David Forbes

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David Forbes, 33˚
David Forbes, 33˚, of Grand Rapids (From the Lou B. Winsor Photo Collection)
Grave of David Forbes, 33˚
Grave of David Forbes, 33˚, in Grand Rapids, MI.(Photo by the Masonic Historian of the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library in July, 2012)


Grand Rapids businessman, founder of Forbes Stamp Company, and long term Treasurer of the Valley of Grand Rapids, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. His son, David A. Forbes, was also a 33rd from the Valley of Grand Rapids.


His official 33˚ obituary reads:

David Forbes, 33˚

Born at Glasgow, Scotland, September 25, 1854

Died at Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 13, 1933

Illustrious David Forbes, 33˚, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, September 25, 1854, a son of John Forbes, Assistant Manager of Govan Iron Works. His mother before her marriage was Janette Partrich. David Forbes was educated in a private school in Glasgow. Being of an artistic nature, he was attracted to engraving and became an expert engraver and die maker, following this calling all his life.

Commencing in 1871, he spent three years with Drake, Forbes & Darling in Chicago, and since 1873 had been with the Forbes Stamp Company of GRand Rapids.

His marriage to Julia Squires, daughter of Hiram Squires, took place on November 26, 1878, in Grand Rapids. They had three sons, James B., Arthur J., and David A. Forbes.

Illustrious Brother Forbes for more than half a century was a member of the First Methodist Church of Grand Rapids and served on its official board.

On August 29, September 26th, and November 28, 1883, he received the three degrees in Grand River Lodge No. 34 of Grand Rapids and was in charge of the music of the lodge for twelve years. June 9, 16, and 20 of the year 1890 saw the degrees of Capitular Masonry conferred upon him in Grand Rapids Chapter No. 7 and shortly thereafter he was admitted to Tyre Council No. 10, Royal and Select Masters. In De Molai Commandery No. 5, Knights Templar, he received the Red Cross, November 21, 1890, the Order of the Temple, December 19, 1980, and the Knights of Malta, April 3, 1891. For 24 years he was in charge of the music of the Commandery and served the organization for seven years, from 1913 to 1920, as Treasurer, and was then elected Treasurer Emeritus and Life Member.

The Scottish Rite degrees were conferred upon him in the bodies of Grand Rapids, February 23, 24, and 25, 1892. Here, also, he served as Treasurer for many years. He received the 33˚, September 20, 1921.

He was a member of the Board of Alderman of the city of Grand Rapids for ten years and was President of the Council one year. He served as Treasurer of Saladin Temple A.A.O.N.M.S., was President of the Grand Rapids Curling Club in 1915, and President of the Kent County Election Inspectors. His home was at 650 Hawthorne Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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