Who was Lee Lockwood?

pic lockwood statue“We believe in the great principles of free government, of free speech, the equality of all men before the law, the sanctity of the home, the right to worship God according to the dictates of one’s on conscience, and that only through fraternity, tolerance, and truth can the happiness of mankind be achieved.”
— Quote above Lockwood’s statue in the Main Atrium

Robert Lee Lockwood (1901-1980) was a vigorous Waco businessman and a passionate Freemason. As head of Waco Savings and Loan, Farm & Home Savings, and Waco Homes, Inc., he was responsible for the financing and construction of over 1000 homes in the Waco area, including the subdivisions of Beverly Hills, Hilltop, Valley View, Live Oaks and Lake Oaks.

Brother Lockwood’s Masonic career was also very distinguished, serving as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1938-39, and Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Texas from 1952 until 1973. Brother Lockwood received many Masonic awards and accolades throughout his life, but he was also very active locally, serving as Master of Fidelis Lodge #1127 in 1930-31, charter member and first Master of James H. Lockwood Lodge #1343 (named for his father) in 1954, and Potentate of Karem Shrine in 1947.  He was also a member of Bellmead Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Bellmead Council of Royal and Select Masons, and Waco Commandery #12.

The Lee Lockwood Library and Museum at 2801 Waco Drive was built in 1969 during Brother Lockwood’s term as SGIG and was created to be the centerpiece of Scottish Rite Masonry in Texas.  The permanent displays in the Main Atrium commemorate Brother Lockwood, as well as many other SGIGs in Texas. On January 5, 1974, at his retirement banquet in the Howard Ballroom, the following statement was made by Dr. W. R. White, 33°, President Emeritus of Baylor University:

Robert Lee Lockwood is a vigorous Texan with a distinguished ancestry reaching back to the American Revolution.  His patriotism is aggressive in peace as well as in war.  He believes that eternal alertness is the price of freedom.

This great American serves diligently and tirelessly in every field of social welfare.  He works in the various civic projects of his local community.  He carries conscientiously responsibility in religious, educational, fraternal, and philanthropic organizations.

This successful businessman has built his business along the great principles of free enterprise.  High ethical and moral criteria have guided him.  Fair play and a sensitive social consciousness have characterized his substantial advance in the business profession.

He has been active in the political area not because he is politically minded or ambitious, but because of his passion for great American concepts.  He has used his abilities and influence to the uttermost in behalf of what he believes to be fundamental to our cherished way of life.  He has participated political conventions from the precinct all the way up to the national convention.  He has been perfectly willing to be with a severely criticized minority when he thought that they were right.

Lee Lockwood makes no noisy religious affirmations for himself.  However, he is a consistent churchman.  In his heavy Masonic, civic, and business activities, he finds time to render significant service to and through his church.  Ture Christianity has in him a strong champion.

Past Sovereign Grand Inspector General (of Texas) Lockwood has run the gamut of Masonry.  His services have been many and varied.  In it all he has not forgotten the seed plot of all Masonry – the Blue Lodge.  He knows that all Masonry stems from it and is measured by it.  Therefore, he has ever magnified the first three degrees not only as basic but as determining.

Brother Lockwood has a passion for all liberties and freedoms.  Therefore, he is particularly zealous of freedom of conscience; this makes his being a strong advocate of the separation of church and state inevitable.  For instance, he has succeeded in getting several appropriations from the Supreme Council supporting the above principle in education.  His substantial support of the J.M. Dawson Chair on Church and State at Baylor University is a good example. 

Illustrious Lee Lockwood is a well-rounded citizen:  he is neither lopsided nor fanatical; he is well-poised, sane, and logical.  He has a dedication to great convictions that gives him dynamic effectiveness, and our country and the free world need many more of his kind.

A brief resume of Brother Lockwood’s career:

Blue Lodge

  • Received Masonic Degrees in Fidelis Lodge #1127, Waco, TX 1921-22.
  • Worshipful Master, Fidelis Lodge #1127, 1930-31.
  • District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM), 1933.
  • Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas, 1938-39.
  • Charter member of James H. Lockwood Lodge #1343 and First Worshipful Master, 1954.
  • Masonic Home and School of Texas:
    • Member, Board of Directors, 1947-61.
    • President, 1951-61.
    • The Masonic Home and School Chapel was constructed during his term as president.
  • Director of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Assoc., Alexandria, VA, 1951. Member of Executive Command Finance Committee.
  • Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the Grand Lodge of Texas. Received Henry Price Award from the Grand Lodge of Mass.
  • Grand Lodge of Texas Finance Committee, 1939-60, Chairman 1942-60. Member until his death in 1980.
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Esoteric Work from 1925-50; Life Certificate in 1950.
  • Fifty-year Masonic Service Award from the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1972.

Scottish Rite

  • Received Scottish Rite Degrees in Austin (32°), April 1922.
  • Elected to Knight Commander Court of Honor (KCCH) in 1933.
  • Received his 33° Inspector General Honorary (IGH) in 1941, the first so honored in Central Texas.
  • Supreme Council:
    • Deputy of the Supreme Council, April 1951.
    • SGIG in Texas, 1952-73.
    • Grand Orator 1955-63.
    • Grand Minister of State 1963-65.
    • Grand Chancellor 1965-69.
    • Acting Grand Prior 1968-69.
    • Deputy Grand Commander 1969-73.
    • Finance Committee.
    • Emeritus Member of Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction (SJ).
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors, Scottish Rite Dormitory (at UT), 1960-73
  • Chairman of the Board, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children, 1964-73
  • Chairman of the Board, Scottish Rite Foundation of Texas (SRFTX), 1955-73; Chairman Emeritus 1973-1980.
  • Received 50-year award from Austin Scottish Rite, 1972.

York Rite

  • Received Chapter and Council Degrees and Commandery Orders from Waco Chapter and Council and Commandery, 1923-1924.
  • High Priest of Bellmead Chapter R.A.M, 1963.
  • Thrice Illustrious Master of Bellmead Council, R&SM, 1963.
  • Commander of Waco Commandery #10, 1945.
  • Knight of York Cross of Honor.
  • Order of Silver Trowel, Order of High Priesthood, 1963.
  • Past District Deputy Grand High Priest (DDGHP).
  • Degree of Super Excellent Master.
  • Member of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests.
  • Received 50-year award from Chapter and Council, 1973.

Other Masonic Affiliations

  • Charter Master Councilor of Waco Chapter Order of DeMolay, 1921.
  • Member of DeMolay Legion of Honor.
  • DeMolay Cross of Honor.
  • Grand Master of International Order of DeMolay, 1967.
  • Received 50-year DeMolay Award.
  • Sovereign of St. Timothy Conclave, Order of Red Cross of Constantine (RCC), Fort Worth, 1945, Life member in 1969.
  • Charter Member and Charter Sovereign of DeMolay Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, Waco, 1958.
  • Grand Sovereign of the Imperial Council of RCC, 1969-70.
  • Knight Grand Cross, RCC.
  • Member of the Royal Order of Scotland.
  • Member of the National Sojourners.
  • Member of Heroes of ‘76.
  • Potentate Karem Shrine Temple, Waco, 1947.
  • Received 50-year Shrine award, 1972

Special Recognition

  • Honorary Degree Doctor of Law, Baylor University, 1960.
  • Good Citizenship (Gold) Award by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, 1959.
  • Washington Award from Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, PA.
  • Who’s Who in America.

Public Service

  • Trustee of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
  • Deputy Governor General, Society of Colonial Wars, 1967,68,69.
  • Member of the Board of Regents of the Univ of Tx, 1953-59, Vice Chairman 1959.
  • Member of the Tx Commission on Higher Ed., 1960-65; Chairman 1965.

Business Career

  • Started career as a teller at his father’s bank, First State Bank and Trust Company of Waco, where he began a side business financing automobile loans.
  • In 1923 founded the General Finance Company, and later the Lee Lockwood Insurance Agency, concentrating on packaging car loans and insurance coverage.
  • Later in 1923 opened the Lee Lockwood Agency of the Farm & Home Savings Assoc.
  • In 1930 added a retail lumber business to his enterprise, relocating to 2000 Franklin Ave. in 1931.
  • In 1941 organized Waco Homes, Inc., and engaged in commercial and home construction. Later organized a real estate company and began constructing housing projects. During his career he built approx. 1000 homes, including the additions of Beverly Hills, Hilltop, Valley View, and Live Oaks and Lake Oaks.
  • In 1946 moved his offices to 1901 Franklin Ave.
  • Member and president of the Waco Realtors and the Waco Apartment Assoc.
  • In 1949 became a Director of the Citizens National Bank in Waco.
  • In 1952 became a Director of the Mercantile Bank of Dallas, on whose board he served until 1980.
  • In 1955 became a Director of Farm & Home Savings Assoc. and served as Vice-Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee.
  • 1956 he was the Charter President of the Waco Savings and Loan Assoc.