Cotton Gin once boasted Masonic Lodge 154

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Published in the April 11, 1968 edition of the Recorder

Cotton Gin, the 120-year-old town which will have an official Texas historical marker dedication for it on April 21, once had a Masonic Lodge, established there in 1855. It occupied the second floor of the two-story building erected in 1854 by Dr. James S. Wills and Julius Williams Storey. The mercantile established of Wills and Storey occupied the first floor of the building. The second floor was purchased from them by the lodge. Many years later, Cotton Gin Lodge No. 154 was moved to Kirvin where it is still active. The list of charter members, supplied by Dixie T. Milton, assistant librarian of the Grand Lodge of Texas Library at Waco, follows: J.S. Wills, Milton Busby, William J. Drake, R. Jones, J.W. Storey, S.H. Wills, J.P. Burnett, R.E. Sanders, Luther Wright, Franklin McMillan, James Dunn, and James M. Webb. In 1855, the officers of the newly formed lodge were S.H. Mills, Worshipful Master; J.F. Burnett, Senior Warden; and R.E. Sanders, Junior Warden. When the lodge moved an elevator was installed and the second floor was used as a storage room by the mercantile establishment on the first floor. Twenty-two years ago, the elevator was purchased and installed by Withrow Furniture Company in Teague where it is still in use.


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