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Illinois

The Anti-Masonic movement had so great an effect on Freemasonry in Illinois that it practically died. After the agitation ceased the Craft appeared again with renewed vigor. There are thus two early Lodges and two Grand Lodges to be considered in an account of the growth of Freemasonry in this State. On September 4, 1805, a Dispensation for six months was issued to Western Star Lodge, No. 107, while Illinois was still in Indian Territory.

The Lodge was chartered and on September 13, 1806, was duly constituted. A Convention was held at Vandalia on December 9, 1822, to consider the organization of a Grand Lodge for the State. At another meeting held December 1, 1823, eight Lodges were represented and a Grand Lodge was opened with Brother Shadrach Bond as Grand Master. In 1827, this Grand Lodge ceased operations and after June 24, 1827, all the Lodgea in the State went out of existence. A Warrant was issued on August 30, 1838, to Bodley Lodge, No. 97, by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, there being at that time no other working Lodge in Illinois. At a Convention held at Jacksonville on April 6, 1840, six of the eight chartered Lodges in the State were present and one under Dispensation was represented. The Grand L,odge officers were elected and the Grand Lodge then opened. For some time, however, several Lodges in Illinois paid allegiance to Missouri because their business in St. Louis made it more convenient for the Brethreu to attend the Grand Lodge of Missouri.

A Dispensation was granted by the Deputy General Grand High Priest to Springfield Chapter, on July 19, 1841, and in the following September a Charter was issued. Seven Chapters were given permission subsequently by the General Grand Iiing to organize a Grand Chapter. On April 10, 1850, six of these Chapters held a Convention and opened the Grand Chapter of Illinois. Degrees of the Cryptic Rite were conferred in some of the Royal Arch Chapters in this State. Then several Councils were chartered from 1852 by the Grand Council of Kentucky, the first being Illinois Council No. 15. A Charter was granted to Alton Council at Alton in 1853. Springfield Council at Springfield was not chartered until February, 1853, though the Convention to form a Grand Council was assembled on September 29, 1853, and during the adjourned meeting at Springfield the various Councils were arranged as Illinois Council No. 1; Springfield Council No. 2, and Alton Council No. 3. Any misunderstanding was cleared up by a second Convention at Springfield, March 10, 1854, when the Constitution was readopted and the Grand Council constituted by representatives of the three Councils.

Apollo Encampment, later Apollo Commandery, was organized at Chicago under Dispensation dated May 5, 1845, issued by Deputy Grand Master Joseph E. Stapleton of Baltimore. It receiveda Charter dated September 17, 1847. The Grand Commandery was organized on October 27, 1857, under authority of Grand Master W. B. Hubbard of the Grand Encampment, by three Commanderies: Apollo, No. 1; Belvidere, No. 2, and Peoria, No. 3. At the Conclave of 1858, Sir Hosmer A. Johnson presented a piece of the Charter Oak received from the Hon. Isaac W. Stewart of Hartford, Connecticut, which was afterwards made into a Patriarchal Cross for the use of the Grand Commanders as a Jewel of Office.

As early as 1857, appeared the first Body of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Illinois, when an Rensselaer Lodge of Perfection was chartered on Alay 14, at Chicago. On that date also Chicago Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Gourgas Chapter of Rose Croix, and Oriental Consistory were established in the same city.

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