On Monday August 5, 2019, I visited a Stated Meeting of Forrest Masonic Lodge No. 19 in Huntsville. 

While this may seem rather ordinary to some people; it was special to me. It achieved a dream of mine which began in Kansas 37 years ago when I became a member of the ancient and honorable Masonic fraternity. I knew that Texas hero, General (and President of the Republic of Texas) Sam Houston was a member of various Masonic Lodges in his lifetime, ranging from Cumberland Lodge No. 5 in Nashville, Tennessee to Forrest Lodge #19 in Huntsville. 

Sam Houston played a pivotal role in organizing the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas. He became a Knight Templar Mason (a Christian branch of the fraternity) on February 23, 1853 in Washington Commandery No. 1 in Washington, D.C. By coincidence, the Masonic scholar, Albert Pike also joined Washington Commandery No. 1 of Knights Templar Masons on February 9th, 1853. Same month, same year, same local fraternal group. Both travelers. Quite a coincidence. 

It was only natural that Sam Houston also played a role in establishing the State Grand Commandery of Knights Templar Masons of Texas in 1855. When I joined the Masons at age 18, I wanted to visit Forrest Lodge No. 19. The lodge was chartered in the year 1844. The current building dates from 1909 with beautiful stained-glass windows. Great members.  

— James A. Marples, Longview