The society of a town may in general be gauged by the number and character of its churches and societies. Measured by this standard Fayetteville ranks high, having seven churches and eight lodges, besides several other benevolent and social organizations. Washington Lodge No. 1, A. F. & A. M., as its number indicates, is the oldest Masonic lodge in the State. In 1835 a number of Masons in this part of the State petitioned the Grand Lodge of Tennessee for a lodge at Fayetteville, and on November 5, 1835, a charter, signed by Hugh L. White, Grand Master, was issued to Washington Lodge No. 82. Among the charter members were Onesimus Evans, W. M.; James McKissick, S. W.; Mathew W. Leeper, J. W.; Archibald Yell, Samuel Adams, Abram Whinnery, W. L. Wilson and William McK. Ball.

This charter has a history of its own. In 1862, when the Federal troops took possession of the town, it was thrown with other papers into the street, where it was picked up by a member of an Iowa regiment, a Mason, who sent it to Past Grand Secretary A. O. Sullivan, of Missouri. In 1866 it was sent to W. D. Blocher, and was by him transferred to J. H. Van Hoose, who returned it to the lodge. It is now in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas.

On November 21, 1838, representatives of four lodges met at Little Rock and organized the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. The delegates from Washington Lodge were Onesimus Evans, Washington L. Wilson, Robert Bedford, A. Whinnery, R. C. S. Brown, Samuel Adams and Williamson S. Oldham. Washington Lodge No. 82 now became Washington Lodge No. 1. About 1840 a two-story frame building was erected for a hall. The lot was donated by Governor Yell, who also gave $100 toward the erection of the building. This hall was remodeled in 1875, and is in a good state of preservation. In the winter of 1862, after most of the members of Washington Lodge had gone South, the Federal troops took possession of the hall, and Col. La Rue Harrison, the Post Commander, was here initiated into the order, as were also a number of other officers and privates. To this circumstance was doubtless due the preservation of the hall, when every other public building was destroyed.

The following is as complete a list of the Past Masters as could be obtained: John B. Costa, 1843; J. H. Stirman, 1848; W. R. Quarles, 1850; W. L. Wilson, 1851; J. M. Tibbetts, 1852; Robert Graham, 1855; W. R. Quarles, 1858; J. B. Simpson, 1859; Robert Graham, 1860; P. P. Van Hoose, 1861-65; J. H. Van Hoose, 1865-68; D. B. Jobe, 1868; J. H. Wilson, 1869; J. D. Henry, 1870-73; J. H. Kelton, 1873; W. O. Lattimore, 1874; P. R. Smith, 1874 [Filled the unexpired term of Lattimore]; O. C. Gray, 1875; R. Putman, 1876; O. C. Gray, 1877; A. S. Gregg, 1878; J. H. Van Hoose, 1879-81; R. Putman, 1881; J. H. Van Hoose, 1882; J. R. Southworth, 1883; W. B. Welch, 1884; O. C. Gray, 1885-87; D. W. C. Davenport, 1887, and James J. Boss, 1888.

In 1841 the General Grand High Priest of the United States issued a dispensation to the Far West Chapter at Fayetteville, in answer to a petition signed by Joel Haden, Samuel Harris, William Shannon, Onesimus Evans, Thomas J. Pollard, Richard P. Pulliam, Alfred A. Stirman, Thomas Bean and Abraham Whinnery. The following year a charter was granted by the Grand Chapter, which, after the organization of the Grand Chapter of Arkansas in 1852, was replaced by another. The first records of the chapter, which are now in existence, are dated April 21, 1854. W. L. Wilson was then High Priest, and J. L. Dickson, Secretary. The members numbered twenty. The High Priests since 1854 have been as follows: J. H. Stirman, 1855; W. R. Quarles, 1856; W. L. Wilson, 1857-60. (From October, 1860, to June, 1865, but one meeting was held.) James H. Van Hoose, 1865; D. B. Jobe, 1866; J. H. Van Hoose, 1867-69; Johnson Reynolds, 1869; J. H. Van Hoose, 1870-73; J. D. Henry, 1873; John Mayes, 1874; J. H. Van Hoose, 1875; O. C. Gray, 1876-79; J. H. Van Hoose, 1879-83; O. C. Gray, 1883; J. S. Hurlburt, 1884; T. J. Pollard, 1885-87; E. B. Wall, 1887; J. H. Van Hoose, 1888.

Baldwin Commandery No. 4, Knights Templar, was established in June, 1871, under a dispensation from W. S. Gardner, Grand Commander of the United States. There were then but two Sir Knights in Fayetteville–W. O. Lattimore and J. H. Van Hoose. The first meeting was held June 20, and several members of —– Commandery were present for several days, who assisted in the organization. The first officers elected and appointed were as follows: W. O. Lattimore, Eminent Commander; J. H. Van Hoose, Generalissimo; Abraham Allen, Captain-General; R. T. Lacey, Prelate; George A. Vaughan, Senior Warden; J. R. Pettigrew, Junior Warden; John Mayes, Treasurer; W. C. Roberts, Secretary; Samuel Bard, Standard Bearer; J. L. Lewis, Sword Bearer; B. F. Little, Warder; Henry Reed, Guard. In September of that year J. H. Van Hoose attended the Grand Encampment at Baltimore, and obtained a charter for Baldwin Commandery. The first regular election under the charter took place in January, 1872, when the officers above named were re-elected with the following exceptions: Dr. C. W. Deane was chosen Prelate; J. A. C. Blackburn, Recorder; B. F. Little, Standard Bearer; A. J. Gilbreath, Sword Bearer, and T. M. Gunter, Warder. Since then the Commanders have been elected as follows: George S. Allbright, 1874; O. C. Gray, 1876; J. H. Van Hoose, 1877; J. R. Pettigrew, 1878; George S. Allbright, 1879; D. W. C. Davenport, 1883; J. S. Hurlburt, 1885; J. R. Southworth, 1886.

Fayetteville Lodge No. 10,388, K. of L., dates its organization from June 17, 1887, when it was organized at Byrnes’ Hall at Fayetteville. The first officers elected were as follows: A. C. Hoag, M. W.; J. Tillman, W. F.; C. H. Putman, W. I.; W. Gakin, Almoner; S. H. Smith, F. S.; H. M. Rieff, Treas.; E. D. Erwin, Statistician; C. T. Carr, R. S.; John French, U. K.; A. Hodges, I. E.; John Zilla, O. E.; H. M. Rieff, Judge; D. Calvin, Judge Advocate. These, with twenty-five others, embrace the charter membership. The lodge is composed of forty-eight Knights at present. Their list of officers for the current year is F. E. Martin, M. W.; W. H. Merion, W. F.; D. Calvin, W. I.; John French, U. K.; E. Nix, Treas.; J. Nix, F. S.; W. French, R. S.; I. M. Baber, V. S.; T. F. King, Statistician; A. Hodges, I. E.; H. Broadie, O. E.; J. C. Van Hoose, Judge, and A. J. Boatright, Judge Advocate.

Fayetteville Lodge No. 28, A. O. U. W., began its existence December 29, 1887, when it was organized by J. C. Byers, D. G. M. W. of the Grand Jurisdiction of Texas. Capt. E. B. Harrison was elected P. M. W., together with the following officers: E. Z. Davies, M. W.; G. E. G. Penn, Foreman; A. C. Hoag, O.; J. R. Southworth, Recorder; T. J. Martin, F.; S. H. Blackmer, Receiver; J. A. Hassel, G.; J. W. Bishop, I. W., and J. B. Nix, O. W. These officers and twenty-two other members embrace the charter membership. The only change in officers is the succession of W. A. Watson as Recorder. The society have thirty-five “United Workmen” on their rolls at present, and the lodge is in good condition. They meet in the Odd Fellows’ Hall.

Frontier Lodge No. 1626, K. of H., at Fayetteville, became an independent society May 24, 1879, with twenty-six charter members. The Knights of Honor have a large number of officers, and their first election resulted as follows: J. L. Cravens, P. D.; O. C. Gray, D.; E. D. Harrison, V. D.; E. B. Moore, Asst. D.; J. J. Vaulx, Chaplain; D. W. C. Davenport, Reporter; C. J. Sumstag, F. R.; J. L. Duke, Guide; H. S. Gray, Guardian; Albert Byrnes, Sentinel; Dr. C. S. Gray, Med. Examiner; J. S. O’Brian, Treas.; W. F. Stirman, L. D. Jernigan and O. C. Gray, Trustees. Since their organization the Dictators of the order have been as follows: O. C. Gray, E. B. Harrison, E. D. Moore, H. S. Gray, C. M. Greene, Albert Byrnes, D. W. C. Davenport, Cuth P. Conrad, J. L. Cravens, C. S. Gray, Walter Cook, J. L. Cravens, J. N. Thurmond, the present occupant of that chair. Their present officers are S. H. West, V. D.; Oscar Richter, Asst. Dictator; C. M. Greene, Reporter; W. C. Cardwell, F. R.; W. R. McIlroy, Treas.; J. J. Vaulx, Chaplain; W. W. Harrison, Guide; S. H. Blackmer, Guardian; J. L. Knesal, Sentinel; A. S. Gregg, Med. Ex.; E. D. Harrison, W. E. Nix and O. C. Gray, Trustees. The society meets in the I. O. O. F. Hall, and have rented from that order since the organization of the K. of H. Lodge.

Mountain Lodge No. 15, I. O. O. F., Fayetteville, Ark., was organized August 12, 1856, by Past Grand England and A. Clark, who installed the members. This veteran lodge elected the following officers: J. F. Rieff, N. G.; H. Marshall, V. G.; C. S. Hauptman, Sec., and A. Outzen, Treas. A. Clark was the only other charter member. During the war the general disruption affected the lodge, and the charter was lost; but on November 14, 1866, the lodge was granted a duplicate of the original charter, and on May 1, 1869, they reorganized permanently on a dispensation from G. M. Peter Brugman. Their lodge, on the memorable Sunday night of April 18, 1880, was destroyed by a cyclone, and after a few years of meeting in various places, they leased their present lodge for a term of five years, December, 1885. Among their present members the following are Past Grands: C. S. Hauptman, E. B. Moore, E. B. Wall, D. W. C. Davenport, J. F. Johnson, J. F. Simonds, J. J. Vaulx, H. F. Reagan, J. N. Tillman, B. H. Stone and C. B. Paddock, and their present officers are C. S. Hauptman, N. G.; W. L. Stukey, V. G.; J. F. Simonds, Sec., and J. N. Tillman, Treas. The lodge has $2,000 in the stock of the Building Loan Association of Fayetteville, and at the expiration of their lease propose to erect a commodious hall. At present they rent their rooms to three other local orders.

Travis Post No. 19, G. A. R., Fayetteville, Ark., was organized August 23, 1884, and the members were mustered in by C. M. Barnes, Adjutant General of the Department of Arkansas. The first officers chosen were the following: E. B. Harrison, P. C.; T. J. Hunt, Sr. V. C.; J. B. Coffey, Jr. V. C.; J. B. Cox, Adj.; J. V. Quick, Surgeon; L. D. Middleton, Chaplain; Lafayette Gregg, Quartermaster; C. M. Greene, Officer of the Day; William Mayes, Officer of the Guard; C. F. Lang, S. M.; P. M. Stephens, Q. M. S., and J. H. Harmon, Guard. These, with the following, constitute the charter membership: G. W. M. Reed, T. J. Taylor, W. O’Brian, J. H. Flood, W. Mayes, J. Clancy, Phillip McGuire, B. F. Rice, I. W. Daniel, J. F. Wilson, W. F. Jones, J. Armstrong, H. K. Stephens, Joseph Duncan, T. Brooks, J. K. Pool, S. S. Mayes, George Carney, D. Devilbiss, W. C. Roberts, J. M. Brinson, S. Cox, W. J. York. T. J. Hunt, H. Harmon, J. Harmon, J. H. Johnson, R. H. Clayton, Elias Andrew and C. W. Wright. The lodge lapsed after a few meetings, and was reorganized April 4, 1887. Their hall is on the second floor of the Byrnes & Blackmer Planing-mill Block, where, among the post relics, is a flag-staff, captured from Gen. Caball by the men under Lieut. Brooks. The present officers are Thomas Brooks, P. C.; W. O’Brian, Sr. V. C.; J. W. Quick, Jr. V. C.; W. J. York, Surgeon; Elias Armstrong, Chaplain; R. S. Curry, Officer of the Day; J. R. Lee, Officer of the Guard; J. C. McClellan, Adj.; S. H. Blackmer, Q. M. S., and W. A Todd, S. M. They have thirty-nine members.

Criterion Lodge No. 36, Knights of Pythias, of Fayetteville, was organized June 16, 1887, at the I. O. O. F. Lodge hall. The order began with the following charter members: J. C. Purdy, E. B. Harrison, Chas. M. Greene, R. C. Choate, C. A. Mulholland, John P. Wood, W. C. Cardwell, John A. Reed, J. S. McDanield, H. F. McDanield, Thomas Shores, Thomas W. White, Joseph T. Morris, H. D. Perky, J. L. Bozarth, John T. Jarrell, E. B. Wall, C. Dale, George Reed, Jr., Lafayette Reed, Damon Clarke, Frank Van Horn, J. B. Shannon, John N. Tillman, W. R. McIlroy and J. H. Williams. Of these, Mr. Harrison, P. C.; Mr. Greene, C. C.; Mr. Reed, V. C.; Mr. Clarke, P.; Mr. McIlroy, M. of E.; Mr. Dale, M. of F.; Mr. Tillman, K. of R., and Mr. Reed, Jr. M. at A., constituted the first list of officers. From the organization until the present the Chancellors Commanding have been as follows: E. B. Harrison, C. M. Greene, John A. Reed and John N. Tillman. The lodge now has a membership of fifty-seven, over whom are the following officers: J. N. Tillman, C. C.; W. C. Cardwell, V. C.; T. A. Hancock, M. at A.; W. R. McIlroy, M. of Ex.; W. L. Benbrook, M. of F., and J. J. Vaulx, the Prelate. The society use the I. O. O. F. Hall.

Back to: Washington County, Arkansas History

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.