Lee Lodge # 435
Lamar Medals & Scholarship Awards
to Prosper ISD High School Seniors
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
"The Father of Public Education in Texas"
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, member of Harmony Lodge No. 6, was born
on his father's plantation in Georgia on August 16, 1798. In early life, he
became an expert horseman and a proficient fencer. Although he briefly
attended private academies, he rebelled against the routine of formal
schooling and pursued a course of self education. He became an insatiable
reader, a gifted speaker, a skilled writer, a talented artist, a student of
ancient history, and knowledgeable of the liberal arts and sciences.
A descendant of French Huguenots who fled Europe to escape persecutions, Lamar developed a keen craving for individual freedoms and a growing dis-trust of expanding federal powers. For a time, he published a newspaper that printed poetry which he had written and expressed his strong feelings for states' rights.
In 1829, Lamar was elected to a term in the Georgia Senate. Sorrow over
the death of his wife caused him to withdraw as a candidate for reelection in 1830. In 1832, he was defeated as a states' rights candidate for the U.S. Senate; in 1833, he was admitted to the Georgia bar; and in 1834, he was, again, defeated as a states' rights candidate for the U.S. Senate. Unhappy over political defeat and despondent over the deaths of his father, a sister, and a brother, Lamar moved to Texas in 1835. He immediately declared for Texas Independence and returned to Georgia to settle personal affairs.
While in Georgia, he learned of the fall of the Alamo and the defeat of Goliad. He rushed back to Texas and joined the Texas army as a private. In a skirmish with the Mexican force on April 20, Lamar saved the lives of Thomas J. Rusk and Walter P. Lane. He was commissioned a colonel on the battlefield and assigned a cavalry to command during the Battle of San Jacinto.
Shortly after San Jacinto, Lamar was appointed Secretary of War for the adinterim government of Texas. In 1836, Lamar became the first elected
Vice-President of the Republic. And, on December 19, 1838, he was inaugurated as the second President of the Texas nation.
In his first address to Congress, President Lamar called for an appropri-
ation of land to support public schools. At his urging, Congress passed the act on January 26, 1839, which set aside land for public schools and two universities. Although many years passed before a public school system was established, Lamar's vision earned him the title "Father of Education in Texas." And his statement, "the cultivated mind is the guardian genius" was adopted as the motto for the University of Texas.
Although his Masonic voice still echoes "public education," his strong
stance for human liberty and states' rights adds that he meant public
education under local school board control.
Texas Masonry has been at the fore front of Texas Education since the very beginning, and Lee Lodge #435 in Prosper continues to support M.B. Lamar's ideals.
To that endeavor, Lee Lodge provides a scholarship to selected graduating Prosper High School Seniors each year to assist the students with their continuing education. All students who are college bound or plan to attend a trade or technical school are eligible.
There were four 2016 Graduating Seniors from Prosper High School who received scholarships this year. The recipients were Hannah Clayton, Louis Manto, Emily Hunter, Elizabeth Doria, and J.T. Graham.
Lee Lodge # 435, A.F.&A.M., is a fraternal organization that admits, makes, and passes Freemasons according to the Constitution and Laws, and Edicts of the Grand Lodge of Texas, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons.
It's goals are to advance the moral and social interests of its membership; to foster good citizenship, honest industry and upright living; to cultivate the exercise of charity in its best and broadest sense; to assist the widows and orphans of its deceased members; to stimulate friendship, harmony and brotherly love, and generally to promote, in its own way, the happiness of mankind --- it is a Fraternity of good men, linked together by honorable and indissoluble bonds, to accomplish these noble purposes, eschewing all interests in factional politics and sectarian religion and free from the dictation of both.