Grand Secretary Sam H. Goodwin in his investigations of early Freemasonry in Utah has brought to light many note worthy facts. He finds the first Lodge organized in Utah was among soldiers of the United States Army sent there by President Buchanan. A Dispensation for Rocky Mountain Lodge dated March 6, 1859, was granted by Grand Master Samuel Saunders of Missouri, to (Lieutenant) John T. Robinson and other officers at Camp Floyd. About forty were associated in the movement. This Lodge received a Charter in 1860, No. 205 of Missouri.
In 1862 Grand Master Wm. R. Peniek reported that the Lodge had prospered but ceased working because the membership "consisted principally of Masons belonging to the U.S.
Army who were forced to surrender their Charter on account of the Army being recalled to Washington City. "Grand Secretary Gourley also wrote "the Charter, jewels, records ,etc., were all returned to this office more correctly completed than those ever received from any surrendered Lodge under the Jurisdiction of this Grand Body since its organization.
The jewels were of the very best quality, in fact everything received by this office from that Lodge bore evidence of more than ordinary refinement and culture. "This complimentary allusion adds interest to Brother Goodwin's mention of two relies, a square and compasses, framed and under glass in the ante-room of Damascus Lodge No. 10, at Mt. Pleasant, of which it is recorded that they were made from a camp kettle by the blacksmith of General Albert Sidney Johnston's army at Camp Floyd, Utah, 1858, and that they were the first to be used there in a Masonic Lodge.
The Grand Master of Nevada, Joseph De Bell, issued a Dispensation February 4, 1866. for the organization of Mount Moriah Lodge at Salt Lake City. The question then rose as to the attitude to be adopted towards the Mormons. The Grand Master of Nevada vetoed the admission to the Craft of any of Mormon faith and the Lodge submitted for the time being. Application at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge for an unrestricted Charter was refused, but the Dispensation of the Lodge was renewed. A year later it was surrendered and a certificate of standing in the Craft issued to each member. After a refusal from the Grand Lodge of Montana the Grand Lodge of Kansas issued a Dispensation on November 25, 1867, and a Charter on October 21, 1868. At a Convention held at Salt Lake City, January 16, 1872, representatives of Wasatch, Mount Moriah and Argenta Lodges decided to organize a Grand Lodge. Officers were chosen and installed and the Grand Lodge was duly constituted. It adopted the attitude of the Grand Lodge of Nevada and expelled one brother from the Crafts who had become a Mormon.
Utah Chapter, No 1, Salt Lake City, was granted a Dispensation on December 13, 1872 A Charter was issued by authority of the General Grand Chapter on November 25, 1874 Utah No.1; Ogden, No 2; Ontario, No 3, and Provo, No 4, were the four Chapters in existence in Utah when the Grand Chapter of the State was formed The first Convocation was held at Salt Lake City, September 5, 1911, and Companion C F. Jennings was chosen the first Grand High Priest. The general Grand Council issued a Dispensation for Utah Council, No 1, at Salt Lake City on February 13, 1892 It gave authority to Companions A Scott Chapman, Henry Budgeford and Edwin Copperfield to communicate the Degrees, and a Council, chartered on August 21, was constituted October 30, 1894.
The Grand Encampment of the United States warranted three Commanderies in Utah, the first of which , Utah, No 1, at Salt Lake City, was granted a Dispensation December 20, 1873, and chartered December 3, 1874 Utah, No. l; El Monte, No 2 and Malta, No 3, organized the Grand Commandery of Utah at Ogden on April 9, 1910, under a Warrant issued by Sir Henry Warren Rugg, Grand Master.
Four Charters were granted to bodies of the Anciend and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, on October 21, 1903, at Salt Lake City namely, Utah Consistory, No.1; Salt Lake Council of Kadosh ,No1; James Lowe Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1, and Jordon Lodge of Perfection, No. 2.
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Just wanted to say that I got the ring - and it's the most beautiful ring I've seen. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Brother Ofotsu, Upper Marlboro, MD
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