A Brief History of Kansas Masonry

The progression of Masonry in America, followed the progression of the people in America, from the east towards the west. Masonry came to Kansas via Missouri and Tennessee from North Carolina. After the G.L. of North Carolina became independent, in 1787, it chartered warrants to eight lodges in Tennessee, who in turn setup a Grand Lodge in 1813. Tennessee issued warrants for 3 lodges in Missouri and these became part of the Missouri Grand Lodge in 1821. Missouri issued dispensation to 5 lodges in Kansas, and the Grand Lodge of Kansas was organized in 1856. Kansas continued the march west by issuing charters in Colorado, Montana, Utah and the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). By 1860, 27 Lodges had been charted by the Grand Lodge, then followed statehood and the Civil War.

The Civil War was more pronounced in the Kansas Territory, than in some other states/territories, mainly because it was a divided territory. Kansas and Nebraska became the battle ground and the scenes of both Masonic tragedies and acts of Masonic aid that transcended the differences of both sides. One of the high points of this great struggle, in Kansas, came on August 21, 1863, when Quantrill and his band sacked and burned the city of Lawrence. The Lodge Hall, furniture and original charter were burned to the ground and 8 members of that Lodge were murdered.

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