You may or may not have heard about a man named John G. Jones. We will give an account on who he was, what he did, and how the United Supreme Council of the Southern and Western States was formed.
John G. Jones was born on September 18, 1849 in Ithaca, New York. At the age of seven, his family relocated to Chicago Illinois. At an older age, Jones studied law under W. W. O’Brien, who was a famous criminal lawyer in Illinois. On March 24, 1881, the Supreme Court of Illinois admitted Jones to the Illinois State Bar. He was later elected State Representative of the 5th District of Cook County Illinois.
It has been stated that John G. Jones was a member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A.M., of the State of Illinois. He was initiated, passed, and raised in John Jones Lodge No. 7. This lodge was named after his uncle, John Jones. John G. Jones served as Master of this Lodge and was elected Grand Secretary in 1873 & 1874 and served as such until being elected Deputy Grand Master in 1875. He was not re-elected thereafter, but became very active in Scottish Rite Masonry in 1876. He was instrumental in the organizing of the Congress of Grand Lodges that was organizing in Chicago in 1877.
On Nov.15, 1887, a special session of the United Supreme Council in Chicago Ill. was called andThe ILL. John G. Jones 33° who already had the degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite conferred upon him was appointed Deputy for the states of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, and California.
The ILL. Thornton A. Jackson 33° assisted John G. Jones 33° in the ceremony of conferring the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite degree to the ILL. F.C. Revell, 33° of Washington D.C. At that session, M.P.S.G.C. Thornton A. Jackson 33° appointed John G. Jones 33° chairperson of the committee on foreign relations for the United Supreme Council.
In 1893, John G. Jones had the Mystic Shrine order conferred upon him by Noble R. Pasha at the world fair in the city of Chicago. He then went on to establish Palestine Temple, which became the first temple of the Mystic Shrine for blacks. After receiving his charter to establish and organized the temple, John G. Jones established and organized the Imperial Grand Council of the Ancient Arabic order Noble of the Mystic Shrine of North in South America. John G. Jones also established and organized the Supreme Grand Court Daughters Sphinx in 1895.
John G. Jones went on to establishes and organized the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Mason and the General Grand Encampment of the Knight Templar and the General Grand Masonic Congress of Grand Lodges A.F. & A.M. of the U.S.A. and Canada. The United National Grand Lodge of Romania founded on September 8, 1880, under the name of National Grand Lodge of Romania. According to my research of records Brother John G. Jones and Brother H.C. Scott open a grand lodge of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons 1869, Prior that no Negroes mason had received a charter from a white Grand Lodge to open the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons .
H.C. Scott was employed by the U.S. Government Department Scott he formed an acquaintance with the Rumanian Diplomat plenipotentiary, who was a Grand Lodge officer. After proper negotiations and the submission of an approved petition to the Grand Lodge of Romania CHARTERS issued too: King Solomon Lodge of NY #1, Hiram Abiff Lodge #2, Jerusalem Lodge #3, and Joppa Lodge # 4. These lodge was part of the compact of grand lodge of 1877 they assembled in convention, and formed the Most Worshipful St John’s Grand Lodge of Washington D. C. A.F. & A.M. , and elected M.W. Mingo Sander the first Grand Master of the A.F. &A.M., this grand lodge was incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1895.
In 1897 John G. Jones organized St John Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. Illinois and served as it Grand Master. Chicago is gown zero for A.F. & A.M. In 1901 he established and organized The Supreme council of O.E.S. at Buffalo, NY. Brother John G. Jones commissions his friend Brother Linn to organize the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, lodges in California Harm Grand Lodge of California, Grand Master R. J. Fletcher Grand Master, this grand lodge was charter under M.W. St. John Grand Lodge of Illinois Grand Master. Jones believed that Lodges properly formed should be recognized as being regular Masons Ancient Free & Accepted Masons. This was the first Black Grand Lodge of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons in California.
Lodges were warranted under St. John Grand Lodge, from the State of Illinois. This met the requirementof three warranted Subordinate Lodges to form a regular Grand Lodge. A former decision was rendered
February 1, 1910 Court case No. 2007 was heard by Chief Justice Shepard of the Court of Appeals of Washington, D. C. The United States of America Court of Appeals rendered that because H. C., Scott, John G. Jones, and others had received proper charters from the White Grand Lodge of Romania that this made them the only regular and legal Colored Grand of Washington D. C.
The Court ruled in favor of H. C. Scott. The Most Worshipful GrandLodge A.F. and A.M. Scottish Rite Masons of which H. C. Scott was Grand Master and was incorporated under the laws of Washington D. C. and all sister Grand Lodges and subordinates are legally recognized. Grand Lodge of Florida, Brother S. P. Pratt, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Illinois, Brother John G. Jones, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Alabama, Brother J. H. Magher, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of New York, Brother J. J. Burnell, Grand Master; M.W. St John’s Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, Brother H. C. Scott, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Brother H. T. Breadus, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of California Brother R. J. Fletcher. Grand Master: Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Brother J. C. White, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Texas, Brother Charles Mitchell, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Arkansas, Brother R. Amos, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Tennessee, Brother J. W. E. Reed, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Louisiana, Brother George C. Williams, Grand Master; Grand Lodge of Mississippi Brother James F. Fagon, Grand Master; and Grand Lodge of New Jersey, Brother L. Gordon, Grand Master.
In1912, John G. Jones journeyed to world Masonic Congress at Luxemburg along with other members ofthe United Supreme Council and Affiliated Department and the General Grand Masonic congress.
On June7,1914 ILL. John G. Jones 33°died in Chicago, Illinois. On July 20 1920 an unveiling of a monument in honor of the Illustrious John G. Jones 33° was done in the city of Chicago.