Erected by the most worshipful Grand Lodge of

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Colorado to mark

the site of the First Masonic Building in Colorado.

Site of First Masonic Temple

Gilpin County, Colorado June 17, 1933

June 3, 1933.


To the Officers and Members of the

M. W. Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of

Colorado, and to all Lodges in Colorado.



A Special Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Colorado will be held in the Masonic Temple at Central City, Colorado, at 3:30 o'clock P. M., Saturday, June 17, 1933, for the purpose of unveiling and dedicating the Monument erected by the Grand Lodge to mark the site of the first Masonic building in Colorado. All Master Masons are fraternally invited to attend this Communication.


The three Lodges in Gilpin County, Colorado, will entertain the visiting brethren and their ladies. As these ceremonies will commemorate an important historic event, it is hoped that on this occasion there will be a large attendance by the Craft in Colorado.





Grand Master.




Grand Secretary.




JUNE 17, 1933.


Dedication of Monument

The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Colorado will be opened in the Masonic Temple, Central City, Colorado, at 3:30 o'clock P. M., and then, escorted by the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Colorado, will proceed to the Monument which marks the site of the first Masonic Temple erected in Colorado, where, beginning at 4:00 o'clock, the following exercises will be held, with music by the Glee Club of Denver Royal Arch Chapter No.2 and the EI Jebel Shrine Band and Drum and Bugle Corps:


—Invocation, by Right Worshipful Brother Robert R. Adams, Grand Chaplain.

—Address of Welcome, by Worshipful Brother Leroy J. Williams,. Past Master of Central Lodge No.6, A. F. & A. M.

—Historical Address, by Worshipful Brother John Stroehle, Past Master of Black Hawk Lodge No.11, A. F. & A. M.

—Report of the Grand Lodge Committee, Right Worshipful Brother William R. Arthur, Chairman, in charge of the erection of the Monument.

—Address, by Most Worshipful Brother George A. Luxford, Grand Master of Masons in Colorado.

—Unveiling and Dedication of the Monument.


The Grand Lodge will then return to the Masonic Temple at Central City, where it will be closed.




At 6:00 o'clock Masons, their families, and friends will have dinner at the old historic Teller House and the Chain O'Mines Hotel.



Beginning at 8:00 o'clock P. M. the Master Mason Degree will be conferred in the Masonic Temple at Central City, by officers and members of the three Gilpin County Lodges: Nevada Lodge No.4, Central Lodge No.6, and Black Hawk Lodge No.11. Visiting ladies will be entertained by the local committee.


The First Masonic Building in Colorado


Late in the year 1858 a number of gold-seekers had gathered at the junction of Cherry Creek and thc Platte River, on land which was then a part of the Territory of Kansas, but which now is within the State of Colorado. This settlement was known as Auraria, and by the first of November a number of cabins had been erected there.


On the evening of November 3, 1858, seven Masons, including William M. Slaughter, held an informal meeting in one of those cabins; and throughout the following winter these brethren and others continued to meet from time to time, having in mind the formation of a new Masonic Lodge at Auraria, provided the proper authorization could be obtained from some Grand Lodge.


Gold was discovered in May, 1859, in what is now Gilpin County, Colorado; and within a month thereafter several thousand men had rushed to the Gregory Diggings in that section of the country, and were engaged there or in the vicinity in a search for the precious metal. Among them were many Masons (including some who had become acquainted by having participated in the Masonic meetings that had been held throughout the preceding winter at Auraria), a number of whom, after discussing the matter, reached the conclusion that it would be desirable to have a meeting place at the Gregory Diggings for members of the Masonic fraternity.


Accordingly, on June 12, 1859, a committee of three brethren preempted, as shown by an entry in Book A, page 59 of the records of the Gregory Mining District (now a part of the records of Gilpin County), a block of ground on which to erect a "Masonic Temple."


Within a few days thereafter the building, which was of logs, "chinked and plastered with mud inside and out," and about thirty feet square, was completed; and about the 20th of June, 1859, an informal, though tiled, meeting of more than two hundred Masons, known to the committee in charge to be such by information or examination, was held in what was probably the first "Masonic Temple" erected in the vast territory between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast.


Some of those who participated in this meeting took prominent parts in the organization a few months later of the first Masonic Lodge in Colorado.


In 1929 the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Colorado appointed a committee to investigate a proposal that the Grand Lodge erect a monument to mark the site of the first Masonic Temple (that is to say, a building used exclusively for Masonic purposes) in the State of Colorado. Later the Grand Lodge appropriated funds for the erection of such a monument, and appointed a committee to take charge of the work. Some delay was encountered in perfecting the title to the land, but the monument has been completed and it will be unveiled and dedicated on June 17, 1933.


Officers of the Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of Colorado, 1933.


GEORGE A. LUXFORD - Grand Master

HOWARD T. V AILLE - Deputy Grand Master

CHARLES A. PATTON - Senior Grand Warden

KENNETH O. WOOD - Junior Grand Warden

EDWARD C. HANLEY - Grand Treasurer

WILLIAM W. COOPER - Grand Secretary

ROBERT R. ADAMS - Grand Chaplain

HARRY L. BAUM - Grand Orator

CHARLES L. YOUNG - Grand Lecturer

WILLIAM M. NELSON - Grand Marshal

WILLIAM R. ARTHUR - Senior Grand Deacon

THOMAS H. COX - Junior Grand Deacon

FRANCIS J. KNAUSS - Senior Grand Steward

GEORGE C. TWOMBLY - Junior Grand Steward



Grand Lodge Committee in Charge of the erection of the Monument








Gilpin County Committees on entertainment of Visitors



James M. Seright, P.M. No. 11, Chairman.

Louis J. Carter, P.M. No.6.

Rae 1. Laird, P.M. No.6


No.4 Past Masters

Harry Armfield

Charles A. Wagner, Sr.

Robert H. Richards

Charles A. Wagner, Jr.

William T. Grenfell

Arthur C. Thomas

John A. Hancock


No.6 Past Masters

Charles O. Richards

John C. Jenkins, Jr.

August F. Grutzmacher

Earl H. Quiller

Harry L. Eilmann

Frank H. Owen

Fritz. J. Altvater

William McKinnon

Frank J. Gray


No.11 Past Masters

E. I. Grenfell

Otto Ruttkamp

John C. Stroehle

Arthur J. C. Gray

Charles B. Klais

A. M. Fairchild

John Stroehle

Wilford C. Fritz



A. M. Fairchild, P.M. No. 11, Chairman.



George Parsons

William Mellor

Hugh L. Lawry



William O. Zeige

Elwood M. Neff

Morgan Gray


No. 11

William F. Stroehlc

Curtis Runquist

George F. Nelson



John C. Stroehle, P.M. No. 11, Chairman.



George Wagner

John A. Hancock, Jr.

Herman T. Paul

Ed. Thiede



Benjamin A. Conrad

George H. Huber

Wilbur F. Parfet

Ralph Rhoads


No. 11

Charles S. Robins

William J. Tregay

Frederich W. Strochlc

Ed. Nelson



Charles O. Richards, P.M. No.6, Chairman.

Desmond A. Coughlin, W.M. No.4

Edward H. Lewison, W.M. No.6.

Arthur J. Gray, W.M. No. 11.



Mrs. Lillian Grenfell, Chairman.

J. C. Stroehle

Mrs. Olive Robins

Mrs. Amanda Wagner

Mrs. Edith Carter

Mrs. Della Grutzmacher

Mrs. Edna Coughlin

Mrs. Anna M. Laird

Mrs. Mabel Zeige

Mrs. Luella Fritz

Mrs. Laura McLeod

Mrs. Beatrice Dunstone

Mrs. Ada Williams

Mrs. Carrie Williams

Mrs. Elizabeth Jenkins

Mrs. Matilda Stroehle

Mrs. Mae Fairchild

Mrs. Emma Ruttkamp

Mrs. Gertrude Gray

Mrs. Mabel Richards

Mrs. Addie Armfield

Mrs. Gertrude Seright