History of Athens Masonic Lodge, Henderson Co. TX


History of Athens Masonic Lodge

Dates Back To 1854

Charter Granted 

January 24, 1856
This story was in the Athens Daily Review, Historical and Home-coming Edition, May,

Athens Lodge, No. 165, A.F. & A.M., was  organized in the early part of 1854, about

nineteen years after the first subordinate lodge in the Republic of Texas was organized.
The first two years of its life the lodge worked under a dispensation.  John P. Walton was

its first Worshipful Master and in 1855 Lewis W. Moore served as Worshipful Master.
On January 24, 1865, the Grand Lodge of Texas granted Athens lodge its charter and the

three principal officers were elected and their names appear on the charter.  These names

are: Lewis W. Moore, Worshipful Master; D. M. Mabray, Senior Warden and Tandy

Howeth, Junior Warden.  I am sorry that I cannot give all of the names of the charter

members, for the brethren who blazed the trail for this lodge deserve a lot of credit.  This

information was not available in Athens.
The first Masonic lodge building was located where the home of Mrs. W. T. Carroll now

stands at 221 South Palestine Street.  It was later moved to the lot north of where the

Athens Hotel now stands.  Later when the present brick building was erected that not

houses the Liberty Theater the lodge moved back into that building.  Still later the lodge

purchased its present brick building and is now renting the ground floor to the A. & P.

Grocery.  Thanks to brother T. P. Faulk for information concerning various locations of

our lodge.
I give below the Past Masters of Athens Lodge. No. 165, and the years in which they

served: John P. Walton, 1854; Lewis W. Moore, 1855-59; D. W. Broughton, 1856-57; D.

M. Mabray, 1858-64-68; A. S. Tannehill, 1860; T. F. Murchison, 1861-62-63-67-79;

George D. Manion 1865; W. B. Stirman 1866-72; W. C. Larkin, 1869; John M.

McDonald, 1870.
John W. Ballow, 1871, W. D. Walker, 1873-74-75-76-77-78-81-82-83-; Joab McManus,

1880; G. M. Wofford, 1884; J. H. Jarrell, 1885; C. T. Scott, 1886; W. T. Eustace, 1887;

A. B. Watkins, 1888; Paul Jones, 1889; W. R. Dickerson, 1890; Joe A. McDonald, 1891;

John S. Jones, 1892-95; W. L. Faulk, 1893; H. C. Scott, 1895; Dr. J. C. Hodge, 1896;

Charles H. Hart, 1897-98; Charles H. Coleman, 1899; A. C. Hart, 1900; Walter Scott,

1901; J. W. Murchison, 1902-03; W. H. Coleman, 1904-05-06-10-11-12-13; J. R. Blades,

1907; T. P. Faulk, 1908; Dr. D. R. Coker, 1909; Elam Henderson, 1914-15-16.
Sam Holland, 1917; Dr. J. K. Wester, 1918-19; W. B. Stirman, 1920; Ben C. Ackerman,

1921; Dr. R. H. Hodge, 1922-37; T. F. Murchison, Jr. 1923; A. M. Newbill, 1924; Paul

Gauntt, 1925; A. S. Ford, 1926-28; W. A. Walker, 1927; S. L. R. Cartlidge, 1929; Dr. J.

H. Burtis, 1930; F. F. Cartlidge, 1931; Hobson Gree, 1932.
D. C. Prince, 1933; Jack Owen, 1934; S. B. Jeffrey, 1935; William F. Hodge, 1936; Jole

H. Lusk, 1938; Joe H. Owen, 1939; A. R. Cox, 1940-41.
The Present officers of the lodge are: A. R. Cox, Worshipful Master; Dr. N. D. Geddie,

Senior Warden; Clark Murrell, Junior Warden; W. A. Walker, Secretary; W. H. Coleman,

Treasure; G. L. Smith, Sr. Senior Deacon; Jackson Owen, Junior Deacon; Tarlton

Loughridge, Senior Steward; Weldon Hamil, Junior Steward; Wiley Johnson, Tiler.
Our Present finance committee is composed of T. P. Faulk, chairman; W. A. Walker and

Joe Glandon.
The Athens lodge has had the distinction of producing one of the Grand Masters for the

Grand Lodge of Texas, he being Judge A. B. Watkins, who was Grand Master in 1897.  If

we were selfish we could claim another, Thomas M. Matthews, Sr., who was Grand

Master in 1882, who was a member of another lodge at the time although he had been a

member of the Athens lodge.
Considering the fact that Masonry is only  106 years old in Texas and that there has only

been one hundred Grand Masters, including the present, Sam B. Cantey of Ft. Worth, we

naturally feel proud that we can lay claim to one of those patriots who no person denies

played a great part in the early history of this great state.  At one time three Past Grand

Masters. Judge A. B. Watkins, T. M. Matthews, Sr., and Rev. Gus Garrison, were

residents of Athens.
I am indebted to the following brethren for information contained in this article: T. P.

Faulk, W. A. Walker, C. H. Coleman and Jack Owen.
Had I had more time I could probably, give more interesting history on our good lodge

but I did all that I could within the short time allotted me and have enjoyed it.  And in

closing I wish to say to all the good members of the Athens lodge, and I believe that they

are all good Masons; May God guide, guard and protect you through life and endow you

with such a competency of Divine wisdom that you may be an honor to the great and

noble Order of Free Masons, and an inspiration to your fellowmen.
A. R. Cox

Worshipful Master.

Athens Lodge, No. 165


Transcribed by Bunny Shumate Freeman

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