Altus Lodge 62
History and Information
The first Masonic Lodge in Greer County Texas was established in Mangum, Texas as Mangum Lodge U.D. (Under Dispensation) on 9 July 1889.
It was part of the 39th Masonic District of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
The Charter was granted and Mangum Lodge U.D. became Mangum Lodge No. 685 on December 12, 1889.
In the town of Frazer, Texas, 21 Masons petitioned the Grand Lodge of Texas for a dispensation to form a lodge at Frazer.
The dispensation was issued on March 13, 1891.
Frazer Lodge U.D. was put to work and a building was built.
The first Master of the Lodge was M.L. Ealum.
Disaster struck in June 1891 when a storm flooded the town and did considerable damage. The citizens of the town decided to relocate to higher ground 2 1/2 miles East of Bitter Creek, now called Altus (which means higher ground)
A meeting was called on August 29, 1891, and the vote was to
move the lodge building to the site of the new town.
The building was raised off it's foundation, set on steel wheels, and moved the 2 1/2 miles east by driving stakes into the ground, utilizing block and tackle and teams of horses to pull the building to the stake and repeating the process until the building was in Altus.
The site of the building is not known, but would probably have been in what is now Southwest Altus.
The Lodge Building burned in 1900.
A "special" meeting was called on November 28, 1891 where it
was resolved that the name be changed from Frazer to Altus Lodge. It was
also resolved to petition the Grand Lodge of Texas for a Charter.
On December 11, 1891, a charter was granted from the Grand Lodge of Texas to establish Altus Lodge No. 711.
On March 16, 1896, the United States Supreme Court ruled Greer County to be part of the Oklahoma Territory.
Due to the change in boundaries, Mangum Lodge No. 685 and Altus Lodge No. 711 surrendered their Charters to the Grand Lodge of Texas and became Mangum Lodge No. 29 and Altus Lodge No. 30 in December 1897. They were now under the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Territory.
In 1900, the original building moved from Frazer burned, leaving the lodge without a place to meet. They rented the second floor of a building which was owned or controlled by the Knights of Pythias.
In December 1907, the members agreed to sign a joint lease with the Odd Fellows to meet in the Elks Hall located on the second floor of the City National Bank.
In 1909, the Grand Lodes of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory were consolidated into the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma. All Lodges were to be assigned numbers using the date of their charters. Mangum being the oldest was assigned Number 61 and Altus Number 62.
In April 1917, a plan was devised to erect a two-story
building on the N 1/2 of Lot 18, Block 36, Original Town of Altus, according to
the existing drawings.
The amount to be expended for the building was not to exceed $3,700.
The cornerstone was laid on June 12, 1917 by Right Worshipful Joseph W. Morris, Deputy Grand Master, of Snyder, Oklahoma.
The first floor was rented out as a grocery, with the second floor being the Masonic Lodge.
In 1955, the lodge decided to build a new building at 1120 N.
On September 4, 1955, the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma was opened on the Entered Apprentice Degree at 6:30 PM in the First Christian Church Educational Building. The Grand Lodge adjourned to the site of the new and present Masonic Lodge of Altus and it's cornerstone laid in form.
The Masons of Southwest Oklahoma have been a cornerstone
the history of the area. They have come from all walks of life.
Doctors, Lawyers, Statesmen, Businessmen, Farmers, Military, and Laborers.
Each meets with the other on the level of equality as Masons.