The Grand Lodge of Freemasons in Texas, organized in 1837 in the Republic of Texas, was granted a charter by the new State of Texas on April 28, 1846. Among the stated purposes of the organization was support of education and charitable causes. At its 1885 annual meeting, the Grand Lodge appointed a committee to plan a Masonic Widows and Orphans Home. Calling for bids from Texas lodges the following year, the Grand Lodge accepted the offer of Fort Worth Lodge No. 148 in 1888 for 200 acres of land and $5,000 toward building costs. Construction of the institution's buildings at this site began in 1898. A special Texas & Pacific Railroad excursion train brought Masons and visitors to a cornerstone leveling ceremony on June 7, 1899, and the first building was completed later that year. Dr. Frank Rainey of Austin was named superintendent. Known as the Masonic Home and School of Texas, the facility included buildings designed by noted architects Wiley G. Clarkson of Fort Worth and Herbert M. Greene of Dallas. The Masonic Home Independent School District was formed by the State Board of Education in 1913, and by 1930 more than 450 students were being cared for and educated here. Under terms of an agreement reached in 1911, Masonic widows were transferred to the new home for aged Masons in Arlington. Over the years the mission of the home to care for children of Texas Masons was expanded to offer educational opportunities to additional relatives of Masons, as well as to other children sponsored by Texas lodges. The school continues a legacy of excellence in education. The campus was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district in 1992. (1999)
Copyright © StoppingPoints.com, 2010. All Rights Reserved.