In March, 1854, the region between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains was divided by Congress into the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The Grand Master of Illinois issued a Dispensation for a Lodge at Bellevue to petitioners who were vouched for by a member of Garden City Lodge, No. 18, and by Lafayette Lodge, No. 18, both of Chicago. The Lodge was chartered as Nebraska Lodge, No. 184, on October 3, 1855. On January 24, 1888, the Lodge moved to Omaha. Three Lodges, namely, Nebraska, No. 184; Giddings, No. 156, and Capital, No. 101, sent representatives to a Convention held on September 23, 1857, at Omaha to organize a Grand Lodge. David Lindley presided and George Armstrong was chosen Secretary. Grand Officers were elected: Brother Robert C. Jordan, Grand Master and Brother George Armstrong, Grand Secretary. The name of Giddings Lodge was changed to Western Star and that of Capital to Capitol. The Lodges were then renumbered as Nebraska, No. 1, at Bellevue; Western Star, No. 2, at Nebraska City, and Capitol, No. 3, at Omaha.
On November 21, 1859, Omaha Chapter, No. 1, was granted a Dispensation by the General Grand King, and on September 8, 1865, when this was reported to the General Grand Chapter, a Charter was i88ued. At a Convention held March 19, 1867, at Plattsmouth, by permission of the Deputy General Grand High Priest, the Grand Chapter of Nebraska was regularly organized. Officers were elected and installed as follows: Companions Harry P. Deuel and James W. Moore, Grand High Priest and Deputy Grand High Priest; Companion David H. Wheeler, Grand King; Companion Edwin A. Allen, Grand Scribe, and Companions Orsamus H. Irish and Elbert T. Duke, Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary. All who helped in the organization of this Grand Chapter were later made Life Members. Nebraska is one of the States which make the Order of High Priesthood an essential qualification to the installation of the High Priest elect.
The Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, granted a Charter for the organization of Omaha Council, No. 1, on July 8, 1867. Delegates from Omaha, No. 1; Alpha, No. 2, and Furnas, No. 3, formed the Grand Council of Nebraska on November 20, 1872. From 1875 to 1886 the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons controlled the Council Degrees in Nebraska, but they again came under the Grand Council on March 9, 1886, and in 1889 the latter became a member of the General Grand Council.
Mount Calvary Commandery, No. 1, was formed at Omaha by Dispensation dated June 16, 1865, and issued by Grand Master Benjamin B. French. It was organized July 24 and chartered September 6. Representatives of the four Commanderies of the State, Mount Calvary, No. 1; Mount Olivet, No. 2; Mount Carmel, No. 3, and Mount Moriah, No. 4, met in Omaha on December 28, 1871, and established the Grand Commandery of Nebraska.
In 1881 came the beginning of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, in Nebraska. Mount Moriah Lodge of Perfection, No. 1, was chartered January 1; Semper Fidelis Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1, on January 17; Nebraska Consistory, No. 1, was granted a Charter April 12, 1885, and Saint Andrew's Council of Kadosh, No. 1, on October 22, 1890.
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