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This new area is reserved for obscure or little known facts relative to the Masonic Lodge, its history and/or members who made a difference.  If you have any facts you would like included, please email them to John Cole.

dot The Ragains Masonic Rifle - This rifle is best known surviving example of an elaborately decorated "Masonic" firearm from the 19th century. It is hand inlaid with over 21 symbols of Freemasonry. The rifle was made in 1853, and has been carefully restored to museum condition by gun maker and Texas History Committee member Sam Whitley.

There is little doubt that David Abraham Ragains acquired this “Masonic” rifle before the Civil War. David joined the 60th Illinois Infantry Regiment on January 7, 1862 as a private in the Union Army. The following month, he was promoted to Captain in command of Company H.

Brother Ragains was born in South Carolina, lived in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia before settling in Pope County, Illinois. At the beginning of the Civil war David was supporting a family of eight children by working his small farm. He supplemented his income as both deputy clerk and deputy sheriff. While serving his community as a clergyman, he founded County Line Baptist Church. This church came by its name because it was located on the Pope and Johnson County Line. This little church is still going strong after 150 years.

During his lifetime, David had seven wives and twenty children. He died on February 17, 1887 at age 74. He was a member of the Vienna, Illinois Lodge No 150 A.F. and A.M.

Bro. Ragains left his rifle to his son, Pleasant Green Ragains. The next owner was P.G.'s son, Frank Ragains who was a member of the Bokoshe, Oklahoma Lodge No. 358 and Murrow Lodge No. 49 in Spiro, Oklahoma. The next owner was his son, Frank Edward Ragains The gun then went to his son, James Edward Ragains and then to his son, James Grant Ragains. David Ragains' gun has been in the Ragains' family for over 150 years."

For more information, please contact Barbara at the Grand Lodge of Texas Library and Museum: "Barbara Mechell" Barbara@grandlodgeoftexas.org

For photos of the rifle before, during and after the restoration process, please see the Texas History Section of the Grand Lodge of Texas website: http://www.grandlodgeoftexas.org/history-index.php

dot Masonic Cement 2-09- a recent article from Bro. Bob Northcutt's Masonic Education Committee.

dot Brother against Brother - When Masons must fight each other

dot Joel Poinsett

Joel Poinsett was elected to the South Carolina State Legislature in 1816 and became the first US Ambassador to Mexico in 1825. He was the US Secretary of war from 1837 to 1841.

Mr. Poinsett was Past Master of Solomon's Lodge #1 in Charleston SC and Recovery Lodge #31 of SC. While in Mexico, he started five Lodges who received their charters from The Grand Lodge of New York. Those Lodges later became the Grand Lodge of Mexico.

He was associated with the "Mexican Fire plant" which he brought back from Mexico and later developed it into the Poinsettia pulcherrima, commonly called the “Poinsettia”.

dot From your Texas History Committee: This Texas history moment goes back in time to WWII, and the amazing career of Bro. Claire Lee Chennault - Face of the Flying Tigers

dot An anecdotal story related to General Chennault.