History of Magnolia Lodge #113

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by jpvoelkle, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. jpvoelkle

    jpvoelkle Guest

    SIZE="2"][/SIZE]A tale from our early days…

    George Bannerman’s Short Life

    George Washington Bannerman was born in North Carolina in 1828. In 1845 George and his older brother, John, followed neighbor Ezekiel McCracken and moved to Texas. Both families bought farm land in Leon County (southwest of Anderson County), not far across the Trinity River from Magnolia Crossing. 1

    In September 1847, Ezekiel McCracken became a Mason in the nearest Lodge, Palestine Lodge No.31, about twenty miles to the northeast. In 1852 several members of Palestine Lodge were instrumental in organizing a Lodge in Magnolia Crossing. 2 Ezekiel transferred his membership to the new Magnolia Lodge while it was under dispensation, and likely he was instrumental in convincing the Bannerman brothers to become Masons as well. While the Lodge was under dispensation, George served as Junior Deacon and John served as Treasurer, and all three of them are recognized as Charter members of Magnolia Lodge No.113. 3

    In 1854, George married Elizabeth Blackshear, the daughter of neighbors William and Martha Blackshear. A year later a daughter was born. Tragically, Betyse (as Elizabeth was known) died in childbirth. George was devastated and shortly applied for a dimit from the Lodge, probably to devote more time to his infant daughter, Martha.

    Two years later in 1857 George himself died, likely from one of the many fevers prevalent in the area at that time. He was only 29 years old. He left a will which appointed his brother-in-law, Charles Blackshear, as administrator of his estate and guardian of little Martha. George bequeathed his estate to be divided among Charles, his daughter Martha and his siblings, and emphatically requested that Charles take care of Martha and treat her as his own daughter. 4

    Dutifully, Charles harvested George’s crops and sold George’s personal property to pay George’s debts and to establish the value of the estate. But the next year, in July 1858, baby Martha herself died. After Martha’s death various members of the Bannerman family made claim to George’s estate, resulting in at least one lawsuit and much recrimination. To complicate matters, records showed that George didn’t have actual ownership of his property. The matter eventually was settled in Court.

    1 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network,
    Inc., 2005. Census Place: Leon, Leon, Texas; Roll: M432_912; Page: 322; Image: 220.
    2 Annual Returns of the Grand Lodge of Texas (1852)
    3 Minutes of Magnolia Masonic Lodge U.D. (July 1852)
    4 Personal History of Bannerman Family “George Washington Bannerman (1827 - 1857)”Ancestry.com

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