A History of the Gonzales, Texas Masonic Lodge & Building

Square & Compass Promotions
3 min readOct 2, 2022


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A History of Gonzales Masonic Lodge


The following history was presented in the Gonzales Masonic Lodge Room on Oct 1st, 2022. The presentation was part of a larger celebration, both of Gonzales Masonic Lodge №30’s 175th anniversary and the Gonzales’ “Come And Take It” festival (celebrating Texas Freedom and Independence).

The presentation was authored by R. W. Bro. Gary L. Drescher DDGM. We will be posting video from the entire weekend’s celebration on our YouTube Channel, and we have posted many pictures on our social media sites. We wanted to share the presentation on medium also.

Congratulations to Gonzales Masonic Lodge on 175 years of representing Freemasonry within Texas and to the Grand Lodge of Texas for an excellent weekend!

Gonzales Masonic Lodge Room
Gonzales Masonic Lodge Room

Gonzales Masonic Lodge №30 History

Gonzales Masonic Lodge №30 was chartered on January 17th, 1847 and has been in its present location of 519 1/2 St. Joseph Street for more than 125 consecutive years! The City of Gonzales has a rich history with the Masonic Lodge. For example, six (6) of the Gonzales “Old Eighteen” were Masons.

Charter Members Present are listed below:


  • Robert G. Kyle (WM)
  • Andrew Nell (SW)
  • William M. Varnell (JW)
  • C.S. Brown (Treasurer)
  • Claiborne Kyle (Secretary)
  • Stephen H. Darden (SD)
  • Eli Mitchell (JD)
  • John C. McKean (Tiler)


  • D.B. Friar
  • Jeremiah Smith
  • Jefferson Fathere
  • John H. Brown
  • J.C. Holmes
  • A.C. Hyde
  • T.H. Well
  • Mr. Hubert

By 1923, the Gonzales Lodge was one of the fourteen oldest Masonic bodies in Texas. By 1984, it had furnished more Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of Texas than any other Lodge.

These include: J.B McMahon (1860, a Mason at Gonzales but not a member when made Grand Master); James F. Miller (1873); W.S.Fly (1888); R.B. Abernathy (1895); and W.M. Fly (1902).

The first recorded death of a Gonzales member is that of Thomas T. Blackwell in November 1847. This death led to the creation of the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery.

Gonzales Masonic Cemetery Marker
Gonzales Masonic Cemetery Marker

Gonzales Lodge originally (1847–1848) met in the Methodist Church building located where the parsonage (office) now stands. Sometime in 1848 the Lodge moved into a frame corner building.

The minutes of the Lodge stated that the Lodge moved from the Church and met in the courthouse!

In 1854, the Lodge and Methodist Church erected a two-story building where the present day church now stands. The Lodge owned the upper building and continued to meet there until 1875 when the building became uninhabitable, at which time the Lodge moved into the “Odd Fellows” building.

The Methodist Church joined together with the Masonic Lodge and agreed to tear down the existing building and jointly replace it with a new two-story building. At the time, the new building became known as the “Red Brick Church.”

The Red Brick Church was dedicated on January 1st, 1875 at a “Masquerade and Fancy Dress Ball.” The upper floor served as the Masonic Lodge for 22 years until 1897, when the Masons sold their interest(s) in the building and moved to their present location.

Gonzales Lodge Present Location
Gonzales Lodge Present Location



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