The lodge was chartered May 8, 1851, by the Grand Lodge of Missouri. Almost immediately after the cessation of Hardin Lodge, the second Military Lodge, Santa Fe Masons petitioned for a dispensation, once to the Grand Lodge of Maryland and once to the Grand Lodge of Missouri, but neither time with success. Thus, the territory was without any Masonic Lodge for three years.
The charter went into practical effect with the institution of Montezuma Lodge No. 109, August 12. From the first it prospered under excellent leadership.
Scores of leaders in military, commercial and public life, some of them nationally famed, found Masonic light at its altar--Kit Carson, Charles Bent, Ceran St. Vrain, Lafayette Head and others.
It worked under frontier conditions and against great handicaps, typified by the fate of its first Junior Warden, Robert T. Brent, who was killed by Apaches on the Jornada del Muerto, four months after taking office. He was buried with Masonic honors by his lodge, December 22, 1851.
Anglo Americans in Santa Fe were few in number with almost no women among them. Except for saloons and gambling halls, there were no social centers. There were no Protestant churches; not even a cemetery for the burial of their dead. In cooperation with the Odd Fellows, the members of Montezuma Lodge established a cemetery.
Montezuma Lodge brought men of like minds together, furnished them a social life and mutual protection. For nine years it was the only lodge in the territory, probably the only lodge within several hundred miles.
In a special incorporation with the territory, Montezuma Lodge, as early as 1854, was seeking to form a Grand Lodge in the territory.
When other lodges were formed, Montezuma Lodge assisted them in every possible way. When time came to form the Grand Lodge, it was Montezuma Lodge that took the lead. It worked toward that end for many years before and after the Grand Lodge was formed.
Although the lodge met in several places during its century and a quarter of existence, it operated longest on the upper floor of a building on the south side of the Plaza. It met there from 1906 to 1962.
The first District Deputy Grand Master of Missouri was Joab Houghton who was Master of Montezuma in 1855-56.
Most of the furniture of the original lodge was transported, at least part of the way, by wagon train over the old Santa Fe Trail from Missouri. Some of that furniture was still in use as the Grand Lodge celebrated its 100th year.
Montezuma Lodge has continually furnished leaders in Masonry in New Mexico, both before the New Mexico Grand Lodge was formed, and afterwards. Some of the outstanding Grand Masters of the first hundred years have been members of Montezuma Lodge. For a century and a quarter, it has furnished leadership, guidance and brotherly assistance to Masons and Masonry in New Mexico and has justly earned the title of Number One.
The eleven Montezuma Past Masters who have been Grand Masters are William W. Griffin 1877-79, H. L. Waldo 1881, Max Frost 1885,
W. S. Harroun 1887, R. H. Hanna 1920, Edward R. Paul 1936, Louis
C. Rockett 1939, Rupert F. Asplund 1947, Harvey A. Thiele, 1957,
Howard M. Sleeper 1963 and W. Carlos Powell 1971
All information provided from Montezuma Lodge No. 1 website - http://montezumalodge.org