Seal of the Grand Lodge of Kansas

Adopted when the Grand Lodge was formed in 1856.

Nineteenth Century Americans strongly believed in progress and community improvement through voluntary associations. The Bogus Legislature included such groups in their plan for Kansas Territory:

Tecumseh Lyceum and Library Association [House Journal 166]
One historian wrote that "the library was almost the first yearning of the Kansas immigrant." [Blackmar, History, Vol. 1, 846] The Tecumseh Lyceum followed the pattern of such organizations, with members lending books to one another.
Wyandotte Lyceum [Council Journal, 103]
The "Wyandot Lyceum and Library Association" was incorporated by Wyandotte tribal leader William Walker and twelve others as a center of culture. Their objectives were the "mutual improvement of its members in oral discussion and literature, and the establishment of a permanent library." [McGuinn, KCKS Public School System]
Historical and Philosophical Society of Kansas [House Journal, 308]
A predecessor to the Kansas State Historical Society, this was the first incorporated society in Kansas. Its purpose was:

"The collection and preservation of a library, mineralogical and geological specimens, historical matter relating to the history of the territory, Indian curiosities and antiquities, and other matters connected with and calculated to illustrate and perpetuate the history and settlement of Kansas."

The incorporators were to organize within a year, but the time was later extended. Legislators D.A.N. Grover, John Donaldson, David Lykins and Thomas Johnson were joined by other pro-slavery men as incorporators with William Walker as chairman. [Blackmar, History, Vol. 1, 846]

Leavenworth Improvement Association [Council Journal, 209]
A bill to incorporate this group was introduced by legislator and Leavenworth newspaper editor Lucien Eastin, and referred to the Council committee on corporations and county organizations. But apparently, no further action was taken.
Leavenworth Lodge Ancient Free & Accepted Masons [House Journal, 77]
Many territory leaders on both the free-state and pro- slavery sides were masons. By April 1855 three predominantly pro-slavery Kansas lodges were already operating under Missouri dispensation: Leavenworth Lodge, Smithfield Lodge in Doniphan County and Grove Lodge at Wyandotte. In that month, all three applied for Missouri charters. The records of Smithfield Lodge were in good order and a charter was issued to the lodge whose members included legislator W. P. Richardson, its treasurer. Irregularities in the Grove records were quickly corrected and Master William Walker accepted a charter for the lodge. Noted irregularities in the Leavenworth lodge were also corrected and a charter was issued to legislator R.R. Rees, Master and legislator Archibald Payne, Senior Warden. Legislator Lucien Eastin was also a member. [Graybill, Kansas Masonry, 5]

The bill to charter the Leavenworth Lodge as a Kansas institution was introduced by Archibald Payne, and was the first step toward organizing the Grand Lodge of Kansas, formed by the three formally Missouri chartered lodges on March 17, 1856. Four more lodges were added in July 1856, in Kickapoo, Washington, Atchison and Lawrence. By 1910, there were 390 chartered lodges in Kansas. [Blackmar, History, Vol.1, 687]

Charles Clark