Union Lodge #7 was chartered in October of 1857. The charter was issued for Fort Riley, because at the time, there was no Junction City. Union lodge has had several noteworthy persons during its early years.
-David A. Butterfield, who founded the stagecoach line Butterfield Overland Despatch.
-George Montegue, a prominent Temperance leader who laid a cornerstone for Bluemont College, which came to be known later by Kansas State University.
-James P. Downer, an officer in the Union Army.
-Charles F. Clarke- Union officer who gave his life during the war
-William Cuddy- An early day farmer and storekeeper who served in the Confederate Army
-Watters W. Herbert- A pioneer lawyer and newspaper man who died in the Confederate cause
-Robert Henderson- Served in the Union Army and survived a prisoner-of-war camp
-James R. McClure- Served in the Union Army, and was crippled by a wound suffered at the Battle of Shelbina in Missouri
In the fall of 1856, a petition of dispensation was drafted, and presented to Richard R. Rees, Grand Master of Kansas Territory. on January 6th, 1857, the petition was granted, and a dispensation was issued for the new lodge to meet. on January 31st, 1857, during its first regular stated communication, several names were suggested. The new lodge, being composed of both civilians and soldiers, adopted the name "Union", with Charles W. Beebe as the Worshipful Master, Thomas L. Brent as Senior Warden, and William Cuddy as the Junior Warden.
On October 29th, 1857, a charter was granted constituting Union Lodge #7 A.F.&A.M. as a regular lodge, at Fort Riley, Pawnee County, Kansas -- as the territory then embraced in Riley and Davis counties (now Geary county) was never known as Pawnee county, and Kansas, was at that time, a territory, there lies two errors within our charter. To this day, these errors were never changed or amended.
An observance of Union Lodges 50th Anniversary ocurred in 1907, and statistics for the first 50 years were summarized by Bro. John Brown. The statistics were as follows:
INITIATED - 308
TOTAL GRAND LODGE DUES PAID- $2,901.90
LARGEST GAIN, ANY 1 YEAR (1904)- 18
LARGEST NUMBER RAISED (1905)- 20
LARGEST NET LOSS (1902)- 21
World War I and the entry of the United States into the war, had a profound influence on masonic growth in the Fort Riley, Junction City area . When General Leonard Wood changed the whole concept of turning civilians into soldiers, he had constructed the training camp Camp Funston. Effect? This training camp eventually brought about the largest number of bretheren raised in any one year, to 105 in 1921. In 1943 and 1946, fires ravaged the lodge, making extensive remodeling and reconstruction necessary
On April 21, 1962, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Kansas A.F.&A.M., was opened in Junction City for the purpose of laying the cornerstone for the Junction City Post Office, at 7th and Adams Streets. April 26th, 1965, a disastrous explosion and fire occured in the jewelry store next to the Masonic Temple. Union Lodge was extended an invitation to use the facilities at the Knights of Columbus and I.O.O.F. halls, until the remodeling of their building was complete. In 1968, a motion was made and passed to grant life memberships to one who has attained 50 years in the Masonic Fraternity, the age limit for aspiring masons, was lowered to 18 in 1974, and Union #7's first Table Lodge was in 1975.
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