The collection contains the annual proceedings and communications of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Lodge of Arkansas.
Freemasonry for African Americans arrived in Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, in 1869 with Reverend Moses A. Dickinson, Grand Lecturer for the Grand Lodge of Missouri. The following three lodges were soon established, the J.M. Alexander Lodge with James Alexander as the first Worshipful Master; Jeptha Lodge in Little Rock with Augustus Richmond as first Worshipful Master and Widow’s Lodge in Ft. Smith. In 1873, these three lodges met in Little Rock to form the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arkansas. William H. Grey of Phillips County was elected the first Grand Master. Grey had served in the Arkansas State Legislature from 1868-1869. With the formation of the Grand Lodge, Alexander Lodge became Alexander Lodge Number 1, Jeptha Lodge became Richmond Lodge Number 2, and Widow’s Son became Widow’s Son Number 3. During the tenure of Moses A. Clark as Grand Master, the Masonic Temple was built at Fourth and State Streets in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The cornerstone was laid in 1902 and the building was under construction from 1903-1904. Once the hub of African American life in the city, the Temple had an auditorium where many well-known big band musicians performed, professional office space for doctors and lawyers, a gymnasium, print shop, and other businesses. On May 25, 1954, the third and fourth floors suffered a devastating fire. The renovations for the damage were completed in 1955. The building served as the headquarters for the Prince Hall Masons until the mid-1980s. However, due to major deterioration, the organization relocated their headquarters. The Temple at Fourth and State stands vacant today, but was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. This project was made possible with a grant from the Black History Commission of Arkansas.
Document, 8.5" x 11"
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Arkansas Jurisdiction, records, MS.000612
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Arkansas Jurisdiction records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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United States History