1841-1860

      Captain Robert W. Figg (1819-1891) was Junior Warden in 1839.  He was Worshipful Master of Athens Lodge No. 16 in 1839.  He enlisted in Company D, 9th Alabama Cavalry of the CSA and was severely wounded losing his left arm near Dover, Tennessee in 1863.  He was compensated $30 cash.

    The document below courtesy of Fold3.com.

 

      After his parole under the penalty of DEATH as a Prisoner of War, Capt. Figg's usual profession of that as a dentist changed to that of a Justice of the Peace in Madison County, Alabama.
    
CLICK HERE
 to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #8815932 and additional biographical information.

    Captain Alexander Ross
 (1783-1849) was Senior Warden 1838-1839, and in 1841.  He was Junior Warden in 1837 and from 1842-1843.
    He was an early Justice of the Peace and Constable for Morgan County, and along with Michael Sensabaugh and others founded the Decatur Female Academy in the early 1840’s.
    A number of Ross’ served in the Creek Indian War in the Tennessee Militia and it believed that this is where he got his title.
    He is listed as the architect and builder of the first Methodist Church built in 1834 and is on the 1830 Census seen living in Madison County and on the 1840 Census he is seen living in Decatur in the vicinity of John Rhea and the McCartney Hotel with wife, four sons and three daughters.
    He is buried in the
 Lafayette Street/Rhodes Family Cemetery in Decatur.
    CLICK HERE
 to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #11445431 and additional biographical information.

    Rev. Moses Stroude Morris (1808-1849) and Dr. James H. Delony (1832-1881) Related by marriage into the Fennel family, both of these men were, at one time or another, members of Rising Sun Lodge.
    Here is where the mystery deepens. On December 13, 1849, Rev. Morris was shot and killed by Dr. Delony.
    The following account is transcribed from the January 1, 1850 edition of the Boston Post:
        A Clergyman Killed - Rev. Moses S. Morris was shot dead recently near Decatur, Alabama by Dr. Delony.  A letter says - "Parson M was met on the road by Dr. D.  Parson M, observing him approaching with a gun, on horseback, stopped his horse, threw aside his blanket and bared his breast. Dr. D, supposing he was searching for a pistol, shot him dead on the spot.
        Parson M was universally beloved. No defensive weapon was found on his body when the inquest was held. The difficulty, as far was ascertained, appears to have been in consequence of family discords. Delony was committed to jail to take his trial."

    Lawrence S. Banks, who was then deputy sheriff, was paid $115 for expenses he incurred in the delivery of Dr. Delony to stand trial for murder. Dr. Delony was either acquitted or escaped custody into Arkansas, we know not, but, in either case, he was promptly expelled from Rising Sun Lodge and the Masonic Fraternity.
  CLICK HERE to be re-directed to the Find A Grave Memorial #56820880 of Rev. Moses S. Morris and additional biographical information.    

    Lawrence Slaughter Banks (1803-1881) was a Confederate Colonel and is buried within the Decatur city limits in Lafayette Street/Rhodes Family Cemetery also known as Lafayette Street Cemetery.  He served 1 year in the Grand Lodge as Junior Grand Warden in 1829. 34
    L. S. Banks was Justice of the Peace in Morgan County from 1830 to 1841.    He was Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge in 1842. 6
    With the onset of the Civil War, there were those entrepreneurs who engaged in selling goods and services to whichever army was occupying Decatur at the time.  Colonel Banks was among those who sold bacon, nails, wood and lumber, metal from saw blades and rented rooms and board, wagons, mules, horses and labor.  He also bartered the essential staple WHISKEY for $14 a gallon.  At today's prices, that inflates to a whopping $328 a gallon before any state or federal taxes!
    The document below courtesy of Fold3.com.



      In 1870, L. S. Banks painted a survey or layout of Decatur, Alabama on a pane of glass.  For many years it was displayed in the Decatur City Hall.  It now is in possession of the Banks family.
   The image below courtesy of The Morgan County Archives.  All Rights Reserved.


 

   CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #13282184 and additional biographical information.

    William Gibbs Dorris (1815-1900) was Worshipful Master 1843-44 and again in 1846-48. He was said to be the most popular man in Morgan County and was at one time a judge in one of the courts. He went into the dry goods business in Decatur with his brother-in-law James Cain and was very successful. They began speculating in cotton which was a failure and broke them up. He joined the Masons in 1840 and again entered into the dry goods business with Charlie Lane and was very successful. He was a man with graceful personal carriage and "possessing a strikingly handsome face" and becoming a Methodist preacher he entered the Tennessee Conference in October 1849 moving to Nashville in the 50's.
     CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #87672306 and additional biographical information.

   
    Grand Lodge returns for 1844 reveal that the Lodge was paying for educating 2 orphan children, daughters of a deceased Brother.

    C. W. McCord
 (1810-1890) was Junior Warden in 1843-44 and Worshipful Master in 1845.  Born, raised and educated in Tennessee, he moved to North Alabama.
    Campbell Washington McCord then migrated west to Mississippi in 1846 where he engaged in several business ventures before finally moving his store to the business center of Corinth.   He later disposed of the store and entered politics serving the Mississippi State Legislature for 5 or 6 years.  He filled the position of county school commissioner in 1860-61.
    After the conclusion of the Civil War, he served as Justice of the Peace for several terms.
 53 
 

  
  Alexander A. McCartney (1800-1860) was Junior Warden in 1845, Senior Warden in 1849 and served again as Junior Warden in 1850.
    In 1832 he established the first newspaper in Moulton, Alabama, The Moulton Whig.  He sold the newspaper and acquired considerable property. 48    
    He moved to Decatur and established a hotel and tavern prior to 1840 commonly known as the "Decatur Inn".  After his death, his wife continued to operate the business as the "McCartney Hotel" and "McCartney House". 49    
    During the War Between the States, the building was used by both the Confederacy and Union Army as headquarters and officer quarters.

    

 

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #39552922 and additional biographical information.

    Dr. William E. Murphy (1819-1889) was Worshipful Master from 1849 to 1851, and in 1854, 1855 and 1859.  He was Junior Warden in 1848 and in 1858.
    
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #20812498 and additional biographical information.

    Grand Lodge records reveal that the Lodge was consumed by fire and destroyed in 1851.     

    Major James S. Brittain (also spelled Britain) (1815-1887) served Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 as officer for 11 terms; as Junior Warden in 1852, 1854 and in 1863; as Senior Warden 1859-60, 1862 and from 1865-66; as Worshipful Master from 1856-57 and in 1872.

    During the War Between the States, he enlisted in 1861 in Decatur, Alabama.  He was wounded in Gettysburg, Pa. in 1863 "on the first day".

    The following article appeared in The Alabama Enquirer, February 16, 1888:
        MAJOR JAMES S. BRITAIN - This gentleman was in the procession that followed the remains of Mr. Kimbell to the grave and with other brethren cast into his grave  the symbol of immortality, little dreaming that he would so soon be buried by many of the same brethren.
        Major Britain was born near Sparta, Tenn., Nov. 15th, 1815, and died of pneumonia, Dec 2nd, 1887, aged 72 years.
        The Major was not a member of any church, but was always punctual in his attendance at religious worship, was a good Sunday school teacher, was strict in keeping the commandments, so far as any of us know, was honest, upright and just, he was solicitous as to the education of his own and other children of his neighborhood, he suffered much, but was patient.  He married late in life, Miss Sallie Benham, who with three sons and three daughters, survives him.
        His funeral service was preached by Rev. J. Gunn, his dust reposes in the Morris Cemetery on Trinity Mountain.
        It should have been remarked that Major Britain was for many years, Master of Rising Sun Lodge F. and A. Masons at Decatur, and that he was among the first to volunteer in the services of his state, and that there was no better or truer soldier than he.

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #35733779 and additional biographical information.
      
     Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 is included in the list of Alabama lodges in 1858. 16

     William P
. Stradford
 (also spelled Stratford) (1835-1898) was Worshipful Master in 1858 and Junior Warden in 1860 and 1862.
    W. P. Stradford, Company I, 7th Regiment Alabama Cavalry, enlisted September 15, 1862 at Decatur, Alabama by Capt. R. W. Figg for 3 years.  He was wounded in Winston County, Ala. and sent to hospital at Decatur, Ala. August 28, 1863.  He lost his left arm at the elbow and received $30.12 compensation.  He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant January 20, 1864 for Valor and Skill.
    After the war, he kept water levels on the south side of the O'Neal Bridge crossing the Tennessee River at Sheffield (South Florence) for Southern Rail Road.
    After 1880, he moved to Bessemer and became a Jefferson County Commissioner.  He died one Sunday morning on his way to church on horseback.  It appears he had a stroke and was dead when he hit the ground.  At the time of his death, he was a member of Bessemer Lodge No. 386.
    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #92799208 and additional biographical information.



The Masonic Ring
by gracious permission of Brother Howie Damron

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