Sugar Land Masonic Lodge has a long and rich history in the Sugar Land area. From our humble beginnings, when we met in the "highest hills," also known as the top floor of an Imperial Sugar Company warehouse, to our current home at 421 Eldridge Rd., Sugar Land Masonic Lodge has been a pillar of our community.
In 1920, Brothers Harry Redan, W. W. Dierks, and R. B. Little, Jr., all Sugar Land residents, presented a new petition to Morton Lodge #72 asking permission to allow a lodge to be formed in Sugar Land. The reasons given were that "the majority of [Master Mason's in Sugar Land] find it extremely inconvenient, and on account of the nature of their duties, train schedules and the condition of the roads, to attend Lodge at Richmond, or elsewhere, except on rare occasions." After many heated and lengthy debates, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas granted Sugar Land Masonic Lodge a charter on December 10, 1920.
The Imperial Sugar Company granted the Lodge use of the top floor of a warehouse, rent-free, located on Kempner St. between Wood St. and Main St. due to the fact that many of the members were in fact executives in the company.
The old home of SLML on Kempner St. (ca. 1920)
The East of the old lodge
L-R: Jim Priest S.D., Jesse J. Sims W.M. 1969-1970
Sugar Land Masonic Lodge officially began its work on January 17, 1921; and according to minutes of a meeting held in Sugar Land entitled “Installation Communication”. List of officers is shown, as follows:
W. M. - C. H. Waddell, D.D.G.M.
S. W. - G. A. Brandt, R.W.G.J.W. (GLT)
J.W. - J. E. Chestnut, P.M.
Treasurer - A.P. Dannen
Secretary - Joe Catron
S.D. - J. Dixie Smith
J.D. - C.B. Robinson
Chaplain - W.E. Miller
S.S. - W.W. Stubblefield
J.S. - G.D. Davis
Tiler - J.H. Waddell
As the country faced the woes of the Great Depression, the membership of Sugar Land Masonic Lodge suffered as well, with many members moving into Houston to find work and opportunity. However, with the end of World War II and the return home of younger men, a noticeable rise in membership took place. The urgent need for a new lodge home became apparent as the old office building, on the top of which the Sugar Land Lodge was situated, became a storage warehouse for salvage and lodge members were informed that the building would be abandoned as soon as the lodge could arrange to leave it. Working diligently to raise money, the late 1960's found Sugar Land Masonic Lodge ready to move to land donated to them at the corner of Rolling Mill and Eldridge by Sugar Land Industries. Brothers who had been assigned to the task oversaw the construction of the brick building in which we are housed today.
At the stated lodge meeting of March 16, 1970, it was reported that the cornerstone leveling would take place at 3:00 o’clock p. m. on Saturday, April 11, 1970, with P.G.M. J.W. Chandler presiding. Unfortunately, the busy schedule of the G.M., Most Worshipful Hal Burnett, in another part of the State, prevented his attendance.
Leveling the Cornerstone of Sugar Land Lodge No. 1141 A. F. & A. M.
Saturday, April 11, 1970
L – R: J.R. Pirtle (D.G.M.); W.L. Elkins (G. Arch.); T.V. Abercrombie (G. Marshal); Unknown;
James L. Boone (G.S.W.); L.A. Wheeler Jr., DDS (G.J.D.); Claude Borden, (checking the stone for level) (G.J.W., Treas.); J.W. Chandler (G.M., P.G.M.)
Construction of the dining hall area began on May 1981 and was completed in early 1983.