The February stated meeting was well attended, with three brothers visiting from the Masonic Home in Union City. Worshipful Hans Straub P.M. and Allen Schatttenburge brought Bob Harband a first time visitor to Texas Lodge. Worshipful Howard Dingman P.M. of Los Gatos #292, was also a first time visitor, and both were presented with the customary visitor gifts.
We have many birthdays coming up in March. David Dyer, Kevin Herrick, Howard Honerlah and Jim Schimmerhorn.
Please check the calendar of events, for upcoming events in February and March. A few notable events are below.
- 2/25 SOI Meeting at Salinas Lodge #204 6 pm All masons are welcome.
- 2/25 Presenting the Boy/Cub Scout Donations from our Fundraiser Breakfast. 5:45 pm
- 3/9 Texas Stated Meeting 9:00 am Fundraiser Breakfast, followed by Stated Meeting at 10:00 am
- 3/9 Meeting to explore the June Trip to Nevadaville Masonic Temple in Colorado See this post here for more info:
The lodge dining hall has received an upgrade, of linen table cloths graciously made by Marion Pava.
Brother Tom Graves presented to the lodge a gift of a four-volume set of books, detailing a vast Masonic Research project published in 1950. These volumes expound on the project to record and compile the most extensive history of early Freemasonry in California.
The project commenced in 1926 as part of the annual communication, in a report which called attention the need for preservation of authentic information relative to the history of the early lodges and the pioneer masons. By 1930 the committee had grown, and the results of its labor began to manifest itself, with continuing support from the successive Grand Masters of California. No less than seventy lodges in Northern California alone had lost their halls and records through fire one or more times.
The archives of the Grand Lodge itself had been lost in the great San Francisco fire of 1906, and with them went the priceless records of most of the seventy-three lodges that had gone extinct up to that time. These volumes represent a project conceived from the ground up, with thousands of letters of inquiry written to persons known or thought to possess pertinent information. Finally, by 1948 the committee was ready to write these volumes, bringing together the twenty + year collection of data.
I have been reading through the 2,232 pages myself and will include some of the pertinent facts and mentions of Texas Lodge No.46.
The volumes begin with exploring the Masons involved in the founding of the state, and the California Constitutional Convention of 1849, with many travels from Monterey the then capital, north to San Francisco, and Sacramento to the gold fields. There book details many colorful events, and founding elements of the new state of California under discussion:
“From time to time, however, events took a lighter turn and gave the delegates a chance to relax. In a discussion of the design of the great seal of California, General M. G. Vallejo, who represented the Sonoma district, was for eliminating the bear. If the bear must be used, he felt, it should be secured by a lasso in the hands of a vaquero.”
Page 108: In a Chapter discussing the Civil War Period.
“There was much speculation throughout the US prior to, and for some time after, the outbreak of the Civil War as to what position CA would take in the conflict. Many distinguished and influential men in CA were known to be wholeheartedly against slavery. Therefore, the North felt reasonably certain the state would join forces supporting the Union cause. But there were also thousands of people here were native of the south and strongly opinionated on all aspects of the impending conflict. For this reason, the Southerners were equally sure they could gain control of the state. The Southerners, ever on the alert, were at first more active and aggressive than the Union Advocates. Many were men of standing and wealth and past masters in political strategy an intrigue. They knew how to confuse issues until it was difficult for the average citizen to believe there was a great conspiracy to deliver the government to the cause of disunion. Unthinking people and even politicians played right into their hands. An example of the latter was the Presidental elections of 1860. Lincoln on the Republican ticket, received 38,734 votes; Douglas on the Union-Democrat, 38,023 votes; and Breckenridge, Southern Democrat, 33,975 votes. The combined democratic vote was plainly almost overwhelmingly larger than the Republican., which was a surprise to those favoring an unqualified endorsement of Lincolns policies.”
Texas Lodge No. 46, at San Juan Bautista, almost entirely made up of Texans and strong Confederate backers boasted that it “avoided dissension within the Lodge by denying admission to the “Dam Yankees”.
“Texas No. 46 at San Juan Bautista: First met in a one-story dwelling located about one mile south of San Juan Bautista, on what was called “Lovers Lane”.”
Page 126: On the topic of Masonic Charity and assistance of Widows and Orphans.
“Direct donations might range anywhere from $10-$100. [$300-$3,000 w/2019 inflation] For example, in May 1862, Grafton Lodge No. 141, of Knights Landing, directly appropriated $20 toward the relief of the widow of William C. Stoddard. But, at the same time, Visalia Lodge No. 128 followed an entirely different procedure in taking care of the minor daughter of first master, Captain Edward Faris Storey, [Founder & First Master of Texas Lodge] who was killed by Indians near Pyramid Lake, Nevada, in 1860. It appointed a committee and guardian to look after the youngster and to make sure she received everything she needed, food, shelter, and schooling. In order to doubly ensure she received the best of everything, it even refused to turn her over to the care of a couple of uncles living elsewhere in the state.”
I will continue to explore these volumes and share any elements which may be of interest. You are welcome to come and enjoy our new Secretaries office, and Library, which is now taking shape in the Middle chamber or leasehold, of the Lodge building downstairs.
Sincerely, Loren George McKechnie
Assistant Secretary of Texas Lodge No. 46