A BRIEF HISTORY

LIVE OAK LODGE, #304, A.F. & A.M.

Located at Kyle, Texas.

In the year of 1867, in the little town of Mountain City, about twenty miles south-west from Austin, there lived a few x sturdy souls who were ever on the alert for any opportunity to better conditions either socially, politically or otherwise, and as the population of their community had grown to such an extent that the building; of a Public School was a necessity they embraced the opportunity of joining their efforts with that of the entire community toward the erection of a building that would serve the manifold purpose of School, Church, Public Assembly Hall and Lodge Room for the Lodge, that it was then proposed to organize.

The necessary funds for the erection of the building were raised by private subscriptions, and all citizens owning teams and wagons volunteered their services for the transportation of the lumber, which was purchased from a mill near the town of Bastrop.

            The Building when completed was a frame structure of two stores, and was at that time a rather imposing edifice for this part of Texas.  It was located at the edge of a grove of stately Live Oak trees by the side of the old state grad, a few hundred yards from the store of D. & A. Young, at which place regular stops were made by the semi-weekly Stage from Austin to San Antonio.

            Because of the Live Oak trees surrounding the building it was called Live Oak Academy, and for the same reason, the Lodge when organized was called Live Oak Lodge.

            Immediately after the completion of the building a meeting of Masons was held looking toward the organization of a Lodge, at which a petition was addressed to the Grand Lodge asking for a Charter, the petition being signed by:

Joe F. Brown, W. C. Rowden, J. Y. Stephenson, S. C. Glasscock, I. M. Breedlove, M. A. Anderson, W. G. Carpenter, L. C. Lock, W. W. Lock, Gel Golden, J. L. Goforth and Alpha Young.

            A dispensation to meet and work was granted them by deputy Grand Master P. C. Tucker, on the 9th day of January 1868, and under this dispensation they were set to work by R. W. Brother Norton Moses, of Burnet, D.D.G.M. of the Second Masonic District which was composed of Burnet, Blanco, Bastrop, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties. 

In their first report to Grand Lodge they are designated ad Live Oak Lodge, U. D. , meeting held Saturday night on or before full moon, at live Oak Academy, Post Office San Marcos, Hays County, Texas with the following Officers.

Joe F. Brown,  W.M.                     M. A. Anderson, Sec.

W. C. Rowden, S. W.                     L. C. Lock, S. D.  

J. Y. Stephenson,  J.W.                W. G. Carpenter, J. D

I. M. Breedlove,  Treas.                W. W. Lock  , Tyler 

Other Members;  S. C. Glasscock, Alpha Young.

            A Charter was granted them on June 10th, 1868, at Grand Lodge communication held at Houston on that date, at which time M. W. Bor. Jno. R. Fretwell was Grand Master.

            From their organization till 1881 no important event occurred to ruffle the smooth working of the craft; but in that year the International & Great Northern Rail-rad was built from Austin to San Antonio and other points south, missing their little settlement by about two miles, when almost miraculously the Town of Kyle Sprang up on the rail-road about four miles from Live Oak Academy, and they soon discovered that in order to survive, they must move to Kyle.

            Accordingly, in 1882 the lodge was moved to new quarters in the second story of a building in Kyle Belonging to Ezekiel Nance who at that time owned and operated a Flour Mill on the Blanco River a few miles from town, and who used the lower part of the building a rather novel arrangement was made in order to make room for the lodge, as some other order had previously rented a portion of the second floor leaving insufficient room for their accommodation.  The Building being accessible by two separate entries a solid partition was erected and was made portable, so that at the meetings of the Lodge it could be moved toward that portion of the building occupied by the other Order, and after meetings moved back to its original position.

            This building was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1884, together with all records of the lodge, when it again became necessary to seek new quarters, which were secured in the Public School Building,

            In the Nance Building in 1882 was initiated passed and raised, Bro. W.W. Peavy, present Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Texas. In 1883 Bro. Peavy was elected Senior warded and in 1884 was elected Worshipful Master, Serving two years.

            In 1890 Bro. Peavy petitioned for demit from this Lodge, which was granted at the regular meeting following, but Certificate was not issued and that night after closing , the building and all records were destroyed by fire. The delay caused there by prevented Bro  Peavy from being a Charter Member of the Lodge at Kerrville which was then being organized, and also caused to loss of his identify with any Lodge until 1893 when he obtained a Certificate of Good Standing from the Grand Lodge, and affiliated with Cuero Lodge #409.

            This Fire in 1890 was the second in six years, and as all records belonging to the Lodge, including its Charter, were entirely destroyed, and as today there is not one of the original charter members living it is impossible to obtain details of facts relating to its early days, and very difficult to write anything near a complete history.

            After the fire in 1890 a contract was made with the School Board of the Public School in which, in consideration of a certain sum of money, the Lodge should have the use of one of the rooms of the new school building then being built, for a period of twenty five years.  In this new home they met and worked until 1910 when the school had outgrown their part of the building, and it was torn down to make room for a larger and more modern building.

            During the latter part of 1910 and early part of 1911 the meetings of the Lodge were held in what was known as the Armory, a small two story frame house which stood on Center Street where the residence of Bro. H. C Wallace now stands. About May 1911 they moved to their present location, which is in a building of stone and brick on Center Street belonging to members of the Lodge.

            It seems that their sailing was not always smooth, as is evidenced from the reports printed in the Grand Lodge proceedings, for in one year during the ‘80s sixteen names were stricken from the rolls of a membership of about thirty five, most of them for N.P.D. and U.M.C. , and hardly a year passed from 1885 to 1892 that did not find the membership decreased.

            During the fifty years from 1868 to 1918 the rolls show the names of the following members;

Original Charter

—-1868—-

Joe F. Brown, W. C. Rowden, J. Y. Stephenson, S. C. Glasscock, I. M. Breedlove, M. A. Anderson, W. G. Carpenter, L. C. Lock, W. W. Lock, Gel Golden, J. L. Goforth and Alpha Young.

—-1869—

T.N. Cox, Geo. Golden, J.L. Goforth, J.M. Hamilton, J. J. A. Roach, Shonny Carpenter, Alf. Lock, L. K. Miller, W. M. Williams

—-1870—-

J.B. Ratliff, Eli Hill, C.A. Reeves, G.W. Reeves.

—-1871—-

R.T. Caldwell, W.A. Leath, W.C. Mullins, W.L. Stephenson, T.J. Wooten, J.A. White.

—-1872—-

Z.R. Porter, R. H. Guilliams, T.D. Robertson, Thomas Bunton, J.E. Bolin, Charles Cox, T..J. Everitt

—-1873—-

R. C. Barton, James Brace, John R. Bolin, H. E. Barber, J.G. Barbee, W. M. Duncan, W.J Good, W.C. Hill, R. M. Lusk, W. T. Mckinney, J. M. Pound, E.J. Sone

—-1874—-

C. M. Carpenter, H.H. Houston, H.S. Odem, J. F. Roberts, G. T. Stephenson, J.T. Stephenson, F. L. Williams

—-1875—-

F.W. Dudley, R.H. Howe, J.N. Hatfield, Jacob L. Hay, A.J. Kyle, Curran Kyle, Z.W. Morrow, J.G. Neidlinger, J.H. Schmidt

—-1876—-

D. A. Barbee, D.L. Belt, A.E. Dudley, T.J. Echols, R.H. Lowrey, John H. Yarborough

—–1877—-

J.M. Zacharia

—-1878—-

G.M. Dugger, J.E. Allen, William Kyle

—-1879—-

Thomas Gray, J.M. Hill, J.R. Lynch, J.W. Odell, T.R. Porter, C. G. Richards

—-1880—-

D.Lynch

—-1881—-

G.W.Reaves

—-1882—-

W.W. Dwyer, W.W. Ellison, A. Hogan, F.A. Harbison, John o’Nealy

—-1883—-

L. Coffee, E.T. Gasley, W.D. Keith, W.W. Peavy, Joel Rice, R.W. Simcock, E.A. Vaughan, L.F. Williams. S. W. Worley

—-1884—-

F. M. Carpenter, J.E. Carroll, D. A. Donally, W.M Jordan,j.F. Mcintosh, W. T. Moore, G. A Peaby, R.J. Slege, Sr., J. M Shattuc, Abel Sion, M.G. Vardell, H. C. Wallace

—-1885—-

Oscar Clark, S. A. Glover, J. Martin, J. Maynard, N. C. Schlemmer, G.T. Shelton, W.W> Slack, C.C. Storts, J. A. Thompson, J. N Whisenant, W. C. Weatherford, S. C. Wilson

—-1886—-

F.W. Hearld, H. C. Middlebrook, Chas.H. Word

—-1887—-

W.H. Choate, David McNaughton

—-1888—-

S. Bunting, W.J. Wood

—-1889—-

J.F. Riol, W.W. Hearld

—-1890—-

Mordecai Yell

—-1891—-

A.O.Duty, E.H. Howard, A. Lunday, Mac. F. Moore, Milton Parke, D.C. Smothers, J.V. Smith, J.C. Yeiser

—-1892—-

F. M. Abbott, D.M.Crosthwaite, C.E. Gibson, J.N. Houston C. McGarrity, P.H. Pittard

—-1893—-

T. H. Egerton, A. W. Hilliard, J.A. Parker, C. L Sledge, J. H. Saunders, J. M .Stone, J.M Wallace, C. C. Wallace, J.U.H. Wharton

            From 1894 to 1918 inclusive, without reference to what year each individual member was admitted, we find the following names;

John N. Whisenant,                     L. H. Warren,              William Groos,

Ed. L. McCollum,                        G. E. Howard,               Thos. Richmond,

Will F. Cleveland,                        J. P. Kercheville,          Grover C. Hay,

Sterling Fisher,                            J. C. Lynch, Chas,         C. Hargrove,

J. A. Gillis,                                  Sidney J. Donalson,        C. W. Grooms,

W. W.. Caldwell,                          Fred Millhollon,          E. A. Hunter,

G. R. Guinn,                                 Eugene C. Woods,       Chas. D. Wallace,

J. L. Richmond,                            W. E. Evans,                  Samuel D. Wall,

L. C. Robertson,                           G. A. Hunt,                   Dudley Barron,

C. C. Huddleston                         L. W. McMillon,          P. E. Criswell,

J. S. Jones, Thoe.                       W. Poeey,                      Joe, N. Parke,

W. C. Hudspeth ,                         Leroy T. Taylor,          W. L. Stuart,

H. O. Duty,                                   H. A… Solomon,          John C. Winder,

Thos E. Millhollon,                        Ira Hay,                      J. A. Pledger,

L. N. Millhollon,                            J. H. White,                Frank N. Millhollon,

W. M. Stephenson,                      Harvey B. Jones,       W. J. Storts,

T. T. Hawkins ,                            DeFla Bunton,              Harold D. Taylor,

Chas. J. Borchert,                       Carroll B. Donalson,   Elbert A. McWilliams,

Claude Woods,                           G. F. Boyd,                   J. A. McWilliams,

Wylie M. Kuykendall,                   Lee J. Donalson,       John C. Meneley,

Jonathan D. Bost,                        E. B. Luder,                Robert A. Rowland,

John D. Duty,                               M.B. Wilson,               C. N. Sledge,

I N. Millhollon,                               Fred M. Warnken,

            This brings us to June 1918, with a membership of fifty five, after fifty years of continuous working as a Lodge, at which time they celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their organization.

             On account of the war and the strenuous time brought on there by, and the urgent appeals of the Government to save food, nothing elaborate was planned, but a simple public Installation of Officers was held, at which a number of visitors were present from the various Lodges in this vicinity, among who were R.W. Bros, A. A. Ross, of Lockhart, Deputy Grand Maser W. T. Pfaefflin, of Austin, D.D. G.NM of the Fiftieth district, and Bro. C. A. Davies, of Pearsall, (the Kaiser Killer) each of whom were introduced by the W. M, Chas. D Wallace, and addressed those present ton the topics of the day and on the general history of Masonry in Texas.

            This brief summary of the happenings and workings of this Lodge is respectfully submitted as the result of our labors and we beg to five credit to our worth Brother K. L Hays, of Austin for the most of our information. He Being the oldest surviving member, was able to remember clearly most of the dates as well as facts, most of which have been substantiated by the reports as found in the printed Grand Lodge proceedings, and but for his help it would have been impossible to have given any idea of the early days, other than that found on file in the Grand Secretary’s Office; and will state here that this should be a warning to all subordinate Lodges no to be careless with your records, either new or old, for when they have been destroyed as out have been it is then that you will realize the valued of them.

                        Respectfully Submitted,

Read and approved at a meeting of Live Oak Lodge, #304, held October 6, 1919.

Transcribed by: Junior Warden Marco A. Pizana Jr.
February 5, 2019  


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