Masonry in Texas
Masonry has a proud heritage of 177 years of service to the State of Texas and we hope this discussion will help you come to a better understanding of the purpose of our fraternal organization. Texas Masonry now looks to the future with the hope that a better understanding will allow the lodge to take its rightful place in every Texas community, right alongside of the church, the home, the schools, and the civic organizations as a positive force for good. With this better understanding there is every reason to believe that we can all work together to make our government, our schools and our churches even stronger than before. The strength of Texas has always been built upon the combined efforts of all these groups, and the Grand Lodge of Texas has contributed valuable service to our churches, our nation, our state and our community.
In March 1835 the first Masonic meeting was held in Texas for the purpose of establishing a lodge in Texas. Six Masons met under an oak tree near the town of Brazoria. They applied to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana for a dispensation to form and open a Lodge. A dispensation was issued and later a charter. This first Texas lodge was called Holland Lodge No. 36. It was named after then Grand Master of Masons in Louisiana, John Henry Holland. Anson Jones was the first Worshipful Master of Holland Lodge No. 36, now Holland Lodge No. 1. The charter was brought by John M. Allen and given to Anson Jones just prior to the battle of San Jacinto.
Two more Texas lodges were formed, also given dispensation and charter by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. They were: Milam Lodge No. 40 in Nacogdoches, and McFarland Lodge No. 41 in San Augustine. Both were formed in 1837. These two lodges, together with Holland Lodge No. 36, sent representatives to meet in Houston and established the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas. The convention elected Anson Jones the first Grand Master of Masons in Texas. It should be noted that Anson Jones was the fourth and final President of the Republic of Texas, prior to becoming a state.
There are now over 122,000 Masons in Texas with a total of 914 lodges. How we have grown in those nearly 200 years! We look forward optimistically to the future of Masonry in Texas and trust that its proud heritage will be built upon in the years to come in ways that will continue to serve and honor the great State of Texas of which we are a part.