Masons and Public Schools:
During Americas humble beginnings Masonic Lodges often brought the first school and church facilities to a community. The first free public school system in Texas was established in 1854 by Governor Peace who was a Freemason. In 1854 there were 14 public school systems supported by the Freemasons. Masonry’s contribution to public education in Texas was summed up in a statement by Dr. Frederick Eby, Texas historian and Professor Emeritus of the University of Texas, who was not a Mason: “Education in Texas is indebted to the courageous assistance of the Masonic Brotherhood for their labors in the establishment of the Public School system —”.
At this time Solomon Lodge #484 gives scholarships to deserving high school students residing in Taylor, Hutto, and Granger Independent School Districts. Solomon Lodge #484 also participates in the Public Schools Week.
Student Scholarships given by Solomon Lodge #484:
The student scholarship award is named Howard Oliphint Memorial Scholarship after Brother Howard Oliphint, who was a Past Master of Solomon Lodge #484. Some of the recipients are:
2003 Suzanna Ottiz
2002 Valerie Schier
2001 Joel Nieme
2000 Stephen Hawkins & Jarron Oliphint
1998 Dawn Ponkoney & Kevin Werchan
1997 Amanda Stafford
1996 Mike Laurence
1995 Danny Ortiz
1991 Heath Talley
1990 Irene Ruiz