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Nauvoo Masonic Lodge minutes

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 989

Scope and Contents

Photocopies of handwritten minutes taken at the meetings of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge in Nauvoo, Illinois, from October 15, 1841 to May 6, 1842. The documents include rolls of those present. The items were signed by Hyrum Smith and by the secretary, John C. Bennett. Contains two copies. Dated 1841-1842.


  • 1841-1842


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Nauvoo Masonic Lodge minutes must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical / Historical

The Nauvoo Masonic Lodge (1841-1846) was the first Freemason lodge among the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois.

The Nauvoo Lodge U. D. (under dispensation) in Nauvoo, Illinois, was granted dispensation on October 15, 1841, by Grand Master Abraham Jonas. George Miller was made Master, John D. Parker was made Senior Warden, and Lucius Scovill was made Junior Warden. However, at the official organization meeting in December, Hyrum Smith was named Senior Warden pro tempore; John C. Bennett as Secretary; and Newel K. Whitney as Treasurer. The following March 15, 1842, the lodge was officially instituted, and Hyrum Smith was installed as Senior Warden and Worshipful Master. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were initiated as Entered Apprentices, and the next day as Mason at Sight.

In July 1842, the lodge was suspended after complaints from non-Mormon lodges in the area that they were functioning against policy, having initiated more members than any other. The suspension was lifted in November that same year. The lodge then divided into three separate lodges.

On June 24, 1843, Hyrum Smith laid the cornerstone for the Masonic temple or hall in Nauvoo, and was dedicated on April 5, 1844.

Due to ill feelings toward the Mormons within the Grand Lodge of Illinois, on October 3, 1843, the Nauvoo Lodge and all other Mormon lodges in Illinois and Iowa, were formally dissociated. In reaction, and with the assistance of Abraham Jonas, the Mormons planned to establish an independen co-existent competing Masonic Grand Lodge in Illinois. The lodge, with the other Mormon lodges in Illinois and Iowa, continued as an active lodge until 1846. During of the Nauvoo Lodge's existence, almost 1,550 Mormon men became members, including the first five presidents of the LDS Church: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow.


1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Dale Berge Archaeology Department Brigham Young University in 1977.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dale Berge Archaeology Department Brigham Young University; 1977.


LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1, November 2013).

Existence and Location of Originals

Originals located in the Church History Library at "Nauvoo Masonic Lodge" minutes (MS 9115), where a digital copy is available online.

Processing Information

Record updated: Ryan K. Lee; 2017.

Register of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge minutes
Benjamin Sipes
2010 July 28
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States