The following excerpts are taken from "Freemasonry in Utah, Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205 A. F. & A. M." by Sam H. Goodwin, October, 1934. The digitized copy is provided courtesy of the Grand Lodge of Utah.
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.
Unit designation and rank were added and did not appear in the original request or Goodwin's Booklet.
Click on a member's name to read a biography.
|John C. Robinson, M. M., K. T. (Captain 5th Inf., Co.B)
|Henry W. Tracy, M. M. (Merchant at Camp Floyd)
|Carter L. Stevenson, M. M. (Captain 5th Inf., Co.I)
|Marshall S. Howe, M. M., R. A., K. T. (Lt Colonel 2nd Drag)
|Daniel Ruggles, M. M. (Captain 5th Inf., Co.A)
|Henry R. Selden, M. M., R. A. (Captain 5th Inf. Co.F)
|James M. Hawes, M. M. (Captain 2nd Drag., Co.C)
|Henry Heth, M. M. (Captain 10th Inf. Co. E)
|William A. Webb, M. M. (1st Lt. 5th Inf.,Co.A)
|J. Hobbs, M. M. (Unknown*)
|W. L. Halsey, M. M., R. A. M., K. T. (Clrk to Gen. Johnston)
|David H. Brotherton, M. M. (1st Lt. 5th Inf., Co. B)
|Benjamin A. Wingate, M. M. (1st Lt. 5th Inf., Co.K)
|Samuel Archer, M. M. (1st Lt. 5th Inf., Co.I)
|William Kearny, M. M. (2nd Lt. 10th Inf., Co.F)
|Edmund C. Bainbridge, M. M. (2nd Lt. Light Battery B)
|Thomas J. Berry, M. M. (2nd Lt. 2nd Drag. Co. A)
|A. A. Sorbert, M. M. (Unknown*)
|F. J. Howe, M. M. (Unknown*)
|D. A. Deskins, M. M. (Unknown*)
|M. J. Smith, M. M. (Unknown*)
|Edward J. Brooks, M. M. (2nd Lt. 7th Inf., Co. D)
|S.H. Montgomery, M. M. (Military Store Keeper)
|*not found on any Muster Rolls, may be a civilian employee or volunteer
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."
Click on the Special Orders for a larger view.
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."
historian's note: General C.L. Stevenson passed away on August 15, 1888
Click image for a larger view
Under the date of March 27, 1861, the Secretary of Rocky Mountain Lodge - Richard Wilson Sargeant, Co. C, 4th Artillery wrote to the Grand Secretary, enclosing the annual returns to December 1860, and noting the name of the Post had been changed to Fort Crittenden. He also called attention to a vacancy in the Station of Senior Warden, which he "explained in the remarks indicated by an X opposite Brother Heth's name."
While we are missing much of the documentation needed to affirm membership in Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205, "Missouri Registry", we do have other sources to rely on to confirm a soldier stationed at Camp Floyd was a Master Mason. The following officers and men were at Camp Floyd during the period that Rocky Mountain Lodge was active. Because of the isolation of the camp and the Army's method of post communication, these men would surely have been aware of the Lodge's presence on the post. Their Bios are a little more thorough at this time to confirm their status as Master Masons. Hopefully in the future additional Lodge records will be confirmed, to be able to provide a more complete list of Rocky Mountain Lodge members.
Known Master Masons Stationed at or visiting Camp Floyd
Richard Thomas Ackley (Merchant at Camp Floyd)
Henry Brevoort Bristal (1st Lt. 5th Inf., Co.D)
R. Crawford PM
George W. Dost (Sgt 7th Inf., Co.B)Jesse Augustus Gove
(Captain, 5th Infantry, Co. I)
William Hamilton MD
M.L. Howe PM
Albert Sidney Johnston (Colonel Utah Expidition)
Francis Mead PM Secretary (Private, 4th Artillery, Light Battery B)
I. Rosenwald PM
Richard Wilson Sargeant Secretary
P.L. Strauss PMBryan Morel Thomas