Humboldt Lodge #42 was chartered May 24, 1870 with 18 members, and was one of only six organized Lodges in the state of Indiana in which the German language was used in the ritualistic work.
Humboldt Lodge #42 was named after the great German scientist, Friedrich Heinrich Alexander Baron von Humboldt. It is not believed that Baron von Humboldt was a Freemason. The name Humboldt was chosen when Grand Master Martin H. Rice issued a dispensation on June 4, 1869. Records of the Lodge give no clue as to who suggested the name or why.
Work was done in both the German and English language depending on the preference of the candidate until 1911, when the last degree in German was conferred.
Like the other Lodges in Terre Haute, Humboldt Lodge #42 has had many Past Masters who were prominent in the business life of the city. They include Philip Schloss, Frederick Schmidt, William E. Hendrich, sr. Joseph Erlanger, Adolph Herz, Frederick Faust, Carl A. Busch, Jonas Strotise, Andrew Geyman, Leopold Forster, Andrew Roesch, William C. Retz, Sr., Julius Hintermeister, Gottfried Handrick, Henry Lang, Christ W. Kern, Simon Himmelbauer, John Schwerdt, John S. Heppner, Oscar Green, Charles G. Roesh, Ernest Lorenz, William Kipple, Hans Hintermeister, and many more.