In 1922, a group of 102 Masons living in or near the south side of Houston began meeting at the South End Christian Church, with the intention of chartering a new lodge for the people residing in that area. They petitioned the Grand Lodge of Texas and on December 22nd, 1922 a charter was issued forming Houston Lodge No.1189 A.F.& A.M.
The first Official Stated Meeting of Houston Lodge was held at 524 Main Street at Polk Avenue, in the Old Humble Building, with 66 Master Masons in attendance. The Officers were installed in due form by representatives of the Grand Lodge of Texas, with the exception of Brother William Dunn Ryan, who was subsequently installed as Chaplain on January 22nd, 1923 due to his inability to attend the first Stated Meeting.
The First Worshipful Master to be installed in Houston Lodge was Brother Albert A. Sterling (pictured above) and Brother George Pierce Martin was the first to be raised a Master Mason in Houston Lodge on April 24th, 1923, four months after the lodge was chartered.
By June of 1923, the membership had grown to 126, and our second Worshipful Master, Brother Frank F. Gray, was installed.
For nearly the first two years, Houston Lodge met at several locations which included the Old Humble Building, Holland Lodge No.1, The Triple Star Benevolent Association, and the Scottish Rite Building. Much discussion was had by the members over the selection of a permanent meeting place. On October 10th, 1924, the membership decided to accept an invitation to use the Scottish Rite building as its' Lodge Room. There it remained for 58 years, until 1981, when the Scottish Rite sold the building. Thereafter, the Lodge met at the Holland Lodge No.1 building, located at 4911 Montrose.
In 1942 Brother Randall E. Briscoe was installed as the 21st Worshipful Master of Houston Lodge. He later went on to become the second Most Worshipful Grand Master of Texas, to come from Houston Lodge in 1959. He distinguished himself on many Grand Lodge Committees and particularly with the Committee on Work. He also introduced the Lodge System of Masonic Education and other similar programs, one of which has evolved into what we know today as the L.I.F.E. Program.
In 1962 Brother Dan Boswell Jordan became the 40th Worshipful Master of Houston Lodge. He was appointed as District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District 30A in 1968, and he went on to become our third Most Worshipful Grand Master of Texas in 1974. In 1983 he received his Life Certificate in the Masonic Work. His knowledge of the work and oratory skills are renown among masons. He is perhaps best known for his dignified style while performing a great many Installations of Lodge Officers, and Masonic Funeral Services for our brethren.
In 1974 Brother Billy Wayne Tinsley was installed as the 52nd Worshipful Master of Houston Lodge. He was appointed the District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District 30A in 1982. At the 1990 Grand Lodge meeting he was elected as the Grand Junior Warden, of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas, continuing our tradition of Masonic Leadership. Tragically, Most Worshipful Tinsley died during his tenure as Grand Master of Masons in Texas in 1994.
Houston Lodge has been blessed with many notable personalities who distinguished themselves throughout public life in the community, county, state, and nation. Men such as:
Brother Joyce Cox was President of the Houston Bar, State Bar, and several committees of the State Bar. One of his more notable accomplishments was his out-standing work which resulted in the enactment of The Texas Beach Law. This statute prohibits private ownership of Texas Beaches, thus preserving free and open access to the beaches for all citizens of Texas and visitors to the state.
Brother Spurgeon E. Bell was famous throughout Texas as Chief Justice of the 1st Supreme Judicial District Court of Texas, and Law Instructor at the South Texas School of Law for over 40 years.
Brother (Reverend) Kyle M. Yates was one of the few outstanding clergyman selected in the nation to help rewrite the New Testament.
Brother Jesse H. Jones was not only famous throughout Texas, but well known in the nations capital. He was responsible for such landmarks as: The Rice, Texas State, Lamar, and Milby Hotels, as well as The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company, and numerous other well known institutions.
Brother Carl Sherwood Smith was the Harris County Tax Assessor/Collector for more than 40 years.
Houston Lodges' members have always been recognized as dignified professionals, providing leadership throughout the community. Many are businessmen, attorneys, judges, accountants, engineers, physicians, dentists, corporate managers, law enforcement officers, and others at the apex of their professions.
The History described within these few pages is only a very small portion of the many accomplishments of the members of Houston Lodge. There have been thousands of members over the years who have contributed to make Houston Lodge and our community what it is today. Space does not permit the individual recognition these men deserve. Let us continue to build upon their accomplishments and continue to make history.