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Texas

The first Masonic meeting in Texas was held in a grove at Brazoria where in March, 1835, five Master Masons, John H. Wharton, Asa Brigham, James A. E. Phelps, Alexander Russell and Anson Jones, decided to open a Lodge. A Dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, and in spite of the danger attendant upon secret meetings at this time the Lodge was opened as Holland, No. 26, on December 27, 1835. War with Mexico interrupted the work of the Lodge, but it remained in existence until February, 1836.

When Brazoria was captured the records and all the belongings of the Lodge were destroyed and the members scattered. A Charter, however, had been issued and was brought to Texas by John M. Allen, and, in October, 1837, the only Lodge in Texas which existed prior to her separation from Mexico was reopened at Houston. Three Lodges, Milam, No. 40; McFarlane, No. 41, and Holland, No. 36, held a Convention at Houston in the winter of 1837-8 to form a Grand Lodge. The following officers were elected: Grand Master, Anson Jones; Deputy Grand Master, Adolphus Sterne; Senior Grand Warden, Jefferson Wright; Junior Grand Warden, Christopher Dart; Grand Secretary, G. H. Winched; Grand Treasurer, Thomas G. Western. The Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana was adopted and the first Annual Communication arranged for April 1639.

December 9, 1835, on the application of Companions Samuel M. Williams, James H. C. Miller and others the General Grand Chapter decided to issue a Charter to San Filipe de Austin Chanter, No. 1. It was not established, however, until June 2, 1840, when Texas was no longer part of Mexico, and in the interval Dugald McFarlane had organized Cyrus Chapter under the authority of Matagorda Chapter. To consider the organization of a Grand Chapter, delegates from San Felipe de Austin, Cyrus, Lone Star, and Rising Star Chapters met in Austin December 14. 1841. On December 21 a Constitution was adopted. The Grand Lodge of Texas relinquished authority over the Chapters but the General Grand Chapter refused to recognize the new Grand Chapter because it had been instituted without authority. At its organization on December 30, 1850, four Chapters were represented, namely, San Felipe de Austin, No. 1; Washington, No. 2; Brenham, No. 5, and Brazos, No. 8. In 1861 it separated from the General Grand Chapter of the United States.

In the Minutes of Columbian Council, No. 1, of New York City, is mention of three Degrees conferred upon Companions John N. Reed and Ebenezer B. Nichols of Houston Chapter, No. 8. A Warrant, ratified January 31, 1848, was issued to them and William D. Smith, by the Grand Master, for Houston Council, No. 10. Columbia, No. 1; Alabama, No. 12, and Coleman Councils then sent delegates to Huntsville and organized a Grand Council which existed until 1865. William T. Austin of Galveston Council was elected Grand Master but his name was not in the Report of the Committee on Credentials and Galveston Council was not added to the roll until 1859. In 1864 it was arranged to surrender control of the Degrees to the Grand Chapter of Texas. From 1865 until December 3, 1907, they were worked in Council under the authority of a Chapter. In 1907 the Grand Council met again at Waco and resumed control of the Degrees. On November 9, 1909, the Grand Council was recognized, though still retaining its independence, by the General Grand Council.

San Felipe de Austin Cornmandery was chartered December 10, 1835, at Galveston. On December 13, 1853, the General Grand Master issued a Warrant for a Grand Encampment of Texas. Three Commanderies, San Filipe de Austin, No. 1; Ruthven, No. 2, and Palestine, No. 3, took part in its institution on January 18, 1855. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, began in Texas with the San Felipe, No. 1, Lodge of Perfection, chartered at Galveston, May 15, 1867. The Phillip C. Tucker Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1, was chartered January 31, 1882; the Pike-Tueker Couneil of Kadosh, No. 1, on October 6, 1898, and the Texas Consistory, No. 1, on November 18, 1899.

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