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RUSK MASONIC INSTITUTE. In 1871 the Masonic lodges of Rusk, Texas, bought out the Rusk Educational Association, built a two-story building, and opened Rusk Masonic Institute with ninety-six pupils. A charter was granted on March 14, 1873. John Joss was the first superintendent, and Peyton Irving was the principal of the female department. Among the students enrolled in 1873 was Thomas Mitchell Campbell, later governor of Texas. In 1888 the Grand Chapter of Texas granted the local Masons permission to sell the property to pay accumulated debts, and in December 1889 the Rusk Free School District purchased it; the Masons donated half the purchase price.


Hattie Joplin Roach, A History of Cherokee County (Dallas: Southwest, 1934).

Louise Kelly


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Louise Kelly, "RUSK MASONIC INSTITUTE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.