compiled by Bobby Jay Wadsworth; reprinted from Hood County Genealogical Newsletter dated November 1995.

The village of Paluxy in southwest Hood County was just a small part of the large Paluxy Valley community that stretched from Erath to Somervell County. It was this larger community for which Paluxy Lodge was named, and from which it drew its members. The following men signed the Petition for Dispensation (application) to form Paluxy Lodge circa 1873.

James A. BrooksDemitted from Stephenville Lodge No. 267, Texas
Zachariah BrooksStephenville Lodge No. 267, Texas
George W. BullionBloomfield Lodge No. 243, Arkansas
Jesse CarawayNo lodge given
B. P. EarpPrairie Point Lodge No. 271, Texas
W. N. FreemanAmericus Lodge No. 13, Georgia
A. J. GodwinValley Lodge No. 203, Alabama
F. D. HobnesWalnut Grove Lodge No. 264, Alabama
J. R. JonesNo lodge given
C. C. MeekStephenville Lodge No. 267, Texas
Isaac MooreNo lodge given
W. H. PateNo lodge given
(Dr.) P. K. PhenixBloomfield Lodge No. 243, Arkansas
A. B. RobertsNo lodge given
G. A. RobertsOak Bowery Lodge No. 81, Georgia
Lindsey RobertsonWalnut Grove Lodge No. 264, Arkansas
T. M. SelfMeridian Lodge No. 268, Texas
J. A. StewartSylvan Lodge No. 111, Alabama
G. H. TurnerNo lodge given
G. W. WhiteActon Lodge No. 285, Texas
D. M. WoodNo lodge given

Paluxy Lodge was organized 21 June 1873 and met UD (under dispensation) until 6 June 1874, when it was officially chartered by the Grand Lodge of Texas. According to the first returns, the charter members of Paluxy Lodge were:

James A. Brooks

Zachariah Brooks

G. W. Bullion

Jesse Caraway

B. P. Earp

W. N. Freeman

A. J. Goodwin

F. N. Holmes

J. R. Jones

C. C. Meek

Isaac Moore

W. H. Pate

P. K. Phenix

A. B. Roberts

Lindsey Robertson

T. M. Self

Daniel Shipman

J. A. Stewart

G. H. Turner

G. W. White

M. N. Woods

The first officers of Paluxy Lodge were installed by Worshipful Master I. N. Roberts of Stephenville Lodge. They included:

B. F. EarpWorshipful Master (presiding officer)
J. A. StewartSenior Warden
G. W. WhiteJunior Warden
Z. BrooksTreasurer
J. R. JonesSecretary (although lower in rank than the Worshipful Master, this officer generally kept the Lodge’s business running smoothly)
P. K. PhenixSenior Deacon (not to be confused with a church deacon, this officer usually was responsible for introducing visitors)
A. B. RobertsJunior Deacon
J. A. BrooksJunior Steward
W. H. PateTiler (generally an older member entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the door during meetings)

At a meeting held 2 August 1873, a Building Committee comprising J. Caraway, D. M. Wood, and J. R. Jones was appointed to build a Masonic hall. This apparently resulted in the construction of Rock Church. Although the date of this historic landmark’s origin has been placed as early as 1871, the deed in which Jesse Caraway donated five acres of his homestead “for the purpose of having a church, a school house and a Masonic Lodge in my neighborhood on [the] Paluxy” was dated 22 May 1875.

Nevertheless, the evidence appears to indicate that Rock Church was built between those two dates. Masonic records show that a bill was allowed and ordered paid to Gilpin & Graham (likely the contractors who built the Masonic hall) 4 October 1873. It also is related that the Paluxy Masons moved into their new building 1 November 1873. In addition, it is supposed that the first person buried at Rock Church Cemetery was Sarah [McGill] Brooks, wife of Zachariah. She died 30 May 1873 and was buried 1 June 1873.

Paluxy Lodge flourished for many years until 9 October 1943, when it merged with Bluff Dale Lodge No. 724.

If you have more information on the early history of Paluxy Lodge and / or Rock Church, please contact:

Bobby Wadsworth

2809 Carriage Court

Carrollton, Texas 75006