Research Team

Paul R. Oldham
Donald A. Mahrle
Kelly D. Kraemer
Design - Kelly D. Kraemer, 32º KCCH
Copyright © 2014            Topeka Scottish Rite Bodies
Webmaster - Paul R. Oldham, 33º
  Let us step backward in time to get a better understanding of the Masonic World in Topeka that led up to the creation of the Scottish Rite Bodies. I have chosen to track Masonic history in Topeka through the buildings that were occupied by the various Lodges during the last half of the 1800's and through the first quarter of the 1900's.
  Topeka Lodge 17 was the first lodge in Topeka to be formed on November 25, 1857. Their first home was of rough stone on the rear end of the lot which fronted into the alley to the east and had wooden stairs outside the building at 106 East 6th Ave. The front of the building was home to the newspaper "Record" and was owned by the Ross Brothers.
  Orient Lodge # 51 was formed from Topeka Lodge # 17 on September 6, 1867 at 517 South Kansas Ave. In 1870 both Lodges moved to the 3rd floor of a new brick building on the Southwest corner of 6th and Kansas Avenue. The name of the building was the Spencer Building and Parkview Drug Company was located on the 1st floor. Both lodges moved to the 3rd floor of the Davis Building at 603 South Kansas Avenue on October 1, 1873. Courtney Millinery Parlors was located on the 1st floor. A committee purchased sofas for $400 in 1874 and carpeting in 1875 for this building. Both Lodges moved to a newly constructed 3rd floor of the new City Hall on the Southwest corner of 7th and Kansas Avenue in 1879. I think the City Hall was located on the 1st floor and the Central National Bank was located on the 2nd floor.  The Scottish Rite Bodies came into existence with the 1st of four Lodges being formed on February 1, 1879. It was named Oriental Lodge of Perfection # 3. (On October 20, 1955 it was re-named Topeka Lodge of Perfection). It appears that the Scottish Rite met in the 7th and Kansas Avenue building along with the York Rite, Orient Lodge # 51, and Topeka Lodge # 17.
  By February 20, 1884 the Scottish Rite and Siloam Lodge # 225 were meeting in the Kilwinning Hall located in the 800 block of Kansas Avenue on the west side of the street. Sometime in 1885 these two lodges rejoined the other three bodies on the 3rd floor of the new City Hall at 7th and Kansas Avenue.
517 S. Kansas Ave
601 & 603
S. Kansas Ave