Francis D. Clarke
Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1913-1914
Francis Devereux Clarke was born in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, on January 31, 1849. He was educated at the old academy in Raleigh, then at Davison College, North Carolina, and afterwards at Columbia College, in New York. He received the degree of LL.D. from Gallaudet College, in 1909.
He served in the Confederate navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He came to New York in 1868 and entered the employ of the New York Institution for the Deaf as a teacher. In 1885, he took charge of the Arkansas school for the deaf, leaving there in 1892, when he was elected superintendent of the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint.
While in the New York school he met Miss Celia Laura Ransom, a daughter of Alexis Ransom, of Kalamazoo, Michigan. They married in 1873.
He was raised as a Master Mason on October 15, 1901 in Flint Lodge, No. 23. He was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Washington Chapter, No. 15, on February 20, 1902. He passed the Circle in Flint Council, No. 56, R. & S. M., on March 24, 1902. He has held the highest offices in all of these bodies. He was created a Knight Templar in Genesee Valley Commandery, No. 15, on April 28, 1902. He received his thirty-second degree in the Michigan Sovereign Consistory, in Detroit, on January 28, 1904, and joined the Order of the Eastern Star in 1909.
He was elected Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge, F. & A.M., of the State of Michigan, at the annual communication in 1907, and was regularly advanced each year until his election as Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1913.
He died on September 7, 1913.