Grand Lodge will return to Vermillion

Grand Lodge will return to Vermillion by David Lias It's taken over a century.

But current members of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota, AF&M, will return to the place it all began � Vermillion.

The grand lodge first met in Vermillion July 21, 1875, to be constituted and for the installation of grand officers.

This year's annual communication will be held in the Center for Continuing Education on the USD campus. Some committee meetings will be held in the Coyote Student Center.

All of the balloting and committee work for the new Grand Lodge of Dakota had been accomplished in Elk Point on June 23, 1875.

The newly elected and appointed Grand Lodge officers were not present at that meeting. It was agreed to hold the ceremony to constitute the new Grand Lodge and install the officers in Vermillion July 21, 1875.

Five of the six grand bodies that make up the Grand Lodge are still active. They are St. John's Lodge, Yankton; Incense Lodge, Vermillion; Elk Point Lodge, Elk Point; Minnehaha Lodge, Sioux Falls; and Silver Star Lodge, Canton.

The Mount Zion Lodge, Springfield, is no longer active.

The 2001-2002 Grand Master is Charles Kaufman, Vermillion, who has roots in Elk Point.

Kaufman moved to Elk Point while attending The University of South Dakota. He joined the Elk Point Lodge and was a member for 25 years until transferring to the Incense Lodge in Vermillion.

His wife, Fern, taught English at Elk Point High School in the late 1950s.

Kaufman is the third Vermillion man to serve as Grand Master in the history of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota.

Past Grand Masters from Vermillion are Edgar D. Brookman, who served 1905-1906, and Irwin Erickson, who was Grand Master 1942�1943.

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