A Brief History of Salado Masonic Lodge
The Salado Masonic Lodge has a history closely connected to that of the Village and to the Salado College. Col. E.S.C. Robertson, who gave the land on which Salado College was built, was the first Master of Salado Lodge. The first mayor of Salado, Judge O.T. Tyler was an original member of Salado Lodge and his son George W. Tyler was made a Mason in Salado Lodge and went on to become the Grand Master of Texas Masons. Maj. A.J. Rose was also a Grand Master of Texas Masons when he was a member of Salado Masonic Lodge.
According to a brief history written by the late Charlton Johnson, a past Master of Salado Lodge, the petitioners for Dispensation and Charter were: E. Sterling C. Robertson, Harvey Smith, W.A. Davis, O.T. Tyler, A. Rowland, Robert B. Halley, Jno. A. Tyler, F. A. Bigelow, N.R. Land, H.J. Chamberlain, W.R. Karnes, G.W. Wade, M.W. Adams, Jno T. Flint, Geo. W. McWhirter, Welborn Barton, Jas. Tinnin, A. Tinnin, and Jesse Raborn.
The Minutes of Salado Lodge were destroyed in a fire about 1883 and we are deprived of that source of information as to the early activities of the Lodge, after Dispensation.
We may safely assume, however, that education was one of the principal objectives of the Lodge and a matter stressed in its discussions and proceedings.
Thirty-three percent of the teachers and seventy-seven percent of the Trustees of the College were Masons. The founders (of the College), most of whom have been found to be Masons, also made provision in the Deeds of purchase of lots to prohibit the sale of intoxicating beverages by the drink in Salado.
“It seems,” writes Mrs. Felda Shanklin, Salado historian, “that most all of those early Salado men were Masons.”
The Charter for Salado Masonic Lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of Texas on June 13, 1867, and was signed by Grand Master John R. Freitwell.
The first Grand Lodge Report of Salado Lodge after the granting of a Charter shows the following officers: E.S.C. Robertson, W.M.; Harvey Smith, S.W.; W.A. Davis, J.W.; O.T. Tyler, Treas.; W. Barton, Sec.; J.W. Tinnin, S.D.; I. Raborn, J.D.; R.B. Halley, Tiler. This report also shows a membership of twenty-two M.M. by affiliation, one Fellowcraft, five Enter Apprentices, and one Past Master.
On the back of a Grand Lodge, Report U. D., there is this notation: “The Lodge Room of Salado Lodge is the second story of a stone building twenty by forty feet.” These figures are the same dimensions as those of one wing of the Salado College building and there seems to be no doubt that the College and the Lodge were using the same building in those early days – an arrangement that is not surprising, since both had similar objectives and both had the same man, E. Sterling Robertson, as their highest official.
Later, Salado Lodge secured an interest in the title to the upper story of the Baptist Church in Salado, and for many years met in a Lodge room on the second floor of the church building. In a church rebuilding and enlargement program, the question came up as to how to dispose of the interest of the Lodge in the old building. This problem was solved by literally sawing off the upper half of the building and moving it to, and setting it up as a Lodge room a short distance away on some land donated to the Lodge by Bro. Charlton E. Johnson, Past Master of Salado Masonic Lodge.
Today, we continue to meet in that building. Salado Lodge meets on the Monday On or Before the Full Moon. The Stated Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. An informal dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.