The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 383
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Masonry in the Early Days of Texas
school was in the charge of an independent board of trustees
elected by the people.
Dr. Frederick Eby makes the following significant statement:
The services of the Masonic lodges in conducting schools and furnishing
buildings were possibly greater than those of any single religious denomi-
nation. As the state developed its system of schools, Masonic interest
gradually declined until it limited its activities to the education of the
orphans of its former members. Their services must be regarded as one
of the most important transitional steps toward free public education.
A certain parallelism can be noted between the educational program of
the Grand Lodge and the later organization of public education in the
The limits of this paper will not permit an extended analysis
of the close parallelism between the educational program of
the Grand Lodge of Texas Masons, as above outlined, and the
later organization of public education by the state of Texas,
as interesting as such a comparison may be. It must suffice
in this connection merely to note that it was not until the
year 1854 that the legislature of Texas began its educational
program by the passage of an act to establish a system of
common schools in this state. By the terms of this act it was
provided in substance that each school established thereunder
should be subject to the management of a local board of
trustees to be elected by the people and that the state treasurer
should be ex-officio superintendent of the common schools of
the state. From this beginning the system of public education
was gradually developed by the joint efforts of the state and
its various political subdivisions until finally the activities of
the Masons in this laudable undertaking became absorbed by
and merged into the larger enterprise of all the people acting
in their governmental capacity. But the singular contribution
which the Masons made to the cause of public education must
stand forever in the annals of history as a permanent memorial
to their usefulness and beneficence for the common good of all
in the early days of Texas.
1"Frederick Eby, The Development of Education in Texas (New York,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/438/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.