Masonic College South Dayton 1884

Masonic College South Dayton 1884

Located in south Dayton on the corner of Illinois Ave and Memorial Street, there stands a small white block building surrounded by a chain link fence. This property, located adjacent to the College Hill Cemetery, is where the old Masonic College once stood.

In May of 1884, William T. Broyles and his wife, Melia, deeded three acres of property to W.N. Ault, W.T. Broyles, L.F. McDonald, H.C. Rose, John Abel, A. Johnson and G.M.D. Spence, the trustees of the Dayton Masonic College. There was to be erected on the land within a reasonable amount of time a three-story brick building by specifications of the plans that were in the hands of the building committee. The first two stories were for educational purposes by the college and the third floor was for use by the Dayton Lodge of Masons.

On September 6, 1884, an announcement was made in the local paper regarding the collection of subscriptions to the College. The article stated that unless some collections were received, they would be forced to stop the work on the building. A few weeks later on September 30,1884, $1,000.00 was paid to the college out of public-school funds to finance the construction of the building. The trustees agreed to lease two rooms on the ground floor to the school district for classrooms.

In 1885, a large commercial advertisement appeared in the paper for the college announcing the first session of classes would begin in August of 1885. Another announcement appeared in the paper in 1888 which reported that the school had 78 pupils enrolled.

The City of Dayton on September 6, 1909, authorized to close the sale of the old College building to the Colored Masons and Knights of Pythias for $800.00. Researching for details on this topic has proved that little information exists about this great place of learning that graced out little town for many years. Today the property is owned by the Charles Robinson family.


1885 Masonic Lodge Grade Card

 The above photo is a digital scan taken directly from the original document. This is a grade report dated August 1885 for Laura Belle Abel, the daughter of John R Abel Sr.

(Photos Courtesy of Abel Family History Collection)

The Author of this blog post means no disrespect in listing race information. 

The information listed was obtained from public sources and listed as found.


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Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

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