Chapter 1 - Stated Meetings 1885

Stated Meeting 10 May 1885 with all officers present. The committee on procuring the jewels reported they had located a set of jewels for $10.35. They were instructed to purchase the jewels and report next meeting.

It is very interesting to look in the glass display of ours and see the wooden, handmade jewelry they were using that Saturday, then look further and see the $10.35 set of jewels they purchased. The Holy Bible they had on the alter is also still with us with the original square and compass. There are some candle holders used for light in the first Lodge Hall. Bible copyright 1883.

The committee on furniture reported they had purchased a secretary and desk for the lodge from Sears for eight dollars. The Lodge voted to give W.A. Brundage credit for eight dollars, almost three years of dues for his paying for the secretary and desk. Someone made a motion that the lodge build a hall over T.A. Morgan's store that was located on the block where Dee Tee's now is. T.A. Morgan had the first mercantile store in Old Lebanon near the spring southeast of our cemetery. When the railroad came in 1883 and plotted the Midlothian town site, he purchased the lot and built the first store in Midlothian. This motion failed and a new motion was made that it be laid on the table. This motion was sustained. A motion was made and seconded that they have a public installation of the officers. Motion lost. Some interesting spelling in the minutes were two spelled too, public - publlick, dues - dewes, report - eeport, jewels - jewls, Waxahachie could not be spelled at all, minutes - minuts, treasurer - tresur.

Stated Meeting 23 May 1885 had a motion and second that they defer reading of the last minutes until the next meeting, sustained. All officers present except secretary.

Stated Meeting 13 June 1885, bill presented for jewels $10.35 and June rent to J.C. Kimmel $4.50. Bills ordered paid. A motion was made to have a public installation of officers on 4 July in conjunction with the Odd Fellows and have a speaker for the occasion, motion carried. A motion was made to continue with Odd Fellows festivities but have our public installation on 24 June due to timing, sustained. The lodge then proceeded to elect the same officers as the first year.

24 June 1885 , Lodge opened then call off and went to Polytechnic College (now Kimmel Park) for the public installation. Brother B.F. Hawkins of Waxahachie Lodge No. 90 proceeded to install the officers for the ensuing Masonic year. To wit -

  • 1885
    • Brother A.D. Witherspoon Worshipful Master
    • Brother J.G. Vinson Senior Warden
    • Brother B.F. Witherspoon Junior Warden
    • Brother P.W. Lowe Treasurer
    • Brother W.M. Finley Secretary
    • Brother E.C. Elder Chaplain
    • Brother T.J. Cates Senior Deacon
    • Brother W.H. Patterson Junior Deacon
    • Brother F.P. Smith Tiler

A point of interest, B.F. Hawkins of the Waxahachie Lodge was one of the first settlers of Hawkins in Midlothian, homesteading five hundred acres beginning near Highway 287 east of the railroad and south to about Mt. Zion Road. He donated the land for the old town of Lebanon and the original east portion of the Midlothian Cemetery. Lebanon had the first dirt floor community house with split log seats, used as a school house, interdenominational church, and meeting place. B.F. Hawkins helped Colonel E.H. Tarrant and Larkin Newton organize Ellis and Tarrant counties in 1845. The two counties were a part of Navarro county. Larkin Newton built the log cabin now restored downtown as his homestead and was Ellis county's first county clerk. Hawkins Street in Waxahachie was named for him and he built the spacious home on Hawkins Street where our Noel Coward grew up. Wilbur L Stevenson, a member of our lodge and local resident, is a sixth or seventh generation grandson of both Mr. Hawkins and Larkin Newton because of inter-family marriages. He grew up on Newton property that has the Newton Cemetery near the original log cabin site. His mother was a Hawkins and inherited the land where the city's new water tower now is, and Wilbur purchased it many years ago from the rest of the family.

The college where the lodge had the public installation was the old Polytechnic Institute which stood on the north and east sides of Kimmel Park. It closed in 1912 and the students merged into the Midlothian school system. It moved to Poly in Ft. Worth and started a school there near where our present day Masonic Home and School now is. The city block number fifty-nine was purchased by the J.C. Kimmel family who donated it to the city of Midlothian for a park in 1918. The two-story part of the George Sewell home was the kitchen of the old college and was moved to present location in 1916 by George Sewell's parents, and he lived here all of his life, his wife still lives there.

Stated Meeting 27 June 1885 - The petition for first degree of John Belok was passed. The E.A.-B.F. Milton was examined in E.A. proficiency, approved and Fellowcraft degree conferred. It was moved and seconded that the committee on the Lodge Hall be instructed to rent a hall over Mandefelts Store for two years. This was a two-story wooden building where Lawson Office Furniture now is.

Stated Meeting 25 July 1885 - The committee on the Lodge Hall reported that they had a contract for twelve months with Mr. Mandefelt for the hall over his store for four dollars and fifty cents a month. Brother B.F. Milton was examined in Fellowcraft and by secret ballot was elected to receive the Masters degree. Brother Milton was then raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. Receipts for the evening were $13.25. The by-laws of the Taylor Hamilton Monitor were adopted by the lodge on motion and second. The lodge paid Mandefelt for the month of August rent and moved to the hall upstairs.

Stated Meeting 26 September 1885 - It was voted to write a letter of appreciation and thanks to the Odd Fellows Lodge for sharing their hall with the Masons. It was then voted to purchase six spittoons and a stove for the Masonic Lodge. It looks like the Odd Fellows Lodge also moved within a month or so.

Stated Meeting 9 October 1885 - A bill for four dollars and ninety cents to pay for a lodge seal was voted and paid. One dollar and fifty cents was collected in dues.

Stated Meeting 24 October 1885 - A motion and second to appoint a committee of three to work in conjunction with the Odd Fellows Lodge to procure a stove and lock and keys for the outside door. It is unclear at this time whether both lodges moved to the new hall. The minutes seem to indicate they did. It was moved and seconded to send a draft to the Mammouth Springs Lodge for fifteen dollars to repay the loan to purchase the charter for the Midlothian Lodge on 12 December 1884. The motion also included twenty-five cents to Brother Finley for stationary, to Brother Patterson twenty-five cents for candles, and a bill from the Odd Fellows for seventy cents for a can of oil and a lamp. The secretary was instructed to settle the bill on hall rent of $4.50 at the end of each month. The Worshipful Master then appointed a special committee to procure a stove now.