Freemasonry was established in the Indiana territory from Kentucky with the first Lodge in Vincennes in 1807. By 1817, seven more Lodges were chartered from Kentucky and Ohio. Representatives of these Lodges meet in the Schofield House in Madison on January 13, 1818, and established the Grand Lodge with Alexander Buckner installed as the first Grand Master. The Schofield House is still used today as a museum and meeting place for Lodges.
By 1828, there were thirty-three Lodges in Indiana. Despite the Anti-Masonic period of the 1830s, membership grew to 23,000 by 1870 and to 130,000 members by 1930. Today, Grand Master, Daniel L. Martin, presides over 370 local Lodges and more than 46,000 brothers. The Grand Lodge supports many charities and local community projects.
Since 1916, the Grand Lodge has maintained a home for older Brothers, widows and orphans in Franklin. Among its many distinguished and honored Brothers are President Benjamin Harrison, Civil War general and novelist Lew Wallace, comedian Red Skelton, Astronaut Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Wendy’s restaurant founder Dave Thomas and recent governor Frank O’Bannon.