Stephen F. Austin
Father of Texas
Stephen F. Austin led the 1st successful colonizaion of the region that would become Texas in 1825 and that group of 300 familes are know today as "The Old 300". He organized small informal armed groups to protect the citizens and these groups evolved into what became "The Texas Rangers"
Austin was a member of Louisiana Lodge No. 111 at Saint Genevieve, Missouri and wanted to establish Freemasonry in Texas. So, on February 11, 1828, he called a meeting of Freemasons at San Felipe to elect officers (Austin was elected Worshipful Master) and petition the Grand Lodge in Mexico City for a charter - nothing was ever heard from this petition since the Mexican government had outlawed Freemasonry. A 2nd attempt was made is March of 1835 after a meeting under an oak tree near the town of Brazoria and a petition was made to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. The Charter for the new lodge was delivered to Anson Jones just before the Battle of San Jancinto began. Jones carred the charter in his saddlebags during the battle.
After Texas had won the battle for independance, on December 20, 1837, Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas, presided over a convention of representatives of the existing lodges in Texas and formed the Grand Lodge of Texas and elected Anson Jones the first Grand Master of Masons in Texas.
Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Army and First President of the Republic of Texas
Sam Houston was the Commander of the Texas Army that defeated Santa Ana and Mexico to establish Texas as an independant Republic. After the victory at San Jacinto, Houston was elected as the first President of the new Republic.
In 1837, during Houston's 1st term as President of Texas, he joined Holland Lodge No. 36 (at that time, under a charter from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana) in Brazoria but was later relocated to what is now Houton. When the Grand Lodge of Texas was formed. Holland Lodge No. 36 became Holland Lodge No. 1 under the Grand Lodge of Texas.
William B. Travis
Commander at the Battle of the Alamo.
In early February 1836 Travis rode into the Alamo with twenty-five men, and assumed joint command of the garrison, with Jim Bowie in charge of the volunteers, and Travis in command of the regulars. Travis penned his famous letter “To the People of Texas and all Americans in the World.” He wrote, “….I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country – Victory or Death.” It remains as the most heroic document in American history.
David "Davy" Crockett
Hero at the Battle of the Alamo.
Crockett was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1827, 1829, and 1833. He loudly opposed President Jackson’s mistreatment of the Indians. Following his defeat in the election of 1835, an angry Crockett told his Tennessee constituents, “You all can go to hell – I’m goin’ to Texas!”
On February 8, 1836, Davy and his twelve “Tennessee Boys” rode into the Alamo. His tall tales and quick wit held the morale of the men high during the worst days of the siege. On the morning of March 6, as the Mexicans finally overwhelmed the Alamo garrison, Davy Crockett was among the last to die.
Hero at the Battle of the Alamo
Bowie joined the struggle for Texas Independence at the siege of Bexar, and accepted the command of the volunteers at the Alamo. On February 2, 1836, he wrote, “we will rather die in these ditches than give them up ….” True to his word, he chose to remain with the defenders of the Alamo.
Many important historical figures in Texas History were Masons. Many may not have been born in Texas, but they were instrumental in the formation of the Republic and later the State. This is only a brief list of some of the most significant.
This is a "work -in-progress" and much work is still to be done....
Father of Education in Texas.
He was a colonel in the Texas Army and commanded the cavalry at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was soon appointed Secretary of War and demanded the execution of General Santa Anna as a murderer and war criminal. In September 1836 he was elected Vice-President of the Republic of Texas. His proposal to set aside public lands to finance public education earned him the title “Father of Education.”
First Grand Master of Texas
Remembered by historians as the last President of the Republic of Texas, Anson Jones is remembered by Texas Masons as their first Grand Master. On March 1, 1835, Jones met with four other Masons at Brazoria and petitioned the Grand Master of Louisiana for a dispensation and a charter to form the first Masonic lodge in Texas. In December, Jones was elected its first Master. The charter for Holland Lodge No. 36 arrived in April 1836, and Jones carried it in his saddlebags during the-Battle of San Jacinto. At the formation of the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas in December 1837, he was elected its first Grand Master.