From a speech made by Henry S. Baird on December 17, 1854, it is known that a meeting was held December 27, 1823, to organize a Lodge at Green Bay, then in Michigan. In response to a petition the Grand Lodge of New York granted a Dispensation and on September 2, 1824, the Lodge was instituted at Fort Howard. Robert Irwin, Sr., was installed Worshipful Master, Benjamin Watson, Senior Warden and W. V. Wheaton, Junior Warden.
On December 3, 1824, a Charter was granted by the same Grand Lodge. Mineral Point Lodge was granted a Dispensation, October 8, 1840 and Melody Lodge one on January 10, 1843, both from Missouri, and Milwaukee Lodge held its first meeting on July 5, 1843, when a Dispensation was received from Illinois. Milwaukee, No. 22; Melody, No 5, and Mineral Point Lodges after some discussion held a Convention at Madison, December 18, 1843, for the purpose of organizing a Grand Lodge.
Brothers Moses Meeker and George W. Lakin were appointed Chairman and Secretary respectively. A Constitution prepared by Brothers Lawton, Meeker, and Lakin was adopted when the Grand Lodge was opened on December 18, 1843. The following officers were installed: Benjamin T. Kavanaugh, Grand Master; Abram D. Smith, Deputy Grand Master; Moses Meeker, Senior Grand Warden; David Merrill, Junior Grand Warden; Thomas P. Burnett, Grand Treasurer; Ben C. Eastman, Grand Secretary, and Dwight F. Lawton, Grand Lecturer. January 17, 1844, a special Communication was held to give the constituent Lodges their new numbers and charters. Milwaukee Chapter, later called Kilburn Chapter, No. 1, was granted a Dispensation by the Deputy General Grand High Priest at the triennial Convocation of the General Grand Chapter held on September 10, 1844. By the same authority a Convention was held in Madison on January 10, 1850. Representatives of Kilburn Chapter, No. 1; Washington Chapter, No. 2, and Southport Chapter, No. 3, attended the fleeting and established the Grand Chapter of Wisconsin on February 14, 1850. Argulus W. Sark was authorized by the Grand Master to install the officers of the Lodge and duly performed this ceremony on August 7, 1850.
Three Councils were chartered in Wisconsin by the Grand Council of Ohio. Deputy Grand Puissant George Keifer reported to the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Ohio that Dispensations had been granted to Beloit Council at Beloit on March 30, 1857; to Gebal Council at Janesville on July 10, 1857, and to Madison Council at Madison on August 8, 1857, the petitioners being duly recommended by Franklin Council, No. 14, of Troy, Ohio.
Charters were granted each of these Councils on October 15, 1857, and they were numbered respectively as Gebal Council, No. 27; Beloit Council, No. 28, and Madison Council, No. 29. On October 28, 1857, delegates met and instituted a Grand Council which met annually until 1878, when, on March 11, the Degrees were put under the control of the Grand Chapter. The brand Council was again organized in 1881 by representatives of forty-nine Councils and was recognized by the General Grand Council as a nonparticipating independent body.
Wisconsin Commandery, No. 1, at Milwaukee, was given a Dispensation July 12, 1849, and a Charter on September 11, 1850. Delegates from three Commanderies, namely, Wisconsin, No. 1; Janesville, No. 2; Robert Macoy, No. 3, met and organized the Grand Commandery of Wisconsin on October 20, 1859, at Madison.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, was first established in Wisconsin on August 7, 1863, when the Wisconsin Consistory, the Wisconsin Chapter of Rose Croix, the Wisconsin Council of Princes of Jerusalem and the Wisconsin Lodge of Perfection were opened at Milwaukee.
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