© Rockford Masonic Lodge 469 F&AM

History of Rockford

Lodge #469

Pursuant to a dispensation dated November 8, 1874, granted by M.W. Brother James D. Richardson, G.M., & R.W. Brother John Frizell, G.S., Rockford Lodge Number 469 held its first meeting on December 19, 1874, in a building owned by R.I. Wilson. As designated by the dispensation, the following officers were present: R.N. Hood, W.M.; R.L. McNutt, S.W.; and W.H. Porter, J. W. Brethren present were; F.M. Smith, A.R. McBath, M.M. Simpson, G.W. Graves, W.W. Wright, Samuel Rorex, M.M. Gillespie, Will S. McNabb, Calvin Eller, J.M. Harris, Elias Hitch, P.H. Clarke, J.M. Hood, J.N. Mitchell, J.L. George, and Joseph Burger. The following officers were appointed: A.R. McBath, Treasurer; F.M. Smith, Secretary; M.M. Simpson, S.D.; William Toole, J.D.; G.W. Graves, Steward, and Samuel Thompson, Tyler. A committee consisting of Brothers W.H. Porter, G.W. Graves, and William Toole was appointed to formulate By-Laws for the Lodge. Some of the By-Laws are quoted here as a matter of information and interest. “The stated meeting to be held on the Wednesday on or before the full moon. The hour of assembling shall be early candlelight.” “The fees shall be $10.00 for each degree.” Annual Dues were $2.00 At the Regular Meeting on January 5,1875, a resolution presented by Brother G.W. Graves was adopted and reads as follows…”Whereas the time has now expired for which permission was granted to this Lodge to use the room that it now occupies and as there is a danger of being turned out of doors, therefore be it resolved that the Secretary be ordered to summons each and every member of this Lodge to be present at the next Stated Meeting and that then and there steps shall be taken for the purpose of building a Lodge Room. Be it further resolved that the present building Committee be notified to make a written report at our next Stated Meeting.” At this time there was three options considered and the present site was chosen. The first Grand Lodge Return available is for 1877, and shows six initiations, six passed, and six raised. The total membership was 31, and the Grand Lodge Tax was $36.60. By 1900 the membership dropped to a total of 20. There was a slow but gradual increase through 1940. In the ten year period from 1940 to 1950 the gain in the membership was from 57 to 206. As of December31, 1973, the membership had grown to 476. The Lodge’s most successful year as to number of degrees conferred, was 1963, with a total of 96. A committee was appointed on January 13, 1949, for the purpose of a new building, and ground breaking was on January 22, 1949, with T.G. “Uncle Tom” Hutchens turning the first spade of earth. The building was dedicated on November 10, 1951. Rockford Lodge No. 469 F&AM was appointed by the 2013 Bicentennial Celebration Committee of the Grand Lodge to act as the Host Lodge in Blount County, to be supported by the other Masonic Lodges of Blount County. As part of the festivities, a Masonic Monument was erected and dedicated to Bro. Sam Houston by the MW Grand Master, Roy Clinton Etherton, on the grounds of the Sam Houston Schoolhouse. The monument dedication service was attended by visitors and Grand Officers from several jurisdictions, to include the District 30E Deputy Grand Master of Texas, Bro. Dagoberto Hernandez, and the Deputy Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons of Tennessee, Bro. Andrew J. Jackson, and their delegations. At the 2014 Annual Grand Communication, Rockford Lodge was honored and presented with the Dr. Joseph C. Mobley Achievement Award, the highest award given to a subordinate Lodge by the Grand Lodge