Valley Hi Masonic
Lodge
#1407 A.F. & A.M.
San Antonio, Texas

 

A HISTORY OF VALLEY HI LODGE #1407


Valley-Hi Masonic Lodge No. 1407 AF&AM was originally set to work under dispensation in August 1964 with Brother Robert C. Paris serving as Worshipful Master. There were 88 charter members. On December 3, 1964 at the Grand Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Texas in Waco, the Lodge was officially constituted and began work from temporary quarters located on West French Place in San Antonio, Texas courtesy of Prospect Hill Masonic Lodge.

These temporary facilities served well until May 1971 when work was completed on the present lodge located at 235 Cedarhurst Drive, San Antonio, Texas and occupied by Worshipful Master Alfred Machts, Jr., and his officers.  The original Lodge facility was small, totaling just 1800 square feet including the 5 by 7 foot Secretary's Office and 10 by 16 foot kitchen. The dining area (now a social area) was a multi-purpose facility that served the Lodge and Eastern Star Chapter for such events as breakfast, dinner, banquets, socials, and individual members for birthdays, anniversaries and the like. The furniture was obtained by the brothers individually and collectively from various sources and using various resources.

A project was begun in 1991 to expand the building.  Voluntary contributions for the purpose were slow in coming but through the generosity of Brother Tom Clair Dimmitt the vision became a reality.  Over the years he anonymously made several sizable donations before falling ill and passing away in 1996.  Brother Dimmitt, who completed his earthly journey in June 1996, bequeathed the bulk of his estate to the Lodge to be used for the purpose of completing the expansion to the building.  An architect was contracted and in June 1998 the long awaited addition was completed and dedicated to its benefactor and is known as “Dimmitt Hall”.

Two truly dedicated Masons individually played a vital role in the history of Valley-Hi Lodge.  First, Brother Ray Ellison was the benefactor of Valley-Hi acquiring its first lodge.  Brother Ellison is well known throughout Texas as a land developer and homebuilder.  Through Brother Ellison's assistance obtaining the land and Lodge building was made possible.  Secondly, Brother Dimmitt was a “wiry little fellow” from Hobart, Texas who completed his journey into Freemasonry after he passed his 85th birthday.  He loved being a Mason and practiced its principals in everyday life.

Valley-Hi Lodge is located just outside “The Gateway to the Air Force”, Lackland AFB, Texas, where young men and women train daily as they transition from civilian life to the regimentation of military service. A major portion of Valley-Hi membership has been associated with the military, many of whom have completed their years of service, retired, and relocated throughout the geographical United States.

Throughout the years, one member served eight years as a member of the Grand Lodge of Texas Committee on Work; and five brothers served as Deputy Grand Master, District 39A.

 

CHARTER OFFICERS

† Robert C. (Bob) Paris

Worshipful Master

† William H. Price

Senior Warden

† Harry H. Wandry Jr

Junior Warden

† James E. Taylor

Treasurer

† Lambert “Bernie” Brzycki

Secretary

† Edward W. Crump

Chaplain

† Louis Gordon

Senior Deacon

† Clarence L. Wilson

Junior Deacon

Aaron Collier

Senior Steward

Vester L. Neal

Junior Steward

Embress Hentschel

Tiler

 

CHARTER MEMBERS

Ivy B Barrow

Joseph V Barth

James B Bass

Gary K Bartay

George E Baumgardner

Earl W Bell

James H Boley

Charles A Boyd

Lambert “Bernie” Brzycki

John H Bunch

Lonnie Ray Buzzard Jr

James W Carter.

John Henry Chadwick Sr.

Harold M Cherry

Charles L Chittum Jr.

Aaron Collier

Everett D Cozart

William A Craft

Harold E Crawford

Edward W Crump

Herman A Crump

Robert W Gafford

Dale R Gindlesperger

Louis Gordon

Corroll O Graves

Paul B Gustafson

Allen H Hannon

Robert E Harris

Frank G Hayes

Embress "Andy" Hentschel

James H Hudson

William B Hunter

Frank A Kwas

Tom N Ledbetter

Bernard M Legg

Robert W Lindsay

Johnny L Mahan

Richard E Mansfield

Landon C Martin

William R Martinez

Louis J McCain

Otto L McKibban

 John T McKinney

William H Mellon

Joseph B Minter

Ralph O Morris

Coy E Myrick

Vester L Neal

Jack J Novak

Robert "Bob" C Paris

Carl D Parrish

John A Posey

William H Price

Tannis V Proctor

William R Proteau

Claude M Raley

Norman D Ramsey

Frederick R Raymond

Clarence N Reily

Arturo P Reyna Jr.

Efton M Sager

William E Shaw

Joseph C Shealton

John D Simpson

Robert M Smith Jr

Charles E Snyder

Fred M Steading

Woodrow C Steubing

Orval Stewart

Brinne E Stocks

Carl J Stout

James E Taylor

Robert R L Taylor

Waman S Tucker

B F Utz

Thomas L Wallis

Harry H Wandry Jr

Charles J Willette

Clarence L Wilson

John Alfred Wirtz Sr

George Albert Wurtz

 

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