History

FORT BRAGG LODGE NO.667 AF & AM derived its name from the U.S. Army installation, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where the lodge was organized. Initially the military installation was called Camp Bragg < insert photo of marker>. Being one of the multitude of temporary Army posts established during World War I. Allocated 200 square miles of terrain in Cumberland and Hoke Counties, in southeastern North Carolina, Camp Bragg was an artillery-training center. It became a permanent installation and was redesignated Fort Bragg on 30 September 1922. That was less than eight years prior to the first meeting of Fort Bragg Lodge, U.D.

In 1929 Fort Bragg's military strength was approximately 8,000 assigned personnel. Of these, approximately 100 were Master Masons. A majority of whom were U.S. Army enlisted men. The remainder was about equally divided between U. S. Army officers and civilian employees of the U.S. Government.

In May 1929, a small group of Army enlisted men and two civilians, all Master Masons, met in a non-commissioned officers quarters (long since obliterated) of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery. Those NCO quarters were located off Riley Road, southeast of the Main Post Theatre. (This theatre is a Fort Bragg landmark and a familiar reference point.) The meeting had been called to explore the feasibility of organizing a Masonic Lodge at Fort Bragg. Sergeant Rester E. Ruppe presided at the meeting with Sergeant Julius M. Fix serving as secretary. The conferees agreed that they should be known as the Fort Bragg Masonic Association. They further agreed that Sergeant Fix should prepare a letter together with the necessary enclosures, requesting the Grand Lodge of North Carolina to approve the establishment of a Masonic Lodge at Fort Bragg. Accordingly, on 2 July 1929, Fix mailed a petition for dispensation, which bore the signatures of 52 Master Masons, together with a $50.00 postal money order to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

Following an exchange of letters between Sergeant Fix and the Grand Secretary, John H. Anderson and Most Worshipful John J. Phoenix, Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina, Fix received a dispensation for Fort Bragg Lodge, U.D. The dispensation was received on 28 January 1930; seven months after the original petition for dispensation had been submitted.

In 1929, Colonel Henry W. Butner, Fort Bragg post commander, in response to a request from Sergeant Fix, approved the use of a government building by Fort Bragg Masons provided they were successful in organizing a Masonic Lodge. Butners successor, Brigadier General Lucius H. Holdbrook, who assumed command of Fort Bragg on 20 August 1929, extended the approval of a building to be used by Fort Bragg Masons with the following order: "A suitable building shall be made available to the Fort Bragg Masonic Lodge for its meetings."

Following receipt of dispensation for Fort Bragg Lodge, U.D., Fort Bragg military authorities issued the following order: "---use of the second floor of the Constructing Quartermaster Building by the Fort Bragg Masonic Lodge is hereby authorized.' On the same date that the Fort Bragg order authorized the use of a specific building by Fort Bragg Masons, a memorandum from Fort Bragg Lodge, U.D. was sent to all members and prospective members advising them: "On 10 February 1930, Brother John H. Anderson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, will be at Fort Bragg Lodge, U.D. to institute Fort Bragg Lodge, The lodge was duly instituted as scheduled, and the following officers were installed: John F. Carey, Master; Walling 0. Vreeland, Senior Warden; Selim A. Mattson, Junior Warden; Fred A Mutzberg, Treasurer; Julius M. Fix, Secretary; Albert G. Klingler, Senior Deacon; Charles L. Bragg, Junior Deacon; Charles A. Scott, Senior Steward; Charles F. Nauman, Junior Steward; and John S. Stancell, Tiler." Of the above named officers, Vreeland and Mutzberg were civilians. All of the others except Nauman were U.S. Army sergeants, he was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

The several committee members were appointed and an annual dues fee of $6.00 was established. And the first official meeting of Fort Bragg Lodge, U.D. which had lasted approximately one hour was closed in due form.

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