Our History

History of Grapevine Lodge #288


Financed by Masonic lodge members at a cost of $5,780.96 in 1916, this two-story Masonic temple features a meeting hall upstairs, commercial business downstairs, and three major bays divided by full height brick piers and patterned brickwork frieze. Both following articles are reproductions from the Grapevine History Book located in the City of Grapevine Library and the Grapevine Historical Society.






Grapevine Lodge was set to work, U.D., on March 3, A. D. 1866, by F.M. Wiginton, Past D.D.G.M., by virtue of dispensation issued by M.W. Robert M. Elgin, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas.


  • J. W. Dunn, Worshipful Master
  • C. L. Warren, Senior Warden
  • James Cate, Junior Warden
  • J. G. Cummings, Treasurer
  • P. D. Hudgins, Secretary
  • Charles Baker, Senior Deacon
  • W. L. Jones, Junior Deacon
  • I. P. S. Dunn, Tiler


  • C. Dunn
  • Jeff Estill
  • A. G. Cummings
  • J. T. Boals
  • John Armstrong
  • A. J. Woodson

The Lodge continued to work under dispensation until the meeting of the Grand Lodge at Houston in June, 1866, when a charter was issued to Grapevine Lodge No. 288, dated June 16th, 1866, with J.W. Dunn, W.M.; C.L. Owen, S.W.; James Cate, J.W.. The Lodge was set to work under charter by W.P. Burts, Past Master of Fort Worth Lodge No. 148, on July 14th, 1866.

Officers installed: J.W. Dunn, W.M.; C.L. Owen, S.W.; James Cate, J.W.; J.G. Cummings, Treas.; P.D. Hudgins, Sec.; Charles Baker, S.D.; W.L. Jones, J.D.; I.P.S. Dunn, Tiler.

At this time our mail facilities were very poor, in fact we had no post office at Grapevine, our nearest being Fort Worth twenty miles away; our nearest railroad 180 miles. Brother Joseph W. Dunn, our first Worshipful Master, travelled to Houston a distance of more than 250 miles to carry our records to the Grand Lodge in order to obtain a charter. The first night after arriving at Houston a sneak entered his room and stole all his money together with the Grand Lodge Dues of Grapevine Lodge and Denton Lodge no. 201. Upon reporting the loss to the Grand Lodge a resolution was passed remitting the Grand Lodge dues of Grapevine and Denton Lodges. (See P.P. 1866, page 42.)

Our first Worshipful Master, Brother Joseph W. Dunn was bom November 5th, 1826, A.D., in the state of Alabama, came to Texas with his father, John C. Dunn, about the year 1845, settled in Harrison County near Marshall and made a Mason in Concord Lodge No. 77. He was a very expert workman, making with his own hands all Lodge furniture, Jewels and working tools and even the seal of the Lodge he made from a bois d’arc block. The impress was made by striking the block or seal a blow with a hammer or screwing it in a vise. The altar is still used by this Lodge. Mr. Dunn demitted in February, 1868, moved to Corpus Christi where he died Dec 28,1912.

The Lodge first met in an old dilapidated house about 16 x 24 feet which stood about one mile north of the present town of Grapevine. This building was used only a short time, when Brother J.G. Cummings fitted up on old two story log building, the first story of which was used as a store house while the Lodge met in the second story. The first thought of the Lodge therefore seems to have been to build a school house.

At the stated meeting in June, 1868, a committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions among the brethren to build a Masonic Hall and school house. Brother E.N. Hudgins donated five (5) acres of land about one quarter mile southeast of the businesses of the Village of Grapevine for the building and Campus. The pine lumber was hauled from the pine mills of East Texas, a distance of 150 miles with ox-teams, the framing timbers were felled, hewn, and prepared in the oak forest near Grapevine.

Notwithstanding the many difficulties and hardships with which they met, during the first part of the year 1869 the building was commenced and by the first of September a house 16 x 50 feet in size, two stories high was completed.

A school was then organized known as the Grapevine Masonic Institute and a board of trustees was elected by the Lodge as follows: I.P.S. Dunn, P.D. Hudgins, J.M. Simson, Jeff Estill, and William Giddens. School opened the first Monday in September, 1869, with Colonel W.P. Bishop as principal and a full corp of assistants. Orphan children of Master Masons being admitted tuition free. Colonel Bishop served as principal from 1869 to 1872 and again from 1879 to 1880.

It is recorded in the minutes that the trustees of whom E.M. Jenkins was president, on April 13,1872, submitted the question of employing a principal and assistant for the following scholastic year and requested the Lodge to ratify the action of the board in “unanimously electing W. P. Bishop ‘the present incumbent’, as principal, and Reverend Wilber Carter as Associate.” The action was adopted by the Lodge. Other assistants during the tenure of Colonel Bishop were Miss Ella Thomas, Miss Emma Day’ and Miss Amanda Beard.

The minutes of the Lodge on July 12, 1879, refer to an address by W. P. Bishop as “an impressive and instructive address for which he received a vote of thanks.” W.F. Mister was an assistant at that time.

During the fourth term of Colonel Bishop, namely, on June 14,1872, P.D. Hudgins proposed to change the time of opening of school from the first Monday in September to the first Monday in November. There was a basis of reason in the proposal, but it did not carry.

The curriculum of the school during the tenure of Colonel Bishop consisted of the following subjects: Higher arithmetic, spelling, United States History, natural philosophy, physiology and the laws of health, algebra, Latin, chemistry, logic, and others.

In April, 1871, the legislature of Texas passed an act incorporating Grapevine Lodge 9288 A.F. & A.M. This created the Lodge and their successors and future associates a body politic capable of acquiring, building, selling, and conveying property the value of which was not to exceed $25,000.00. The act further provided the Grapevine Lodge might establish and manage institutions of learning in the usual manner of conducting colleges and seminaries, thus recognizing legally the authority of the Lodge to operate Grapevine Masonic Institute.

On May 19, 1871, the Legislature passed an act prohibiting the sale of any intoxicating or spirituous liquors within two miles of Grapevine Masonic Institute. This act prescribed as a penalty for its violation a fine of not less than ten dollars and not more than one hundred dollars for each offense. The act was passed upon the condition that a school organization in said Grapevine Masonic Institute should be maintained during the accustomed scholastic months of each year.

Colonel Bishop was succeeded in the Grapevine Masonic Institute by J.S. Chapman. He served from 1873 to 1875. G.W. Riley was his assistance during his first term.

The minutes of the Lodge Board of August 9, 1875, show that G.W. Riley was selected to assist in the school, using the upper room. In a report to the Lodge by Joel A. Foster and L.A. Cannon, acting for the Trustees, on August 14,1875, the reelection of J.S. Chapman as principal for the scholastic year commencing the first Monday in September, 1875, is recorded together with certain other provisions which set forth some interesting facts as to the policy of the school and its curriculum. The object was to maintain a school worthy of Grapevine Community. It was decided to reduce the tuition, beginning September 1, 1875, to one and a half to three dollars a month per student. The minutes of the Lodge show the subjects to be studied at the School.

The Minutes show that February 12, and May 13, 1876, the approval of a proposal to erect an additional building at the east end of the building then in use. This was done and on August 12, 1876, the trustees reported to the Lodge that they had employed Dr. M.B. Franklin as Principal and that the eighth annual session would commence on the first Monday of September, 1876. F.M. Gilbert was president of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Franklin was to select the teachers subject to the approval of the board for all the subjects except music.

The Board was to select the music teacher. W.F. Mister became an assistant teacher under Dr. Franklin. And it was necessary to use the anteroom of the Lodge as a recitation room. Other members of the Faculty were Mrs. Annie R. Franklin, Mr. Bolton, and Mrs Keene as music teacher. There were about 80 pupils in attendance. Dr. Franklin continued as principal until the summer of 1879 when Colonel Bishop returned for one year. W.F. Mister then became principal and served two years, 1880 – 1882.

The school board for the year 1881 and 1882 was composed of J.B. Andrews, A.M. Quayle, P.D. Hudgins, and Dr. W.E.M. Dorris. A new board was elected in June, 1882, composed of J.E.M. Yates, E.J. Libscomb, R.B. Merrill, and A.M. Quayle. Assisting W.F. Mister were Miss Kate Huffman whom he afterwards married, and Miss Georgia Lewis.

On August 12,1882 the employment of J.P. Vaughn as principal and Charles E. Stewart and Miss Sue Pearson was announced by the board and ratified by the Lodge. Professor Vaughn served three years when he was succeeded by T.P. Murrey on June 13, 1885. Miss Molly Lyon was the music teacher. At this time the board was composed of Doctor W.E. Dorris, E. J. Libscomb, A.M. Quayle and J.E.M. Yates.

During the spring of 1886, Zeb Jenkins reported to the Lodge that he had sold off twenty seven of the old seats belonging to the school room. These had been used when the old split log benches were discarded about 1870.

On March 13, 1886 Zeb Jenkins & J.E.M. Yates were appointed to sell the school and lodge buildings. The Lodge met in the building until March 21, 1888.

Grapevine Masonic Institute was a remarkable example of Masonic schools in Texas. Here the Lodge erected the school building entirely by its own efforts. The Lodge governed the school through a board of trustees, at first seven in number, and later five. These trustees were responsible to the Lodge for all that they did in the exercise of general powers of operating the school. The Lodge possessed final power in all school matters.  The school was thus actually supervised by the Lodge. The school existed successfully from 1869 to 1886. Grapevine Masonic Institute was incorporated and given legal sanction under the laws of Texas. A prohibition law was enacted by virtue of the presence of this school. The principals were well educated and zealous Masons. Even the anteroom itself was used for a school.

The school was operated upon a tuition basis except as to the children of deceased Masons.  The public school apportionment was received and to this extent the school was public. It was nonsectarian and open to both sexes.  The curriculum was extensive in view of the limitations of equipment and the methods of the day. Grapevine Masonic Institute was an outstanding reality, showing the harmony of Masonry and Education.


LODGE HOMES 1888 and 1916

Building at Main and Worth Streets Demolished in  916
New building Financing Cornerstone laid by Sam P. Codhran
Complete financial reports.

After severing its connection with the school, Grapevine Lodge sold the property in 1888 and purchased a lot on the corner of Main, and Worth Streets where there was erected a brick building thirty by sixty feet in size. This was the home of the Lodge until 1916 when it was razed and the present building erected.

During the period of the construction of the new building the meetings were held in an adjacent building owned by Brother Zeb Jenkins  who was a member of the committee appointed by the Lodge on August 12, 1916, to get estimates fof cost of a new building and recommend plans for financing same. Other members of this committee were M.A. Buchanan, Earl Yates, Ford Seale, John S. Estill, J.C. Koonce, and W.K. Stewart.

The report of this committee was filed April 14, 1917, and recounts the story of the erection of the building in which the Lodge held its first meeting February 23, 1917. The committee report is partially set forth below, as follows:

Open discussion was invited by the committee and many propositions and suggestions were offered. Some proposed to borrow the money outright and spend some $5,000.00 or $6,000.00 on a mew building. The proposed building was to cover the entire lot owned by the Lodge (50 x 100 feet). This seemed to be too much for the Lodge with only seventy members to carry. It was suggested to issue bonds by in small denominations be be carried without interest by the members for about $5,000.00 and borrow from local banks the remainder, if any was needed. This did not seem to take well with the members and aproposition was made to raise $5,000.00 by forty members of the Lodge donating the Lodge $25.00 and lending it $100.00 each, the $100.00 to be a binding obligation of the Lodge and to draw interest at the rate of of 5% per annum to be retired at the pleasure of the Lodge. Something like $2,000.00 was raised on this proposition but this did not seem to be exactly what was wanted.

It was then decided for the members to carry the bulk of the debt of the Lodge in the form of a binding obligation of the Lodge to draw interest at the rate of 5% per annum, interest payable annually and to be retired at the pleasure of the Lodge and the following were appointed as a soliciting Committee: Zeb Jenkins, J.C. Koonce, M.A. Buchanan, John S. Estill, Earl Yates, and Ford Seale.

The soliciting committee met with success and encouragement and on September 9th, 1916, the following members were appointed as the building committee Zeb Jenkins, J.C. Koonce, M.A. Buchanan, John S. Estill, Earl Yates, and Ford Seale.

September 14th, 1916, the building committee reported that after advertising and soliciting bids for the new building the following were received:

Mr. C.C. Estill, Grapevine, Texas………………………$ 5,525.00
Trinity Construction Co……………………………………….$ 5,990.00
Butcher and Swinney, Ft. Worth, Texas………$8,044.00
McCord Contractors, Dallas, Texas……………..$10,500.00

Mr. C.C. Estill was awarded the contract by unanimous vote of the committee. Work to begin on the building at once. On December 5,1916 it was decided to lay the cornerstone of the building on December 11, 1916 at 2 o’clock P.M. and the secretary was requested to invite the following Lodges to participate:

All the Lodges of Dallas and Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie Lodge of Smithfield, Lewisville, Farmer’s Branch, Keller, Roanoke, and Estell.

On December 11, 1916, the Grand Lodge of Texas held a special communication in the new annex of the school building in Grapevine, for the purpose of laying the corner stone of the new Masonic Temple. The following acted as members of the Grand Lodge of Texas:

Bro. Sam P. Cochran, Acting Most Worshipful GrandMaster; Bro. B.F. Swiggins, Acting Deputy Grand Master; Bro. A.L. Hartshorn, Right Worshipful Senior warden; Bro. J. B. Richmond, Grand Treasurer; Bro. W.R. Buckner, Grand Secretary; Bro. Ford Seale, Grand Senior Deacon; Bro. J.M. Yates, Grand Junior Deacon; Bro. Zeb Jenkins, Grand Senior Steward; Bro. Earl Yates, Grand Junior Steward; Bro. E.M. Stwart, Grand Tyler; Bro. C.B. Brown, Grand Marshall.

Forty three hundred Dollars ($4,300.00) was loaned to the Lodge by the members as follows:

  • Bro. J.E.M. Yates………………..$400.00
  • Bro. Earl Yates……………………….250.00
  • Bro. John S. Estill………………….250.00
  • Bro. Zeb Jenkins………………….200.00
  • Bro. W.K. Stewart…………………250.00
  • Bro. J.E. Foust………………………..200.00
  • Bro. M.A. Buchanan…………….250.00
  • Bro. E.M. Stewart…………………..250.00
  • Bro. W.R. Buckner…………………200.00
  • Bro. E.E. Lowe………………………….150.00
  • Bro. F.M. Taylor………………………100.00
  • Bro. Frank T. Estill…………………150.00
  • Bro. J.F. Dearing……………………100.00
  • Bro. J.M. Yates………………………..100.00
  • Bro. N.D. Hudgins…………………100.00
  • Bro. Joe Trigg…………………………150.00
  • Bro. A.L. Ingram……………………..100.00
  • Bro. J.C. Koonce…………………….100.00
  • Bro. C.M. Millican……………………..50.00
  • Bro. E .S. Farrington……………….50.00
  • Bro. W.W. Davis………………………100.00
  • Bro. J.S. Daniel………………………..100.00
  • Bro. T.J. McPherson……………..100.00
  • Bro. J.C. Bennett……………………100.00
  • Bro. Ford Seale……………………..200.00
  • Bro. H.C. Yancey…………………….100.00
  • Bro. D.C. Trigg………………………..200.00

Several of the members donated small amounts to the Lodge for which they took no obligation.
Grapevine Lodge History
Zebulon Jenkins

From Grapevine Area History Book, page 36 & 37      

Main Street’s Historic Building: The Masonic Lodge

By Penny S. Hayter

Main Street in Grapevine has many historical and interesting buildings that make up its character. Looking at them now, you know that chances are the buildings were built originally as something else. It can be fun to find out some interesting facts about familiar places. The Masonic Lodge building on Main Street is a good building to investigate. There is something mysterious about the Masons. Why do they need a building?

The Masons are a fraternity of men. Many of our founding faters were Masons. As with any long-standing group, there have been various opinions of the Masons through their history. The local Masons frequently participated in shaping differnt aspects of their community.

The Grapevine lodge is one of the oldest in the area. The lodge Secretary, Roy Dulworth, said he believes that only the Denton area lodge is older. The Grapevine Lodge, number 288, was chartered in 1866.

According to the lodge’s website, they first began to meet in an old house outside of town. They later were able to move into a two story building and occupy the second floor.

Mr. Dulworth advised that the area lodge started one of the first schools in the Grapevine area. The website gives the date of this school as 1869 and it was known as the Grapevine Masonic Institute. The building which serves as both Hall and Shchool, was erected on about five acres of land, just outside of the Village of Grapevine. The school operated until some time in 1886, with the lodge still meeting there until 1888.

But what about the building on Main Street? Well, they build the current Masons Hall in 1916. you probably see it all the time; it is well marked as the Mason Hall and as the Grapevine Office Supply store. Mr. Dulworth, the Mason’s Secretary, advised that the Masons’s have always occupied just the top section of the building, as they do today. Mr. Dulworth said, “My understanding is that when the lodge was first built it was vacant underneath, with the lodge on top.” I think Slim Chambers had a mechanical shop down there and for some time Cripbs Butane parked their trucks there.” He went on to say that he believed there had been a differnt Office Supply Store. “a differnt one than what is there now, then for the past twelve or fifteen years, the same store.”

Mr. Dulworth explained that the lodge thought of moving to some property it owned on Dallas Road and building a differnt lodge. However, some of the brethren determined that renting out their current building was a good resource for the lodge and made sense. So, they sold their other property in the seventies and seem content to stay just wehre they are now, for now.

The Masonic lodge is just one of the great old buildings on Main Street. You can go by and see the original cornderstones containing the erection date and listing the lodge’s board at the time of its construction. It is one building on Main Street that, in many ways, remains as it was originally planned. Still occupied and owned, in part, by it’s original owners. Something you do not see everyday.

Printed on Page 8 of North Grapevine Buzzz! April 2001

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS (Tarrant County). Grapevine is near State Highway 121 some nineteen miles northeast of Fort Worth and nineteen miles northwest of Dallas in the northeastern corner of Tarrant County. The site began to be settled in the middle to late 1840s and early 1850s. In 1845 Archibald F. Leonard moved there with the “Missouri colony” from Platte County, Missouri, and by 1849 he was operating a store on his land. The store was on the southwest corner of his survey, near where the town square was later built; it was also at the site where the restored Torian log cabin, which predated the town, stands today. Over the years the community has been known by a variety of names, including Cross Timbers (1846 to 1851), Grape Vine Springs, Leonardville, Dunnville, Grape Vine, and Grapevine. In 1846 Lonesome Dove Baptist Church was established at the settlement. About 1854 James Tracy Morehead, A. F. Leonard, Henry Suggs, and others met to lay out the town and arrange for a post office. Judge Morehead suggested the name Grape Vine for the town, as it was located on the edge of the Grape Vine Prairie, which in turn had taken its name from the Grape Vine Springs. The name probably referred to the numerous wild grapes that grew in the vicinity; there was also a nearby Grapevine Creek. About 1856 Eli Mathis Jenkins, then living at Jefferson, Texas, sent a stock of merchandise and opened a new store in Grape Vine, employing Irenius Plato Solon Dunn to manage it. The post office was then moved to Jenkins’s store, and Solon Dunn was appointed postmaster on August 4, 1858. People began calling it Dunn’s store, and some called the community Dunnville for a time, but the post office has never been known by any other name than Grape Vine or Grapevine. In 1866 a Masonic lodge (Grapevine Lodge No. 288) was established, and Joseph Dunn served as its first worshipful master. A school, Grapevine Masonic Institute, operated at the community from 1869 to 1886. By 1890 the town had 800 residents, four churches, three gristmills and cotton gins, and a public school. A newspaper, the Grapevine Sun, began publishing in the 1890s, and by around 1900 the St. Louis Southwestern Railway was running through the town. On January 12, 1914, the post office officially changed the spelling of its name to one word, Grapevine. That year the town had 1,200 residents and numerous businesses, including grocers, banks, and hotels. By 1925, however, its population had dropped to 821. In 1940 it had a population of 1,043, with seventy rated businesses. The town had incorporated by 1936. The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport opened in 1974 at the southeastern limits of the city. Because of its proximity to the airport and the major metropolitan areas of Dallas and Fort Worth, Grapevine grew considerably in the latter half of the twentieth century. In 1960 its population was 2,821; in 1970, 7,023; and in 1980, 11,801. By 1990 Grapevine had 29,202 residents. In the early 1990’s Grapevine included a historical museum, which was housed in a restored railroad depot, and the Grapevine Opery, which showcased country music entertainment. Near the town was Grapevine Lake, a major recreational center. By 2000 the population reached 42,059.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Weechie Yates Estill, Grapevine Recollections (Bedford, Texas, 1965). Grapevine Lodge No. 288, A.F. & A.M., Grapevine Lodge History, by the late Zebulon Jenkins (Fort Worth: Masonic Home and School of Texas, 1934). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Charles H. Young, ed., Grapevine Area History (Grapevine, Texas, Historical Society, 1979).

Masonry and Education:

About the Grapevine Masonic Institue:

Building commenced by the first of September in 1869. The building was a house of 16′ x 50′ in size and was two stories high. A school was then organized, known as the Grapevine Masonic Institute, and a board of trustees was elected by the lodge. School opened the first Monday in September 1869, with Colonel W.P. Bishop as the principal.

The curriculum of the school during the tenure of W.P. Bishop consisted of: higher arithmetic, spelling, United States history, natural philosophy, physiology and the laws of health, algebra, Latin, chemistry, logic and others.

The Grapevine Masonic Institute remained open until 1886 when Zeb Jenkins and J.E.M. Yates were appointed to sell the school and lodge buildings. The institute is a remarkable example of Masonic schools in Texas. Here the Lodge erected the school building entirely by its own efforts. The Lodge governed the school through a board of trustees who were responsible for all exercises of general powers in operating the school. The Lodge possessed final power in all school matters. The school existed successfully from 1869 to 1886.

Grapevine College was opened and operated by Professor J.S. Brown in 1887, in the buildings he had purchased from the Grapevine Masonic Lodge. He made the lodge building into a residence and dormitory where the students might live. In addition to the students from the area, there were about 20 to 35 students from other areas that lived in the dormitory while attending the college.