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The Grand Lodge of Indiana is one of two state wide organizations that oversee Masonic lodge in the state of Indianamarker. It was established on January 13, 1818.

Pre-1900

The first Lodge in Indiana was created by residents of Vincennes, Indianamarker. They sought a dispensation to create the Lodge from Louisville, Kentuckymarker's Abraham Lodge #8 in 1806. One was granted in 1807, but due to the distance, they were not able to constitute the lodge. After a second dispensation was sought in 1808, a lodge was formed on March 13, 1809 and the officers were initiated. Other lodges in the Indiana Territory founded by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky were Madisonmarker (1815), Charlestownmarker (1816), Corydonmarker, Lawrenceburgmarker, Rising Sunmarker, Salemmarker, and Vevaymarker (1817). On May 9, 1817, the Grand Lodge of Ohio granted a dispensation for Brookville Harmony Lodge in Brookville, Indianamarker; this lodge would remain under the Grand Lodge of Ohio for two years following the founding of Indiana's Grand Lodge.

After Indiana attained statehood, it qualified for its own Grand Lodge. The plans for starting a Grand Lodge for Indiana began on December 3, 1817, 354 days after Indiana gained statehood, when eleven Freemasons from the various lodges in Indiana met in Corydon, and decided to initiate the new Grand Lodge. Amongst these was the first lieutenant-governor of Indiana, Christopher Harrison. Thus, the Grand Lodges of Kentucky and Indiana jointly chartered the Grand Lodge of Indiana on January 13, 1818 at the presently-named Schofield House, owned by Alexander Lanier, father of James Lanier and a Freemason as well, in Madison, Indianamarker. Only three Freemasons were at both meetings. The first Grand Master of Indiana was Alexander Buckner of Charlestown, who would later become a United States senator from Missourimarker.

The Grand Lodge would have its first annual meeting in Charlestown, and would alternate between cities until in 1828 it met in Indianapolis, where it has met ever since.

Indiana would not escape the anti-Masonry hysteria of the 1820s-1840. In 1828 there were 33 lodges in Indiana. In both 1833 and 1835 ten lodges were closed. At one point, between 1835-1837, there were only twelve lodges left in Indiana. Eighteen lodges were started during this, but only five of which lasted. In 1834 there was even talk of abolishing the Grand Lodge. In many of the years between 1828-1842, the Grand Master did not even attend the Grand Lodge meetings. The number of Masons in Indianapolismarker during this period dropped from 654 to 513. By 1842 the anti-Masonry hysteria had waned, and the various Grand Lodges could again grow.

Post-1900

In 1916 the Grand Lodge created the Indiana Masonic Home to support elderly Masons, the widows and orphans of Master Masons, and older members of the Order of the Eastern Star. The Home still exists in Franklin, Indianamarker.

The number of Freemasons in Indianapolis in 1993 was 13,229 amongst its 23 separate lodges.

Freemasons from Indiana include Oliver P. Morton, Lew Wallace, and Gus Grissom.

Gallery

 File:Schofield House.JPG|Schofield House, where the Grand Lodge was started
 File:Old Jeff Temple.jpg|Early-20th Century Masonic Temple in Jeffersonville, Indianamarker
 File:Corydongrandmasoniclodge.jpg|Corydon Lodge Hall, where many Masons who were initial state leaders of Indiana met.
 File:Scottish Rite Cathedral Indianapolis Indiana, viewed from the Indiana War Memorial Plaza.jpg|Scottish Rite Cathederal, Indianapolismarker
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References

  1. Smith, Dwight L. Goodly Heritage (Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of Indiana, 1968) pg.6,8,9,11
  2. Smith pg.18, 42-44
  3. Indiana Freemasons Online
  4. Morris, Martha. Christopher Harrison, Indiana Magazine of History Volume 100, #2. (Indiana University Dept. of History, 1920) pg.107
  5. Mackey, Albert. The History of Freemasonry (The Masonic History Co., 1898) pg.1458
  6. Bodenhamer, David. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (Indiana University Press, 1994) pg.602
  7. Smith pg.78,79
  8. " The Indiana Masonic Home - A place to live where people care "
  9. Bodenhamer pg.602



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