Freemasonry is perhaps the oldest fraternity in the world, embracing men of all monotheistic faiths who strive to become better men through instruction, fellowship, and charitable community service. Masonry as we know it today arose in Scotland and England, where in 1717 the Grand Lodge of England was formally established. Since that time, Grand Lodges have been established around
the world with jurisdiction over local Lodges in their respective countries. Masonry in the United States began with the Founding Fathers and many ordinary citizens. Famous American Masons include George Washington, Ben Franklin, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, Will Rogers, Harry Truman, Douglas MacArthur, Audie Murphy, Gerald Ford, Danny Thomas, John Wayne,
Leonardo Di Caprio, Brad Paisley, Cy Young, Shaquille O’Neal, John Elway, John Glenn, and Buzz Aldrin.
Freemasonry in Texas began with six Masons who met under an oak tree near Brazoria in 1835 and petitioned the Grand Lodge of Louisiana for a dispensation to form and open a Lodge. A dispensation was granted and a charter was issued for the first Lodge in Texas, Holland Lodge No. 1. This charter was brought on horseback to Anson Jones just before the battle of San Jacinto. Since then,
Masonry has become an integral part of Texas history, with strong support for statewide free public education and world-renowned charitable treatment for children through Shriner’s Hospitals and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Today there are over 90,000 Masons in Texas and more than 900 Lodges. Famous Texas Masons include Sam Houston, Anson Jones, Stephen F. Austin, Lorenzo de
Zavala, William B. Travis, Mirabeau B. Lamar, and Jose Navarro.
James A. Smith Masonic Lodge No. 395 was chartered in 1874 and was named in honor of the Reverend James A. Smith, who came to Texas in 1846 and settled in the Peters Colony area of Dallas County just north of the present location of S.M.U. Rev. Smith was the first minister to establish a Methodist Church in Dallas County, and he became very involved in many Dallas area civic activities
including being appointed the president of the first annual Dallas County Fair, now the State Fair of Texas. Rev. Smith became a Master Mason in Tannehill Lodge No. 52 in 1851. Rev. Smith died in 1863. His son William Smith was the first Worshipful Master of James A. Smith Lodge, which was first located in Mound Prairie, Texas (the area around Midway Road and Northwest Highway today). The Lodge moved around 1898 to the Odd Fellows building in Farmers Branch at the corner of Old Denton Road and Valley View Lane. In 1957, the Lodge moved to its present location at 12823 Demetra Drive in Farmers Branch. James A. Smith Lodge has been very active in the community of many years, and a number of community leaders have been Lodge members including Milburn Gravley, Jack Blanton, W. H. Blanton, R. J. McInnish, Eugene Biggerstaff, Abe Godfrey, Jesse Woody, H. D. Myers, and Dave Blair.
One of James A. Smith Lodge’s key Masonic goals is to help make good men better men through our Degree work, our meetings and fellowship, and our community service. Our current areas of community service include the following.
Fantastic Teeth: we distribute oral hygiene kits to first graders at 3 elementary schools.
Community Builder Award: each year we give this Grand Lodge Award to a special citizen who does outstanding work for others and is not a Mason.
Lamar Awards: every year we give these Grand Lodge Awards to outstanding public school teachers and scholarships to deserving graduating seniors.
Feed My Starving Children: we send a team of volunteers to this Dallas area community event to pack mobile meals to distribute to starving children in Haiti, Africa, and Mexico.Texas
Scottish Rite Hospital for Children: we participate in fund raisers for the Scottish Rite Hospital to benefit children with orthopedic conditions and learning disabilities.
Masonic Widows: we distribute Christmas baskets of food and other items to the widows of our Masonic brothers.
Masonic Family Services: we make financial contributions to this state-wide Masonic organization that provides funds for children’s health including physical exams, autism evaluations, and dental care.
Rainbow Girls: we support this organization of young women through fund raising, and we provide them with meeting space in our Lodge building. Would you like to have more information about James A. Smith Masonic Lodge and Masonry?
Please contact our Secretary Rusty Bjorkman through the following:
Mailing address: 12823 Demetra Drive, Farmers Branch, Texas 75234
Telephone: 1 (254) 289-2755 Website: www.jas395.org