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dot  History of John C. Pelt Masonic Lodge No. 1321 - Who was John C. Pelt?

On November 12, 1949, 57 Master Masons in good standing signed and submitted a petition and letter to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A. M. for the creation of a new lodge to be located in Duncanville, Texas. In the petition it stated that there were 125 known Master Masons residing in Duncanville at that time.

JCP Lodge constructionIn this letter it was stated that stated communications would be held on the second Monday of each month. The yearly dues would be $7.50. Due to not being able to secure the Dealey Masonic Lodge on their stated meeting night the Lodge requested that they be granted permission to meet on the third Friday until completion of their own quarters.

Tentative plans were made for the erection of a two story building in the city of Duncanville that is estimated to cost $23,000. This building would be erected on a lot in the center of town. The lot is located in the 400 block of Main Street and cost $1,260.

JCP construction

The lodge decided to build a brick building 40 feet in width and 80 feet in length. The financing of the building and purchase of the land came from a partial donation of $10,000 by Brother Roland L. Pelt and in part by granting a lease on the lower floor for a period of twenty-five years for a cash consideration of $15,000.00. This gave the lodge the building free of debt.

The letter also stated that the first selected Worshipful Master would be Bro. James G. Asbell who was a Past Master of San Marcus Lodge 342, a past D.D.G.M. of the 50th, Masonic District of Texas, a past High Priest of San Marcus Chapter 129, a past Thrice Illustrious Master of San Marcus Council 215. The Duncanville lodge was to be named after the late John C. Pelt, an outstanding Mason of the Duncanville community and a leader in civic affairs.

On January 2, 1950, acting under the dispensation granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the organizers of John C. Pelt Masonic Lodge No. 1321 met in a called communication at 7:30 PM, for the purpose of constituting the Lodge and installing officers, in the Community House at Duncanville, Texas, dispensation having been granted to hold the meeting at the above location. There were 107 registered, 27 lodges and three Grand Jurisdictions present.

Stations were filled by the following, after being appointed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master to serve:

M.W. Albert J. Lange, Grand Master
R. W. W. J. (Bill) Burrus, Deputy Grand Master
R. W. Claud L. Austin, P.G.M., as Grand Senior Warden
R. W. R. L. (Bob) Dillard, D.D.G.M., 14th District, as Grand Junior Warden
J. C. Rice, W.M., George B. Dealey Lodge No. 1312, as Grand Treasurer
Roy E. Douglas, P.M., Land Mark Lodge No. 1168, as Grand Secretary
C.A. Egbert P. M., Tannehill lodge No. 52, as Grand Chaplain
F. H. Lawrence, W.M., James L. Burgass Lodge No. 1305, as Grand Orator
Luther E. Wilson, P.M., Dallas Lodge No. 760, as Grand Marshal
Towne Young, P.M., Dallas Lodge No. 760, as Grand Senior Deacon
Walter Brashear, P.M., Irving Lodge No. 1218, as Grand Junior Deacon
Byrd Webb, P.M., Gibraltar Lodge No. 1179, as Grand Senior Steward
Herb Love, P.M., Love Field Lodge No. 1274, as Grand Junior Steward
Joe Elkington, P.M., Sam R. Hamilton Lodge No. 1031, as Grand Pursuivant
John Brandenburg, P.M., Irving Lodge No. 1218, as Grand Tiler

The Grand Master, with the above officers in their respective stations, opened a Master Mason's Lodge in regular order. This Master Mason's Lodge was then called from labor to refreshment and with the purpose of constituting John C. Pelt Lodge No. 1321, and installing the officers. The designated Master of the new Lodge, Brother James G. Asbell, Past Master of San Marcos Lodge No. 342, then addressed the Most Worshipful Grand Master as follows:

“Most Worshipful Grand Master, a number of Brethren, duly instructed in the Mysteries of Masonry, having assembled together at stated periods for some time past, by virtue of the dispensation granted them for that purpose, do now desire to be constituted into a regular lodge, agreeable to the ancient usages and customs of the Fraternity.” The Most Worshipful Grand Master then said, “Brethren, the Grand Lodge of Texas has granted the Brethren of this new Lodge a charter, confirming them the rights and privileges of a regular constituted Lodge. I request the acting Secretary to read it.”

The charter was then read. After the Most Worshipful Grand Master constituted John C. Pelt Lodge 1321 in full ritualistic form proceeded to install the officers of the Lodge as follows.
James G. Asbell, Worshipful Master
M.M. Harrington, Senior Warden
W.G. Brownlee, Junior Warden
Hearst Paxton, Treasurer
B.H. Reynolds, Secretary
Don Culbertson, Chaplain
C.G. Herriott, Senior Deacon
M.B. Ganbrell, Junior Deacon
J.A. Haynes, Senior Steward
L.M. Hood, Junior Steward
C.H. Plummer, Tiler
James H. Downes, Master of Ceremonies

Present for this meeting were three sons of John C. Pelt, for whom the Lodge was named. They were Roland, Clark, and Henry Pelt. Each son expressed his thanks for the honor of having the Lodge named after their father and pledged their support to the officers and the Lodge. The Charter for John C Pelt Lodge has a list of 57 charter members John C. Pelt Lodge was erected by Roland L. Pelt in memory of his father John C. Pelt. The Lodge was built in the 1950's at 406 N. Main Street, Duncanville, Texas and is still in use today.

* This information was obtained from the Texas Grand lodge Magazine, May, 1950, page 178-180

Who was John C. Pelt? 

John Clark Pelt - DOB: 08-25-1877 - DOD: 05-05-1948

John Clark Pelt was born on August 25, 1877 , to Sarah Seymour and Columbus Washington Pelt. June 18, 1880, John's father, Columbus Pelt died at his Uncle's home while in route to Sour Lake.

After John's father died his mother married Duncanville resident Carter Smith. John lived with the Charles Thomas Barker family in Duncanville where he grew up. John C. Pelt married Olah Lee Ground on November 15, 1896. John and Olah Pelt lived on a farm located on Wintergreen Road. In 1928 they moved to Duncanville on Hustead Street. John entered the building business with his half brother, Hoke Smith. They were general contractors for the Duncanville High School, which is now Central Elementary of Duncanville. Later John and another half brother, Clint Smith, supervised the first Duncanville Gymnasium.

John C. Pelt was interested in civic affairs. He started and was the first president of the Dads Club and the Lions Club of Duncanville. He was a mason of long standing.

John and Olah Pelt had nine children. They were Rua Pelt, Verba Louise Pelt, Henry Pelt, Nellie Pelt, John Clark Pelt, Dorothy Lee Pelt, Georgia Anona Pelt, Velma Lucile Pelt, and Roland Leon Pelt.

Above information obtained from the book titled History of Duncanville Texas.

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