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African-American Masonry in Fort Worth extends to 1889

Posted Feb. 11, 2016

regal woman in formal dress looks down

In honor of Black History Month, each week in February Fort Worth Flashback will take a look at the role of African-American residents and institutions in our city’s history.

This photo by Peter Freesten shows the 1983 installation ceremony of the Most Worshipful Grand Matron of the Heroines of Jericho at Prince Hall Masonic Mosque.

Fort Worth has had an African-American Masonic lodge since at least 1889. Prince Hall (1735-1807) founded the African-American branch of Masonry in Boston in 1784.

By 1907 Fort Worth had four African-American local lodges with a total membership of 200. That same year, Fort Worth’s Prince Hall lodge members laid the cornerstone for a new lodge hall at Ninth and Jones streets, where the Intermodal Transportation Center is today. The new hall also was the statewide fraternal organization’s grand lodge hall and hosted state conventions.

In 1924, the local lodge built a new grand lodge on East First Street. The building was said to be the “largest building of its kind in the United States … belonging to Negroes.” It could accommodate 3,000 delegates at state conventions. Count Basie and Duke Ellington performed there.

The East First Street location was torn down in 1986, replaced by a new hall on Martin Luther King Freeway.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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Business Model Canvas-Your Tool for Launching A Business in 2020: 10 a.m. Jan. 21, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas 76104.
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Canceled Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City COuncil COnference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled Central City Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled AllianceAirport Authority, Inc.: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled Lone Star Local Government Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Fort Worth Public Improvement District No. 1 Advisory Board Meeting: 9 a.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Suite 100, 777 Taylor St.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority D/B/A MedStar Mobile Healthcare Board of Directors Meeting: 10 a.m. Jan. 22, 2020; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Jan. 22, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.
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City of Fort Worth Art Commission Special Called Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Fort Worth Botanic Garden Center, Iris Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Family Game Night at Southwest Community Center: 6 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Sendera Ranch Intersection Improvements Project Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Sendera Ranch Elementary School, 1216 Diamondback Lane.

Emergency Physicians Advisory Board : 12:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Lake Arlington Lift Station Force Main Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; Tarrant County College Opportunity Center, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Municipal Court Hearing: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020; Municipal Court, Court No. 9, 3741 Southwest Loop 820.
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Federal Contracting and Certification Workshop: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Presentations and Pitches Bootcamp: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Opening Doors to Homeownership: 10 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Sweet Home Baptist Church, 5225 Ramey Ave.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Fire Station Community Center: 11 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb.

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