History of the Grand High Court Heroines of Jericho
Texas Jurisdiction – Prince Hall Affiliation
The Heroines of Jericho had their beginning in the late 1800’s with the organization of several courts between 1875 and 1884. Those early courts included Sarah Court #1, Galveston, Texas, Rebecca Court #2, San Antonio, Texas, St. Mary Court #3, Austin, Texas, Victoria Court #4, Victoria, Texas and Elizabeth Court #5, Dallas, Texas.
Delegates from these local courts met in the hall of Rebecca Court #2 in San Antonio, Texas June 20, 1884 and organized the Grand Court Heroines of Jericho of Texas. This small band of loyal and determined women, were fixed on the idea of doing good for the less f01tunate members of their race, regardless of the fact that they were only 20 years removed from slavery themselves.
In 1884 and 1885, subordinate courts were organized by Grand Master Abram Grant. On June 23, 1886, Grand Master Abram Grant in Victoria, Texas offered the following resolution:
“Therefore, be it Resolved by this Grand Lodge in annual communication assemble, that the care of these courts be and is hereby committed to the Most Worshipful Joshua of this State, he himself to be elected by the Grand High Court Heroines of Jericho of this State, which shall have power to make its own constitution and by-laws; said constitution and by-laws to be approved by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons of this Jurisdiction and the Most Worshipful Joshua of the Grand High Court of Heroines.” Adopted.
This the Grand High Court Heroines of Jericho was adopted in Texas as the first female Masonic house of the Texas Prince Hall Masons. The Honorable J. C. Clements was elected the first Grand Joshua, Mrs. J. W. Alexander was elected the first Grand Matron. Between 1882 and 1892, only a few courts were set to work in Texas. On June 20, 1892, W. M. “Bill” McDonald was elected Grand Joshua, Mrs. Lucy Logwood, Matron of Rebecca Court #2 was elected Grand Matron. Mrs. M. L. Ray, Matron of Elizabeth Court#5 was elected Grand Court Secretary. We remain under that resolve.
For seven years, from 1890 to 1897, strife and confusion in the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Mason was carried on over the question of whether the Grand Lodge would reconsider the adoption of the Grand High Court Heroines of Jericho, and adopt the Grand Chapter Order of the Easter Star which was organized in October 1890. In 1897, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Texas refused to consider its action taken in June 1886 in adopting the degrees of the Heroines of Jericho for their female organization.
In 1906, the Grand Lodge adopted a resolution, permanently and for all times, requiring the Grand Lodge and the Grand High Court Heroines of Jericho headquarters to be located in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1907, the Masonic Temple was erected at the corner of Ninth Street and Jones Street and the Heroines of Jericho met in the west wing. On July 20, 1926 the Grand Palace (Juvenile Department) was organized.
The present headquarters for the Heroines is located at 3016 E. Fourth Street, Fort Worth, Texas and was erected in 1952. On November 30, 1995 the Heroines acquired the Heroines of Jericho Community Center and its surrounding property on Evans Street. The community Center then provided a meeting place for the Grand Palace and for lodges, courts and chapters in Fort Worth.
During its 135 year history, the Heroines of Jericho have been led by 23 Grand Most Ancient Matrons and 18 Grand Worshipful Joshua’s who have served unselfishly, giving of their time and sometimes even their money, to make this great organization a successful icon.