Dallas Freemasonry's Beginnings in Tennessee
So, I took a weekend trip to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the wedding of a great friend. The festivities didn't begin until later in the evening and I arrived rather early, so I set out on a voyage across Nashville to see some of the roots of Dallas Freemasonry.
Since I can remember, I've known that Tannehill Masonic Lodge was named after Wilkins Tannehill from Tennessee (actually when I was a kid I thought it was named after my Father's Senior Warden Paul Tannehill). Anyway I decided to take a tour of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. I was Greeted by R.W. Roy C. Etherton, Past Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee 2014, and current Grand Secretary. He toured me throughout the Grand Lodge Building, which was originally built as a Scottish Rite Cathedral and showed me the portrait of our Namesake Wilkins Tannehill. I also noticed Brother Sam Houston who was Raised at Cumberland Lodge No. 8 in Tennessee, Brother Houston of course was the First President of the Republic of Texas. I also met a Brother from Tannehill Lodge No. 133 in Gainesville Tennessee. I presented each of these Brothers with a Tannehill Lodge No. 52 Coin.
Wilkins Tannehill was the third, fifth, seventh and nineteenth Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee, 1817-1818, 1820-1821, 1824-1825, and 1841-1842. Brother Andrew Jackson, Former President of the United States of America, served from 1822-1823. Well, In 1848, six Master Masons began Tannehill Masonic Lodge in Dallas, Texas. They operated under a Warrant until 1850 when they were granted a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Texas. The Chartering Master was Nathaniel M. Burfurd, from Smith County, Tennessee. He obviously had some say in the naming of the Lodge. Tannehill Lodge No. 52 "The Mother Lodge of Dallas County" was born and has been in operation since 1848.
I also took a moment to pay my respects to Brother Tannehill. Below you will see pictured his tombstone erected by the Masons of Tennessee. This trip has sparked a great interest in our Namesake and I hope we as Brothers can carry on his legacy. He wrote a manual for the Lodge much like our own "Lightfoot's Manual"