Make your own free website on

Freemasonry in Florida


The first three lodges in the State of Florida were established by Bro. Charles F. Dailey. A man of unusual ability of whom we shall speak more hereafter. Solomon Lodge No. 50, St. John's Lodge No.51, and Mount Mariah Lodge No.52, were organized by Bro. Dailey and chartered by Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, March 2,1867, George L. Berry, M.W.G.M. On January 17, 1868, through the influence of Bro. Dailey, Harmony Lodge No.53, now No.1, Prince Hall Lodge No.54, now No.2, and Island City Lodge No.55, now No.3, were all chartered by the same authority. A general assembly of the Craft was called to meet June 17, 1870, in the city of Jacksonville, for the purpose of organizing a Grand Lodge of Masons for the State. The convention was presided over by R W. Bro. Charles F. Dailey, Deputy Grand Master for the Southern Jurisdiction, under Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, with W. Bro. Charles H. Pierce as Grand Secretary. The convention remained in session two days. A code of laws for the jurisdiction was adopted, and the lodges were consolidated, renumbered and chartered by the Grand Lodge of Florida. The following Grand officers were elected for the ensuing year. Harry H. Thompson, G.M.; John H. Robinson, D.G.M.; Robert Smith, G.S.W.; James Roberts, G.J.W.; Emanuel Fortune, G. Treasurer; F.H. Dunkins, G. Secretary; Rev. Charles H. Pierce, G. Chaplin; since which time the Grand Lodge has held its regular communications, chartered two hundred and twenty-five subordinates Lodges, and has a membership of 9,564.( At the time this piece was written. Origin unknown by this writer.) Bro. Charles F. Dailey 33° was born in St. Thomas West Indies, in 1820, and in 1840 he was in the fruit trade between Florida and Europe. He was the leading colored Mason in that part of the South at the time, and he accepted the Deputy Grand Mastership under Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1865. Brother Dailey received his first three degrees in a Lodge in Liverpool, England, and the Scottish Rite in Glasgow, Scotland and was knighted at Greenock, Scotland. He returned to his native home, St. Thomas, where he took membership under the Grand Orient of France.


"TO THE MASONIC FRATERNITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALL THE WORLD: Friday May 3, 1901, a great fire originated in the northwestern part of the city and in a mattress factory conducted by whites. This factory was in a colored community. The wind was high and the houses dry, and a great configuration swept in its path more than 150 solid blocks or more than two thousands acres, leaving homeless 20,000 people and destroying nearly $25,000,000 worth of property. Whereas there is hardly an inhabitant of the great metropolis of the State of Florida who has not lost his home , business or employment, and in many cases all, and among the victims being those who would under other circumstances be the first to contribute to the relief of the distressed; and whereas, being unable to help ourselves, and whereas, seven Lodges, have been made homeless, and our great Temple destroyed, therefore we issue this appeal to the Masonic fraternity wherever dispersed around the globe. Send anything. Not only were houses burned, but their contents. Even women and children did not escape the destructive flames. Send provisions, shoes, wearing apparel, money - anything not perishable.

"All contributions should be addressed to Rev. John H. Dickerson, G.M., 1332 W. Adams Street, Jacksonville, Fla. Prof. John G. Riley, D.G.M.; Rev. R.B. Brooks, G.S.W.; Hon. John Jackson, G.J.W.; A.J. Junius, G. Treasurer; Dr. D.W. Gillislee, G. Chaplin; Rev. R.E. Robinson, G. Lecturer. Attest: E.I. Alexander, G. Secretary, 1520 Clay Street, Jacksonville, Fla."



On August 12, 1881, the first Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was organized by the Grand Chapter of the District of Columbia. The subordinate Chapters at Jacksonville, Key West, Palatka and Ocala paid dues to the Grand Chapter of the District of Columbia for a release in order that they might establish a Grand Chapter in their own State.

The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Florida was organized August 29th, A.D. 1898, with the following officers:

Reuben S, Mitchell 33°, Grand High Priest

Ellias Sellers, Deputy Grand High Priest

L.H. Littles, Grand King

Benjamin Dilworth, Grand Scribe

Joseph P. Williams, Grand Secretary


Reuben S. Mitchell 33°, Grand High Priest

James R. Shackleford, Deputy Grand High Priest

H.B. Jordan, Grand King

Wm. A. Glover, Grand Scribe

Benjamin Dilworth, Grand Treasurer

Michael  J. Preston, Grand Secretary

The Grand Officers for the Year of 2007

Carl Finnerson 33° KYCH, Most Excellent Grand High Priest

Henry Parker 33°, Rt. Ex. Deputy Grand High Priest

Lewis Thurston 32°, Rt. Ex. Grand King

Enoch Mobley 32°, Rt. Ex. Grand Scribe

Arthur C. Thompson  33°KYCH ,RT. Ex.  Grand Treasurer

Thomas D. Dargan Jr. 33°KYCH , Rt. Ex. Grand Secretary

Rev. Elvin C. Parker 33°, Rt. Ex. Chaplin

Lynwood Loper 32°, Rt. Ex. G.C.C.F.C

Click here for more light on the The Royal Arch Masonry


The first three Commentaries of Knights Templars were constituted and established by the Grand Commandery of the District of Columbia in 1883. They were located in Key West, Jacksonville and Ocala.

A convention held at Jacksonville August 28, 1898, succeeded in organizing a Grand Commandery for the State with the following officers:

Reuben S. Mitchell 33°, Rt.Em. Grand Commander

Benjamin Dilworth, Vice Em. Grand Commander

Lucius H. Littles, Em. Grand Generalissimo

Richard Wood, Em. Gr. Capt. General

Wm. McQueen, Em. Gr. Treasurer

Michael J. Preston, Em. Grand Recorder


Reuben S. Mitchell 33°, Rt. Em. Grand Commander

Lucius H. Littles, Very  Em. Grand Commander

Daniel R. Baxter, Em. Grand Generalissimo

Richard Wood, Em. Grand. Capt. General

Wm. McQueen, Em. Grand Treasurer

Michael J. Preston, Em. Grand Recorder



Arthur J. Mincey 33° KYCH , Rt. Em. Grand Commander

Marvin Richardson 33° KYCH , Very Em. Deputy  Grand Commander

Henry Puyol 33° KYCH , Em. Grand Generalissimo

Joseph Ellis 33° KYCH , Em. Grand Prelate

Cleveland Morley 33°, Em. Grand Capt. General

 Em. Grand  Senior Warden

Chauncey Edgecombe 33°, Em. Grand Standard  Bearer

C. James, Em. Sword Bearer

Carl L. Adams Sr.33°, Em. Grand Treasurer

Joseph E. Lewis 33° KYCH , Em. Grand Recorder

Robert J. Godfrey 33° KYCH, Em. Grand CCFC

Click here for more light on Knight Templars Grand Commandery.

Return to Homepage