Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization. The Masonic Fraternity came to Wisconsin from England. The first Masonic Lodge was started near Green Bay in the 1820s (almost 25 years before Wisconsin became a state.) As more Masons move into the state, they brought their fraternity with them. At their peak, Wisconsin had more than 360 active lodges in the state.
This Lodge (Fulton Lodge No. 69) was founded in July 1855 in Fulton Center (present day Indianford) in Rock County. In June 1856, the Lodge was given a charter from the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin. Erastus Hopkins served as its master, with Robert Stone and Albert Wagner as Wardens.
The Lodge rented its first rooms on the second floor of a building in Fulton Center. In late 1857, the lodge moved to the Village of Edgerton. After moving, the lodge rented quarters again. In 1887, Fulton Lodge joined with the local Odd Fellows lodge to purchase a building known as Royal Hall.
After the turn of the last century, Fulton Lodge assumed the Royal Hall indebtedness and acquired the Odd Fellows ownership interest. W. W. Child, a 19th century Master of Fulton Lodge, was a significant contributor to the lodge. In fact, the W. W. Child Lodge No. 295 at Gays Mills in Crawford County was named for him in 1908.
In 1919, Fulton Lodge decided to erect a new building. In October 1921, a parade with 2,000 Master Masons, led by the Tripoli Shrine Band from Milwaukee, preceded the dedication of the new facility by Grand Master William Weiler. In 1939, after generous contributions from W. W. Child’s daughter and the Eastern Star members, the lodge was still $50 short of the mortgage balance. The final amount was contributed by Wisconsin’s Governor, Julius Heil, a fellow Mason.
Today, Fulton Lodge remains an active part of the Edgerton community. The lodge actively raises funds for local charities, allows local groups to use its buildings and facilities for community purposes, and many of its members raise funds for Shriner’s Hospitals for Children through the Zor Shrine Mini Cars.
How to Become a Freemason
Freemasons come from all walks of life, but in order to become a Mason you must meet a few simple criteria:
- You must be a male, at least 18 years of age
- You must profess a belief in a Supreme Being
- You must be a man of good morals and reputation
In order to join you must seek admission by your own free will, and you must be recommended by a current Freemason, unanimously elected to membership and willing to assume an obligation to the fraternity.
To learn more about this lodge, contact:
To learn more about Freemasonry in General, we suggest visiting:
To learn more about Freemasonry in Wisconsin, we suggest visiting:
To learn more about the Shriners, and Shriner’s Hospitals for Children:
Portions of this article are from Forward Freemasonry, Idling, Allen E. Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Wisconsin, 1996.