History of 4th Degree in Texas

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HISTORY
of The Fourth Degree in Texas

Texas was in the DeSoto Province from its beginnings in 1906 until 1950. Texas became part of the newly created Guadalupe Province on October 22, 1950. The province name was changed to Our Lady of Guadalupe Province on October 14, 2001.

April 1906 – Texas became a separate 4th degree District which was the entire State of Texas. The District belonged to the DeSoto Province.

Texas District Masters were:

  • W.G. Crush 1906-1908
  • Michael Murphy 1908-1910

The 1st Exemplification in Texas was held in Dallas on February 22, 1907 with 142 candidates. Exemplifications in 1908 & 1909 were also held in Dallas. The 1910 Exemplification was held in Houston.

The Texas District was split on October 4th, 1910 into the North Texas & South Texas Districts. Everything north of the 31st parallel was made the North Texas District, bur excluded El Paso. El Paso became part of a new District encompassing El Paso & parts of the Territories of New Mexico & Arizona and was named the LaSalle Province.

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Commerce Street in Dallas, Texas, circa 1906.

Texas North District Masters:

  • James h. Madden 1911 Sherwood
  • Charles F. O’Donnell 1912 Dallas
  • John W. Philip 1913 Dallas
  • Victor A. Ohio 1915 – 1916 Texarkana
  • John F. Lehane 1916 – 1917 Tyler
  • W.P.J. Walsh 1917 – 1918 Dallas
  • D.J. Mahoney July 1, 1918 – Nov 7th,1918 Dallas (Died Nov 7th, 1918)
  • * James A. McAleer 1919 – 1920 Dallas
  • J.A. Maelier 1920 – 1921 Dallas
  • John W. Philip Aug 17,1921- Mar 24, 1922 Dallas (resigned)
  • John F. Murphy Mar 24,1922 – Aug 31,1924 Dallas
  • George T. Burgess Sept 1,1924 – Aug 31,1928 Dallas
  • M.W. Florer Oct 1,1928 – Aug 31, 1930 Dallas

Texas then was made a single District again on August 21-22,1930.

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Ervay Street in Dallas, Texas, circa 1920.

Texas District Masters were:

  • Thomas Kehoe 1930-1936 Houston
  • William P. Galligan 1936-1938 Laredo

There was a board vote in Oct 1937 that the 4th degree District comprising the State of Texas be divided into (2) two districts. To be known as South Texas & North Texas. The district of South Texas to be composed of all that part of the state lying south of the southern boundary lines of the following counties: Sabine, San Augustine, Angeline, Trinity, Houston, Madison, Robertson, Milam, Williamson, Burnet, Travis, Llano, Mason, Kimble, Sutton, Crockett, Pecos, Jeff Davis. And that the District of North Texas be composed of all that part of the state lying North of the South District.

District Masters of the Texas Northern District:

  • John W. Philip Oct 1937 – July 1942 Dallas
  • Dr. E.W. Laake July 20,1942 -m Aug 31, 1946 Dallas
  • George Nicoud 1946 – 1947 Dallas

Texas North District was Divided into the Northwestern and Northeastern Districts, created on Jan 25-26, 1947 by the Supreme Board of Directors. Our area of the State became the Texas Northeastern District.

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District Master for the Northeastern District:

  • George Nicoud 1947-1950 Dallas

By action of the Board of directors at the October 21-22, 1950 meeting, Texas was divided into (7) seven Diocesan Districts, numbered (1) through (7) and transferred to the newly created Guadalupe Province”.

  • Texas District (8) was approved Jan 21, 1962
  • Texas District (9) was approved Oct 23, 1965
  • Texas District (10) was approved Oct 23, 1966
  • Texas was reduced to (8) Districts from 1970 – 1971
  • Texas was reduced to (7) Districts from 1971 – 1972
  • Texas was increased to (8) Districts again from 1984 – 1987
  • Since 1988 to the present, Texas has been comprised of (6) Districts.

District Masters for the 3rd Texas District:

  • James Leonard 1950-1951 Ft. Worth
  • Judson A. Crowe 1951-1954 Dallas
  • Joseph M. Weinzapel 1954-1958 Muenster
  • Rodney J. Hardy, Sr. 1958- 1962 Kilgore
  • Richard Hatton 1962-1966 Ft. Worth
  • Albert V. Moller, Jr. 1967-1968 Wichita Falls
  • Edwin H. (Hap) Sauer 1968-1970 Dallas
  • Joe Saar 1970-1974 Dallas
  • Joe Pirozzolo 1974-1977 Dallas
  • Fred Driscoll 1977-1982 Dallas
  • Al Barbosa 1982-1986 Dallas
  • Jim Gallagher 1986-1990 Ft. Worth
  • Salem McLean 1990-1994 Dallas
  • Jim Landry 1994-1996 Ft. Worth
  • Cliff Maillet 1996-2000 Dallas
  • John T. Rodgers 2000-2002 Ft. Worth
  • Bill McBreen 2002-2006 Dallas
  • Bennie Hair 2006-2008 Longview
  • Mark Hesselgrave 2008-2012 Ft. Worth
  • William Elliott 2012-2016 Marshall
  • Patrick J. Conway 2016-2020 Rowlett
  • Kenneth Franch 2020- Savannah
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The name of the Province was changed on October 14, 2001 to the “Our Lady of Guadalupe Province” at the request of the VSM and the District Masters.

* District Master James McAleer served as District Master 1919-1920. He was a member of Fr. Abram J. Ryan assembly (originally #799 now known as #1087). His family donated his District Master Sword to the assembly after his passing. It has been a tradition that his sword has been offered to the new District Masters of the 3rd Texas District to use until he receives his gold sword. The sword is returned to the assembly once he receives his sword and held in waiting for the next District Master to use.