Masonic membership was often the one common denominator among the early settlers and adventurers
that came to Texas in the early 1800's. Men of different backgrounds and cultures often found a hearty
welcome in the "friendly grip" of a brother Mason's handshake. The first Mason known to have entered
Texas was Major Zebulon M. Pike, a member of Lodge No. 3, Philadelphia. He came in 1806 and 1807,
scouting the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers, and the Spanish settlements of the Rio Grande.
As the winds of Texas' war of independence began to blow in the fall of 1835, there were many Masons
in the foremost positions of authority, both military and political. The Texans' first shot was fired by Eli
Mitchell on October 2, 1835, near Gonzales. He and his commander, Colonel John H. Moore, were both
Masonic historian Dr. James D. Carter counts twenty-two known Masons among the fifty-nine signers of
the Texas Declaration of Independence, signed at Washington-on-the Brazos on March 2, 1836. Records
from the early 1800's are often incomplete and sometimes non-existent. As a result, some memberships
cannot be verified and many Masons are left uncounted.
On March 6, 1836, after thirteen days of siege, the fortified Mission San Antonio de Valero, known as the
Alamo, fell to the final onslaught of Mexican troops under the dictator General Antonio Lopez de Santa
Anna. Among the 188 Texans who died that day, only a handful can be reliably identified as members of
THE GRAND LODGE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
By the end of 1837, three lodges had been chartered in Texas by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana: Holland
Lodge No. 36, Milam Lodge No. 40 at Nacogdoches, and McFarland Lodge No. 41 at San Augustine. On
December 20, 1837, President Sam Houston presided over a convention of representatives of these
three lodges in the city of Houston, and elected Anson Jones the first Grand Master of Masons in Texas.
By 1846 Masons had served in nearly every major governmental post in the Republic. All the Presidents
and Vice Presidents of the Republic of Texas were Masons. In 1844, George K. Teulon, Grand Secretary
of the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas, addressing a gathering of Masons in Portland, Maine,
observed "Texas is emphatically a Masonic Country: Our national emblem, the 'Lone Star', was chosed
from among the emblems selected by Freemasonry, to illustrate the moral virtues -- it is a five-pointed
star, and alludes to the five points of fellowship." Freemasonry in Texas has grown in the last 169 years.
Today there are over 110,000 Masons in 889 lodges in The Grand Lodge of Texas, making it the fourth
largest grand lodge in the world. Texas Masons can take just and lasting pride in their Texas Masonic
The first meeting of the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas was held in Houston on April 16, 1838.