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Title Col John Ralls PGM
Catalog Number 2016.7.117
Object Name Photograph
Description Col, John Ralls (1807- 1882) GM 1848

Born November 18, 1807 near Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky his family moved to Missouri and his parents died at a early age, Being left an orphan, he struck out for himself and returned to Kentucky where he was apprenticed to William Sudduth in 1824 as a student in a court of record. He returned to Missouri in June of 1828.

He was appointed as doorkeeper to the State Senate and later became assistant clerk of the House of Representatives. He was admitted to the Bar in 1850.

He served in the Black Hawk War in 1832 comissioned as a Captain. He was selected as Colonel of the Third Regiment of Missouri Volunteer Milita to see battle in the Mexican War.

In 1846 he was selected Grand Master and on June 12th issued a dispensation to Missouri Military Lodge No 86 and on June 15, 1847 held a public installation of officers.

Upon arriving in Santa Fe in 1847 he assumed Masonic jurisdiction of the Territory of New Mexico in the name of the Grand Lodge of Missouri. The last recorded meeting of the military lodge was July 5, 1848 in the City of Santa Cruz. One of his last acts as Grand Master was to approve a reguest from Missouri Military Lodge No 86 to grant a charter to Harden Lodge No 87 in the Territory of New Mexico. He did this two days before his term while in Santa Fe without the knowledge of the Grand Lodge of Missouri.

According to his son, E.H Ralls, the Lodge held open meetings on high hills and low vales on their way to Santa Fe.

John Williams Ralls received his degrees in Palmyra Lodge No 18, Palmyra Missouri. He petitioned New London Lodge No 21 and served as Master several times. New London Lodge surrendered its charter during the Civil War.

He held a commission during the Civil War under General Claiborne Jackson of Missouri authorizing him to organize state troops to defend the State from invasion. He was a staunch supporter of the Union but on the question of slavery his sympathies were entirely with the South.

Colonal Ralls died July 29, 1882 in New London, Ralls County, Mo. and is buried in Olivet Cemetery, Ralls, Missouri "Royal Arch Mason" is engraved on his tombstone.
Date 2016
Collection GLMO
People John William Ralls