St. Louis Missouri Lodge #1

St. Louis Freemasons Connection to Meriwether Lewis

meriwether_lewisAlthough the first Missouri Lodge was not founded till 1808, the history of the St. Louis Freemasons actually goes all the way back to Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1796, when Lt. Meriwether Lewis was recommended to become a member of the local Lodge there.

This October is the 200th anniversary of the death of Lewis, and his passing will finally be commemorated in the first national memorial service for him. Lewis’ part in the famous Corps of Discovery may even have been a result of his Masonic connection. When the first St. Louis Masonic Lodge, Lodge 111, was chartered in 1808, Lewis was its first Master. He is also credited with the induction of William Clark, his partner in the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase Territory. Clark himself later helped found Missouri Lodge 12.

Although the circumstances of Lewis’ death at age 35 remain shrouded in mystery, it is known that he had his Masonic apron in his pocket at the time of his death. As Lewis’ death is commemorated this October in Tennessee (his grave is located in the Natchez Trace Parkway), St. Louis Freemasons may wish to recall the part he played in Missouri Lodge history.

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