This compilation of the early days of the lodge was put together by Wor. Bro. Charles Chapman, Past Master of Mankato Lodge #12, A.F. & A.M. of Minnesota. It is a fascinating read, giving a brief glimpse into life in frontier Minnesota, beginning before Mankato was a city and before Minnesota was a state.
Of particular interest to Scottish Rite Masons is the casual mention (on page 46) of the visit to the lodge in 1879 by Ill. Bro. Albert Pike, who delivered a lecture in the lodge room and conferred degrees of the Scottish Rite on attending brethren.
Those looking for information on ancestors would do well to look to pages 55-72, listing the officers of the lodge and the dates of initiation, passing, and raising of the brethren during that time period.
This file is less of a flowing narrative style than that of the earlier history. It is a brief, year by year summation of the minutes of the communications of those years, compiled by Wor. Bro. Adolph Rindelaub (Sr. Warden at the time of compilation.) It is nonetheless an interesting read, as it covers the two World Wars and a boom period in Freemasonry after the Second World War. In some years following WWII, the Lodge held 50 to 60 stated and special communications per year due to all of the activity!
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry (or Masonry) is dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. It uses the tools and implements of ancient architectural craftsmen symbolically in a system of instruction designed to build character and moral values in its members. Its singular purpose is to make good men better. Its bonds of friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military, and religious conflicts through the centuries. Freemasonry is a fraternity which encourages its members to practice the faith of their personal acceptance. Masonry teaches that each person, through self-improvement and helping others, has an obligation to make a difference for good in the world.
Where Did Freemasonry Begin?
No one knows just how old Freemasonry is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Some scholars believe Masonry arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the majestic castles and cathedrals of the middle ages. While others speculate its heritage is derived from the "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem", otherwise known as the Knights Templar. In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization when four Lodges in London joined in forming England's first Grand Lodge. By 1731, when Benjamin Franklin joined the Fraternity, there were already several Lodges in the Colonies.
Today, Masonic Lodges are found in almost every community throughout North America, and in large cities there are usually several Lodges. A Mason can travel to almost any country in the world and find a Masonic Lodge where he will be welcomed as a "Brother."
What Do Freemasons Do?
The Masonic experience encourages members to become better men, better husbands, better fathers, and better citizens. The fraternal bonds formed in the Lodge help build lifelong friendships among men with similar goals and values.
Beyond its focus on individual development and growth, Masonry is deeply involved in helping people. The Freemasons of North America contribute over two million dollars a day to charitable causes. This philanthropy represents an unparalleled example of the humanitarian commitment of this great and honorable Fraternity. Much of that assistance goes to people who are not Masons. Some of these charities are vast projects. The Shrine Masons (Shriners) operate the largest network of hospitals for burned and orthopedically impaired children in the country, and there is never a fee for treatment. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a nationwide network of over 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, Centers, and Programs.
Many other Masonic organizations sponsor a variety of philanthropies, including scholarship programs for children, and perform public service activities in their communities. Masons also enjoy the fellowship of each other and their families in social and recreational activities.
Several Masonic Principles Are:
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TAKING GOOD MEN & MAKING THEM BETTER