Until the year 1792, when Kentucky became a separate and distinct State, jurisdiction over its Lodges was exercised by Virginia. On November 17, 1788, Lexington Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Four other Lodges, namely, Paris, Georgetown, Hiram, and Abraham's, were chartered at various times by the same Body. Representatives of the five Lodges met at Lexington, September 8, 1800, and determined to establish a Grand Lodge of Kentucky. A second Convention met on October 16, and elected Grand Officers who duly opened the Grand Lodge. Dispensations for Chapters at Lexington, Frankfort, and Shelbyville were issued by Companion Thomas Smith Web Deputy General Grand High Priest, on October 16, 1816. These Chapters according to the Proceedings of the fifth regular Convocation of the General Grand Chapter of the United States formed a Grand Chapter in 1817 under the jurisdiction of the General Grand Chapter. At its annual Convocation in Lexington, the Grand Chapter of Kentucky advocated the dissolution of the General Grand Chapter, and in 1857 actually seceded from that Body. It was announced, however, at the twenty-second triennial Convocation of the General Grand Chapter held on November 24, 1874, that it had renewed its allegiance.
When Jeremy L. Cross made his official tour through the Western States in 1816 as General Grand Lecturer of the General Grand Chapter, he established the Select Degree in this State and, on his return in 1817, sent Charters to the Companions at Lexington and Shelbyville, dating them from the time when the Degrees were conferred A meeting was held on December 10, 1827, to establish a Grand Council. Representatives of six Councils were present, namely: Washington, No. 1; Warren, No. 2; Center, No. 3; Louisville, No. 4; Frankfort, No. 5, and Versaiiies, No. 6. Where the Councils obtained their Warrants is not known, though it is thought that John Barker organized them in September, 1827. The Anti. Masonic period affected the Craft in Kentucky to some considerable extent and the Grand Council only met once in 1841. From 1878 to 1881 the Degrees were included in the Chapter work but in 1881, after the organization of the General Grand Council, the Grand Council of Kentucky was reorganized. On October 14, 1912, it affiliated with the General Grand Council as a constituent member.
Webb, No. 1, at Lexington, was the first Commandery to begin work in Kentucky. It was authorized by Charter dated January 1 1826, but this was probably a Charter of Recognition as there is in existence a copy of the original Proceedings of Webb Encampsment, with a list of members as of January 1, 1819. A Dispensation was issued by John Snow on the following December 28, and a Charter on January 1, 1820. The Grand Commandery in Kentucky, authorized by Warrant from the Grand Encampment dated September 14, 1847, was constituted on October 5, at Frankfort. Its subordinate Commanderies were Webb, No.1; Louisville, No. 2; Versailles, No. 3; Frankfort, No. 4, and Montgomery, No. 5. On August 8, 1859, four Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, were chartered at Louisville: Union Lodge of Perfection, No. 1; Pelican Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1; Kilwinning Council of Kadosh, No. 1, and Grand Consistory, No. 1.
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Brother Bill, Crown Point, IN