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History

The Chippewa Valley’s First Mason

a meggettThe advent of freemasonry in this county, and indeed, the Chippewa Valley, was very unpretentious in its appointments and organization.  A dispensation for a lodge in the village of Eau Claire was granted in December 1858 to L. B. Foote as WM, D. R. Moon, SW, and W. P. Bartlett, JW.  The lodge was instituted March 26, 1859, the officers in the work being assisted by RW Grand Lecturer McMillan.  The communications were held in a room over the stage office, on the northeast corner of South Barstow and Gibson streets.  The first made mason of the lodge, and the first one in the Chippewa Valley outside of Pepin County, was Alexander Meggett.  He received the third degree in April, 1859.  The organization was chartered June 15, of the same year, under the name of “Eau Claire Lodge 112”.

Source: “Historical and Biographical Album of the Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin” G. Forrester 1892

 

 

Alexander Meggett, Eau Claire, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, March 26, 1824, and came to America when a little over three years old, with his parents.  Mr. Meggett labored in cotton manufactories until he was nineteen, when he commenced to educate himself.  He studied law in 1851 -2, and completed his legal studies the year following and commenced practice in Pawtucket RI, and practiced in Providence for a year immediately prior to coming west.  In June, 1857, he visited Eau Claire, and permanently located there in July following, when he commenced, and has ever since continued, to practice his profession.  He was the second lawyer who settled in Eau Claire County.  Mr. Meggett has held the offices of Town Superintendent of Public Schools and City Attorney.

Source:  “History of Northern Wisconsin” 1881

Matt Chromey

JW ECCXII

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by MasterMason - September 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm

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Whence came the Grand Lodge?

I’ve found Family Tree Research a rewarding activity.  Especially when looking into your own masonic history.

As far as I can tell, my wife’s grandfather was a mason in Grand Rapids, MI, and likely her father.  I am not as rich in masonic heritage, unfortunately, being the descendant of poor German farmers from central Minnesota.

I’m sure some of you brothers have a rich masonic heritage, extending back many generations.

But what about Wisconsin Masonry in general?  The below map shows the lineage of the American Grand Lodges, as compiled by the Grand Lodge of Missouri for their Masonic Museum.

View post on imgur.com

If we examine the spider web of lines and numbers, we can see that the WI Grand Lodge was formed in December of 1843 (five years before statehood!).  Two of the three lodges that formed the Grand Lodge were chartered out of Missouri (MO lodges 49 & 65 that became WI lodges 1 & 2).  The third initial lodge was chartered out of Illinois (IL lodge 22 that became WI lodge 3).

The two initial WI lodges charted from Missouri are Mineral Point #1 and Melody #2 (Platteville).

The one initial WI lodge from Illinois is Kilbourn #3 (Milwaukee)  It is now called South Shore #3.

All three lodges are still active today.

 

And in case you are curious, according to Brother Ronald Miller from the Grand Lodge of Missouri, the colors have no meaning, they were simply added by the consultant that developed the map because “colors have more impact.”  And apparently the Michigan upper peninsula was underwater at this time.

Just as our families grew and spread out across this great nation, so also did our great fraternity.  Look into your own masonic history, I would love to hear about it!

Matt Chromey

JW ECCXII

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by MasterMason - September 3, 2015 at 2:02 am

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