Thomas R. Whitley

1850 - 1932

Source:  History of Lake Victor Lodge No. 1011, 1909-1959
compiled by Maurice C. Shelby,
on file in the community files of Herman Brown Free Library.
Transcribed by JoAnn Myers, Aug. 2008






Brother Thomas R. Whitley was born in the State of Georgia on November 21, 1850, and when he was just a young man, he moved to Texas and settled near Georgetown, Texas, where for several years he was Manager of the Farmers Grange Store at that place.

On Sunday, July 8, 1883, Brother Whitley was united in marriage to Miss Ella Leatherwood and for some eight or nine years they lived on a farm about four miles south of Liberty Hill, Texas, in Williamson County.

Brother Whitley was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason on January 6, 1883.  He was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on April 25, 1883, and was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on July 9, 1883, in San Gabriel Lodge No. 89 A.F. & A.M., located at Georgetown, Texas.  He was also a member of the Chapter and Council Lodges at Georgetown.

In the year 1892 or 1893, Brother Whitley and his good wife moved to Burnet County and settled on the North Gabriel some eight or nine miles northeast of the Town of Burnet, where he was engaged in farming for a living for many years.

Brother Whitley demitted from San Gabriel Lodge No. 89 on November 1, 1894, and he remained a demitted Mason until the Lodge at Lake Victor was being formed, at which time he affiliated with such as a Charter Member.

Brother and Sister Whitley never had any children born to their union, but their home was the scene of many a young folks gathering in their early days and at all times the character of such gatherings was never challenged.  Brother and Sister Whitley were both Christians in every respect, and everyone who ever knew them loved them both for their great Christian spirit shown throughout the community and county.

Brother Whitley was a staunch supporter of the late Joseph Weldon Bailey in his political ambitions, and he named his favorite bird dog after him, and many are the humorous incidents the old timers who are still living today can recall concerning Brother Whitley and his bird dog "Joe Bailey".

Brother Whitley talked to him just like he would a human being and like he was to human beings, he also was very kind to animals whom he loved with much kindness and true respect.  His nephew, Mr. Tom Orchard, remarked that "No kinder man ever lived than Uncle Thomas Whitley", and I am sure that these sentiments speak for everyone else who knew him.

Brother Whitley demitted from Lake Victor Lodge No. 1011 on July 12, 1913, and in his later years he moved to Burnet, Texas to live, where on March 1, 1932, he passed through the veil to his heavenly reward.  He was buried in the Burnet Cemetery.









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