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Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday's Photo: Masons Attended Terrell Bryan's Funeral in Stephenville, Erath County, Texas

Terrell Bryan
I could have titled this post Terrell Bryan had a Masonic Funeral Service, but wanted to attract the attention of Erath County researchers. I received a copy of a copy of this photo 14 years ago; however, didn't know who had the original.  In September, I visited a second cousin once removed who showed me the original and allowed me to scan it at high resolution so that most of the faces could be easily seen.  

This photo was taken in West End Cemetery, Stephenville, Erath County, Texas at the funeral for my great-grandfather, Terrell Bryan. There are no markings on the photo, but when enlarged, the stone already in place reveals that it was the cemetery marker for Terrell's wife, Harriet Louisa Albritton Bryan. 

Terrell Bryan died in Bronte, Texas in Coke County at the home of his daughter, Dorothy Elizabeth Harriet "Dollie" Bryan Wylie.  His funeral took place on May 18 at West End Cemetery.

Terrell's son, Redic E. Bryan was not a Mason so is not pictured in the photos. It is unknown if any son-in-laws, grandchildren, or other relatives are in the photos. 

Terrell was a Master Mason and he belonged to Stephenville Lodge No. 267 in Texas.  I would think that most or all of these men pictured were from that lodge. 

I know very little about Masonic history or procedures, but did find information about Masonic Burial Services that detailed the expected dress of Masons at a service. Each Mason was expected to wear his apron, a suit, hat, white gloves, and a piece of evergreen should be pinned on the left lapel of his suit jacket. The Master of the Lodge stands at the head of the casket. The Holy Bible, Square and Compasses should be covered with crepe.

Terrell Bryan belonged to a Woodmen of the World Lodge, also referred to as a Woodmen Camp, in Stephenville, Texas.   His cemetery marker resembles a tree trunk and encircled on the emblem are the words Woodmen of the World.

Note: On the cemetery marker, the funeral notice, and obituary, Terrell's birth year is 1837. His death certificate also gave the birth year of 1837. The informant was a grandson, McNeil Wylie. However, both Terrell Bryan's family bible and his father's family bible give Terrell a birth year of 1836. 

Card of Thanks found in Terrell Bryan's Bible


© 2015


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Funeral photo from the collection of Richard Warner. Used with permission. 

"Masonic Burial Servic." Masonic Official Monitor Texas: Masonic Burial Service. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.


  1. So I have a "Keith" in my tree and don't know if this may lead me to my third great grandfather Samuel P. Gilbert I am looking for. I hear he is buried there in Stephenville with his brother Singleton Gilbert. Thought I would try. I live up here in the Texas Panhandle so getting there would be quite a drive.

  2. Thank you for reading my blog. I won't be much help as I live in Virginia. However, I am researching Gilberts as well and have recorded all of the Gilberts in the Erath Cemetery Inscriptions books and did not find your Gilberts. Find a Grave might be your best bet. Good luck with your search.