The Stars and Stripes of the United States Flag had replaced the Texas Lone Star Flag over the capitol in Austin by a mere eight years when in 1854 a charter was granted Mt. Horeb Masonic Lodge No.137. The young State was beset with inner political quarrels, boundary disputes and unrest previous to the war between the States. Depredation by Indian bands was common over the thinly settled country.
A handful of Master Masons, eight in number, applied for a dispensation September 17. 1853 to organize a lodge at Gabriel Mills until a fire on December 19, 1915 destroyed the lodge building and its contents. Below are the minutes as were written by the Secretary Geo. G. White, which gives the decision of the members to reconstruct the lodge building:
At a meeting of the Brethren of Mt. Horeb Lodge No. 137, A.F. & A.M. held in the Methodist Church near Gabriel Mills, Texas, the following were present: A. J. Clark, W.M.; I. J. Clark, Treas.: Geo. G. White, Secretary; R. L. Greer, W. J. Williams, J. M. Stapp, E. A. Clark, J. T. Hutto, G. T. Williams, J. F. Clark, B. H. Stewart, A. M. Ater, Jno. T. Stewart, C. T. Stewart, E. D. Crum, J. R. Williams, W. H. Greer, J. H. Stewart and T. J. Williams.
The W. M. announced that the meeting had been called for the purpose of discussing the advisability of rebuilding the lodge at Mahomet, Burnet County, the old building having been totally destroyed by fire on the morning of December, 19, 1915.
A vote was taken and it was unanimously decided to petition the Grand Master for a dispensation to build the lodge room at Mahomet, and the Secretary was also instructed to apply to the M. E. Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, and the M. I. Grand Master of the Great Council of R. and S. Masters for like dispensation.
On motion adopted, the Secretary was instructed to purchase the necessary books and supplies for the Lodge Chapter and Council to replace the ones destroyed.
On Motion adopted the secretary was instructed to apply to the W. M. Grand Master for a dispensation to sell the land belonging to the Lodge.
The W. M. appointed a committee to select a site to rebuild the new temple, decide on the kind and the size of the structure to erect, enter into a contract to have same erected, and endeavor to sell the land belonging to the lodge.
No further business appearing, the meeting was adjourned.
Because all records previous to the above minutes were forever lost, Mt. Horeb lodge is indebted to Bro. B. H. Stewart, who in 1917, at the age of 74, compiled a history of the lodge. Bro. Stewart states that at that time he had been a member for 49 years. Upon his death, March 24, 1932, fifteen more years were added, whereupon his Masonic life consisted of 64 consecutive years.
Many facts of the history of the lodge are given by Bro. Stewart, that would have been lost with his passing, because there is no other known account of same in existence. Since this is so, because of the interest contained therein and to preserve it for posterity, a complete copy is here given as it is written by him:
The history of this Lodge begins soon after the first settlement in this part of the State.
In the year 1849 Past Grand Master Sam Mather, an Englishman by birth, settled on the North San Gabriel, eighteen miles Northwest of Georgetown, Williamson County. Between the date and the latter part of the year 1852, William P. Rich , C. A. Russell, Winslow Turner and M. S. Scaggs settled in the Northwestern part of Williamson County. I. M. Brown and R. G. Rice located in Burnet County five miles northwest of the Mather settlement. Georgetown was the nearest post office at that time.
These men were all Master Masons and were the charter members of the Mount Horeb Lodge.
On the 17th day of September, 1853 a petition for Dispensation for a Lodge at Gabriel Mills, Williamson County was presented to Grand Master A. P. Neil, signed by Sam Mather, Wm. P. Rich, I. M. Brown, C. A. Russell, Winslow Turner, R. G Rice and M. S. Scaggs, and on the 27th day of the same month a Dispensation was granted to the following officers: Wm. P. Rich worshipful master; Isaac M. Brown, senior warden; M. S. Scaggs, junior warden.
Now a word in regard to myself. In the year 1851, John T. Stewart, father of this writer, a native of Tennessee, settled on the North San Gabriel, twenty-two miles northwest of Georgetown. In 1854 he was initiated and passed and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in the new Lodge. I at the time he settled here was eight years old and having lived here ever since! I have been a member of the Mt. Horeb Lodge continuously for forty-nine years.
I was personally acquainted with each one of the charter members. Brother John Dunlop and myself are the only two men now living who were here when the Lodge was organized, and I presume that is the principle reason why I was requested to write the history of this Lodge.
On account of the loss of all the valuable records by fire, which occurred December 19th, 1915, much will have to be omitted which no doubt might have been of great interest.
In submitting the historical facts concerning this lodge I am sure it will be difficult for the members of the lodge at this time to fully understand and appreciate the difficulties, trials, and dangers of the Masonic pioneers of this section had to contend with. Nevertheless, I shall so far as possible relate the most important facts and incidents in the history of the lodge from the date of dispensation to the present time.
The first meeting place of the new Lodge was in a very small board shanty at Gabriel Mills, with a dirt floor.
On January 21st, 1854 a Charter was granted: Wm. P. Rich being the first Worshipful Master; Issac M. Brown, senior warden; and M. S. Scaggs, junior warden. The charter members were Past Grand Master Sam Mather, Wm . P. Rich, Isaac M. Brown, C. A. Russell, Winslow Turner, R. G. Rice and M. S. Scaggs.
In 1854 a small log house, 14x16 feet was about one mile West of Gabriel Mills for a school house and church.
The floor was of black dirt, the seats were made of logs split open in the center, the rough splinters being hewn off with a broad-axe; the roof was of oak boards, split with a froe and mallet. The first school this writer ever attended was in that humble building. Immediately after its completion the Lodge moved into it. The alter they used was a section off a hollow log about twenty inches in diameter with a board cover for a top. After the lodge was closed, this altar would be placed on some poles overhead and there remain until the next meeting of the Lodge.
You can imagine how the curiosity of a few of us boys who attended the short terms of school taught there was aroused.
We knew the Masons used it for some purpose, but what for was the question we asked each other. Of course we could have found out, we could have climbed up, removed the cover and inspected everything it contained. Be it said to their credit, they never did. Of the boys referred to C. C. Stewart, eldest brother of this writer, W. A. Scaggs and H. C. Bittick, afterwards became members of the Lodge. Here in this small log house on a dirt floor, those golden hearted men and Masons, at that time living on the extreme frontier continued to meet around that crude altar until the early part of 1856.
Brother Sam Mather having rebuilt his mill which had been washed away in a disastrous flood in the San Gabriel in May 1854, the Lodge occupied one room in the mill building until a new Lodge building could be erected.
In 1856 Past Grand Master Sam Mather and B. K. Stewart each deeded twenty-five acres of land to the lodge on which they decided to erect a two story frame building, the upper story to be used for a lodge and the lower story for school and church purposes.
This building was 20x24 feet, the sills, plates, joists, studding, and rafters were of timbers that were felled, hewn and prepared in the scanty post oak forests nearby; the roof was of oak boards split with froe and mallet, the siding and floor for the upper story was of rough pine lumber purchased from the nearest saw mill which was located in Bastrop County, more than sixty miles distant; the lower story for a number of years had nothing but a dirt floor. Immediately after the completion of the building, the Lodge moved into it.
The history of Mount Horeb Chapter No. 57 Royal Arch Masons being so intimately connected with Mt. Horeb Lodge, it may be interesting to briefly refer to the same.
A petition for a Dispensation for a Chapter of R. A. M. to be located at Gabriel Mills, Williamson County, under date of January 24th, 1857 signed by O. Benedict, William Ferguson, Laniel Hogan, Wm. P. Rutledge, A. H. Chalmers, Sam Mather, J. W. Spreight, L. C. Robertson, Thos. P. Espy, and I. J. Kidd. This partition was recommended by Lone Star Chapter No. 6, Austin, Texas, under the date of February 14th, 1857. Deputy Grand High Priest A. S. Ruthven issued the Dispensation under date of April 1st, 1857, in which he appointed E. L. C. Robertson, high priest, Sam Mather, excellent king., and Wm. P. Rutledge, excellent scribe.
Companion R. M. Elgin, accompanied by several other Companions from Lone Star Chapter No. 6 instituted the Chapter, instituted the above named officers in their respective stations, and the following appointees: A. H. Chambers, Capt. Of host; Wm. O'Hair, principal sojourner; I. J. Kidd, Royal Arch captain; D. Hogan, master 3rd veil, V. O. Benedict, master. 2nd veil; Wm. Ferguson, master 1st veil; J. W. Speight, treasurr (sic) and Thos. H. Epsy, secretary. After the degrees were conferred, B. K. Stewart was named as guard.
The first petition for degrees were from E. Stevenson, M.S. Skaggs, I.M. Brown, Dr. Thomas Moore, B. K. Stewart, Norman Miller, John Atkinson and W. O. Spencer. The first trio to be exalted were Thos, Moore, B. K. Stewart, and E. Stevenson.
The Grand Royal Arch Chapter met in the Hall of San Jacinto Chapter No. 7 at Huntsville, Texas on June 22nd, 1857.
On the following day a report was presented by Wm. M. Taylor, chairman of the committee on Chapters U. D., recommended that a charter be issued to Mount Horeb Chapter, which was adopted by the Grand Chapter. I am unable to give the date on which Mount Horeb Chapter was constituted, however, it was soon after the date on which Mount Horeb Chapter was constituted, however it was soon after the date of the charter, Hune 24th, 1857: Sam Mather being the first High Priest , E. Stevenson the first king, and Wm. P. Rutledge the first scribe.
From the date of dispensation to the present time both Lodge and Chapter have jointly used the same building and it can be truthfully said that they have at all times dwelt together in unity.
Past Grand Master A. J. Rose was for a time a member of both Lodge and Chapter. Late in the year 1862 Past Grand Master Norton Moses moved from Washington County and affiliated with the lodge and chapter.
In 1862 Sam Mather was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas; In 1873 Norton Moses was Grand High Priest of the Chapter, also Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in 1877. In 1886 Major A. J. Rose was Grand Master, in which capacity he officiated at the laying of the corner stone of our magnificent Capitol at Austin.
In may be of interest to know that at the time Mount Horeb Chapter was organized, Lone Star Chapter No. 6 at Austin was the nearest Chapter. There was no chapter at that time at Belton or Fort Worth. Eleven years after date of the charter of Mount Horeb Chapter, Georgetown Chapter No. 90 was organized.
In 1856 Mount Horeb Chapter and Lodge had become quite prosperous. Some of the members lived in Llano County, forty miles distant, some in Lampasas, thirty miles away and at least two members in San Saba County sixty miles distant.
The zeal, devotion and love of Masonry of these hardy frontiersmen was such that it was a rare thing they ever failed to attend the meetings of the Lodge.
Up to that time the Indians had never given us any trouble. Soon afterwards the Comanche Indians donned their war paint, went to war path and continuously harassed the settlers until as late as April 1872, when they made their last raid, stole a large number of horses, some which were driven out of the town of Burnet.
In 1859 the Indians killed and scalped Brother M. S. Skaggs, the first junior warden of Mount Horeb Lodge and quite a number of other people were slain; hence it was necessary in those days for everybody to be armed.
Members living in Burnet, Lampasas, Llano and San Saba Counties invariably carried revolver and rifle to protect themselves, and for a time it was necessary to station guards outside the lodge building to prevent the horses from being stolen.
On June 24th 1856 Valley Lodge No. 175 at Burnet was organized. All or at least most of the charter members were from Mount Horeb Lodge, greatly curtailing her jurisdiction.
On February 5, 1855, a charter was granted to Belton Lodge no. 166, a part of the members being taken from Mount Horeb Lodge.
However Mount Horeb Lodge continued to prosper until on June 17th, 1871 a charter was granted to the Florence Lodge No. 338, nine and one-half miles east of Mount Horeb, nearly all of the charter member s being taken from Mount Horeb Lodge, together with the loss of most valuable territory then under the jurisdiction of the lodge.
Four years later still further loss was sustained in membership and jurisdiction when a charter was granted to Liberty Hill Lodge No. 432, nine and one-half miles south of Mount Horeb Lodge.
Still Mount Horeb Lodge struggled on under adverse conditions until 1885 when a charter was granted to the Bertram Lodge No. 583, nine and a half miles west of Mount Horeb.
This it was thought would prove the final death blow to old Mount Horeb, it having lost jurisdiction over all of her most valuable territory; her membership was cut down to near zero and it did not look as if her days were numbered.
However, there were a few members who personally knew of the trials and hardships of those brave, patriotic pioneers; we knew their worth as men and Masons; we knew there love and devotion to the lodge they had planted there. We ourselves loved Mount Horeb as a devoted son loves his mother; we determined regardless of any hardships , sacrifice or self-denial to keep the mother lodge alive. How well we succeeded, you younger brethren know.
We have never failed to pay our dues to the grand lodge and never asked for remission of dues or extension of time. We were always willing to contribute to the relief of those in distress, whether local or elsewhere.
On the night of December 19th, 1915, the lodge room, together with all furniture, records and charter destroyed by fire. Immediately afterwards the members of the lodge met near the ruins of the old building for consultation. They unanimously decided to rebuild as soon as possible; they also asked permission of the W. M. Grand Master Dan S. McMillan to move the location from Gabriel Mills to Mahomet, a distance of two and one-half miles. This request was granted, a building committee having previously appointed, towit: J. M. Stapp, Geo. G. White, Jno. T. Hutto, Jno. T Stewart and B. H. Stewart.
The committee at once took the necessary steps to begin work; Brso. G. T. and W.J. Williams having donated to the Lodge a suitable lot, a two story frame building, twenty-four by sixty-feet was erected thereon, and in less than ninety days the building was completed in all its parts and the Lodge resumed labor without having forfeited its Charter.
The committee turned over the new building to the Lodge, together with new furniture, not only free of debt, but with some funds in the treasury to the credit of the lodge.
Mount Horeb has prospered since moving to her new home and we fondly hope and believe that the future prosperity is now both sure and steadfast.
Now in conclusion, when the history of all the lodges in Texas shall have been written and brought together, we do not hope nor desire that the name of Mount Horeb, like that of A Bou Ben Adhem shall lead all the rest, but we do believe she is entitled to an honorable place in the ranks of pioneer lodges in this grand jurisdiction.
June 2nd, 1917
Address: Grand Master Andrew Niell on the 16th day of January, 1854.
During the past Masonic year, I have granted Dispensations for the following new Lodges on the date specified: Mount Horeb Lodge at Gabriel Mills on the date specified: Mount Horeb Lodge, at Gabriel Mills, in Williamson County, September 27, 1853.
January 18, 1854:
The following report from Committee on Work returns from Lodges U. D. was read and adopted:
The work and returns of Mount Horeb Lodge U. D. held in Williamson County, Texas are correct. We therefore recommend that a Charter be issued upon the payment of the usual fee.
January 18, 1854:
The Committee on credentials made the following Report:
Mount Horeb Lodge. - Samuel Mather, 1st Representative.
15th day of January, 1855:
Included in the M. W. Grand Master's annual address was found the following:
Some time in July last, I received a letter from the Secretary of Mount Horeb Lodge No. 137, informing me that their Charter authorizing a Lodge at San Gabriel Mills, and that a heavy freshet had washed away said Mill, and with them their Lodge Room, and they were divided in their opinion as to where to meet. Some of the members wanted to meet at one place, and some another. I instructed them to meet at the nearest point to where the Mill had been at which a suitable house could be procured for that purpose.
January 18, 1855:
The following announcement of Grand Officers by the Grand Master ws read:
Right Worshipful, S. Mather, Georgetown, D. D. Grand Master, 3rd District.
January 19, 1855:
The following report from the Committee on Petitions was read and adopted:
Resolved, That Mount Horeb Lodge No. 137, have leave to hold their meetings at a church about one mile from the [;ace designated by the Charter of the Lodge, until they succeed in preparing a fit and appropriate Lodge Room, and that this resolution be duly certified by the Grand Secretary.
January 19, 1855:
The following report from the Committee on Finance was read and adopted:
Resolved, That the Dispensation be granted by R. W. Past Grand Master Wm. M. Taylor, to Mount Horeb Lodge, be extend the completion of a new building.
Brother Sam Mather, a Charter Member of San Gabriel Lodge gave especial service to masonry, an ardent and well-informed Mason himself he taught and practiced the high principles of the Craft and throughout the minutes while a member of the San Gabriel Lodge his activities were of a high order and as continuous as the passing months.
He settled on the North San Gabriel River eighteen miles northwest of Georgetown, where he resided while a member of the San Gabriel Lodge, and in which community a little over two years later he was one of a group that organized under dispensation granted for the organization of a Masonic Lodge at the pioneer village of Gabriel Mills and on January 21, 1854, a Charter was granted at the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge.
In this Lodge, Brother Mather worked the rest of his life.
At the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1862 Brother Mather was chosen Grand Master for the ensueing term. Later in 1873 Past Grand Master Norton Moses, who was also Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter in Texas, moved to Burnet and affiliated with Mount Horeb Lodge, thus the frontier band at Gabriel Mills has within their group two Past Grand Masters and one Past High Priest. Later, one of Mount Horeb's beloved Brothers, George G. White, served the Grand Chapter of Texas as Grand High Priest. For many years Brother White was a regular attendant at the meetings of San Gabriel Lodge and Georgetown Chapter in both of which bodies he worked with as much fervor as the best of our own Brethren. The entire membership was attach to him and revers his memory.
Mount Horeb Lodge No. 137 has been honored to have had four of its members serve in the grand bodies of Masonery in Texas:
Samuel Mather, a charter member of Mount Horeb Lodge at its beginning in 1853, served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1862. Brother Mather previously served as Worshipful Master of Mount Horeb Lodge in 1857.
Norton Moses affiliated with Mount Horeb Lodge in 1873. The same year he was Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas. In 1877 he was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
A. J. Rose at one time a member of Mount Horeb Lodge was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. References to the roster indicates he served in 1886.
Geo. G. White, a member of the Mount Horeb Lodge from the year 1898, was Grand Master if the Grand Council Royal and Select of Texas in 1921. In 1930 he was Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas. He served Mount Horeb Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1901.
An informal meeting of Mount Horeb Lodge was held on July 2, 1930 for the purpose of celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Bro. Sam J. Helms, P. G. H. P. of Grand Chapter of Texas and Bro. T. M. Bartley, Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter of Texas were the principal speakers. Bro. Geo. G. White, G. H. P. of the Grand Chapter of Texas presided. The history of Mount Horeb Lodge, written by Bro. B. H. Stewart was read at the meeting.
A called meeting of Mount Horeb Lodge was arranged March 2, 1940 for the express purpose of honoring the Past Masters of this Lodge. Nineteen of the twenty-one Past Masters living at that time were presented and due honor was paid them in appropriate ceremony. Speakers were Bro. W. B. Milton of Austin Lodge No. 12.
It may be of interest to note here that in the early years of the Lodge four men served as Worshipful Master over a period of years to the number of twenty-five years. Bro. James Elliott served eleven years; Bro. C. C. Stewart served four years; Bro. B. H. Stewart served eleven years; Bro. J. M. Stapp served four years. Since Bro. Stapp's tenure as Worshipful Master 1910-1911, a new Master has succeeded to the station each year.
An informal meeting honoring Bro. Jewel P. Lightfoot, G. H. P. of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas was held October 23, 1940. Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Texas Geo. G. White presided.
Among distinguished visitors present were Bro. O. B. Atkinson, G. H. P. and Past Grand Master of the Grand Council; Bro. J. A. Wright, Grand Master of the Grand Council Royal and Select Master of Texas; Bro. James W. McClendon, Past Grand Master of the Grand Chapter of Texas.
Addresses were given by the honoring guests, Bro. Lightfoot , and by Bro. Wright and Bro. McClendon. There were sixth-seven visitors present, representing twenty-one Lodges.
Mount Horeb Lodge was host at a friendship meeting July 13, 1942. Distinguished guests present were: Bro. Eugene Diggs, Jr. Excellent Grand Master 2nd Veil; Bro. O. B. Adkinson, P. G. H. P. and Past Grand Master of the Grand Council; Bro. T. M. Bartley, Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter; Bro. Geo. H. Belew, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge; Bro. A. A. McSweeney, Illustrious Grand Principal Conductor of the Grand Council; Bro. E. M. Wood, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas; Bro. J. Lee Zumwalt, P. G. H. P. of the Grand Chapter.
The minutes of the meeting reflect 126 brethren were present, representing 40 different lodges.
A concert given by the band from The Home of Aged Masons was one of the highlights of a Masonic gathering at Mount Horeb Lodge July 14, 1944. Guest speakers for the evening was the Hon. Jewel P. Lightfoot, P. G. M. of the Grand Lodge and also P. G. H. P. of the Grand Chapter. Other notable men of Masonery present were Bro. A. A. McSweeney, M. I. G. M. of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Texas; Bro. E. F. James, G. H. P. of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas; Bro. D. N. Cushing, P. G. H. P. of the Grand Chapter; Dr. C. S. Woodward, Manager of the Home for Aged Masons; Bro. Geo S. Adams, auditor for the Home, and Bro. T. R. James, attorney for the Home.
A moving picture of the Home for Aged Masons was shown representing life at the home for the residents. About 150 were present, representing 27 different Lodges.
July 18, 1947, was the date of the last meeting of this nature held at the Mount Horeb Lodge. The band from the Home for Aged Masons was again present and gave a concert. Dr. and Mrs. Woodward from the Home were here.
It seems that there is no written record of this meeting and it is regrettable that other guests of note cannot be listed along with the number present and lodges represented.
During Mount Horeb's one hundred years our Nations has been engaged in five wars, the war between the States, Spanish-American war, World War I, World War II, and the Korean conflict. Since the records date only from 1917, we do not know what part the Lodge had in the first two wars. Certainly the young lodge must have had trouble surviving, at least during the Civil War.
Mount Horeb saw three of its members go into service during World War I, suffering no casualties. They were R. L. Greer, V. O. Greer and E. D. Crum. The Lodge purchased war bonds, gave to the war relief fund and allowed use of the dining hall to the women of the community in which to meet and roll bandages for the Red Cross.
War bonds were again bought in World War II. Dues of members in the service were remitted during both wars. A practice was instituted in World War II wherein the Worshipful Master each month appointed a committee of one to correspond with the members in service; thereby giving them periodic contact with their home lodge.
Seven members from Mount Horeb were in military service during World War II. Again the Lodge was fortunate in being able to welcome the same number to return. They were Alvin A. Clark, Odell Burch, Chas. A. McCormick, Odas B.Moore, Glen E. Hawkins, Morgan M. Clark, and Ed R. McNabb.
Odell Burch and Waymond Nutt were in service during the Korean conflict.
Large pictures of two Mount Horeb members, now deceased, hang on the wall in the East of the Lodge room. The Lodge wished to honor these men for "service rendered." And may it be said , the pictures were hung before the passing of either of them.
These men, Bro. Vernon Greer and Bro. George G. White, both served extensively as secretary of the Lodge. In point of years they served in that capacity for thirty-three years, Bro. White from 1913 to 1929 and Bro. Greer from 1929 to 1946.
Bro. Greer was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on December 22, 1917. Soon afterward he went into the armed forces of World War I. After his discharge, he was elected Senior Warden and the following year served as Worshipful Master. His proficiency in Masonery made him a consistent worker in conferring Blue Lodge degrees.
Bro. White was made a Master Mason on August 27, 1898. He served Mount Horeb Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1901. He was well versed in the esoteric work and capable of conferring the degrees in the various bodies. He traveled extensively in helping other lodges confer degrees, especially in Chapter and Council Work. Upon completion of conferring The Most Excellent Master's degree on a candidate, Bro.White delivered a most impressive lecture of congratulatory nature which he himself had originated.
Bro. White served as Grand Master of the Grand Council Royal and Select Masters of Texas in 1921, and Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Chapter of Texas in 1930.
That the Lodge has not always had the same meeting date may be a fact not known even to its own members. Originally, the date was set to meet on the first Saturday night of each month. The Lodge met on this date for twenty years, from 1853 to 1873.
The change to meet during the full of the moon came about as a result of an incident that occurred one night following a meeting. One of the members, Bro. John Dunlop related the story. He was on the way home riding horseback down a passage that was no more than a cow trail when two men emerged from a thicket and rode on either side of him with guns drawn. They rode that way for some distance when apparently the men decided Bro. Dunlap was not the man they wanted. Upon this discovery, they fell behind and rode away.
Even though this apprehension was a case of mistaken identity, the Masons of this young lodge decided at the next stated meeting to change the meeting date. They decided on one that would fall in the full of the moon, that they might have the advantage of more light foe the return trip home. Since that time, Mount Horeb Lodge has met on the Saturday night on or before the full moon of each month.
At the present time good attendance is recorded at each meeting. It is not uncommon to have from 60 to 75% of the membership present at a regular meeting. At a called meeting on March 2nd 1940 honoring the Past Masters, all but three of the them living Past Masters, 21 in number were present.
That visitors enjoyed coming to this country lodge is evidenced by the number with us each meeting. May our hospitality always be warm and liberal, that our fraternal brethern will feel free to journey our way whenever possible.
Bro. John L. Davis, member of Mount Horeb Lodge received the Grand Lodge of Texas Fifty-Year Service Award July 18, 1939. Bro. Davis had been a Mason for 70 years, being 95 years old at the time the pin was awarded. He had previously been made an honorary member of Mount Horeb in June 11, 1938. Bro. Davis passed away July 25, 1940.
Mount Horeb would have had another of its members to receive this award had the Grand Lodge begun the practice a few years sooner. Bro. B. H. Stewart who passed away March 24, 1932, had been a lifetime member, a duration of 64 years.
The minutes of the first meeting in the new lodge hall March 14, 1916 tell of the purchase of lamps, oil and an oil can. Later gasoline light were used as an auxiliary lighting.
Mount Horeb had its first electric lights from a generator plan powered from a gasoline engine in 1919. This plant was sold and a Delco automatic plant installed in 1930.
1939 marked the year of rural electrification in this area. At this time the lodge building was completely rewired to meet requirements of same.
The picture of George Washington, which hangs in our Lodge Hall, was given to Mount Horeb in 1932 by Thomas L. Blanton, who was a national congressman from Texas at that time.
It is a coincidental fact that Mount Horeb's one hundredth birthday coincides with the Centennial of Texas Education. The Lodge was chartered Jan. 21, 1854 and the law establishing the first public school system in Texas was enacted January 31, 1854.
At its very birth Mount Horeb was in close contact with the community school. Those first meetings were held in the school house. Later when the Lodge built a building, the lower story was used for school and church purposes. This edifice was erected in 1856 and there is no record of how long the Lodge and school shared the same building.
From Bro. Stewart's history, comprising 63 years of our Lodge, we learn that it has suffered hardships and drawbacks from one reason or another. Since that was written in 1917 the Lodge has endured through two World Wars and a depression. However, it has continued to grow and prosper despite adverse conditions.
At no time have we been able to class our Lodge as financially rich; at the same time we have always been able to meet the Grand Lodge obligations, responded to the needs of charity and never a recording has been found of the Lodge being burdened with debt. It may be said our only indebtedness is to the brethren of generations before us who through their foresightedness the present members are able to enjoy the security of a sound, fraternal organization.
We come to the conclusion of one hundred years of good will and order. Masonry involves the basic principles of the building of character. May this tradition be so practiced by Mount Horeb members that when the history of the second Centennial is written our names may be revered as upholding all that is held dear in the tenets of Masonry.
Beginning with the oldest Lodge, this table will show name, number, location and names of present Worshipful Masters:
|Mount Horeb, No. 137||Mahomet||W. O. Burch|
|Valley, No. 175||Burnet||James H. Dickens|
|Llano, No. 242||Llano||Monrow W. Raesener|
|Henry Thomas, No. 278||Smithwick||A. T. Lewis|
|Blazing Star, No. 413||Marble Falls||Jesse J. Wallace|
|Bertram, No. 583||Bertram||W. D. Ruble|
|Lake Victor, No. 1011||Lake Victor||Waite H. Adams|
|1854 William P. Rich||1909 L. P. Perkins|
|1855 Isaac M. Brown||1910-11 J. M. Stapp|
|1856 M. S. Skaggs||1912 S. A. Tucker|
|1857 Samuel Mather||1913 J. T. Stewart|
|1858-59 Samuel R. Stapp||1914 J. F. Clark|
|1860 John R. Atkinson||1915 W. H. Greer|
|1861 Ozias Benedict||1916 A. J. Clark|
|1862-63 James Elliott||1917 R. S. Crum|
|1864 D. C. Reed||1918 C. A. Baker|
|1865 M. C. Smith||1919 E. A. Clark|
|1866-67 James Elliott||1920 Vernon Greer|
|1868 H. W. C. Bittick||1921 R. L. Greer|
|1869 James Elliott||1922 Jno. L. Ottinger|
|1870 John Dunlap||1923 L. E. Baker|
|1871 C. C. Stewart||1924 J. H. Sullivan|
|1872 S. M. Strayhorn||1925 R. G. Nutt|
|1873-74-75 B. H. Stewart||1926 T. F. Burch|
|1876-77 T. A. Roach||1927 J. M. Smith|
|1878 B. H. Stewart||1928 W. R. Burch|
|1879 J. H. Williams||1929 Edward White|
|1880 C. C. Stewart||1930 Walter Baker|
|1881 B. H. Stewart||1931 E. W. Davis|
|1882 C. C. Stewart||1932 C. H. Cochran|
|1883 B. H. Stewart||1933 J. B. Stewart|
|1884 C. C. Stewart||1934 Olan Parsons|
|1885 B. H. Stewart||1935 B. C. Wommack|
|1886 J. H. Williams||1936 G. G. Stapp|
|1887 I. J. Clark||1937 H. Edward Johnson|
|1888 B. H. Stewart||1938 James H. Asher|
|1889 James Elliott||1939 J. L. McCarty|
|1890-91-92 B. H. Stewart||1940 P. K. Durrett|
|1893 A. M. Ramsey||1941 A. A. Clark|
|1894 I. J. Clark||1942 J. V. Morris|
|1895 James A. Branch||1943 E. Babe Smith, Jr.|
|1896 J. R. Williams||1944 J. N. Faith|
|1897-98 John C. Greer||1945 O. R. Perkins|
|1899 J. F. Stapp||1946 Fred Williams|
|1900 W. O. Stubblefield||1947 F. C. Nutt|
|1901 Geo. C White||1948 M. B. Davis|
|1902-03 J. M. Stapp||1949 C. S. Morris|
|1904 J. D. Williams||1950 Murray W. Williams|
|1905 G. T. Williams||1951 I. C. Greer|
|1906 A. B. Duckett||1952 J. R. Adkerson|
|1907 P. E. Root||1953 M. M. Clark|
|1908 S. F. Miller||1954 W. O. Burch|
History: Edward White, J. H. Sullivan, T. F. Burch, I. C. Greer
Invitation: Edward White, J. H. Sullivan, W. R. Burch
Refreshments: E. Babe Smith, Jr., F. C. Nutt, A. A. Clark
Arrangements: F. C. Nutt, A. A. Clark, I. C. Greer
All Members of the Lodge
|Wilson O. Birch, W. M.||J. V. Langford, S. D.|
|Kermit Herring, S. W.||M. A. Smith, J. D.|
|Arthur W. Clark, J. W.||W. R. Burch, S. S.|
|J. H. Sullivan, Secretary||AA. Clark, J. S.|
|F. C. Clark, Treasurer||T. F. Burch, Tiler|
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Last updated on the 28th of July 2014.