Colored Masons of KC

Segregated Masons organization. In 1854, three Wyandot Indians and five white settlers, all of whom were Mason, coalesced in what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas, and petitioned the Grand Lodge of Missouri to establish a Lodge of Masons in a Wyandot Indian Village. On August 4th, 1854, the dispensation was granted, and one week later Kansas Lodge U.D. (eventually to become Wyandotte Lodge No. 3) opened for work. Within two years, two other lodges in Kansas were formed, and in 1856 the trio formed the Grand Lodge of Kansas as the American Civil War loomed (4). The Osborn Guards paraded in public for the first time on August 18th, 1875, when the unit joined a Kansas Avenue procession celebrating “the establishment of the Royal Arch degree among the colored Masons of Kansas (5). There were at least six African American social societies operating in Kansas City, Kansas by the turn of the century. The Prince Hall Masons, established in 1875 and Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, established shortly after, were the earliest groups. In 1886, these two groups joined forces to build the Mason and Odd Fellow Hall at 8th and Washington. The two-story building was built by an all-African American crew. The first floor had an auditorium, while the second floor was divided into meeting rooms. Several Masonic Lodges met in this hall, and it was used by the “First AME Church in 1887 and the 8th Street Baptist Church after a fire in 1917. St. James Masonic Lodge Masonic Lodge in Quindaro and St. Andrews in the Bottoms, and also served the African American community (6).