The first Lodge in Indiana was organized at Vincennes by Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, August 27, 1807, as Sincennes Lodge, No. 15. Prior to this, however, Freemasonry had been introduced by Brethren belonging to Lodges in the army on the northwestern frontier. A Convention of representatives of the following Lodges of Ancient York Masons was held at Corydon on December 3, 1817, to consider the establishment of a Grand Lodge: Vincennes, No. 15; Lawrenceburg, No. 44; Madison Union, No. 29; Blazing Star, Is-o. 36; Melchizedeek, No. 43; Pisgah, No. 45. Three Lodges under dispensations Switzerland, Risines Sun and Brookville Harmona, also sent representatives and it was resolved to open a Grand Lodge. On January 12, 1818, arrangements were completed. The Id following day Grand Officers were elected with M. W. Alexander Buckner as Grand Master, and the Grand Constitution was adopted January 15. Since 1825 this Grand Lodge has had permanent quarters at Indianapolis but before then it met at Charlestown and elsewhere.
According to the proceedings of the General Grand Chapter on September 14, 1826, a Charter was granted to Vincennes Chapter on May 13, 1820. At the twelfth Convocation of the General Grand Chapter in 1St4, permission was granted for a Convention of Chapter representatives to assemble on November 18, 1845, and the Grand Chapter of Indiana was duly constituted on December 5, 1845. At the meeting of the General Grand Chapter the General Grand Secretary stated that, according to the records of 1819, Dispensations were said to have been granted for Chapters at Madison and Brookville which were not ratified and therefore the Chapters ceased to exist in a legal sense. They were supposed, however, to have continued their labors for some years and, with another Chapter established at Vincennes, to have organized a Grand Chapter in 1823. Of this there was no documentary evidence, but the General Grand Chapter granted Madison Chapter a legal Charter on September 12, 1844.
The Council Degrees in Indiana were at first given in the Chapter work but, after the General Grand Chapter decided in 1853 to give up control of the Cryptic Degrees, Councils were chartered by the Grand Council of Kentucky, August 30, 1854, and by the Grand Council of Ohio, October 18, 1B55. The three Councils thus organized sent delegates to a meeting on December 20, 1855, when the Grand Council of Indiana was formed.
The first Commandery to be organized in Indiana mas Roper, No. 1, at Indianapolis, which was granted a Dispensation May 14, 1848. It was chartered October 16, 1850. With three others, Greensburg, No. 2; La Fayette, No. 3, and Fort Wayne, No. 4, this Commandery organized the Grand Commandery of Indiana on May 16, 1854, by authority of the Grand Encampment.
On May 19, 1865, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite became part of the Masonic life of Indiana when the Adoniram Lodge of Perfection, the Saraiah Council of Princes of Jerusalem, the Indianapolis Chapter of Rose Croixs and the Indiana Consistory were established at Indianapolis by the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
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Brother Ofotsu, Upper Marlboro, MD
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