The First Lodge
Although the exact date is unknown, the first gathering of Freemasons to consider chartering a new lodge took place in the home J. S. Williams. By 17 August 1857, the first courthouse had been built. The commissioner’s court granted use of the upper floor of the courthouse to the Freemasons to meet for a period of one year. On 20 April 1858, twelve Master Masons petitioned for a dispensation, or permission to form a lodge. The Grand Lodge of Texas granted permission on 28 May 1858 and the first meeting under dispensation (U.D.) was held 21 August 1858. On 16 June 1859, the Grand Lodge of Texas issued a charter for San Saba Lodge No. 225.
San Saba Lodge No. 225 met the fourth Saturday evening each month and began its work straight away. The tradition at that time was for Masonic lodges to establish schools or provide some type of education for local children. At the 17 November 1860 meeting, the Worshipful Master appointed a committee to investigate the possibility of constructing a combination school and lodge hall. It was also during this time that the Methodists of the town were attempting to collect subscriptions for a school and build an academy building. For whatever reasons, the Methodists efforts failed. At the September 1861 meeting, another committee was ordered to confer with them concerning a proposal to secure the partially built structure. The committee reported back the next month on the 20th and announced that the lodge had been given full control over the building and subscriptions.