Texana Lodge History

History of Texana Lodge No. 123

As far as Masonic lodges go, Texana 123 has a unique history.  You might be asking: where did this come from?  Our lodge was charted on January 20, 1854 in Texana, Texas.  A brief history of the community is as follows:

“Texana, in south central Jackson County, was founded in 1832 near the junction of the Navidad and Lavaca rivers by Dr. F. F. Wells and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Pamelia McNutt Porter.  The village was first called Santa Anna, but in 1835 the name was changed to Texana.  The town was made county seat when Jackson County was organized in 1836.  In 1837 a public sale of town lots encouraged settlers; the miltary post established at Texana before the Texas Revolution and the old Camp Independence also located near the town made settlement rapid.  The act to incorporate Texana was approved on January 14, 1840.  In 1880 Texana had a newspaper, the Clarion, regular steamboat service, mail and stage routes to other towns, and a prosperous business section.  Until 1882, Texana was a port town with fifteen or twenty ships calling weekly with settlers and cargo for the interior of Texas.  In 1883, however, the New York, Texas, and Mexican Railway Company missed the site, and an election moved the county seat to Edna.  A general exodus of settlers followed, and by late 1884 most of Texana was gone.”*

The site of Texana now sits at the bottom of Lake Texana.  With the rapid decline of the community, the demise of Texana Lodge 123 became inevitable, and in 1883 it did so.  It appeared as though the lodge was gone forever.  However, fate proved to have other ideas.

In 2009, some very dedicated Masons in Austin met regularly to discuss the idea of founding a new Masonic lodge in the city.  After considerable brainstorming, it was concluded that getting a lodge reconstituted would be a better approach.  Upon looking at the list of demised lodges, one lodge name and number caught all the Brothers’ attention: Texana 123.  The name itself possessed an appeal of all things Texas.  With a lodge name like that operating in the Texas Capital, the decision about whether to proceed was made exponentially easier.  The Brethren officially petitioned the Grand Lodge of Texas to have the charter of Texana Lodge No. 123 reconstituted in Austin.  On April 20, 2010, the fruits of those efforts paid off.  Most Worshipful Grand Master Orville L. O’Neill officially reconstituted Texana Lodge No. 123, and installed its officers.  (Look at the “Gallery” section of the website for a great visual of this occasion!)

Today, the members of Texana Lodge No. 123 perform the duties of the Craft in tribute to the members of the lodge throughout the 29 years of its existence during the 19th Century.

* Texas State Historical Association, The Handbook of Texas Vol II (Fort Worth, Marvin D. Evans Company, 1952).