The following excerpts are taken from "Freemasonry in Utah, Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205 A.F.&A.M." by Sam H. Goodwin, Grand Secretary, October, 1934. Published by the Grand Lodge of Utah. Grammar and spelling have been left intact.
The First troops belonging to Johnston's Army arrived at what would be called Camp Floyd, on the 8th of July 1858. Conditions at Camp Floyd being what they were during the first winter 1858-1859, it was quite a natural thing that members of the craft among the officers and soldiers should desire to add to the other means of diversion the association and fellowship of the Lodge room.
No records are at hand to indicate at what time correspondence was taken up with the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri by the Camp Floyd Brethren, but it could not have been later than in the early, or middle part of that first winter, to allow time for the necessary letters to pass back and forth in those days, before even the pony express was in operation, and for the Grand Master to investigate the matter, for the dispensation authorizing the organization of Rocky Mountain Lodge before the date of March 6, 1859. But, although we do not know when this matter was taken up by the petitioners, or anything about the preliminary steps, we do have a copy of the petition, without date strangely enough, forwarded to Grand Master Samuel H. Saunders, which is in language as follows:
Camp Floyd, Utah Ty.
To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the state of Missouri, the petitioners humbly show that they are Ancient, Free, and Accepted Master Masons. Having the prosperity of the Fraternity at heart they are willing to exert their best endeavors to promote and diffuse the January principles of Masonry.
For the convenience of their respective dwellings and for other good reasons, they are desirous of forming a new Lodge in Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, to be named Rocky Mountain Lodge. In consequence of this desire and for the good of the Craft, they pray for charter, or warrant to empower them to assemble as a legal Lodge to discharge the duties of masonry in the several degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason in a regular and ancient form of the Fraternity and the laws and regulations of the Grand Lodge. They have nominated and to recommend Brother John C. Robinson, U.S.A. to be the first Master, Brother Henry W. Tracy the first Senior Warden and Brother Carter L. Stevenson, U.S.A. to be the first Junior Warden of said Lodge; that, if the prayer of the petition [ers] should be granted, they promise a strict conformity to all the constitutional laws, rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge.
|John C. Robinson, M. M., K. T.||Henry W. Tracy, M. M.|
|C. L. Stevenson, M. M.||M. S. Howe, M. M., R. A., K. T.|
|Daniel Ruggles, M. M.||H. R. Selden, M. M., R. A.|
|J. M. Hawes, M. M.||Henry Heth, M. M.|
|W. A. Webb, M. M.||J. Hobbs, M. M.|
|W. L. Halsey, M. M., R. A. M., K. T.||C. H. Brotherton, M. M.|
|Benjamin Wingate, M. M.||Samuel Archer, M. M.|
|William Kearny, M. M.||E. C. Bainbridge, M. M.|
|Thomas J. Berry, M. M.||A. A. Sorbert, M. M.|
|F. J. Howe, M. M.||D. A. Deskins, M. M.|
|M. J. Smith, M. M.||Edw. J. Brooks, M. M.|
|S.H. Montgomery, M. M.|
This copy of the petition of our Camp Floyd Brethren is taken from an article on "Missouri Masonry in Utah," by Past Grand Master Ray V. Denslow and published in the Missouri Grand Lodge Bulletin of April 1925 of which Brother Denslow was then editor.
"Immediately upon receipt of this application the Grand Master issued to brother John C. Robinson, Henry W. Tracy, C. L. Stevenson, M. S. Howe, Daniel Ruggles, W. L. Halsey, D. H. Brotherton, Benj. Wingate, William Kearny, a Dispensation authorizing them to carry on the work of a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons."
The location was fixed at Camp Floyd, in Utah territory, and John C Robinson was named as Master; Henry W Tracy is Senior Warden and Carter Stephenson as Junior Warden; the Dispensation issued in the city of St. Louis on March 6, 1859; attested by Anthony O'Sullivan, then the Grand Secretary. A note on the margin of the dispensation states:
"This Dispensation is made returnable on the fourth Monday of May 1860, by order of the Grand Master. A. O'Sullivan, Grand Secretary."
It would be of interest too, could we know and what building a new Lodge held its initial meeting, and something concerning the furniture of the Lodge and other equipment, which at first must have been largely improvised. In due time the brethren provided themselves with a Lodge room - the first Masonic building to be erected in Utah. Concerning this structure we have some interesting details and a sketch of it, drawn from memory nearly 40 years later, by one who was made a Mason in Rocky Mountain Lodge U. D., in the fall of 1859.
General B. M. Thomas, of Dalton, Georgia, a young Lieutenant in General Johnston's army at Camp Floyd, in correspondence with our late Grand Secretary, Brother Diehl, under date of August 29, 1897, furnished the following facts:
"Our Lodge room was built of adobe brick... We had men detailed to saw timber into plank, in the hills nearby. The saws worked vertically with men above and below the log to alternately pull and push the saw. Our building's roof were roofed with those planks and covered with dirt. We had no floor, yet in that room was generated the noble brotherly influences which softened the horrors of war throughout the length and breadth of our country. The windows of our Lodge room where on the north and south sides and were very high up the walls-more for ventilation and light. I do not think we ever used room during the day."
In another letter dated September 29, 1897, General Thomas recurs to the subject of this building:
"I delayed answer [to Brother Diehl's letter] because I wanted to find General C.L. Stevenson [the first Junior Warden of Rocky Mountain Lodge]. He was my Captain the old service and was one of the Wardens of our Lodge. I wanted to find out if his recollection coincided with my own. I have been unable to find him and therefore send you the enclosed sketch which I'm and satisfied is practically correct. The dimensions were about 60 x 30 feet, walls of Adobe, covered with plank which was sawed by hand in the hill country in enclosing Valley."