Henrico Union Lodge

Lodge History

There were five Masonic Lodges within the city limits of Richmond according to the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons for December 12, 1854: Richmond Lodge No. 10, Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19, St. Johns Lodge No. 36, Dove Lodge No. 51, and La Loge Francaise No. 53. They had a total membership of 379 Master Masons.

Reverend Francis Johnston Boggs, a 34-year old Methodist, was energetic and full of zeal having just lead his congregation in erecting a new church building. He was an enthusiastic Mason and keenly felt the need for a Masonic Lodge on Union Hill (now known as Church Hill) in Henrico County. Brother Boggs had affiliated with Manchester Lodge No. 14 in January 1852, having been a member of Brunswick Lodge No. 52 in Lawrenceville, Virginia. He was appointed Chaplain the same evening he affiliated with Manchester Lodge and represented them at Grand Lodge.

Brother Francis Boggs, along with Charles J. Sinton, Benjamin Chalk, James E. Riddick, J.L. McDonough, J.W. Childress, Andrew B. Eaton, Charles T. Patterson, Thomas F. Butler, Richard L. Sanxsay, E.E. Dudley, and Hammet A. Pearce, and the recommendation of Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19 applied to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Virginia for a dispensation to establish Henrico Union Lodge.

A dispensation was granted by Most Worshipful J.A. Leitch, Grand Master of Masons in and for the Commonwealth of Virginia, dated May 31, 1855. It appointed Brothers Francis Boggs as Master, Charles J. Sinton as Senior Warden, and Benjamin T. Chalk as Junior Warden. The Lodge was instituted on June 11, 1855 in Springfield Hall, located at Twenty-Six and M Streets. Ten of the twelve original petitioners for the Lodge were present. Worshipful Master Boggs made appointments of Secretary, Treasurer, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, and Tiler until such time as the Lodge would be empowered to elect officers.

A Master Masons Lodge was opened in due and ancient form. The Master informed the brethren that they had been convened by the authority of the dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Virginia for the purpose of organizing the Lodge. A committee of three presented By-Laws for the government of the Lodge and they were read and adopted. The Worshipful Master and Wardens were appointed as a committee to procure suitable furniture and clothing for the Lodge. That same evening, two petitions were presented: the first being Dr. William F. Lockett, Physician, and the second that of Thomas Angel. A resolution was adopted to thank Richmond Randolph Lodge for their kindness and assistance in obtaining the dispensation as well as for some useful jewels presented to Henrico Union Lodge.

The Lodge was quite active during the time of its dispensation and prior to receiving a charter. The second meeting was held on June 22, 1855 and three petitions were received. At a regular meeting held on August 24, 1855, a motion was presented that Brother Angel's case was considered an emergency. His examination on the Fellowcraft degree was dispensed with and he was introduced and raised to the Sublime degree of Master Mason. That same evening, he was appointed Steward and Tiler of the Lodge. Brother Thomas Angel was the first candidate to be raised in Henrico Union Lodge. The first petitioner, Dr. William F. Lockett, became the second to be raised in the new Lodge on October 19, 1855.

By September 21st the committee procuring the furniture presented a bill for $26.50 which was ordered paid. On October 19, 1855 a Bible was presented to the Lodge by La Loge Francaise No. 53, by Brother F. W. Rosier and Worshipful James Evans. It was received by Worshipful Francis Boggs and Worshipful Brother John Dove moved that the all the remarks by the presenting committee and by the Worshipful Master be made a part of the minutes. On motion the sum of $40.00 was appropriated to the Grand Lodge of Virginia to procure a Charter.

At the Grand Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Virginia, held in Masons Hall at the City of Richmond on Wednesday December 12, 1855, Henrico Union Lodge was issued its charter. The Lodge held its first election of officers at a Called Meeting on Friday, February 22, 1856, where it elected and installed a Treasurer, Secretary, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Steward, Tiler, and Chaplain. The Worshipful Master and Wardens had previously been appointed by the Grand Lodge of Virginia. 

The regular annual election at that time was held in June. On Friday, June 11th, 1856, Worshipful Boggs was duly re-elected as Master for the ensuing twelve months. At the same meeting, a building committee was appointed to adopt some measure to secure a Masonic Hall. Bids for building the hall were received and plans were made to erect a Masonic hall for $4,985.00. The cornerstone was laid on June 13, 1859. The last meeting held in Springfield Hall was on Friday, August 17, 1860. The dedication of the new Lodge Hall was held on August 24, 1860, just at the brink of the Civil War. Soon after the members were called upon to give up their new building so it could serve as a Confederate Hospital.

Many years later, Henrico Union Lodge sold the building on Union Hill, and resided at other locations for various short tenures. The Lodge enjoyed a long tenure on a maintenance contribution basis at the then newly built Scottish Rite Temple in Richmond from October 1969 until June 1994. It shared a home with Thomas N. Davis Lodge No. 351 (which had its roots with members from Henrico Union Lodge) on National Street in Henrico from June 1994 through May 2007, also on a maintenance contribution basis.

In June 2006, Henrico Union Lodge in the spirit of friendship and brotherly love entered into an agreement with Sandston Masonic Lodge No. 216 and moved into the Masonic Temple in Sandston, VA, owned by the Sandston Masonic Corporation. Today, the two Lodges continue working together in the quarries of Freemasonry, taking good men and making them better.