When, where and How it all started

On August 1, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed Colorado to be the 38th state and Henry M. Teller was elected as one of two U. S Senators to represent the “Centennial State”.  That same year the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar was organized in Colorado with Henry M. Teller as its first Grand Commander.  The Grand Lodge of Colorado, the new Grand Commandery, Denver Lodge #5, Union Lodge #7, Denver Chapter #2 Royal Arch Masons and Colorado Commandery #1 Knights Templar were all meeting on the third floor of the Fink Block, located at 15th and Market Streets.

Less than six months after Colorado achieved statehood, Albert G. Mackey, who had communicate the Scottish Rite degrees to Albert Pike in Charleston, South Carolina on March 20, 1853, arrived in Denver as the representative of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction.  On Tuesday, January 23, 1877. He held an organizational meeting in the Fink Block Masonic Hall for Scottish Rite Freemasonry in Colorado, attended by twelve Colorado Masons.  Not surprisingly, with only one exception, George C. Munson (who was a member of Empire Lodge #8, then Central Lodge #6 when Empire closed) they were all members of Masonic bodies that regularly met in the Fink Block.  Just three days later, on Friday, January 26, 1877, Delta Lodge of Perfection was chartered and its officers installed by Albert G. Mackey.  Those officers were:

  • Lawrence N. Greenleaf, Thrice Puissant Grand Master – was the current WM of Denver Lodge #5 and would become GM of Colorado in 1880.  Published Square and Compass monthly for 25 years.
  • Edward H. Collins, Senior Warden – was a charter member of Union Lodge #7, PM #7 in 1874-75, GHP of RAM 1878.
  • Jacob A. J. Bigler, Junior Warden – was the Senior Steward Denver #5, PM #5 in 1875, Grand Junior Deacon in 1875, Grand Treasurer 1876 One of first directors of the soon to be formed Masonic Temple Association of Denver in 1881.
  • Oliver A. Whittemore, Grand Registrar - was a charter member of Summit #2 and Union #7, PM #7 in 1866, 1st Grand Secretary 1861-66, Deputy Grand Master in 1867, 1st Secretary of #7 in 1863, 64, 69 and 73-87.
  • James M. Strickler, Treasurer – Treasurer of Union #7 from 1876-1883.
  • Roger W. Woodberry, Orator - WM of Union #7, 1876-77, Grand Master 1878, Grand High Priest in 1881-82 RAM, Grand Commander KT in 1883, One of first directors of the soon to be formed Masonic Temple Association of Denver in 1881.
  • Joseph Lambert, Almoner – Junior Deacon of Denver #5 and would become one of first directors of the soon to be formed Masonic Temple Association of Denver in 1881.
  • William G. Brown, Expert – Junior Warden of Denver #5.
  • David J. Cook, Assistant Expert – Junior Deacon of Union #7 in 1869-70.
  • Stephen O. Snyder, Master of Ceremonies – Secretary of Denver #5.
  • Charles D. Taggert, Captain of the Host – Junior Deacon of Union #7.
  • Thomas Linton, Tiler – He was Grand Tiler of the Grand Lodge, Tiler of Denver #5, Tiler of Union #7 and Tiler of the Scottish Rite until his death on January 14, 1900.  His wife Mary passed away nine months later, but his son, Charles T. Linton was unable to attend her funeral because he was in Bolivia as the general manager of the Bolivia Gold Company.

On April 11, 1878, Mackey Chapter of Rose Croix was chartered with Lawrence N. Greenleaf as Wise Master. 

On October 4, 1878 Lawrence N. Greenleaf 32° was commissioned as a Special Deputy of the Supreme Council where he served until 1917.

On October 18, 1882 Henry Moore Teller, PGM 1863, 1867-72, was crowned as first Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Colorado while serving as Secretary of the Interior under President Chester A. Arthur.

On July 7, 1883 The Masonic bodies moved from third story of the Fink Block to the City Hall that had been recently constructed at 14th & Larimer Streets.  Masonic space was located on the third story above the quarters of the fire station.

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