The first organization of Masonic lodges in this vicinity was a dispensation granted by the grand master of the grand lodge of the State of Illinois, in 1847, to Cambridge lodge at Cambridge, Illinois. The nearest lodges being St. Johns, No. 13, at Peru, LaSalle County; Henderson, No. 26, Knox County; and Monmouth, No. 37, Warren County. A charter was granted October 4, 1847, to Cambridge Lodge as No. 49, meetings to be held at Cambridge and Rock Island alternately. January 26, 184S, in compliance with the unanimous request of Cambridge Lodge, a dispensation was granted to meet regularly at Rock Island. The distance between Cam-bridge and Rock Island-thirty miles, and by team-was quite arduous and tiresome. Steps were taken May 18, 1848, to form a new lodge at Rock Island, for Rock Island County. When the name was considered, there was a diversity of opinion. Among the names proposed were Mississippi, Rock Island, Barrett, Buford, Illinois and Larely; none commanding a majority, Doctor James W. Brackett proposed the name of Trio, in honor of Rock Island, Moline and Camden Mills-now Milan-and the name of Trio was adopted. June 1, 1848, a dispensation was granted to Trio lodge, Rock Island, Illinois, and October 3, 1848, was chartered as Trio Lodge, No. 57. May 3, 1855, Fort Armstrong Lodge, No. 186, was organized by members from Trio Lodge, but March 12, 1863, surrendered its charter and consolidated with Trio Lodge. In June and July, 1870, twenty brethren withdrew from Trio Lodge to organize Rock Island Lodge, No. 658. Trio Lodge at its organization had seventeen members; now it has a membership of two hundred and fifty four.
Rock Island Lodge, No. 658, A. F. & A. M. This lodge was organized and a dispensation was issued June 29, 1870, and was chartered October 6, 1870, the first officers were: Morris Rosenfield, worshipful master; Charles A. Benser, senior warden: Milton G. Mills, junior warden; II. H. Mayo, treasurer; George P. Frysinger, secretary; J. W. Whitmarsh, senior deacon; hen C. Frysinger, junior deacon; J. S. Drake, senior steward; James F. Copp, junior steward; Thomas Thornton, tyler. The lodge had twenty-six charter members, eleven of which are still alive. The lodge now has two hundred and sixteen active members and two honorary members.Barrett Chapter, No. 18, R. A. M. Barrett Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, was chartered September 30, 1853. October 28 1904, the name of the chapter was changed to Rock Island Chapter. The chapter meets in Masonic Temple the first Tuesday of each month. The membership now (1908) is two hundred and fifty.
Everts Commandery, No. 18, Knights Templar, Rock Island, Illinois First met under dispensation January 10, 1866, a petition having previously been presented to the grand commander of the grand commandery of the State of Illinois by Virgil M. Blanding, Palestine Commandery, No. 14, Pennsylvania; John Lin Ramsey, Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, Illinois; William B. Grenelle, Blaney Commandery, No. 5, Illinois; 0. S. McNeil, LaFayette Commandery, No. 16, Indiana; C. Stewart Ells, Deiolay Commandery, No. 16, Indiana; W .E. Bow-man, Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, Illinois; I. B. N. Bross, Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, Illinois; D. S. Rawson, Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, Illinois; D. W. Lininger, Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, Illinois; and recommended by Peoria Commandery, No. 3, Peoria, Illinois. The following officers were appointed by the grand commander of the grand commandery of the State of Illinois: Virgil Marion Blanding, eminent commander; John Linn Ramsey, generalissimo; William B. Grenelle, captain general; the other officers being appointed by the eminent commander. October 23, 1866, the commandery was constituted and granted its charter. Its name was changed October 23, 1901, its thirty-fifth anniversary, to Rock Island Commandery, No. 18, and at present has a membership of two hundred and eighty-five.Rock Island Chapter, No. 269, Order Of Eastern Star Rock Island Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, was instituted at Masonic Temple, April 13, 1894. Mrs. Eva M. Conover, the organizer, was chosen wrothy matron; G. F. Kramer, worthy patron; and Mrs. Maria B. Kinyon, associate matron. The first corps of officers were: .Secretary, Lillie K. Williams; treasurer, Meta DeSoland; conductress, Zetta Gilman; associate conductress, Anna Harrington ; Adah, Vashti Bollman; Ruth, Myra Arnold; Esther, Clara Woltmann; Martha, Ada Huntoon; Electa, Kate A. Tuller; chaplain, Sarah Campbell; warder, Mary Rhodenbaugh; organist, Elizabeth Volk; sentinel, L. W. Mitchell. In August of the same year the secretary removed from the city, her place being filled by Vashti Bollman. In October the charter was granted; the chapter numbered two hundred and sixty-nine. The first corps of officers elected after the chapter was chartered was: Worthy matron, Eva M. Conover; worthy patron, G. F. Kramer; associate matron, Maria B. Kinyon; secretary, Vashti Bollman; treasurer, Martha Hyde; conductress, Myra Arnold; associate conductress, Henrietta Kramer; Adah, Mary Pratt; Ruth, Zetta Gil-man; Esther, Jennie Johnston; Martha, Ada Huntoon; Electa, Kate Tuller; marshal, Sarah Green; chaplain, Addie Elliott; warder, Mary Rhodenbaugh; organist, Elizabeth Volk; sentinel, N. J. Sandstrom.Eureka Lodge, No. 69, A. F. & A. M., Milan, Illinois Charter was issued to Eureka Lodge. No. 69, on petition of brethren, on the fourth day of October, 1849, as follows: John Gilmore, William Ferias, J. M. Plumb, F. B. Gilmore, Louis Kinyon, James ‘Dickson, William Kelly, James M. Gilmore and N. D. Bradley. After the lodge had done business for eight or ten years a state of lethargy appeared and the charter was suspended and returned to the grand lodge. Finally the members of Eureka Lodge reorganized for work, consisting of brethren William Feris, Riley Hayford, D. C. Roundy, John B. Davidson, William Wallace, N. D. Bradley, Frank IL Harris, George M. Dickson, James Dickson, Alexander Owens, William Dickson and John Dickson; and the first communication was held on the fourth day of October, 1866, when Eureka Lodge started anew. The next trouble confronting Eureka was fire. The next year, 1867, fire consumed the most of the business part of the village of Milan-then Camden Mills-, and Eureka Lodge paraphernalia was all consumed; the charter, however, was saved.Cordova Lodge, No. 543, A. F. & A. M., Cordova, Illinois A dispensation was granted January 29, 1867, and a charter October 1, 1867. The charter members were D. H. Mattice, John K. Glasscock, Orville N. Whitford, Thomas Karr, J. L. Perkins, George Bryan, George Ege, Leonard Pyle, Jesse S. Dailey, B. F. Simpson, D. Zimmerman, A. R. Sill, R. K. McCormack, T. F. Abbott, J. E. Abbott, D. Nicewanger and Abraham Bolinger. The present membership is twenty-nine.Silvis Lodge, No. 898, A. F. & A. M., Silvis, Illinois Silvis Lodge was granted a dispensation May 18, 1907, and their charter November 1, 1908, at which time they had a large class in the Master Mason’s degree, working from nine o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night. The ladies of the Baptist Church served the three meals, in a good homemade way; substantial, bountiful and varied, with fried chicken each time. In the lodge work Rock Island and Moline brethren assisted. They had twenty-seven charter members. Their present membership is thirty-one.Doric Lodge, No. 319, A. F. & A. M., Moline, Illinois Doric Lodge, No. 319, A. F. & A. M., was organized at Moline, Illinois, May 11, 1859, Dillon, Horatio G. Nourse, Luke E. Hemenway, DeWitt C. Marshall, Robert H. Graham, Benjamin R. Towndrow; William G. Boswell, by the following charter members : John B. Amos Gould and Charles A. Brenan. A charter was granted October 5, 1859. The membership at present is two hundred and fifty-four.Andalusia Lodge, No. 516, A. F. & A. M., Andalusia, Illinois Date of dispensation, August 24, 1866; date of charter, October 1, 1867. Charter members: B. F. Eby, F. M. Boney, S. B. Buffum, I. T. Walker, John Buffum, A. P. Roberts, F. A. Cobb, J. W. Ballard, Rinnah Wells, G. T. Connor, M. V. Spencer, James Cozad. The present membership is thirty-seven. The first worshipful master under dispensation was B. F. Eby; senior warden, J. W. Ballard; and junior warden, F. A. Cobb. Stated communications are held Tuesday on or before full moon.Valley Lodge, No. 547, A. F. & A. M., Coal Valley, Illinois Can not give the date of their dispensation, as some of their records were destroyed by fire. The date of the charter is October 1, 1867. The charter members were: James R. Rosenberry, William Wayne, William Meanor, B. R. Blackfan, Robert Lee, Frederick Weyerhaeuser, L. H. Trego, S. Blackfan. The number of members at present is sixty-six. Stated communications Friday on or before full moon.Philo Lodge, No. 436, A. F. & A. M., Port Byron, Illinois Charter was issued October 4, 1865. The charter members were: E. M. Hickox, Samuel R. Allen, D. G. Comstock, W. J. Sheppard, Henry Saddoris, T. D. Temple, James B. Temple, H. B. Young, George P. Gates, H. W. Guest, E. H. Johnston, Wilson Fleming. Henry Saddoris is still a member–eighty-nine years old. He was made a Master Mason, in 1S39, in Ohio. Have seventy-nine members at present.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908