Charles F.R. Bellows

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Charles Fitz Roy Bellows, PGM,
Charles Fitz Roy Bellows, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1883

Charles Fitz Roy Bellows was born in Charlestown New Hampshire on October 27, 1832. His parents moved to Michigan in 1837 and settled in the township of Climax, in Kalamazoo County. He attended the district school of the neighborhood until seventeen years of age, when he was sent to Olivet Institute (Olivet College), where he remained for two years. He paid for his expenses there by doing chores, chopping wood, splitting rails and clearing land for one of the professors. He became interested in becoming a professor of Mathematics. In the fall of 1852 he went to Ypsilanti to attend the opening of the State Normal School (Eastern Michigan University). He graduated from it in 1855. He organized and taught the first graded school of Constantine, Michigan in 1855-56. Here he formed an acquaintance with S.C. Coffinberry, PGM. This close relationship prompted him to become a Mason.

In the fall of 1856 he went to Mishawaka, Indiana to be the principal of their school. He remained there for six years. In the meantime, he taught a year at South Bend. He was raised as a Master Mason in Mishawaka, on September 2, 1857. In the fall of 1861 he returned to become the principal of the school at Constantine for two years. During the above years, he completed three years of a course at the University. He went to Ann Arbor in the fall of 1863, and graduated the following summer as a Civil Engineer.

In the fall of 1864 he organized the first graded school at Decatur, Michigan. He was its principal for three years. He was elected the first County Superintendent of Schools in Van Buren County, in the spring of 1867. In the fall of that year he was appointed Professor of Mathematics in the State Normal School at Ypsilanti. He held that position for twenty-five years. During this period he published texts in Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Surveying.

He was raised as a Master Mason in May 1862 at Siloam Lodge No. 35.

Upon moving to Ypsilanti in 1867 he began taking an active part in Masonry, and rose to the position of Worshipful Master. He held the offices of Junior and Senior Grand Warden and Deputy Grand Master. He was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1883. He was made a Royal Arch Mason in Excelsior Chapter, No. 25, Ypsilanti, on June 25, 1875, and in 1878 he was elected High Priest, serving in that capacity for the next three years.

He was made a Royal and Select Mason in Union Council, No. 7, Ypsilanti, and a Knight Templar in Ann Arbor Commandery, No. 13.

He died on April 16, 1907.

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