossings Saturday morning
Creative writing awards ceremony set for April 12
North Central Texas College is once again hosting the NCTC Creative Writing Contest and the awards ceremony is planned for next month.
Church News 3-22
Church news reported this week.
VISTO luncheon to spotlight volunteers
Volunteer efforts during the past year on behalf of the county’s central food aid program will get their due spotlight this month.
Valley View to host circus March 24
Due to the sponsorship of Valley View Area Chamber of Commerce, Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, now in its 29th edition, is coming to Valley View on Sunday, March 24, at the Valley View ISD football field parking lot with two scheduled main performances at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
'Fur Ball' event a success despite storm
Spirits were high at the 2013 Noah’s Ark “Fur Ball” despite Saturday night’s severe storm.
Spot on: GHS students learn TV production skills
The Audio Video (AV) Technology class at Gainesville High School (GHS) introduces students to life behind and in front of the camera.
NCTC to sponsor largest-ever health care industry survey
The three-county region served by North Central Texas College will be the target of the largest health care industry employer outreach and workforce survey ever undertaken in the area.
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