"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vincennes (Indiana) Lodge No. 1: 200th Anniversary, Friday & Saturday

Vincennes Lodge No. 1, Free & Accepted Masons, in Vincennes, Indiana celebrates its 200th anniversary today. Best wishes to WBro Johnny Edwards, his officers and the brethren of Vincennes Lodge as they enter their third century. I am honored to play a tiny role in Saturday's festivities by marching as part of Raper Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar in the parade.

And a very special recognition is due to WBro. Chris Kimmel and his wife Toni for all they have done to help organize this tremendous celebration.

200th Anniversary Events
Friday, March 13, 2009
12:00p.m. Temple Opens (5th & Broadways Sts.)
2:00p.m. Celebration of Vincennes Lodge No. 15 with the Grand Lodge of Kentucky
5:30-7p.m. Barbeque Dinner - Casual Attire

Saturday, March 14, 2009
11:00a.m. Temple Opens
12:00p.m. Assemble at Knox County Courthouse for Photo (111 N. 7th Street)
1:00p.m. Parade to Masonic Temple
2:00p.m. Rededication of Vincennes Lodge by the Grand Lodge of Indiana
6:00p.m. Bicentennial Ball at Green Activity Center at VU - Semi formal/Formal (9 W. Harrison Street)
** All times are Eastern
** Reservations requested for meals

S. Brent Morris to be Saturday Night's Keynote Speaker

The keynote speaker at the Bicentennial Ball will be S. Brent Morris, 33°, Grand Cross, Managing Editor of the Scottish Rite Journal. He retired after 25 years as a mathematician with the federal government and has taught at Duke, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington Universities. He is a Past Master of Patmos Lodge No. 70, Ellicott City, Maryland, Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London, a life member and Mackey Scholar of the Scottish Rite Research Society, a Fellow of the Philalethes Society, a Founding Fellow of The Masonic Society, founding Editor of Heredom, the transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society, and Grand Abbot of the Society of Blue Friars.

He is author of many articles on Freemasonry and the books, •Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry, •Masonic Philanthropies: A Tradition of Caring, •Cornerstones of Freedom: A Masonic Tradition, and others. He and Arturo de Hoyos co-authored •Committed to the Flames: The History and Rituals of a Secret Masonic Rite, •Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? and co-edited •Freemasonry in Context: History, Ritual, and Controversy. He is co-editor of •Freemasonry on Both Sides of the Atlantic. He is also a member of the Shrine, York Rite, the Red Cross of Constantine, the Royal Order of Scotland, and the Allied Masonic Degrees.

QUESTIONS: You can contact Chris Kimmel, PM, chairman at:
812.886.4763 – home/812.881.8983 - cell/812.882.5973 – lodge
Email – kimmel.chris@gmail. com / Lodge website – http://www.vincennes1.org

From the Vincennes Lodge No. 1 website:

From Masonic records we learn that Masonry came to Indiana Territory, which is now the states of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan, by way of our sister state, Kentucky.

To Vincennes Lodge No. 1, F. & A.M.,was given the honor of being the oldest Masonic Lodge in continual existance in the Indiana Territory. As early as 1807, local Masons wanted to form a Lodge in Vincennes and did petition the Grand Lodge of Kentucky for a Dispensation. In January 1808 the requested dispensation was granted, but circumstances prevented completion of the organization, and the dispensation expired. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky issued a second dispensation in September of 1808, and on March 13, 1809, Brother Jonathon Taylor, Past Master of Abraham's Lodge No. 8, of Louisville, Kentucky, installed the officers and set the craft to work. The officers installed were William Jones, WM, John Caldwell, SW, and General Washington Johnston, JW.

On September 7, 1809, the lodge was regularly constituted as Vincennes Lodge No. 15, F. & A.M. under a charter issued by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. The First officers installed under the new charter were Brothers George Wallace, WM, William Jones, SW, General W. Johnston, JW, Parmenas Beckes, the Treasurer, John D. Hays, Secretary, Charles Smith, SD, Jonathon Bond, JD, Peter Jones, Steward, and Charles Fisher, Tyler.

At a preliminary meeting held in Corydon on December 3, 1817, General W. Johnston as a representative of Vincennes Lodge No. 15, with representatives from the Lodges located at Salem, Madison, Vevay, Lawrenceburg, Charlestown, Rising Sun, Corydon, and Brookville, adopted the following resolution: "That it is expedient and advisable that a Grand Lodge should be at this time formed in the State of Indiana. Notice to be given to the Grand Master of Kentucky."

The meeting for the permanent organization of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Indiana was held at Madison, Indiana, January 12,1818, at which time Brother Alexander Buckner was elected our first Most Worshipful Master. On January 13, 1818, Vincennes Lodge was designated No. 1, and Brother General W. Johnston was appointed to install Brother Elihu Stout as the first Worshipful Master of Vincennes Lodge No. 1, F. & A.M.

General W. Johnston was the most distinguished member of this lodge and it was through his personal efforts that Freemasonry was brought into Indiana Territory. In the state, Brother Johnston was a man of prominence and took an active part in the formation of State and Territorial Government. It is said the few men, if any, did more to promote useful legislation to start the wheels of State Government moving in the right direction than he.


  1. I love the fact that Johnston's first name was actually "General".

    Have a great time, Vincennes! We can't be there, but we'll be thinking of you.

  2. I love the fact that Johnston's first name was actually "General".

    Hey, wasn't that in a book somewhere? That's some catch, you know?


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