Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 F. & A. M. is a Masonic Lodge located at 1 Walnut Street NE in Decatur, Alabama 35601. 1 2

Coordinates: Latitude 34.611775/Longitude  -86.98627


    The Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 was organized November 22, 1826 with the below signed as petitioners to the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama.

    Dr. Henry W. Rhodes
(abt. 1788-1855) was a member of the Dancy and Sykes families through his marriage to Martha Mason Dancy in 1812.
    Dr. Rhodes owned the site of a ferry landing crossing the Tennessee River at an old Indian trail. He owned the land on the south side of the river which was known as Rhodes Ferry Landing. He operated this ferry from or before 1818 when this area was established by Alabama Territorial Legislature as Cotaco County (renamed Morgan County in 1821).
    In June 1820, he and the other members of the Decatur Land Company (Jesse Winston Garth, McKinney Holderness, Isaac Lane, and George Peck) received patents for the land on which they would build the town of Decatur. They would become known as the Founders of Decatur, Alabama.
    Dr. Rhodes was the first postmaster of Decatur.
    On November 22, 1826, Dr. Rhodes, William Francis Dancy, Col. Isaac Lane, William Dancy, James T. Sykes, Gaius Kibby, Joseph Hersy, Joseph Adkins organized a Masonic Lodge which would be chartered in 1828 as “The Rising Sun”.
    The next month, the town of Decatur was incorporated December 8, 1826 by an act of the legislature.
    Dr. Rhodes was Morgan County’s 1826, 1832 and 1835 Representative in the Alabama Legislature.
    He was elected to the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama and served from 1828-30.
    He was a charter member on the Board of Directors of the Tuscumbia, Courtland & Decatur Railroad.
    He was one of the first directors of the Decatur Branch of the Alabama State Bank (Old State Bank).

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to the Henry W. Rhodes Facebook Family Tree page.


    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #129964087 and additional biographical information.
Col. Francis Dancy (1780-1849) was the first Worshipful Master of The Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 serving 3 terms (1827-28-29). 4
    Col. Dancy built the Dancy-Polk house which survived the War Between The States and it is listed in the National Register of Historical Places in Morgan County, Alabama 22 and it yet stands until this day.
    Col. Dancy moved to Franklin, LA where he established a sugar cane plantation.
    It is believed that he was a member of Franklin Lodge No. 57 in St. Mary's Parish.  This Lodge was the first Lodge in Louisiana to speak English as all were speaking French until then.
    At his death he received Masonic Rites at his funeral. He is believed to be buried on the Dancy Plantation grounds.


    William Dancy (1780-1836) was Junior Warden in 1827 and 1828. He was the son of Francis Dancy and Mary Winfield Mason Dancy and husband of Priscilla Turner. 
 His sisters were Martha Mason Dancy, who married Dr. Henry Rhodes and Sarah "Sallie" Dancy who married Colonel James Turner Sykes. Through his mother he was a first cousin of General Winfield Scott who removed the Cherokees from TN, NC, GA and AL in the 1830's.21
    Capt. Dancy was a Justice of the Peace in Morgan County in the 1820's and 30's.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #32462637 and additional biographical information.

    Rising Sun Lodge had 16 members in 1829.

     James Fennel (1803-1849) was the second Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 in 1830.
    His Trinity, Alabama plantation quarry was used to build the 5 limestone columns for the Decatur Branch of the Alabama State Bank.
    The dedication of this structure proved a gala occasion. Among the notables present was Martin Van Buren, President of the United States.
The slaves who had hewn the columns appeared in shackles and in a dramatic ceremony were given their freedom by their master, James Fennel, for their great accomplishment.
    James Fennel was one of the twelve yearly elected Directors of the Decatur Branch of the Alabama State Bank from 1833 to 1837 and the president of the bank in 1842.
     He served as one of the Directors of the Tuscumbia-Courtland & Decatur Railroad. 76
     In the 1950s, famous Alabama artist Eleanor Massey Bridges was commissioned to paint an 35-foot x 18-foot mural depicting Fennel, the Dedication of the State Bank Building and the freeing of the slaves in Decatur.
     The Old State Bank, when privately owned, was known as Leila Cantwell Seton Hall and is now a museum. The mural was displayed in the rotunda and is now in storage awaiting restoration evaluation.
     Photo below courtesy of Morgan County Archives. All rights reserved.


    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #16867052 and additional biographical information.

    Isaac Lane (1787-1862) was Senior Warden in 1827-28 and 1831. He was Junior Warden in 1829-30.  He was the 4th Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 in 1832 and served 1 year in the Alabama Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Warden in 1833. 34
In July, 1821, members of the Decatur Land Company (Dr. Henry Rhodes, Jesse Winston Garth, McKinney Holderness, Isaac Lane, and George Peck) receive patents for the land on which they would build the town of Decatur. 36
    He served as Morgan County's Representative to the Alabama Legislature in 1834.
    In 1851, Alabama's most successful portrait artist, William Frye from Huntsville, painted an antebellum 12-foot x 9-foot oil canvas of the Lane family at Lane Spring.  Left to Right: Noah (their servant), Henry Clay (their horse), Col. Isaac Lane, Mary Pride Lane (his wife) and their poodle Venus.  The background is a pastoral landscape.  Mrs. Lane's in a black gown with white organdie collar and bonnet.  Saddle is rich luggage tan over a double blanket of dark red and blue.  Noah's coat is tan over black pants with short black jacket.  Unfortunately, the painting was consumed by fire.
    Photo below courtesy of Collier Library, Archives and Special Collections - The University of North Alabama, Florence.  All rights reserved


    CLICK HERE for the article "Lane among Colbert's first big land owners" from the Times Daily (Florence) on October 6, 2005.
CLICK HERE to enjoy the 14-page booklet compilation "My Colbert County Families" that sheds more light on the life of one of Decatur's founding fathers.
    This booklet courtesy of Collier Library, Archives and Special Collections - The University of North Alabama, Florence.  All rights reserved.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial # 40788681 and additional biographical information.

    Rising Sun Lodge had 14 members  in 1834.

     General Jesse Winston Garth (1788-1867) was Treasurer of Rising Sun Lodge in 1829 and Secretary in 1834.
    As one of the founders of Decatur, Garth, Isaac Lane, McKinney Holderness, George Peck (given credit as being Decatur's first regular merchant, died in 1826) and Dr. Henry Rhodes were the first directors of Decatur Land Co., which laid out the city's streets. Unlike the others who moved away, Garth settled in Cotaco County (now Morgan County) and through his own sagacity built one of the largest plantations in Morgan County.
He was elected President of the Decatur Branch of the Alabama State Bank in 1840. 74
    Garth had the biggest impact on Decatur and by July 1818, he had recorded almost 1,500 acres in Morgan County. An 1837 survey map shows Garth's home is the only structure within miles of Decatur.
    From the 1830 and 1850 Census and Land Records he owned 136 slaves in 1830 and 189 slaves in 1850 and various land holdings in Alabama and Mississippi including all of section 24 and 25 in Decatur. 
    He was a veteran of the War of 1812 having served on the coast with the Virginia militia where he received the rank of general.
As well as being a large plantation owner, he practiced law, one of the first directors of the Old State Bank and later president in 1838, state senator for Morgan County, and although he dined with many Confederate Generals and Presidents was against the succession from the Union in 1861.
    Physically, Gen. Garth was a splendid type of the Virginian from the Piedmont region.  He was tall, erect, being six feet four inches in height, a man of action rather than words; and whilst he was singularly retiring and unobtrusive in his manners and habits, there were few men so positive and self-reliant. Deficient in those little arts by which a transient and ephemeral popularity is won, he commanded the entire confidence and esteem of all with whom he came in contact.     


     CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #21546755 and additional biographical information.

    William Darwin (1799-1838) was Junior Warden in 1831, Senior Warden in 1832 and again in 1837, and Worshipful Master in 1833 and 1834.
    He was James Fennel's brother-in-law having married his sister, Celia.
    The image below is of a Land Deed for a little over 40 acres in Madison County, Alabama to William Darwin signed October 14, 1834.  It furthermore states:
In testimony whereof, I, Andrew Jackson, President of the United States
        of America
, have caused these Letters to be made 
Patent and the Seal of the
        General Land Office to be hereunto affixed.


    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #16879694 and additional biographical information.

    Horace Green (abt 1789-????) was Senior Warden in 1833 and 1834.  Green was elected President of the Decatur Branch of the Alabama State Bank in 1835, 1837 and 1839. 74 

    Nathan Kimbell (1786-1849) was Senior Warden in 1830.  The following was published in THE NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE:
        Tribute of Respect for Rev. Nathan Kimbell who died March 31, 1849; by his Masonic Lodge.  He was born in Warren Co., N.C., May 8, 1786; began his Methodist ministry in 1808; married Sarah Peyton, Feb. 23, 1812, Cumberland Co., N.C.; from the time of his marriage he was a local Methodist preacher; died in Alabama.

    Colonel J. T. Sykes (Abt 1794-????) was Senior Warden in 1829, Worshipful Master in 1831 and 1838 and served again as Senior Warden in 1842.
    James Turner Sykes lived about six miles west of Decatur - was a tall, handsome man; commanded a regiment in the
 War of 1812, and was stationed at Norfolk, Va.
    He married Sarah "Sallie" Dancy which made William Francis Dancy his brother-in-law.
He was a member of the Legislature in 1828, was president of the Branch Bank at Decatur for many years, and was, generally, a leading citizen. 71

    He was elected to serve as one of the directors of the Tuscumbia, Courtland & Decatur Rail Road Company in 1833, 1834 and 1835.
    The below is an image of the original stock certificate, No. 10, of James T. Sykes' $2500 investment (25 shares).  It is dated A.D. July 13, 1836 and signed by Benjamin Sherrod, President of the TC&D RR Company.

       R. A. High
 (????-1842) was Junior Warden in 1833.  Robert A. High moved to Limestone County and at the sessions of 1838 and 1839 served as Representative in the Alabama Legislature.
    He had acquired large property, and was a zealous advocate of common schools.  At the time he served in the Capitol, he was a dashing widower, seeking his fourth wife.
    His head was a little bald, a fact which he took great pains to conceal.  He was restless in his movements and generally had a supply of apples and goober-peas in his hands. 61     
    He married thrice widowed Elizabeth Dale Gibbson Flanagan Jeffries. She was a fair-skinned, auburn-haired seductress with an unusual beauty who posed a threat to women everywhere when men were scarce and a woman was defined by her husband.
    High lived only a few years after his marriage to Mrs. Jeffries on May 15, 1839, dying in April, 1842, penniless and without a will.

    Little did he realize his widow would become known as the Black Widow of Hazel Green and that his demise, as well as premature deaths of her other 5 husbands, her father and her 7 year-old daughter, would be the subject of rumors and gossip for over a century and a half that continues until this very day – especially around Halloween.
    A Masonic Hall was built in 1834, the lower floor being used for church and school purposes. 5 75

    The first church in Decatur, a Methodist, was built in 1835.

     Riley S. Davis
(????-1860) was Junior Deacon in 1834. He served in the Alabama Legislature 1835, 1836 and 1837.
    Davis died in 1860 without a will and his estate was settled by the Sheriff of Morgan County.
    Davis had owned 16 slaves and, after his death, the slaves were rented out to various people around the county and $493 was uncollected.
    One hundred forty nine years after Davis’ death,  $493 in nearly mint , mostly uncirculated, hand signed and hand cut bills Confederate bills were discovered in Davis' file in the Morgan County Archives.  Morgan County Archivist John Allison believes the Confederate money was inserted into the file to balance the account in the settlement of the estate.

    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.
 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.
 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.

  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.

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 North Alabama Steamboat Company was incorporated in 1861 with
Mathew Mahan and Pleasant Todd as two of the Commissioners. Mahan and Todd were members of Rising Sun and were Captains of steamboats delivering passengers, mail, cotton and other goods between the Shoals and Chattanooga and the upper Tennessee River system.

     Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 is included in the list of Alabama lodges in 1858.

    The Memphis & Charleston Railroad Bridge across the Tennessee River at Decatur was burned by 1st Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War.
    The August 16, 1862 issue of Harper's Weekly published the drawing (below top right) entitled
 THE WAR IN NORTH ALABAMA—BURNING THE BRIDGE OVER THE TENNESSEE, AT DECATUR.—Sketched By Mr. H. Hubner - Third Ohio Volunteers.  All rights reserved.

    The lithograph (below bottom left) depicting this event is dated September 13, 1862.  Both images offer views from the north side of the Tennessee River across and in a southwesterly direction.
    The top left photo shows the breastworks construction.  Arrow 1 is the Old State Bank and arrow 3is the McCartney Inn in the foreground.  Some historians believe arrow 2 points to the actual building Rising Sun Lodge No. 29. occupied until it was destroyed by Union troops in 1864.
    The drawing (below bottom right) illustrates the pontoon bridge constructed across the Tennessee River and offers a view of the buildings left standing in Decatur in late 1862.
    It is very probable that the Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 building is illustrated on one or all of these illustrations (especially the top left photograph) as the Lodge was not destroyed until late in 1864.

      CLICK HERE to more closely examine the above lower left lithograph on the ADAH Digital Collections website.  All rights reserved.

During the Civil War, Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 was destroyed November 25, 1864 by United States troops. 7

    When the Federal Troops came through the South, there was unbelievable destruction.  For example, Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 was permitted "to hold Lodge meetings in any convenient place they may select in the neighborhood until such time at the Lodge may be able to rebuild their Lodge Room, it having been destroyed by the Enemy."  41
    Dr. C. F. M. Dancy
was Junior Warden in 1847, 1859 and again in 1865. He served as Senior Warden in 1845 and 1863.
    Charles Fenton Mercer Dancy was born of Hueugnot ancestors who belonged to French nobility.  He was educated at La Grange college, studied medicine in Nashville and New Orleans and set up practice in Decatur.
    When a youth he served in the Mexican War and received land grants from Texas for his services.
    After the taking of Decatur by the enemy, Dr. Dancy was required to serve in Federal hospitals.
    Prior to the War of Secession he was a Whig but later affiliated with the Democratic Party.
    His wife, Sarah Dandridge, was the daughter of General Jesse Winston Garth.
    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #21589916 and additional biographical information.

    R. L. Neely (1821-1865) joined RSL29 in 1860 and was its Junior Deacon in 1863 before going off to war.
    Our records reveal that he died as a Prisoner of War in Camp Chase, Ohio. He is the only member of our Lodge we can establish as having perished as a result of defending the Confederacy during the War of Northern Aggression.
    Sergt. R. L. Neely, CSA, Company D, 7th Alabama Cavalry, died on March 27, 1865. His marker number is 1764.
    Camp Chase was established May 1861 in Columbus, Ohio as a training camp for Ohio volunteer soldiers, a parole camp, a muster outpost and a prisoner of war camp. All that remains of the camp today is a Confederate cemetery containing 2,260 graves of Confederate prisoners of war.

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #74948263 and additional biographical information.

James McGinnis Brundidge
 (1812-1901) was Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge 1862-1869 and again in 1871.
He was initiated April 16, 1838, in Athens Lodge No. 16, Passed January 4, 1840, and Raised January 18, 1840 in Helion Lodge No. 1, in Huntsville, Ala.
    He was Worshipful Master of Athens Lodge No. 16 from 1845 through 1847.
    He was superintendent of the brick work in the construction of Athens College 1843-44.

   Much of Athens State University remains in physical evidence and in legend. A local tale has it that a jug of whiskey was left behind during the construction of the four large columns that grace the front of the building.

  The following appeared in the 1901 obituary of HMWPGM Brundidge, brickwork superintendent of the 1842 construction:
      "In that day it was usual for the workmen to have whiskey on all the buildings and he carried one there early one morning and, setting it down in the bottom of a column went to work. [He forgot about it as the work continued.] Soon the brickwork was so high that it was impossible to get the bottle out without taking down a large part of the work and the stuff was just too cheap in the good old days to do that. He just left it there and there it remains (Dunnavant 1995, p 26-27)."
   During this period, when the school was under the aegis of the Tennessee Conference of the Methodist Church, the four columns were nicknamed for the Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in order from the north to the south. The location of the hidden jug is also the subject of some dispute. The most common location for the jug is said to be in Matthew but other sources claim it is in Luke. Whatever the source or location, the legend of the lost jug of whiskey remains prevalent in the lore of Founders Hall. There's no telling which disciple now has custody of the well-aged whiskey.
   The lost jug of whiskey is more than just curious artifact. It also has been suggested that the lost jug serves a nothing less than the motivation for the ghost of Founders Hall. The ghost, it is said, is the brick mason obsessed with protecting the jug from those who would plunder it for their own enjoyment. 

    He was elected Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge in 1848 and annually thereafter until 1854.  He was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1862 and in 1863 refused further advancement.
    During the
 War Between The States, he enlisted as a private in Fennell's Morgan County Rangers Company of Home Guards44
In 1889 the office of State Grand Lecturer was created to which he was appointed held the position until the time of his death.
    The 79th Annual Communication was held in Montgomery, Ala. on December 4-5, 1899.  The title of Honorary Grand Master was bestowed, by unanimous vote, upon Brother James M. Brundidge, Grand Lecturer, and the oldest member of the Grand Lodge then living.  This is the first time that such honorary distinction has been bestowed in Alabama and is not to be cited as a precedent for similar action hereafter.  The honor was, in this instance, worthily given.
    Upon the venerable and dearly beloved State Grand Lecturer R.W. Bro. James M. Brundidge’s entrance the Grand Lodge Hall, a souvenir of this memorable and important epoch in the history of Alabama Masonry had been prepared.
    1000 badges with a ribbon from which suspended a medallion pendant bearing the likeness of Brundidge were distributed and worn during the proceedings.27  Somerville Lodge #721 proudly displays one of these in their Archives and the Alabama Grand Lodge in Prattville has two in their Library Museum.
At the 85th Annual Grand Communication held in Montgomery, Ala. on December 5-6, 1905, it was recorded that "In addition to placing a bust of the late State Grand Lecturer Brother James M. Brundage (sp.) in the library of the Grand Lodge, as mentioned in our report two years ago, a suitable monument has been erected on his grave."
 25 33
    The photos below left and center are courtesy of Claude Neal Hudson.  All rights reserved.
    The photo below on the far right has been donated to Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 by Ellen S. Butler in honor of her Father, James E. Latane Sutherland.  A copy of this photo resides in the Morgan County Archives - Bank Street, Decatur, Al.  All rights reserved.

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #93019063 and additional biographical information.

    Dr. Jacob Young Cantwell (1824-1883) was elected Senior Warden in 1867 and again in 1871.
    J. Y. Cantwell graduated in medicine from Cleveland Medical College in 1847 and practiced in Mansfield, Ohio.
Ohio Regimental Lodges were issued during the Civil War.  Dr. Jacob Cantwell was Worshipful Master of Pioneer No. 4 in Ohio and also Deputy Grand Master of the Ohio Grand Lodge.  The Senior Warden was his brother James who was killed at the Second Bull Run Aug. 29, 1862.
    On April 15, 1861 he entered the medical department of the Union Army as Surgeon of the 4th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
  When his brother, Col. James Cantwell, organized the 82nd regiment, he was made Surgeon.
    He was severely wounded, shot through the thigh, at the battle of Cross Keys, VA on June 8, 1862.
    He was in active service in the field until December 1863, filling the office of Brigade, Division and Crops Surgeon.  He was under fire in 20 battles in all of which he officiated as Operating Surgeon.
    In January, 1864, he was commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln as Surgeon of the U.S. Volunteers and was assigned to duty by the Surgeon General as inspector of hospitals with headquarters at Washington.  By recommendation of the Surgeon General he was brevetted Lt. Col. forMeritorious Service.
    After the war he moved to Decatur, Alabama and, in addition to his usual profession as a Doctor, he became interested in business and planting.
    The Old State Bank Building, still bearing the scars of Civil War minié balls and shrapnel, became the residence and office of Dr. Cantwell.
    The May 23, 1878 edition of The Southern Immigrant newspaper reported the following:
Part of the old bank, owned by Dr. Cantwell, fell this evening burying beneath the ruins Dr. Ward, T. C. Walden, Clark Hansell and Banister Locke. The Decatur Decatur "News" office was in the second story, and is a complete wreck.  All escaped with slight bruises excepting Locke and Ward who were seriously injured. The loss will reach $2500.
There continues to exist a legend that a $250,000 Union payroll is buried on the property.
    After his death the building began to fall into disrepair and his grand niece, Mrs. W. B. Edmundson, deeded the building over to the City of Decatur in 1933. 
 50 51 52 70

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #20277944 and additional biographical information.   

Jasper N. Wade
 (1832-1893) served as Junior Warden in 1867, Senior Warden 1868-69 and Worshipful Master in 1870.
    He served the CSA as 2nd Lieutenant in the
 War Between the States.  Jasper N. Wade and Belton O. Nabors were special favorites of Brigade, Division and Corps Commanders for perilous scouting service65
    He was elected as Worshipful Master of Trinity Lodge No. 386 in 1874 and was Justice of the Peace in Morgan County, Alabama in 1878.

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #53939805 and additional biographical information.

John B. Stuart
 (1825-1903) was Junior Warden in 1872.  He was born in Morgan County, learned the carpenter’s trade while a young man, and at the age of eighteen years embarked in mercantile business.  He came to Decatur in 1842, and two years later, moved to Somerville.
    In 1851 he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court; in 1858 he was a traveling man and, in 1861, resumed the mercantile business at Somerville.
    In the spring of 1862 he joined
 Company H, Twenty-seventh Alabama, and was soon afterward made its Captain.  At Fort Donelson he fell into the hands of the enemy and was held many months as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, and at Johnson’s Island.  After his exchange, which took place in September following his capture, he took part in the battles of Corinth, Baker’s Creek, Resaca, Cassville, Lost Mountain and Atlanta.  During General John Bell Hood’s raid into Tennessee, he had charge of a scouting party, and at the head of about one hundred rangers met General James H. Wilson at Elyton (now part of Birmingham).  This engagement proved decidedly unfortunate, as he lost all his command.
    After the war he returned to Decatur, where he has since been one of the most successful merchants of this place.
    The following are excerpts from newly discovered letters from Camp Chase prisoners:
From 1st Lt. Peter Barker, Mess 58, Prison 8, April 21st 1862:
            Dear Brother
            I am in very good helth 15 of ous in a mess all tolerabel well with the exception
            of Capt John Stuart of Morgan Co.
            I have had mups I was vaxenated it had vary good effect we have sinc the first
            of this mont 4 cases of small pox but……
        From Capt. J. B. Stuart, Mess 58, Prison 3, April 21st 1862:
            Dear Sarah
            ……I am quite lame yet from an attack of Rheumatism.
            .....I think if I could get out of this prison and a bed to sleep on in place of
            a hard plank I will improve fast. Our prison is verry damp and the house we
            are in leaks verry bad. It rains all night and the floor is wet all over there is
            nothing but a plank rood on it…….
            ……I have a list of all that are dead that I know of……
            ……You must take good care of your self & send the children to school……
            ……We have bin unlucky to some extent but live in hope. My mess is all
            verry cleaver to me in my sickness. As kind as  brothers and the ties made
             here cannot be loosed until death……
            ……Tell all my friends to write me as this life is verry monotonous. My respects
            to all inquiring friends. Kiss the children for me & accept one your self. 
In 1888, Capt. J. B. Stuart contracted Yellow Jack (as yellow fever was commonly called) while attending his son who died of the dreaded disease.  Capt. Stuart’s case is light and he is expected to recover.  72


     CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial # 59306687 and additional biographical information.

    Joseph S. Sugars
 (1845-1892) served as Senior Warden from 1872-1874, and as Worshipful Master 1875, 1876 and again in 1887.
    He was born in Decatur, May 12, 1845, and was reared and received his education at the common schools of this place.
    In the fall of 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate Army, in
 Company E, First Alabama Cavalry,and was detailed on special duty in General Roddy's Escort.  He was in the engagements at Pond Springs and continuous skirmishes in front of Wilson.  He was present at the battles of Harrisburg and Tupelo, Miss., East Point, Ga., and the siege of Atlanta, which was his last battle in the war.  He was at Montgomery at the time it surrendered, and at once returned to his father's farm, where he remained about two years.
    He then came to Decatur, and as a member of the firm of Levy, Sugars & Son, Jewelers, met with good success.
    He is a director in the North Alabama Oil and Asphalt Company, of Birmingham, Ala., and owns considerable property in Decatur.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #66875189 and additional biographical information.

     Prior to the early 1870’s, it is not known exactly where meetings were held.  It has been discovered that meetings were held in several different places, most likely ranging from individual members homes, to other buildings as they became available.
    Records do reveal that sometime around 1873, however, a Lodge was built on the northwest corner of Bank Street and Pond Street, (Pond Street is now Wilson Street), and this is where regular meetings occurred until approximately 1876, when that building caught fire and burned to the ground.

    Brother James M. Brundidge offered the following resolution during the proceedings of the annual communications of the Grand Lodge in 1876 and it was adopted;
Relief of Rising Sun Lodge, No. 29: Reached, That Rising Sun Lodge, No. 29,
        at Decatur, having, on the 7th of November, lost by fire it's charter, jewels and 
        furniture; a new charter is hereby granted to said Lodge, free of charge and it's
        dues for the present year remitted.

fter this Lodge burned down, Rising Sun Lodge moved it’s location to a two-story building owned by Brother R. P. Baker, which was just down the block on the corner of Bank Street and Market Street.  This building was closer to the river, and served as Rising Sun’s designated Lodge for several years.

    In 1877 James M. Brundidge represented Rising Sun Lodge 29 at Grand Lodge in Montgomery, Ala.31

 The first of two major yellow fever epidemics struck Decatur in 1878 with 58 confirmed deaths36 and the membership of Rising Sun Lodge 29 escaped not.
    The November 23, 1878 edition of the Decatur News published the following:
        Masonic Tribute - Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 Free and Accepted Masons, mourns the
        loss of an honored and highly esteemed member, The Rev. Joel W. Whitten, late
        pastor of the Methodist Church, South, in Decatur, died of yellow fever on
        Sunday morning, October 28th. 39

     CLICK HERE to be redirected to his Find A Grave Memorial #52999250 and additional biographical information.

    On December 2, 1878, it was resolved at Grand Lodge "That The Dues of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 be remitted for the present year, that lodge having suffered severely on account of the yellow fever."  42

    P. J. Edwards (1847-1916) was Junior Warden in 1877 and 1878.  Perry Jackson Edwards was born at Milledgeville, GA.  In May, 1861, he enlisted, at the age of thirteen, in Company A, Sixteenth Georgia Battalion, Stewart's Brigade, Walker's Division.  Both Stewart and Walker were killed in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.
    He was in the service about two years and nine months and participated in the battles of Kennesaw, and in the Atlanta campaign, was with General Hood at Franklin and Nashville.
    He was never wounded but was captured in April, 1864 and held as a prisoner of war.  He was paroled on the 23rd day of April, 1865 at Macon, Ga.
    After attending the University of Georgia for two years, he was employed by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company.  In 1873 he moved to Decatur, Alabama where he was a car inspector.
    For the sum of $3,500, a deed was filed in the Morgan County Probate Court, transferring the 50-foot lot at the corner of Bank and Walnut Streets to the Decatur Lodge I. O. O. F.  The property was owned by a combine of local men, who bought it during the boom days.  The deed was signed by Col. C. C. Harris and P. J. Edwards, trustees.
    It is understood the Odd Fellows will, in the near future erect a handsome two story double brick store building on the lot. 60
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #39805373 and additional biographical information.

John Wesley Jones (1827-1884) was Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 for 6 years from 1879 until 1884, the year of his death.
    Among his occupations, John W. Jones was a farmer, printer, merchant and superintendent of the Huntsville and Decatur Railroad, and on the line's completion became its agent at Decatur.
    He served as 2nd Lieutenant and Captain of
 Company D., 7th Alabama regiment, C.S.A.
    He was a representative in the Constitutional Convention of 1875, as well as Mayor of Decatur for three terms.
    From the January 17, 1883 edition of The Huntsville Advocate:
        The impressive Masonic ceremonies over the remains of Dr. F. W. Sykes were
        conducted by Capt. J. W. Jones, Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge
        29.  Members of the Trinity and Town Creek Lodges were present.  Dr. Sykes
        was a member of the Town Creek Lodge.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #39896369 and additional biographical information.

    Col. Christopher Columbus Harris (1842-1935) was Senior Warden in 1880 and in 1881.  C. C. Harris obtained his early education under the parental roof by a private instructor, who was employed to teach the children of his parents, as was customary in the South in antebellum days.
    In 1861 he joined
 Company F, Sixteenth Alabama Regiment of Infantry Confederate Army, as a private.  He soon became a lieutenant, and was wounded at the battles of ShilohChickamauga,Jonesboroand at Franklin, Tenn., and from the effect of the wound received at the latter place, was confined four months in a private house in Franklin, Tenn.  He was afterward captured, and spent some time as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase.
After the war he returned home penniless.  His father's fortune too, for the most part, was gone, so that his future depended entirely upon his own energy and industry.  He renewed his literary labors, in connection with the study of the law, and in 1866 was admitted to the bar in Lawrence County.  About that time he was Clerk of the Circuit Court: afterward County Solicitor, and in 1872 moved to Decatur, where he has since resided, and where he has been a prominent figure in society and in church, and in every move that had for its end the up building of the community and general welfare of the country.
    He was a true visionary in the history of Decatur, Alabama and one of the leaders of the Decatur Land Improvement & Furnace Company.  In 1881, along with W. W. Littlejohn as one of it's incorporators, Harris founded and was president of the Bank of Decatur (later First National Bank) and served as attorney for the Decatur Land Improvement & Furnace Company.
    In 1914 and 1915, Colonel Harris served in the United States Congress as a Representative of Alabama's 8th Congressional District, now obsolete.
    In the practice of law he is associated with Robert C. Brickell, late Chief Justice of Alabama.
 56 57 58



    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #7420183 and additional biographical information.

    W. W. Littlejohn (1845-1907) was Junior Warden in 1884 and in 1886.  He was a Civil War veteran who enlisted in the 154th Tennessee Volunteers and later served under General Robert E. Lee in Virginia.
      In 1877 he moved to Decatur, where he assisted in the management of Polk Hotel.  William Whitson Littlejohn was a man of broad business ideas and superior character who provided leadership for the Decatur Land and Furnace Company.  In 1880, he was one of the incorporators of the Bank of Decatur (later First National Bank) and served as the cashier until his death.  Mr. Littlejohn remained in Decatur through the dreadful scourge of yellow fever in 1888 and gave noble aid to the victims of disease during that awful period.
    W. W. Littlejohn was one of the prime movers in the early enterprises of Decatur, which have resulted in achievements exceeding the expectation of the most sanguine.  It has been said of him and his work in projecting this enterprise "that he built better than he knew."  55
    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #39804478 and additional biographical information.

Robert Perry Baker
 (1837-1905) In 1886 R. P. Baker was Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 and also Mayor of Decatur, Alabama. 3    In January 1859 he came South and, having learned the printing trade under his father, aided in the publication of The Decatur Times assisted by Joe W Furey.      In 1861 he published The Constitution in Tuscumbia.
    In 1862 he enlisted in the Thirty-fifth Alabama Regiment, C.S.A. and served gallantly at the battles of Corinth, Baton Rouge and Vicksburg.
    He was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant as the United States Marshal for the Northern District of Alabama and held that position from 1875 until 1879. 37    
    In 1880 he purchased the McCartney Hotel property.    
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #39924155 and additional biographical information.

    Louis M. Falk (1839-1915) was Senior Warden in 1886. Before moving to Decatur in 1869, he opened a store 22 miles south at a Louisville & Nashville Railroad station in 1858 and named it FALKVILLE.
    When the war broke out, he enlisted in the Confederate Army for one year, but this company was not received, and in the summer of 1862 he enlisted in Company A, Fourth Alabama Cavalryand served mostly in this Alabama and Tennessee. In 1864, he was captured near Pond Spring, Alabama, and sent to Camp Douglas, where he was held as a prisoner of war until the close of the war.


    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #42081749 and additional biographical information.    

    The second yellow fever epidemic within a decade decimated Decatur again in 1888 and claimed 35 souls including 5 doctors, three of whom were members and one an Officer of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29.

     Dr. Robert V. Williams (????-1888) and Dr. William G. Gill (1819-1888), pictured below, were members of Rising Sun Lodge and were among the 35 victims of the 1888 Yellow Fever epidemic.

     CLICK HERE to be re-directed to Dr. Gills Find A Grave Memorial #27166178 and additional biographical information.

     Dr. W. J. Young (????- 1888), was Junior Warden in 1876 and again in 1885.  He was Senior Warden in 1877 and again in 1878 when the first epidemic struck.  He survived the first epidemic in 1878 in discharge of his Hippocratic duties but contracted the disease on October 26, 1888.
    The October 27, 1888 edition of the Chicago Tribune reported:
        "Dr. Young's case is said to be violent." 45
    After weary weeks of unceasing labors and deep solicitude for the welfare of others  46, Dr. Young succumbed to the disease on October 30, 1888.
    From The Tennessee Valley Genealogical  Society, Valley Leaves, Volumes 31-32, page 142:
        "Dr. W. J. Young was the last of the noble heroes to die." 47
    For over 100 years the yellow fever victims lay buried in a mass grave in Decatur City Cemetery until a monument was erected in 1991. 47
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #27166372 and additional biographical information.
    Illustration below courtesy of Old Morgan County Magazine -#22.  All rights reserved.

    Once again Decatur recovered and prospered.  During this time, on June 28th, 1890, the Grand Lodge of Alabama issued a dispensation for another Lodge, naming it “New Decatur” Lodge #491. 41
    With this development, Rising Sun Lodge #29 moved into the J. T. Banks Building (now called the McEntire Building) on the corner of Oak and Cain Streets.

    Lycastus Simpson Robinson
 (1849-1921) was Senior Warden in 1879, 1882 and again in 1893.  He was Worshipful Master in 1885, 1888 and 1889.
    In 1893, L. S. Robinson and Peter Broadfoot secured a patent for what is termed the “king brace for a railroad scraper”, for which they were offered and refused $20,000. 73
    In 1896, his second wife, Katherine, passed away leaving 5 children, including a 4 day old infant, in his care.
    His son, Leon Simpson Robinson followed his father’s footsteps into Rising Sun Lodge and was it’s Junior Warden in 1919 and Worshipful Master in 1920.
 to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #9379677 and additional biographical information.

    Dr. W. E. Forest (1850-1903) Dr. William Edward Forest, President of the Decatur Building and Investment Company, was born in Burlington, Vt. He is a son of John R. and Caroline (Powers) Forest, the former a native of England. 
     William E. Forest graduated at the University of Vermont, at Burlington, in 1874, in the classical course, and again at the University of New York, in 1876, in the medical course. He practiced ten years in the hospitals of New York City and elsewhere; was connected with the Women's Asylum and the New York Dispensary, and contributed many monographs to medical journals. He was a member of several medical societies while actively in the practice. 
     In 1883 Dr. Forrest invested extensively in real estate in North Alabama, and in these speculations was remarkably successful. In 1887 he made Decatur his home, and became one of the organizers of the Decatur Land and Improvement Company, and has since become a stockholder in nearly all the enterprises in that booming city. He is president of the Building and Investment Company and of two brick manufacturing companies: president of the Wire Fence Company; largest stockholder and director in the Gas & Oil Company; and secretary in the Artificial Ice Company. He is a Knight of Honor, a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights and Ladies of Honor, and the Masonic fraternity.
     Dr. Forest drowned in 1903 off Rockaway Point in Long Island, NY.

    CLICK HERE to be redirected to his Find A Grave Memorial #79832413 and additional biographical information.

   Edward J. Oden (1840-1900) was born in Morgan county, Ala., in 1840, and grew to manhood and received his education there. He responded to the first call to arms in the recent civil strife, and became a member of Company E, Fourth Alabama Cavalry, of which company he was made captain in regular order of promotion from the ranks. He was with Forrest in his campaigns in Alabama, the Valley of the Tennessee, and Georgia; in the pursuit and capture of General Streight, when, by their pluck and well-devised stratagem, Forrest succeeded in capturing a Federal force of more than five times the number of his own. The audacity of Forrest's scheme, and the chagrin of the prisoners when, too late, they discovered the ruse, will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. 
    Captain Oden was in battles at Decatur, AL, Athens, AL, Sulphur Trestle, TN, Pulaski, TN, Corinth, MS, Tupelo, MS, and many others.
    He was with Johnson's army at Dalton, GA., and in the running fight from Dalton to Atlanta. From the battle of Peach Tree creek he returned to the Valley of the Tennessee, and saw his last fight at Selma, AL, where his regiment, and in fact, nearly the whole army, were captured, but Captain Oden, accompanied by
General Forrest and about one hundred others, cut their way out through the lines and escaped. They proceeded soon afterwards to Wheeler's Station, near Decatur, and surrendered in May, 1865.
   After the war Captain Oden farmed in 
Franklin county, Ala., and taught school one year. Since 1868 he has had an interest in a store at Falkville, and another at Coal Hill, AR.  He has been county superintendent of education for ten years consecutively. In 1884 he became interested in a bank in Decatur, in connection with C. C. Harris and W.W. Littlejohn and is now a director in the First National Bank, of Decatur, into which the Bank of Decatur was merged.
    In 1886, Captain Oden bought a half interest in the Hartselle Index from E.H. Rolfe, with whom his brother. A. A. Oden, had previously been associated, and since that time has edited that paper. He was married, in 1862, to Miss Carrie E. Sherrill. They have two sons, Arthur L. and Walter L. The Captain is a member of the Christian church, a Freemason, Knight of Pythias and Knight of Honor.
    Edward J. Oden is a son of Elias Oden, and grandson of Hezekiah Oden, of East Tennessee, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War: brought his family to Alabama in 1819, and died in 1848.
   CLICK HERE to be redirected to his Find A Grave Memorial #28632688 and additional biographical information.

    John Charles Eyster (1863-1926) was Senior Warden in 1890 and Worshipful Master in 1891 and 1892.  He was the Morgan County delegate from Decatur to the 1901 Alabama Constitutional Convention and was afterward presented the gavel by Col. John B. Knox, Convention President.


     CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #9379677 and additional biographical information.

    On May 1st, 1899, Bro. H. Clay Armstrong, Grand Secretary visited the New Decatur Lodge, No. 491, at New Decatur and witnessed the conferring E.A. Degree by the WM, Bro. Geo. E. Saywell, which was well done and...
in due form.  It was my privilege to make “a talk” to the Brethren in the Lodge
         room. T
his Lodge has enjoyed great prosperity since its organization in 1890.
        Starting out with a membership of 17, it now has on its roll 53 members, and
        nowhere in my knowledge is the Masonic standard higher than in New Decatur
        Lodge, No. 491; the Cardinal Virtues and Tenets of the Craft are not more
        scrupulously observed and practiced anywhere than in this Lodge, nor is the outer
        door more closely guarded.  The Returns for the past year show that six applications,
        for the mysteries of Masonry, were rejected.
his is in many respects a “Model Lodge”; it’s financial condition is excellent; the
        moral standard is high; its membership is loyal and true and all are living in peace
        and harmony. So may it long continue.
o the brethren of this Lodge I am greatly indebted for the courtesies extended.
        During my visit I was entertained by the Lodge as its guest at "The Tavern'' in
        New Decatur." 

    Cotaco Opera House - Built in 1890, the Cotaco Opera House was the first opera house constructed in the state of Alabama.  The Opera House was built on a 100 by 140 foot site that ran south from Johnston Street and fronted on the east side of 1st Avenue. It was built by the Cotaco Opera House Company, which was incorporated on September 16, 1889. 14
    In later years, it became the Masonic Lodge, Masonic Theatre, the Payne Theatre and more.  The photo below shows a neon sign on the 1966 Masonic Building (renamed from the Cotaco Opera House) that resembles or was relocated to the current Lodge on Bank and Walnut Streets.
It is located at 115 Johnston Street, SE in historic downtown Decatur, Alabama and presently there are several tenants.  It was placed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places
 in 1986. 30


      Riverboat with passengers at Lock "A" on the Tennessee River, 20 miles west of Decatur, Alabama.  The passengers are on a trip sponsored by the Masonic Lodge on May 17, 1895.
    The photo below is in the Digital Archives Collection of the Alabama Department of Archives And History.



    J. L. Jones (1865-1906) was Junior Warden in 1898, Senior Warden in 1899 and Worshipful Master in 1901.  Jesse Lemuel Jones, or "Lem" as he was affectionately called, was born in Alabama and moved to Decatur in 1892.
    He was employed here by L&N Railroad, later as a U.S. Internal Revenue Officer and then as a Decatur Police Officer.
    He was a large man physically, brave and courageous as a lion.
    Late in the night of November 24, 1906, another rowdy Saturday night in turn-of-the-century Decatur, a telephone call was received at the Mayor’s office of a "domestic disturbance".  "Lem" answered the call alone at a house of ill repute on Dead Man’s Alley, named for the row of clapboard shanty houses beginning at the Rhodes Family/Lafayette Street Cemetery.  Robberies, murder, drugs,
sex, gambling, vice, corruption (general debauchery) were common in this seedy area.
    Alice Williams, the madam of the aforementioned house, claimed some men were raising a "rough house".  While "Lem" was arresting Cliff Way, another man, Waymond Moore, interfered, and “
Lem” was shot from behind (likely with his own side arm as it was never recovered) in the left temple by a vile coward and died the next morning.  He was slain while in faithful discharge of his sworn duty.
    Decatur lost another Hero and the Masonic Fraternity lost an exemplary Brother.  Brother J. L. Jones received Masonic Rites at his funeral and is buried within the Decatur City Cemetery.
    J. L. Jones was the
 third policeman murdered (one account called it an assassination) in Decatur in the last three years along with Officers William "Billy" A. Baber and Everett Steele.
Cliff Way
 was arrested, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to 13 years but the sentence was reversed on appeal.  Waymond Moore, for whom a $650 reward had been posted, was apprehended, tried, convicted and was sentenced to 25 years.
 justice served?  Did they get the right man?  Well, maybe not the first time, but what about the second time?
    The front page of the Thursday evening edition of The Elkhart Weekly Truth, December 6, 1906, reported the following horrible claim.
    A hardened criminal, George W. Harris, made the following voluntary boastful confession while in custody (for the attempted murder of an Indiana Officer) of having murdered a Decatur Police Officer while in a “sporting house” brawl a few months ago (actually it was
 less than two weeks):
        "I dropped an officer in a sporting house at Decatur.  He attempted to arrest me
        and several others, and I shot through
 my coat.  "The cop fell dead.
        If they would get me down in Alabama they would soon have me hanging to a
62 63 64
So, was Waymond Moore really the right man?
    In the words of the famous late columnist Paul Harvey “and that’s the rest of the story.”  Or, is it?  To Be Continued…
    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #45485482
 and read the heart-wrenching eulogy printed in his obituary in The Decatur Weekly News, December 8, 1906.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to the Officer Down Memorial Page - Remembering All of Law Enforcement’s Heroes, honoring Officer Jessie Lemuel Jones.

     Charles Collier Robertson (1868-1951) was Junior Warden in 1900, Senior Warden in 1901 and Worshipful Master from 1902 until 1909 and again in 1914.  He was a 50-year Mason and a member of Rising Sun Lodge for over 50 years.
    C. C. Robertson worked for L & N Railroad and served a term as Morgan County Tax Collector.
    In the photo below Brother Robertson is shown in attendance of a Masonic Conference in Cullman - The Cullman Democrat - 22 January, 1948.

    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #50965798 and additional biographical information.

     Judge William E. Skeggs (1852-1931) was Worshipful Master of New Decatur Lodge No. 491 in 1902.  He came to Decatur in 1871 and taught school in Somerville and Decatur.  He was admitted to the bar in 1878 and practiced law at Somerville until 1887, when he opened an office at Decatur.  He represented Morgan County in the State Legislature in 1880-81 and served as Register in Chancery of Morgan County from 1883 until 1887.  He also has been a delegate to various state conventions.  Judge Skeggs also served this county as Probate Judge for 20 years.
In 1930, Judge William E. Skeggs disregarded a stop sign on Johnston Street and, while being cited, shot Officer T. E. Wright in the abdomen with a .41 caliber Derringer.  After several blood transfusions, Officer Wright died.
    Judge Skeggs was tried, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for 2nd degree murder but the Judge never served a single day in prison.  Freed on appeal, Judge Skeggs' second trial ended in a mistrial.  He remained free while awaiting a re-trial.
In a strange and bizarre twist of ironic fate, while attempting to walk across Second Avenue, the Judge was struck by an automobile that had disregarded a stop sign and was fatally injured! 68 69



    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #54282458 and additional biographical information.

    Dillard Dudley McGehee (1869-1912) Was Junior Warden in 1902, Senior Warden in 1903 and 1904 and Worshipful Master in 1911.  For a period of 20 years he was President of the Decatur Board of Education.


      CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #58136189 and additional biographical information.

     W. R. McClusky (1875-1930) was Junior Warden in 1908, Senior Warden in 1909 and 1910 and Worshipful Master for three two-year terms in 1912 and 1913, 1915 and 1916 and again in 1918 and 1919.
    William Raymond McClusky
 lived as a Mason but, more impressively, died as a Mason.
    Stricken ill while conducting the Masonic Rites at the grave of A. H. Pence, at Somerville on Sunday afternoon, W. Raymond McClusky, of 1301 Seventh Avenue South, expired almost immediately.
    Mr. McClusky complained of feeling ill and called upon a Brother Mason to complete the service for him.  He staggered backward and despite the efforts of several physicians in the group, he died some ten minutes later just as the Pence funeral was completed.
    CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #74078105 and additional biographical information.

    John Givens McGehee (1896-1981) Was Junior Warden in 1925, Senior Warden in 1926 and Worshipful Master in 1927, following in the footsteps of his father, D. D. McGehee. He was a charter member of the Decatur Rotary Club and served as Decatur Personnel Director.


      CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #58136186 and additional biographical information.

     1902-03 New Decatur Lodge #491 Officer Installation Ceremony at Lock "A" on the Tennessee River.

    This photo below is framed and displayed in Rising Sun Lodge and a copy now resides in the
 Morgan County Archives, Bank Street - Decatur, Ala.  All rights reserved.


    On September 12, 1907, The Grand Lodge of Alabama issued a dispensation for Austinville Lodge #679 and it was chartered on December 8, 1907.41  The charter was forfeited in 1933.  Meeting minutes from Albany Lodge #491 reveal that the three lodges regularly participated in courtesy degree work.

    Masonic Cornerstone Laying Ceremony was conducted on the Baptist Church in Decatur on August 11, 1908. 41

    The 39th meeting of the Alabama State Bar Association was held in the Masonic Theater, New Decatur, Alabama on Friday, July 14, 1916. 18 

    By vote of the citizens, in 1916 New Decatur was renamed to Albany, respectively changing the Lodge name to Albany Lodge #491. 8    
    The following year proved tragic, however, when Rising Sun’s building caught fire, and burned once again.
    From there, Rising Sun moved into the “Knights of Pythias” Building, which was located between Church and Wilson Streets on the west side of Bank Street.

    The Keller Memorial Bridge, over the Tennessee River at Decatur, was inaugurated March 6, 1928, and the Masonic Temple, home of Albany Lodge #491, was host to a banquet for 300 that evening. 9 

      In 1934, Rising Sun moved to the Masonic Temple on Johnston Street.  This building was owned by Albany Lodge #491.

    On May 3rd, 1935, Albany Lodge #491 and Rising Sun Lodge #29 were consolidated.  Upon agreement, both Lodges were now one, fully chartered as the original Rising Sun Lodge #29.

    The March 20, 1966 edition of
 The Decatur Daily published a full page article entitled Masonic Lodge No. 29 Looks Back 139 Years from the Then... and NoW section authored by John Knox.3  The article is framed and displayed in the Lodge and is more easily read on this file.

    The Friday, April 29, 2005 edition of The Decatur Daily
 published an article in the Living Today section entitled Fencing in a chapter of history - Confederate groups honor 55 dead with historical marker, iron enclosure by Patrice Stewart.
    Included in the article was the following:
        Only two of the graves have been identified: John R. Palmer and Isaac Beard
PHOTO, Company B, 6th Arkansas, who was a Master Mason and has descendants
        in Texas.  As part of Tuesday's ceremony, members of Rising Sun No. 29 Masonic
        Lodge of Decatur gave him a proper Masonic funeral ceremony.

    The Sunday, July 12, 2005 edition of The Decatur Daily published an article entitled VALLEY OF YEARS PAST 75 Years Ago by Mary Lott and wrote that Rising Sun and Albany Lodge, A.F. and A.M. had selected officials for the ensuing year. 19
CLICK HERE for the online article.

    In the Wednesday, April 12, 2006 edition of The Decatur Daily
 an article included in the Chatter Box section by Wendy N. McDougald was published recognizing Rising Sun Lodge.

    Brother Gerald Gunn, PM accepted a certificate of merit on behalf of the Lodge for helping restore the Confederate Cemetery.

CLICK HERE for the online article.

     The Friday, October 19, 2007 edition of The Decatur Daily published an article entitled Masonic Lodge In Decatur To Celebrate 180th authored by Paul Huggins. 4

    PHOTO - George Flavious Mills (May 23, 1921 - ) was Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 in 1963.  A 60-year Mason, Brother Mills was Initiated April 11, 1949, Passed May 16, 1949 and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason July 16, 1949 in Rising Sun Lodge. 


        Mills, a dashing 21 year-old piano salesman PHOTO, enlisted in the Regular Army after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He soon experienced the horrors of war by being thrust into the midst of battle and suffering the loss of his best friend.
     He was wounded by shrapnel at the Battle of the Bulge, captured and held as POW by Germany's 3rd Reich.
     George F. Mills, a Purple Heart recipient, is a PATRIOT and a true AMERICAN HERO.  He was awarded the Bronze Star and Infantry Combat Badge. His service and sacrifice for our Great Nation has been subject of magazine and newspaper articles and television interviews (LINK 1 - LINK 2 - LINK 3 -LINK 4 - LINK 5). He has been Grand Marshal of Memorial Day, Veterans Day and WW/POW Recognition Day Parades and the keynote speaker of these and many other civic events and celebrations.
     For his participation in the liberation of France, he was presented a "Chevalier" of the Order of the Legion of Honor PHOTO, an award created by Napoleon in 1802.

     Please take a few moments and let Brother Mills take you back to a time of sacrifice, strife, human suffering, courage, and his belief in God with his testimonial in this 9 segment video documentary interview which was broadcast by Alabama Public Television - WWII: Alabama Remembers.

George Mills 1     George introduces himself and describes the way he entered the war.
George Mills 2     George recalls the way in which he was taken prisoner by the Germans.
George Mills 3     George talks about his experiences in battle.
George Mills 4     George talks about the difficulties of the Battle of the Bulge.
George Mills 5     George talks about becoming accustomed to war.
George Mills 6     George recalls thinking he wouldn't make it back home.
George Mills 7     George talks about keeping in touch with the men he fought alongside with.
George Mills 8     George talks about meeting other former soldiers in the years after the war.
George Mills 9     George talks about what he learned from his war experiences.

     PHOTO - Rev. Brady Emerson McCullough, Sr. (July 17, 1923 - March 17, 2012) was a 60-year Mason as well as a 32nd Degree Mason. He was a member of Rising Sun Lodge #29, Decatur, AL; Past Master of Nunn-Oden Lodge #398 in Hartselle, Ala.; Past Master of Arrites-Oden Lodge #396 in Falkville, Ala. and Past President of the Northwest Alabama Proficiency Club.
He served in the Alabama Grand Lodge as Grand Chaplin for three years and was Grand Orator for one year.
 to be re-directed to his Find A Grave Memorial #86940511 and additional biographical information.

    Michael Leiod Jones - (January 21, 1929 - ) Brother Jones was born in Morgan County, Alabama and is a descendant through his mothers linage of Isaac Lane, one of the original petitioners to organize Rising Sun Lodge. Isaac Lane was also a Past Master of Rising Sun.
Brother Jones received his EA Degree March 13, 1950, FC Degree  May 15, 1950 and was Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason September 15, 1950. He became Master of Rising Sun in 1969.
The list of his affiliations and devotion to the Fraternity ranks him among the Who's Who in Freemasonry, York Rite and Scottish Rite Bodies.
Worthy Patron Mary Lou Dancy O.E.S. - 1959-1960
Junior Grand Deacon Alabama Grand Lodge F. & A.M. - 1974-1975
Council of Anointed High Priest - 1965
Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 F. & A. M. - Life Member, Past Master 1969
Order of the Silver Trowel - 1966
Order of Red Cross Constantine Sovereign - 1967
Knight Masons - 1989, Excellent Chief 2002
Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest - 1968, K.C 1995
Knight Crusader of the Cross - 1988
Grand Commandery of Knights Templar - 1973-1974
Knights of the York Cross of Honour - 1966, Prior - 1994
York Rite Gold Award - 1984, Royal Arch - 1952, Council -1960,  High Priest - 1964, I.M. - 1964, E.C. - 1964
Royal Arch Mason of the Year
Cryptic Mason of the Year
Alabama Grand Lodge Finiance Committee Member
- 18 years
Knight Commander of the Temple - 1996

     2015-16 Right Worshipful Grand Marshal Phillip J. Sherman (August 19, 1950 - ) Brother Sherman was initiated 7/23/1973, Passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft 11/19/1979 and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason 2/11/1980.
His dedication to the Craft and the list of his offices and accomplishments in the Masonic Fraternity, the York Rite Bodies and the Scottish Rite are exemplary and are here worthily so inscribed as follows:

Rising Sun Lodge No. 29
- Life Member, Past Master - 1985 -1986
Decatur York Rite
- Life Member, Excellent High Priest - 1983, Illustrious Master - 1985, Commander - 1988
Knights of the York Cross of Honour
- KYCH - 1985 - Life Member, Prior - 2005
Knight Masons
- 1985 - Life Member, Excellent Chief - 1999
Red Cross of Constantine
 - Past Sovereign
Knight Crusaders of the Cross
 - Past President - 1983
Thrice Illustrious Master, Order of the Silver Trowel
- 1983, Past President
Council of Anointed High Priest
- 1984, Past President
Ten Sephiroth Council #225
 - Allied Masonic Degrees
Alabama College, Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis
, Past Head
Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri
- 2008
Holy Royal Arch Knight
 - Templar Priest, Preceptor - 2012
- 2000, Past President
Heroes of 76
- 2001, Past Commander
Huntsville Scottish Rite
- 1992, Life member, Red Hat
Council of Super Excellent Masters
- 1998
Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Alabama
 - Right Eminent Grand Commander - 2003-2004
Grand Council of Alabama 
- Most Illustrious Grand Master - 2009 
Most Illustrious Representative in Alabama for General Grand Council
- 2011-2017
Grand Representative in Alabama for Grand Encampment Knights Templar
- 2012-2015
General Grand Council
- 2013, Cryptic Masons International Companion of the Secret Vault
Right Worshipful Grand Marshall
 - 2014-2015, Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama

PHOTO - Most Worshipful Grand Master John R. Strickling (May 6, 1947 - )
He was elected to the Grand Lodge line as 2011 - 2012 as Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden,
2012 -2013 Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, 2013-2014 Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master and 2014-2015 Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama.

     He was Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 1999-2000 and served as 5th District Lecturer for a total of 7 years.
     He is a dual member with Monroe Lodge No. 189 in Woodsville, Ohio where his Father and Grandfather were Past Masters.
     Brother Strickling was Initiated 5/23/72, Passed 6/27/72 and Raised 9/26/72 in Monroe Lodge No. 189.
     Our 2014-15 Most Worshipful Grand Master is the first member of our Lodge in its 188+ year history to be elected Grand Master.

     PHOTO - Today The Masonic Building” , located at 1 Walnut Street NE, is home of Rising Sun Lodge 29Decatur York Rite Bodies, Mizpah Chapter 19 and Mary Lou Dancy Chapter 320 of the Order of the Eastern Star. 10 11

     It is the second largest lodge in Alabama in membership slightly behind Helion Lodge #1 just 20 miles away in Huntsville, Alabama.


    The Alabama Lodge of Research has many informative articles and a very well documented history of Freemasonry in Alabama on their website. 12

    Alabama Pioneers - The Alabama Genealogy Resource! 35

    The Proceedings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Jurisdiction of Alabama, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, annual communication is available as a FREE eBook. 29

    The Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of the State of Alabama has a wealth of information including the inaugural 1st Edition issue of their semi-annual newsletter "The Masonic Messenger" on their website. 13


    As 1 of 18 nationwide recipients in 2011 and 1 of 22 recipients in 2012, Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 has achieved the distinction of being awarded the Masonic Service Association of North America's Mark Twain Award for Masonic awareness in the lodge and in the community for the second consecutive year. 17


    We are very grateful for the international recognition our website has received from the Brethren of Lodge Anima 1223 in Glasgow, Scotland.  They have bestowed upon us their 2012 GREAT MASONIC WEBSITE AWARD.  From the Lodge Anima 1223 Webmaster:
        "I have had much pleasure in looking at your site and feel it more than worthy of our award….”

    Here at RisingSun29.org, we work hard to make an interesting and informative website for our Brethren and visitors.  We are proud to be recognized by 7thNYCavalry.com for meeting these high standards and honored to receive their 2012 THE BLUES AND GRAYS OUTSTANDING SITE AWARD. 

  Our rich history, community involvement and bright future has drawn accolades near and far.  On November 11, 2012, we were awarded the Geo. Washington Past Master Award.  This award was given 8 times in 2009, 9 times in 2010, 1 time in 2011 and we are currently the only 2012 recipient.


  1. http://www.risingsun29.org/Home_Page.php.
  2. Decatur, Alabama
  3. http://risingsun29.org/uploads/Masonic_Lodge_Looks_Back_139_Years.pdf
  4. http://archive.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/071019/lodge.shtml
  5. http://www.livingplaces.com/AL/Morgan_County/Decatur_City.html
  6. http://www.decaturcitycemetery.org/index.php/2012-03-14-15-49-46
  7. http://books.google.com/books?id=QCg2AQAAIAAJ&dq=Decatur%20%22rising%20sun%20lodge%22&pg=PA842#v=onepage&q=Decatur%20%22rising%20sun%20lodge%22&f=false.
  8. http://books.google.com/books?id=vuBLHGX87YQC&ots=2-yBRujBeR&dq=New%20Decatur%20lodge%20491%22&lr&pg=PA132#v=onepage&q=decatur&f=false
  9. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/al/al1200/al1227/data/al1227data.pdf
  10. http://www.risingsun29.org/uploads/Lodge-Corner-Stone.jpg
  11. http://risingsun29.org/uploads/Rising-Sun-Back-Door.jpg
  12. http://www.alabamalodgeofresearch.org/Home.aspx.
  13. http://www.alafreemasonry.org/index.php.
  14. http://books.google.com/books?id=qzkLDyISV7gC&lpg=PA48&dq=%22Cotaco%20Opera%20House%22&pg=PA48#v=onepage&q=%22Cotaco%20Opera%20House%22&f=false=
  15. http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/index.php.
  16. http://www.genrecords.net/alpike/misc/masonic.txt
  17. http://www.msana.com/twainaward/winners2011.html.
  18. http://books.google.com/books?id=aYE8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=%22Masonic+theater%22+decatur&source=bl&ots=TYa5mfjt-Z&sig=uxQEQVh3XHyZTwSpYT8KkHEmLDI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zJHiT5WaEI6O8wTdvPWFCA&ved=0CMwBEOgBMAA#v=onepage&q=%22Masonic%20theater%22%20decatur&f=false
  19. http://archive.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/livingtoday/valley/050612.shtml
  20. http://archive.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/livingtoday/chatterbox/060412.shtml
  21. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=32462637
  22. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places_listings_in_Morgan_County,_Alabama
  23. http://books.google.com/books?id=KPwqAAAAMAAJ&dq=%22Junior%20warden%22%20brundidge&pg=PA87#v=onepage&q=%22Junior%20warden%22%20brundidge&f=false
  24. http://books.google.com/books?id=NchJAAAAMAAJ&lpg=RA1-PR3&ots=c1LsTazCAG&dq=honorary%20%22Grand%20master%22%20brundidge&pg=RA1-PR3#v=onepage&q=honorary%20%22Grand%20master%22%20brundidge&f=false
  25. http://books.google.com/books?id=u75JAAAAMAAJ&lpg=PA230&ots=RhHM508hOx&dq=%22james%20m.%20Brundage%22%20alabama%20masonic%20-brundidge&pg=PA230#v=onepage&q=%22james%20m.%20Brundage%22%20alabama%20masonic%20-brundidge&f=false
  26. http://archive.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/livingtoday/050429/fence.shtml
  27. http://books.google.com/q=books?id=Dl0iAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA106&dq=%22New+Decatur+Lodge+No.+491%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZGbyT_-MI4ak8QTGiOiGAg&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=brundidge&f=false
  28. http://books.google.com/books?ei=ZGbyT_-MI4ak8QTGiOiGAg&output=text&id=Dl0iAAAAMAAJ&dq=%22New+Decatur+Lodge+No.+491%22&decatur#v=onepage&q=decatur&f=false
  29. http://books.google.com/books?id=Dl0iAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
  30. http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/AL/Morgan/state.html
  31. http://archive.org/details/proceedingsmost04unkngoog
  32. http://archive.org/stream/proceedingsmost08unkngoog#page/n508/mode/2up/search/brundidge
  33. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=93019063
  34. http://alabamapioneers.com/index.php/Early-Alabama-Stories/grand-lodge-of-free-a-accepted-masons-of-alabama.html
  35. http://alabamapioneers.com/
  36. http://www.stephensdar.org/about/historic-decatur-alabama/
  37. http://files.usgwarchives.net/al/morgan/bios/baker982gbs.txt
  38. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sunnyann/cemdecaturcity.html#John W. Jones
  39. Source - Morgan County Archives, John Allison, Director and Phil Wirey, Historian
  40. Source - Athens Alabama Courier, 02-20, 1941
  41. Source - Masonry In Alabama by Joesph Abram Jackson - Huntsville Madison County Library
  42. http://books.google.com/books?id=Zz4iAAAAMAAJ&lpg=RA1-PA49&ots=tkOLdTRtbX&dq=%22Rising%20sun%20lodge%20No.%2029%22&pg=RA1-PA49#v=onepage&q=stephen%20H.%20Beasley&f=false
  43. http://files.usgwarchives.net/al/morgan/bios/sugars1036gbs.txt
  44. http://files.usgwarchives.org/al/morgan/military/civilwar/other/somecivi455gmt.txt
  45. http://www.footnotelibrary.com/image/#78901441
  46. http://www.archive.org/stream/transactionsmed11alabgoog/transactionsmed11alabgoog_djvu.txt
  47. http://books.google.com/books?id=F1xhAAAAMAAJ&q=%22Dr.+W.+J.+Young%22+decatur&dq=%22Dr.+W.+J.+Young%22+decatur&source=bl&ots=ir1zGRRfZK&sig=l1-nFdodp3LUpW0xBI0pMpsxIi0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RrpIUM3mM4vs8gTYv4DIDA&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ
  48. http://books.google.com/books?id=xNo_AAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA75&ots=knWi-KMy96&dq=%22Alexander%20A.%20McCartney%22&pg=PA75#v=onepage&q=%22Alexander%20A.%20McCartney%22&f=false
  49. http://www.civilwaralbum.com/misc17/2010/decatur53lg.jpg
  50. From page 47 of the book The Generation of the Upright by Edward Norton Cantwell http://books.google.com/books?dq=%22Jacob+Young+Cantwell%22&q=jacob&id=AYlMAAAAMAAJ&ots=AvgsSNC4Ug&output=text#v=snippet&q=jacob&f=false
  51. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Bank_Building,_Decatur_Branch_(Old_State_Bank)
  52. http://access.newspaperarchive.com/Viewer.aspx?img=30289425&firstvisit=true&src=search&currentResult=5&currentPage=0&fpo=False
  53. http://msgw.org/tishomingo/CWMcCord.pdf
  54. http://delanopark.org/?page_id=26
  55. http://files.usgwarchives.net/al/morgan/bios/littlejo996gbs.txt
  56. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama's_8th_congressional_district
  57. http://files.usgwarchives.net/al/morgan/bios/harris995gbs.txt
  58. http://delanopark.org/?page_id=26
  59. Source: Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 2 http://books.google.com/books?id=5e7gLzzZGioC&pg=PA205&lpg=PA205&dq=%22Perry+Jackson+Edwards%22&source=bl&ots=gQFicX6WTx&sig=y38cvNpfXha8D-0in8X5CF1yqrY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=11dkUKmZMoPi8gS01oDYBA&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=edwards&f=false
  60. Source: The Huntsville Daily Times, June 18, 1915 http://www.newspaperabstracts.com/link.php?action=detail&id=96264
  61. Source: Reminiscences of public men in Alabama: for thirty years, with an appendix By William Garrett http://books.google.com/books?id=wisVAAAAYAAJ&q=Robert+a+high%22#v=snippet&q=%22Robert%20a%20high%22&f=false
  62. Source - Morgan County, Alabama Tid-Bits Vol. 2, a compilation of summaries from The New Decatur Advertiser - Courtesy of The Morgan County Archives, Bank Street, Decatur, Alabama
  63. Source - The Elkhart Weekly Truth, December 6, 1906
  64. Source - The Southern Reporter, Volume 46, Page 273-279. The FREE eBook is available on the website below. http://books.google.com/books?id=_joLAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA277&ots=lLhJnbgy5P&dq=%22J.%20Lem%20Jones%22&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
  65. http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/features/regimental/kjones/8csahist.cfm
  66. http://books.google.com/books?id=5e8xAQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA325&ots=_sH1YgVrvW&dq=%22John%20b.%20Stuart%22%20prisoner%20of%20war&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=%22John%20b.%20Stuart%22%20prisoner%20of%20war&f=false
  67. http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=1873&p=topics.Military.united-20-states.civwar.al.al
  68. http://www.newspaperabstracts.com/link.php?action=detail&id=82624
  69. http://www.odmp.org/officer/14552-officer-thomas-e-wright
  70. http://www.mtolivet226.org/page1005.aspx
  71. http://alabamapioneers.com/index.php/Biographies-of-Notable-Not-so-Notable-Alabamians/sykes-benjamin-biography-and-genealogy.html
  72. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, October 5, 1888       
  73. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, January 5, 1893
  74. Source: Banking in Alabama, 1816-1860, Volume 1 - Author: William Henderson Brantley              
  75. Source: History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography: Volume 1 p. 475
  76. Reports of Cases at Law and in Equity: Argued and Adjudged in the Supreme Court of Alabama, Volume 4 

The Masonic Ring
by gracious permission of Brother Howie Damron

Website Builder