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Free and Accepted Masons

Ellettsville Masonic Lodge 245

Dedication and Service

Freemasonry (also called “Masonry”) is the world’s first and largest fraternity, based on the belief that each man can make a difference in the world. Freemasonry enhances and strengthens the character of the individual man by providing opportunities for fellowship, charity, and education.

Our Story

Ellettsville's Oldest fraternal order is the Masonic Lodge.  Instituted on May 28,1857 but worked under dispensation by the Grand Lodge for two years until it was granted charter in 1859.

The First Stated Meeting was held on July 7, 1857 and had all nine members present--

Barton Acuff, Chesley Acuff, J.S. Johnson, James M. Campbell, Enoch Dean, A.C. Dean, James S. Whitesell and Peter Bollenbacher.

Barton Acuff

First Woshipful Master of Ellettsville Lodge 245

A prominent farmer and veteran of the Mexican War, Acuff was the first Worshipful Master of Ellettsville Masonic Lodge 245.  Serving that office for eight years.

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Members of Ellettsville Masonic Lodge- Celebrate the centennial anniversary of their founding in 1957.  Standing (Let to Right): John W. Baugh, Amaza Turner, Charley H. May, George Siddons, Ralph Burns, J.C. Hazel, Ernest Brown, Harold Rowland, W.B. Harris, Floyd Brown, Felex Brown.  SEATED: David M. Campbell, Frank Curry, Gilbert Goodall, John Sedwick, Harry Gale, Guy McCown, Charles Hedrick, Vick Faulkner, James Hardin, and Carson Harris. 

201 N Sale St. 


201 N Sale St, is the 2nd building that the Ellettsville Masonic Lodge moved in to and is it's current building still today.  Built as a two-story structure directly across the street on Sale St. from the original location. It had a balcony extending over the sidewalk which provided a stage for concerts by the town band.  The only approach to the bandstand was through the lodge room; and the late Vick Fulkner, both a mason and a band member, recalled that the musicians had to climb through the stairs, go through the hall, and climb through a window to present their summer evening open air concerts. 

The present hall was erected in 1895 at a cost not exceeding $1,700 and with out one dollar in treasury, but in 1907, the fiftieth anniversary of the lodge, the members had paid off all the debt but $150, which allowed the lodge to only own the second floor, while, Charles E. Grant owned the land and lower level that we operated various businesses in, including several drug stores.  In December, 1941, Charles had passed and the lodge was able to purchase the lower floor and land from Herman U. Grant, Charles' brother for $550. 

This most momentous occasion of moving into the new building on December 15,1895 was marked and honored as the lodge opened doors and invited the townspeople in to inspect the new hall, in a very rare social event. 

Indiana Limestone

The lodge's beautiful limestone alter was produced and given be Albert Mathers.  It is hollow with a removable top as a safe repository for historical items.  Mr. Mathews also cut the large emblematic panel on the front of the building.  Other emblems were designed, carved, and given by Gilbert Goodall.  A beautiful tapestry in the hall was a panel from the oriental carpet in the lodge hall at Spencer.  It is more than a hundred years old and has the Masonic emblems woven into it. 

In its 128 years, the lodge as had more than 600 Members representing all professions and crafts.  Many of them have been immigrant operative stone masons from England, Scotland, Irland, and Germany, who came to this area because of the Indiana limestone industry.  

Ellettsville Masonic Lodge today

 In the Spring of 2001, the Lodge accepted a proposed plan to remodel the present hall including the addition of a first floor lodge hall on the vacant lot next door. Construction began in September of 2001. On June 28, 2004 the cornerstone of the new addition was laid with members of the Indiana Grand Lodge present. 

Most Worshipful Brother James L. Chesney, then Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, presided at the ceremonies. Currently the lodge is still in the same location and has had many Master Masons go from the lodge to be the Grand Master of Indiana. 

The lodge is very active and has just recently installed over 10 new Master Masons over the last year.

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What are the Masons?

The Freemasons are the oldest and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. Symbolically, the Craft dates back to the days of King Solomon and his building of the first Temple in Jerusalem, as depicted in the Old Testament of the Bible and in the Hebrew Tanakh. The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, circa 1425. The illustrious roots of the organization date to when its members were operative Masons who built castles and cathedrals throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. The ritual of the modern fraternity incorporates metaphors of character building with symbolic meaning from architecture, engineering, masonry, and construction. It uses the signs and words originally developed by the medieval Masonic guilds as methods of recognition, and the language evolved from a number of sources.

Modern Beginnings
The current organization as we know it today began in the 17th century in Scotland when the stonemasons started to accept members into their lodges who were not members of the Mason’s craft — these men were referred to as “speculative Masons” or “accepted Masons.” The modern fraternity of Freemasonry officially began with the formation of the first grand lodge in London, England in 1717.

Freemasonry Comes to America
Freemasonry was brought to the United States with our early settlers from England, Scotland and France, and the Craft became very popular in colonial America. Henry Price, a Boston merchant and tailor, received a deputation from the Grand Master of England to form the first Provincial Grand Lodge in the Western Hemisphere in 1733. The fraternity spread throughout the colonies by way of charters carried primarily from England and Scotland, including a number of traveling military lodges that existed at first to serve soldiers, but soon began to confer degrees upon civilians, as well. Even when war with England broke out in America, there were numerous cases of Freemasons on opposing sides of the conflict treating each other with civility and honor.

Our Founding Fathers
Freemasonry had an enormous influence at the time upon the founders of America, as it was a practical and functioning system of democratic governance and administration, toleration of all social classes and religious faiths, with a civilizing influence through the education of its members – all based upon Enlightenment-era philosophies. Of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence, nine were known to be Masons at the time, and as many as thirty may have been members (or would later join). Among the country’s early Masonic leaders were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, and John Hancock. Another influential Mason, Chief Justice John Marshall, served as Chief of the Supreme Court for more than thirty-four years and shaped the court into its present form.


Freemasonry moved westward across the American continent after the Revolution, and especially following the expansion of the Louisiana Purchase. The first Masonic lodges in the Indiana Territory came out of Kentucky in 1809, when a lodge was chartered in Vincennes, along the Wabash River. Another strain descended out of Ohio, as well. Freemasonry was seen as a vital, civilizing force on the frontier that helped to spread democratic ideals and practices into the farthest edges of the wilderness. Indiana statehood was granted in December 1816, and the Grand Lodge of Indiana F&AM was formed in January 1818 with nine Masonic lodges in the new state. Countless members of the territorial, and later the state, government and other important institutions in early Indiana were Freemasons. You will find countless cities and counties throughout the state today that were named after noteworthy men who were members of the Masonic fraternity. Indiana Masons were also major contributors to the first formation of educational institutions, including often sharing their lodge buildings with the community schools or libraries.

Worldwide Charity
In the 1800s, at a time when the U.S. government provided no social “safety net,” the Masonic tradition of charity, founding orphanages, homes for widows, and care for the aged provided the only protection many people knew. Over the centuries, Freemasonry has developed into a worldwide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment by way of individual involvement and philanthropy. The dignity of man, the liberty of the individual, the right of all persons to worship as they choose, and the importance of education stand at the forefront of Masonic thought. The Grand Lodge of Indiana opened the Indiana Masonic Home (known today as Compass Park) at Franklin, Indiana in 1916 as a retirement community for its members and a home for their orphans. Masonic organizations also sponsor an enormous number of official charities around the country and the world, in addition to the millions of dollars contributed by individual Freemasons on their own.

In the 21st century, Freemasons continue their tradition of building bridges of brotherhood as they strive to make good men better ones, and thereby improving the world. Today, there are approximately 3.5 million regular, recognized Freemasons around the globe. Some 1.3 million of them reside in the United States, and Indiana has more than 30,000 members in almost 400 lodges throughout the state.

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