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Smithfield Masonic Lodge No. 455 A.F. & A.M.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuesterMark
N 32° 52.037 W 097° 12.606
14S E 667466 N 3637993
Quick Description: A Masonic Lodge, located in what is now North Richland Hills, chartered by The Grand Lodge of Texas on June 10, 1876.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 11/5/2006 5:57:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMXQK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 29

Long Description:
The forerunner of our present Smithfield Lodge was the Grand Prairie Lodge and derived its name from its geographical location. The Grand Prairie Lodge, U.D., was organized and held its first meeting July 13, 1875. The second meeting was held July 17, 1875, with twelve members present.

These and subsequent meetings were held in the Zion Church which, during those days, also served as the public school. It was located on the ground presently occupied by Smithfield Methodist Church.

By April 8, 1876, work had begun on the first Lodge Building. It was erected on a lot approximately one fourth of a mile west of the present building. Labor on this building was done by member Masons. Skilled craftsmen were paid $1.50 per day and common laborers $1.00 per day.

The last meeting of the Grand Prairie Lodge, U.D., was held May 18, 1876, the date of the present charter being June 10, 1876. On July 26, 1876, Grand Prairie Lodge No. 455 was set to work.

The first fees for initiation were $10.00 for each of the three degrees. The Secretary received $20.00 per year and the Tiler was allowed $1.00 per each stated and called meeting and was exempt from dues.

As work progressed and membership increased within the Lodge, there came about the usual trials and business, from the minutes, there was a strict adherence to the basic principles of Masonry. Names, of course, must be omitted, but for example, we find several trials of "intoxication", whereby the member was tried for un-Masonic conduct. Perhaps one of the more interesting was the evidence stated in one trial where the member was referred to as being beastly drunk, falling off his wagon and being unable to right himself and return to his wagon. The defense is also interesting in that the accused maintains that he had climbed from the wagon and was adjusting part of the harness when the horses jumped, striking him a blow in the side rendering him breathless and unable to get up.

Another trial involves the charge of drinking whereby the intoxicated member engaged another in an argument and proceeded to enforce his argument by striking the brother with part of a wagon tongue. Needless to say, spilled blood resulted from the ensuing scrap.

Other trials, some of a more serious nature some of less serious nature followed during early years, but as always the Lodge remained one of the focal points of the community.

Some of our early Brethren still have landmarks bearing their names. The community of Bransford was named after brother T.G. Bransford, a member of the late 1880's and early 1900's. Isham Chapel, a forerunner of the Hurst Methodist Church bears the name of brother William Isham who was also a member in the early years.

In 1894, with the coming of the railroad, the Lodge building was moved from its location in "Old Smithfield." The moving was accomplished by the use of horses and log rollers. It required, according to verbal conversation, some few weeks of tedious work on the part of the members. It was this building that served as our Lodge hall until the year 1937 when it became unsafe for further meetings. On March 20, 1937, the Grand Prairie Lodge No. 455 held their meeting at the Keller Lodge Hall in Keller, Texas, and a committee was appointed to tear down and rebuild the Lodge Hall that had served from the beginning in 1876. On April 24, 1937, the Grand Master granted special dispensation for the Lodge to meet in the Smithfield School Building. At the stated meeting on October 16, 1937, the D.G.M. praised the Lodge upon completion of its new building.

In 1947 the Lodge asked the Grand Lodge and received permission to change the Lodge name from Grand Prairie Lodge No. 455 to Smithfield Lodge No. 455. As it is located in the town of Smithfield, Texas, the Lodge is still in the same location, but is now in the city limits of North Richland Hills, Texas.

The Lodge Building has been remodeled several times since being rebuilt and furnished for a kitchen and dining room and bath in 1958. The upstairs Lodge Room was remodeled in 1969, air conditioning and heating was added in 1974.

The Lodge has for many years had several annual affairs for the members, on February 3, 1949 the Lodge voted to change the "Family Night" to be called the Annual Wives and Widow's Banquet. Also in 1949 a watermelon party was established, this has also become an annual affair.

The Lodge established an annual Public School Week Program with an oyster supper on March 3, 1954, and this has become an annual event, but changed to a fish fry due to the cost of oysters and the health risks involved.

The Lodge has had its trials and its glory, and it has not been the work of one, but the help of many who have caused it to live through the years. 134 years of guidance by the Creator, and with His aid we hope for many more.
MASONIC LODGES: LODGE

GRAND MASONIC LODGES: Not listed

Other: Not listed

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WalksfarTX visited Smithfield Masonic Lodge No. 455 A.F. & A.M. 12/9/2017 WalksfarTX visited it
QuesterMark visited Smithfield Masonic Lodge No. 455 A.F. & A.M. 9/30/2006 QuesterMark visited it

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