Square and Compasses

About Henry Thomas No: 278 Lodge

Henry Thomas Lodge, now located at Smithwick adjacent to Lake Travis on the Colorado River, was first established at the community of Turkey Bend, Texas in Southeast Burnet County. At that time Turkey Bend was called "Lodge Valley" due to the Lodge's presence there.

This Lodge is the ultimate result of efforts by Brother Henry Thomas, a "minister of the Gospel". After seeing that many Masons who had settled along the Colorado River and near Cow Creek were without a Masonic Lodge to call their own, he carried a petition for a recommendation for the establishment of a new Lodge to Austin Lodge No. 12.

Recommendation was made to the Grand Lodge of Texas for a dispensation and charter. The dispensation was granted on the 22nd day of March 1865; and the first meeting of Henry Thomas Lodge No. 278 was held under that dispensation, on April 1st, just a few days later. The Charter was granted and dated June 15, 1865. In 1876 the Lodge moved to its present location on the river and began meeting over a store building erected by A.M. Cox in 1874. Cox, a Brother Mason was the first Worshipful Master of the Lodge and upon his death, he willed the upper story of his building to Henry Thomas Lodge where all well-regulated meetings of the Lodge are still conducted.

In 1952 the Lodge obtained the remainder of the building, along with its lands, by gift from Brother F.P. Lewis, himself a Past Master. The Lodge building was registered as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1967.

With a membership approaching one hundred, the Brothers of Henry Thomas Lodge meet upon the level the first Saturday of every month, inviting family and friends to enjoy a meal and fellowship in the recently constructed dining hall adjacent to the old Lodge building.

Though minor misfortune has sometimes befallen the Lodge, there is recognized abundant reason to be thankful to the "Giver of all Good" for the many blessings the Brothers there enjoy.

Accordingly, through the ancient Masonic admonishment of Time, Patience and Perseverance the Lodge continues to advance those principles upon which Masons strive to improve the character of the good man. At the same time, the Lodge endeavors to make wider known the reputation of Henry Thomas Lodge as the "Premier Lodge in Texas"

Thank you to Carter Barcus, Secretary, for this article.


Our regular stated meeting is on the first Saturday of the month at 7.30pm, with supper at 6.30pm, and we meet at 1547 CR 344, Smithwick, Texas, 78654.

All members and guests are very welcome.

Contact Information

Worshipful Master; John Peters, petersjlw@gmail.com, 830-609-8093

Senior Warden; Howard Herrin, hfherrin@aol.com, 512-843-9188

Junior Warden; Lloyd R. Gardner, lgardnr@aol.com, 512-963-3444

Secretary; William (Bill) Volland, pg_opc@aol.com, 254-338-1445

The Grand Lodge of Texas website can be located at http://www.grandlodgeoftexas.org