The Patriots and Pathmakers Gallery features Masonic founders of our country and state. This gallery prominently features the first President of the United States – Worshipful Brother George Washington.
Freemasons helped found the early settlements in the Louisiana Territory, local governments, schools, and eventually the state of Missouri.
The pioneers carried Freemasonry to Missouri. Missouri Masons took Masonry west, making the Grand Lodge of Missouri the Mother Lodge of the West.
William Clark was part of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark was a General in the Missouri Militia, appointed Governor of the Missouri Territory, and appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs. In 1809, Clark became a Master Mason in St. Louis Lodge No. 111. On display, William Clark’s painted silk Masonic apron depicting many of the symbols of Freemasonry. Each symbol conveys profound meaning to Masons.
By 1819, the village of Herculaneum, situated along the Mississippi River with the Joachim stream flowing nearby, had become a successful lead-mining center in the Missouri Territory. The Grand Lodge of Tennessee issued a Charter to Joachim Lodge No. 25 on Oct. 6, 1819.
Legend has it that Brother John Hobert owed his life to this Masonic ring. Brother Hobert was captured during the Civil War and sent to the Confederate prison at Andersonville. A Brother Mason noticed the ring and released him allowing him to return to his home in Iowa.
The first Masonic Lodge in Utah begins its history with the “Mormon War”. The officers and soldiers at Camp Floyd in the Utah Territory requested dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Missouri to organize Rocky Mountain Lodge. The Lodge’s dispensation and charter were returned to the Missouri Grand Lodge when the officers and soldiers were recalled to Washington, D.C., for the Civil War.
Shortly after President George Washington’s re-election, on Sept. 18, 1793, he presided over the laying of the cornerstone for the Capitol in Washington, D.C., as Grand Master of Masons, pro tem. On display is a replica of George Washington’s Gavel used in laying of the cornerstone.