Civil War & Masonry

Civil War And Masonry In Missouri

"I need not say of this old and flourishing lodge that it stands unsurpassed among the lodges of the State with that Prince of Masters at its head, Brother R. E. Anderson."

PARIS UNION LODGE No.19 (Paris, Mo.):  The lodge at Paris, Mo. continued to meet throughout the war and, in 1865, the Deputy reports that it was in a favorable condition and capable of doing good work.

NEW LONDON LODGE No. 21 (New London, Mo.):  In 1862 the Grand Secretary reported that the charter of this lodge was then in his possession.

WELLINGTON LODGE No. 22 (De Kalb, Mo.):  The lodge at De Kalb did not become active until 1865, in which year the District Deputy reports it to be in good condition.

FLORIDA LODGE No. 23 (Florida, Mo.):  The lodge at Florida made no returns for the years 1860, 1861, 1862 or 1863.  The Grand Secretary reports in that year that the lodge was supposed to have gone down during the year.

MEXICO LODGE No. 26 (Mexico, Mo.):  The lodge at Mexico was one of those which made report annually during the war period.  District Deputy Ralls, in 1865, stated that "he had visited the lodge in April, finding them in a good and convenient hall; witnessed the work and lectures done according to ancient usage; prosperous and with records in good condition."

MEXICO LODGE No. 26:  During the Civil War period many Missouri Masonic lodges failed to weather the storm.  In the case of this lodge perhaps we can look to the pilot of the ship for the reason.

From June 16, 1857, to June 18, 1861, and from June 17, 1862, to June 19, 1866, Samuel Martin Edwards was Worshipful Master of the lodge.  Brother Edwards was born January 23rd, 1832, in Henry County, Va., the youngest of ten children, the son of John Edwards and Martha (Johnstone) Edwards.  John Edwards was born in Albemarle County, Va., and was a Captain in the War of 1812, in Colonel Jospeh Martin's regiment.  His grandfather, on his mother's side, was one of Washington's body guards in the Revolutionary War and was wounded at Bunker Hill.

Young Edwards was educated in the common schools of his native county and in his early manhood taught school.  He finished his law course in the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.  He came to Missouri in the fall of 1840, settling in St. Charles County, and, in 1856, he located for the practice of his profession at Mexico, Audrain County, Mo.  He was twice married, the first time to Miss Lucy Shryrock, by whom he had three children; the second time he was married to Miss Hattie Lakenan, by this union there was one son.