In 1855, as a result of a petition by a number of Masons, the Grand Lodge of Indiana granted a dispensation for the organization
of a new Lodge in Morristown, Indiana. The first stated meeting was May 30, 1855, petitions of Alexander M. Hargrove, Henry
G. Wolf, Sr., and W.W. Woodyard were received and the first work conferred by the new Lodge was upon these three on June 23,
The permanent charter was issued under date of May 27, 1856 to Morristown Lodge No. 193 Free and Accepted Masons, and
the first officers designated by the charter were Abraham Reeves(Worshipful Master) W.W. Woodyard(Senior Warden) and Agustus
C. Handy(Junior Warden).
In 1853, a group of educationally minded citizens, organized a non-profit stock company called Morristown Academy Association.
The governing body was a board of Trustees composed of Dr. David S. McGaughey, Alexander M. Hargrove and Henry G. Wolf, Sr.,
all of whom became prominent Masons.
Since the new Lodge was planning a home they contracted with the Academy Association to build a third story to their
proposed two-story frame structure, which was to be erected just north of the present water tower, the third stroy to be used
for Lodge purposes. W.W. Woodyard promoted the joint plan and was the architect who designed the building.
When Completed, the Lodge entered its new quarters, it grew and prospered from ardent labors. However, portentous clouds
were gathering, forewarning of the bitter days to come with the Civil War, which set brother against brother in the worst
holocaust the nation had known. A minute from this era states: "The Lodge continued to operate with varied success, until
the War of the Rebellion, when it suffered somewhat, but fully recovered after the close of the war."
A few items of expense of the early Lodge were: "Lamps & Spittoons $3.10; grave digging $2.00; water-bucket and dipper
80c; 2 shaves for a sick brother 50c; Emergency--shovel snow off roof $2.00; carrying wood up to hall(3 stories) 50c; repair
On the afternoon of July 4, 1885, the Lodge had the misfortune of losing it's home, charter and all records by fire.
This fire concluded what was probably the most disastrous day in the history of Morristown, as on the night before the entire
block of the business district was also wiped out by fire. The fire which destriyed the "Seminary" and Lodge hall, apparently
started on the second floor where some "feather merchants" operated. Due to the loss of early records, a faithful Secretary,
W.W. Woodyard, carefully copied all proceedings as furnished by the Grand Lodge in one volume, which gives a general resume
of the accomplishments of the Lodge from 1855 to 1885 which now is carefully preserved with all other minutes and records.
After the disaster, the members labored with renewed energy, increased the membership to 60, and secured the second
floor of a brick building at the corner of Main and Midway Sreets(now Blue Bird Restaurant). Records show the new home was
leased on November 21, 1855. from the Masonic Hall Association, a non-profit association, which arranged to hold title, and
this time ample insurance procured. Shortly after entering their new home, the members were quite distressed to learn that
a "drinking saloon" would occupy the first floor, and many pages of minutes were recorded before this problem was resolved.
"Old John Barleycorn" seemed to have caused considerable trouble, as two members were charged with having interest in a "slot
machine device," which dispensed liquor by the drink.
On December 27, 1887, a public installation was held in the Methodist Protestant Church on Main Street with Past Grand
Master Martin H. Rice officiating. This gala event was concluded with a huge banquet in Wrenick's Hall, said to be the most
"sumptuous" of the times.
In the early 1890's natural gas was discovered in this area and the Lodge promptly contracted for the lighting and heating
of their quarters with the "New Light." Here the Lodge grew and prospered some thirty years until new and larger quarters
On or about July 7, 1921 (according to insurance records), the second floor of the Bodine Block, corner of Main and Washington
Streets, was Purchased from C.M. Rock for $3,000.00 and the room remodeled into the present stately quarters. Again the financing
was arranged through a second Masonic Hall Association.