To get us started on the history of Brother William Prince; I was given permission to use an excerpt from the Vincennes Lodge #1 Trestleboard(newsletter) from November of 1991. This short history was written by Neil A. Ward who was serving as Master of Vincennes lodge at that time.
Greetings from the East, Brethren.
The Column this month is dedicated to the 125 men… outstanding men… who have been Worshipful Master of Vincennes Lodge over the last almost 200 years. They were (and are) outstanding and dedicated Masons.
One Such Past Master was a man by the name of William Prince. A native of Ireland, Prince was Master of this lodge in 1809 and 1810. He, along with three other candidates, were initiated March 17, 1809 and later that same day he and fellow candidate Parmenas Beckes, received the Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees.
Prince became Secretary of the lodge and was the author of it’s first set of by-laws. His accomplishments were many indeed. He was Sheriff of Knox County, the second Postmaster in Vincennes, appointed in 1804, Captain of the Territorial Militia in 1807, held the rank of Major under General Daviess at the Battle of Tippecanoe, Prosecuting Attorney for Knox County, Judge, and delegate to the convention that framed the constitution admitting Indiana to statehood in 1816. Further, he was a member of the first senate of Indiana, served on the Commission that selected Indianapolis as the state capitol in 1820, and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1822 until he answered the Final Summons in 1824.
William Prince was not only a man of distinction and accomplishment, he did a lot with his 52 years of life. Princeton, Indiana and Prince lodge no. 231 located there are named for this great public servant.
The Rolls of Vincennes Lodge contain the names of Masons who made outstanding contributions to Indiana in general and Vincennes in particular. They deserve to be remembered.
Prince Lodge currently enjoys strong relationships with many area lodges, and we have an especially close bond with our Brothers of Vincennes Lodge #1. I would like to thank the Vincennes Lodge Masons for all their help through the years, and specifically thank Neil Ward for allowing me to use his work on our website.