Excerpted from the manuscript entitled History of Porter Lodge
By John F. Taylor, P.M., Past Grand Chaplain

In May of 1842, somewhere in Washington Township, at the home of Adam S. Campbell, several men met informally co discuss the possibility of forming a Masonic Lodge in Porter County, Indiana.
This meeting was attended by Arthur Buell, Jonathon Griffin, Adam S. Campbell, William K. Talbot, John E. Harri , and James Luther.
Porter County itself was just over six years old, having been established, as such, by ace of the Indiana Legislature in January of 1836.
On May 23, 1842 the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the care of Indiana granted dispensation for a lodge to be called Porter Lodge U.D with John E. Harris as Worshipful Master, Adam S. Campbell as Senior Warden, James Luther as Treasurer and Secretary William K. Talbot.
One of the Brothers who was raised in Porter Lodge U.D. was George Buell, later co become the first Master of Porter Lodge No. 137.
On May 24, 1843, The Grand Lodge issued a charter and Potter Lodge U.D. became Masons Lodge No.49, even though it was reported to the Grand Lodge that the lodge, while under dispensation, was somewhat informal and irregular in several matters.
The Grand Master appointed Abner Bailey from LaPorte as a special agent (Deputy) to help improve the work and report back to the Grand Lodge.
Brother Bailey had presided over all of the "Working Tools" to the Lodge U.D. but was later to recommend to the Grand Lodge that Mason's Lodge No. 49 charter be revoked.
Masons Lodge No. 49 met on the Wednesday of each month on the full moon, or if the full moon was not on Wednesday they met every Wednesday preceding (These early Brothers had to pay close attention to the moon phases to know when to go to Lodge, and they, were faithful.
All we have to remember is Tuesday night and we still forget. The original dues were 25 cents per month, but it was decided it was too much and was subsequently lowered to 12 cents per month.
Preachers could join the Masonic Fraternity and only pay assessment to the Grand Lodge. In these early days, as well as the early days of Porter Lodge, the degrees had to be worked through.
In other words, the Lodge had to open on the E.A. then to FC then to M.M. as well as back down again. Many Grand Lodges still hold to this practice, but in Indiana we are able to open on any degree.
Candidates for the degrees also had to be voted on before being passed or raised, another practice which has become obsolete in Indiana.
Masons Lodge No. 49 minutes indicate that the meeting on March 14, 1844 a committee was appointed to visit two Brothers to obtain satisfaction as to their use of "ardent spirits".
On the Wednesday of the full moon in May of 1844, the Lodge met and initiated E. D. Wolf. This was to be the last meeting of Masons Lodge as their charter was revoked in May of 1844 by an Act of the Grand Lodge.
Perhaps somewhat discouraged but not completely dismayed, our early Brothers kept in touch. One can read between the lines in the various minute books that the blame for the fall of the Masonic Lodge fell squarely on the shoulders of the Brodher from LaPotte, Abner Bailey.
Various arguments had come up at meeting and it would appear that our Porter County Brothers didn't want a Brother from LaPorte telling them what to do. (Times don't really change much do they!)
The early Brothers must have decided to "try her again" and asked the Grand Lodge for a dispensation to once again operate a Lodge.
Dispensation was granted and June 25, 1850 the Lodge we now have sprung into existence as Masons Lodge U.D. The first officers were: WM. George Buell, S.W. Isaak Bowen, J.W. George Saylor.
The officers remained the same, and (apparently behaving themselves) were granted a charter dated May 27, 1852, to operate as Porter Lodge No. 137 F. &A.M. York Rite Masons.

John F. Taylor, P.M. Past Grand Chaplain


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