Founding of Holland Lodge
In March 1835, Anson Jones, John Wharton, Asa Brigham, James Phelps, Alexander Russell, and J.P. Caldwell wishing to formally meet as an organized masonic lodge, met in a secluded spot on the west bank of the Brazos River, near the town of Brazoria, under a large live oak tree near the burial ground of General John Austin and petitioned the Grand Lodge of Louisiana for dispensation to organize a lodge in the Texas territory. On December 27, 1835, the dispensation was granted by John Holland, Grand Master of Louisiana. Holland Lodge No. 36 of Louisiana was instituted and opened on the second floor of the old courthouse in Brazoria, Texas. This was the first Masonic Lodge ever instituted in Texas and was the only one organized prior to the days of the Republic.
Meetings continued here until March 1836, when Brazoria was abandoned due to events related to the Texas Revolution. The members of the Lodge were scattered by the havoc of war. James Fannin, who had become a member of this lodge, was among those who had been massacred at Goliad. Jones, Wharton, and Phelps joined the Texan troops on the Colorado River.
During this time, the official charter issued to Holland Lodge #36 was delivered to Texas and presented to Anson Jones just before the Battle of San Jacinto. Jones carried the lodge charter in his saddlebag while the Battle of San Jacinto was being fought. This document arrived safely in Brazoria after the battle, but the brethren had dwindled in number post-revolution.