Seal of the Grand Lodge of Kansas
Adopted when the Grand Lodge was formed in 1856.
Nineteenth Century Americans strongly believed in progress and community
improvement through voluntary associations. The Bogus Legislature
included such groups in their plan for Kansas Territory:
- Tecumseh Lyceum and Library Association [House Journal
- One historian wrote that "the library was almost the first
yearning of the Kansas immigrant." [Blackmar, History, Vol. 1,
846] The Tecumseh Lyceum followed the pattern of such
organizations, with members lending books to one another.
- Wyandotte Lyceum [Council Journal, 103]
- The "Wyandot
Lyceum and Library Association" was incorporated by Wyandotte tribal
leader William Walker and twelve others as a center of culture. Their
objectives were the "mutual improvement of its members in oral discussion
and literature, and the establishment of a permanent library."
[McGuinn, KCKS Public School System]
- Historical and Philosophical Society of Kansas [House Journal,
- A predecessor to the Kansas State Historical Society, this was the first
incorporated society in Kansas. Its purpose was:
"The collection and preservation of a library, mineralogical and geological specimens,
historical matter relating to the history of the territory, Indian curiosities and antiquities,
and other matters connected with and calculated to illustrate and perpetuate the history
and settlement of Kansas."
The incorporators were to organize within a year, but the time was later
extended. Legislators D.A.N. Grover, John Donaldson, David Lykins and
Thomas Johnson were joined by other pro-slavery men as incorporators with
William Walker as chairman. [Blackmar, History, Vol. 1,
- Leavenworth Improvement Association [Council Journal,
- A bill to incorporate this group was introduced by legislator
and Leavenworth newspaper editor Lucien Eastin, and referred to the
Council committee on corporations and county organizations. But
apparently, no further action was taken.
- Leavenworth Lodge Ancient Free & Accepted Masons [House
- Many territory leaders on both the free-state and pro-
slavery sides were masons. By April 1855 three predominantly pro-slavery
Kansas lodges were already operating under Missouri dispensation:
Leavenworth Lodge, Smithfield Lodge in Doniphan County and Grove
Lodge at Wyandotte. In that month, all three applied for Missouri charters.
The records of Smithfield Lodge were in good order and a charter was
issued to the lodge whose members included legislator W. P. Richardson, its
treasurer. Irregularities in the Grove records were quickly corrected and
Master William Walker accepted a charter for the lodge. Noted irregularities
in the Leavenworth lodge were also corrected and a charter was issued to
legislator R.R. Rees, Master and legislator Archibald Payne, Senior Warden.
Legislator Lucien Eastin was also a member. [Graybill, Kansas
The bill to charter the Leavenworth Lodge as a Kansas institution was
introduced by Archibald Payne, and was the first step toward organizing the
Grand Lodge of Kansas, formed by the three formally Missouri chartered
lodges on March 17, 1856. Four more lodges were added in July 1856, in
Kickapoo, Washington, Atchison and Lawrence. By 1910, there were 390
chartered lodges in Kansas. [Blackmar, History, Vol.1, 687]