E. Smith Lee

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E. Smith Lee, PGM,
E. Smith Lee, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master 1847-1848

E. Smith Lee was born in Connecticut on May 17, 1794. He graduated from Union College in New York and was admitted to the New York bar at an early age. For many years, he was the first Judge of the county of Monroe, New York. After moving to Detroit, he served as a Judge of Wayne County.

He was made a Mason at twenty-one, and for nearly forty years was a zealous toiler in the Masonic quarries, and was rewarded for his fidelity, industry and skill, by being elevated to the highest offices that the Craft could bestow upon him.

He made his first appearance at the annual communication of the 1841-4 Grand Lodge, held on June 7, 1843. At that time, he was elected Junior Warden of Detroit Lodge. At this meeting, he filled the chair of the Junior Grand Warden by appointment, in the absence of the regular incumbent of that office. For many years, he continued to be a recognized power in Michigan Masonry. He was one of the committee acting for this Grand Lodge in endeavoring to secure recognition of the Grand Lodge of New York. He served this Grand Lodge with zeal with and ability until its dissolution in 1844. He was chosen as the Grand Secretary in the new Grand Lodge where he served for two years. In 1846 he was elected Grand Visitor and Lecturer, and in 1847 he was chosen Most Worshipful Grand Master and re-elected in 1848. On June 24, 1847, he laid the corner stone of the first purely Masonic edifice erected in Michigan, the Masonic Hall in the village of Stoney Creek, in Oakland County.

He was the first Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Michigan, being elected to that high office at the organization of the Grand Chapter in 1848, and served three years.

He was a Past Master of Detroit Lodge No. 2; Past High Priest of Monroe Chapter No. 1, R.A.M.; Past Eminent Commander of Detroit Commandery No. 1, K.T.

He died on Sunday, April 12, 1857.

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