Most Excellent Grand High Priest

Theodore Sutton Parvin
Most Excellent Grand High Priest

The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Iowa was officially formed on June 8, 1854, after receiving authorization from the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons via a letter from Abner V. Rowe, General Grand Scribe dated March 1, 1854.

The first convention of Royal Arch Masons in Iowa was held on June 8, 1854 in Mount Pleasant, with delegates from Iowa Chapter 1 from Burlington, Iowa City Chapter 2 from Iowa City, and Washington Chapter 4 from Muscatine present.  Companion T.S. Parvin was called upon to preside.  Also at the convention were representative from Chapters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

It is interesting to note that Dubuque Chapter 3 was not represented at this first convention.  However MEGHP Parvin was able to secure their allegiance to the Grand Chapter RAM of Iowa during a winter visit to that chapter.

Parvin was elected the primus Most Excellent Grand High Priest for the newly formed Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Iowa, G.W. McCleary as the primus Excellent Grand King, W.E. Woodward as the primus Excellent Grand Scribe, D.S. Warren as the primus Excellent Grand Treasurer, and J.H. Wallace as the primus Excellent Grand Secretary.  These elected officers, and the appointed officers were installed by D.C. McNeal, from Eureka Chapter 27 of Pennsylvania, who had been deputized by the General Grand Chapter for such purposes.  The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Iowa was thus declared duly constituted.

Business at this first convention continued with the growth of membership with the chartering of McCord Chapter 5 in Fairfield.  The second convention held even more growth, with dispensations grant to form four more chapters, Hiram Chapter (6) in Oskaloosa, Gate City Chapter (7) in Keokuk, Henry Chapter(8) in Mount Pleasant, and Clinton Chapter(9) in Ottumwa.

Royal Arch Masonry quickly spread in Iowa, and today has chapters across the state, producing leaders both within Masonry and in the world at large.