Corsicana Lodge No. 174
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A Celebration Fit for a King
Corsicana Masonic Lodge Celebrates 150 Years

At left, The Grand Master of Masons in Texas, Brian R. Dodson, was the keynote speaker at the 150th Anniversary of Corsicana Lodge No. 174 Saturday evening at a program held at First United Methodist Church. Above, portraits of C.M. Winkler, left, and John B. Jones, right, who served as past Grand Masters from Corsicana Lodge No. 174, were on display at the 150th anniversary of Corsicana Lodge No. 174, A.F. & A.M., during a dinner celebration held at First United Methodist Church Saturday evening, as well as a photo of the three story lodge that was located on the northside of Fifth Avenue between Beaton Street and Main Street before it was destroyed by fire in January of 1951. Daily Sun photos/Stephen Farris



Loyd Cook

A 25th or 50th wedding anniversary is always a landmark. So is a 30th class reunion.

Imagine celebrating a sesquicentennial anniversary — 150 years.

That’s the landmark Corsicana Masonic Lodge No. 174 celebrated during a dinner and program Saturday evening. The event was held at First United Methodist Church.

And it brought out the dignitaries, including Brian R. Dodson — Texas’ Grand Master of Masons — as the keynote speaker.

“If you think about 150 years at first thought many would say “so what,” Dodson said during his speech. “But think about 150 years ago, what was happening. It was 20 years after (Texas) became a country ... 10 years after it became a state. Sam Houston was still walking around.

“To see this (lodge) continue for 150 years shows the dedication you people have for your lodge.”

Corsicana Past Master Buddy Wigley called the evening to order with the ringing of the triangle, an act he called in keeping with the tradition of the local lodge, and present local lodge Master Larry D. Gatewood acted as master of ceremonies as well.

Gatewood accepted the sesquicentennial certificate plaque from the state grand master during the evening on behalf of Lodge No. 174.

Wigley gave a short presentation on the history of the lodge and its locations. He noted the February 1856 issuance of a charter beginning No. 174, which was the second lodge in Corsicana.

The first, No. 104, had its charter pulled after “disharmony” within, Wigley noted, adding “when you look at history, you have to look at the bad as well as the good.”

No. 174 had its start in the old Academy building, a long structure between 13th and 14th Streets on the north side of Second Avenue. In 1874, the lodge moved into the second floor of the S.A. Pace building at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Beaton.

It stayed there until the building was sold in 1899 and a three-story building was built on the north side of Fifth Avenue between Beaton and Main Streets. That structure was destroyed by fire in January 1951, Wigley said, and the present facility on 15th Street was built. It was completed and dedicated in 1952.

Along with Gatewood, officers of No. 174 this year are: Jack Clemons, senior warden; Daniel Gatewood, junior warden; David Nyquist, senior deacon; Jackie Farmer, junior deacon; Danny Wigley, tiler; John Myers, secretary; and Herman Sanches, treasurer.

“We don’t have a lot of lodges reach this milestone; they don’t ‘live’ that long very often,” Grand Master Dodson said.

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