October 5, 1939
Eight Have Been in Existence; Five Are Still Active
Union Fraternal Was First Lodge Organized In Union Parish
Just six years after the Town of Farmerville had been organized the early settlers organized Union Fraternal Lodge No. 53, F & A M, here and were granted the original charter in 1845.
Other Masonic lodges in Union Parish were organized during the early history of the parish, many of them forfeiting then charters in later years.
The records of that far off time are very meager but the records do show as to the time of their formation.
The Gazette is indebted to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, F & A M for research work in gathering the small bit of information at hand from the old records of his office. The brief histories of the lodges in Union Parish that have operated under charter from the Grand Lodge, as the records show are as follows:
Union Fraternal Lodge
The first mention we find of Union Fraternal Lodge is in the Grand Lodge proceedings for 1846, where the lodge is listed as one of the constituent lodges of the Grand Lodge, which would indicate its formation during the year 1845. No date is given or any further information. The officers were as follows:
B. F. Dillard, W. M.; J. H. Wilson, S. W.; J. B. Pollard, J. W. No other officers mentioned for any of the lodges reported.
The original charter was forfeited February 9, 1886. A new charter was granted February 12, 1890 and the annual returns of the Grand Lodge show that the lodge was reorganized March 22, 1890, with the following officers:
Isaac Shuster, W. M., J. K. Atkinson, S. W., R. Haas, J. W., J. C. Cargile, Treas., David Arent, Secretary.
This seems to be everything on record here regarding the lodge.
Napoleon Lodge No. 94, Fairview, Union Parish Chartered in 1851.
Officers: W. E. Ivey, W. M., C. W. Smith, S. W., R. K. Love, J. W.
Members, J. M. Turner, J. R. Parker, A. Armstrong, H. Phelps, J. M. Lupo, L. Lamar, D. B. Briggs, J. H. Briggs, James Pettit, E. W. Parker, S. G. Hollis, A. J. Avons, Payton Roan.
Charter forfeited in 1857
Charter restored in 1858
Charter again forfeited in 1887
Shiloh Lodge No. 131, at Shiloh, Union Parish.
Chartered February 14, 1855
Officers: John Edmonds, W. M., R. G. Pleasant, S. W., William Hopkins, J. W., Benjamin Tubb, Treas, Jesse Tubb, Secretary, S. M. Fuller, S. D., D. W. Fuller, J. D., b. Fuller, Tyler — 10 members.
Charter forfeited in 1887
Charter renewed February 15, 1893, given No. 239.
Name of lodge changed to Nernice No. 239 in 1903
Springhill No. 127, Springhill, La.
Chartered February 14, 1855.
Officers: George M. Murphy, W. M.; John P. Everett, S. W.; William Calvert, J. W.; James Moore, Treas; Alfred W. Johnson, Secretary; George W. Everett, S. D.; H. L. Buckley, J. D.; John S. Stripling, Tyler — 34 members.
Charter surrendered 1878
Charter renewed 1893
Surrendered again February 5, 1908
Cherry Ridge Lodge
Cherry Ridge No. 155, at Zion Hill, Union Parish.
Chartered February 12, 1858.
Officers: J. M. Bruce, W. M., J. A. Martin, S. W., M. T. Simmons, J. W., William C. Carr, Secretary.
Officers under charter: James A. Martin, W. M., George Fenton, S. W., M. T. Simmons, J. W., W. W. Wasson, Treas, William c. Carr, Secretary, J. D. Ragan, S. D., J. H. Gulley, S. D, D. M. Harris, Tyler — 13 members.
Charter surrendered February 10, 1892.
Thomas Jefferson Lodge
Thomas Jefferson Lodge No. 113, chartered 1853, Spearsville, La., Union Parish.
Officers: J. C. Thompson, W. M., W. L. Spears, S. W., D. J. Abbott, J. W., T. M. Smith, Treas.; A. D. Lockhart, Secretary, M. P. Elliottt, S.D., …..Thornton, Tyler (M. H. Thurapton in following report) — 15 members.
Charter surrendered February 1901
Rechartered with original number February 2, 1937.
Downsville Lodge No 113, Downsville, Union Parish
Chartered February 12, 1856
Officers: John Hammond, W. M., George, A. Stinson, S. W., H. F. Stinson, J. W., Lucien Larche, Treas., J. E. Woodward, Secretary, Norman McCrummin, S. D., Benjamin F. Farmer, J. D., John Carter, Tyler.
Members M. D. Dixon, W. S. Calloway, a total of 10 members.
Marion Lodge No 283, Marion, Union Parish, La.
Chartered February 3, 1904
Officers, U. D. W. B. Wheehs, W. M., E. J. Hale, S. W., J. W. Brown, J. W., O. H. Thompson, Treas, S. L. Haile, Secretary, A. T. Brown, S. D., P. . Knox, J. D., N. B. Pall, Tyler, 32 members.
Officers under charter E. J. Haile, W. M, O. H. Thompson, S. W., M. G. Jarmon, J. W., J. M. Nettles, Treas., J. W. Brown, Secretary, J. M.Cooper, S. D., H. F. Smith, J. D., C. F. Simmons, M. C., W. P. Reppond, Steward, R. r. Turner, Steward, N. B. Pace, Tyler.
Of course there is much information to be desired in writing a history, but these old timers were not very careful about keeping records and were less careful about putting anything into print, so we are now at a loss to learn just what was done in the distant past.
That is the information available regarding the Masonic Lodges of Union Parish. Of the number listed only five are now in existence. They are Union Fraternal, Downsville, Marion, Bernice, and Thomas Jefferson.
The members of this ancient fraternity in the early days of Union Parish were faithful in attending – their respective lodges often times enduring hardships in order not to miss a meeting of the lodge. They rode horseback at night and often walked for miles through extremely had and rainy weather.
Those old faithful servants during the early days of Union Parish believed in hewing to the line — and they planted the seed that still remain throughout this area.