Frank O. Gilbert

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Frank O. Gilbert, PGM,
Frank O. Gilbert, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1901

Frank O. Gilbert was born in Simcoe, Ontario, on September 24, 1854. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1879 and immediately located in Bay City and entered upon the practice of dentistry. He continued in that profession until the year of 1901. He served as a member of the State Dental Board for a period of ten years.

He was raised as a Master Mason on May 18, 1882 in Bay City Lodge, No. 129. He served as Secretary in 1889 and 1890. He was Junior Warden in 1884 and Worshipful Master in 1885, 1886, and 1893. He received the York Rite Degrees in Blanchard Chapter, No. 59, R.A.M., in 1883, and was its High Priest in 1888.

He received the Cryptic Degrees in Bay City Council, No. 53, in 1888, and was its Thrice Illustrious Master in 1897 and in 1898.

He received the Orders of Knighthood in Bay City Commandery, No. 26, K.T., on January 14, 1884, serving as Warder, Generalissimo, Captain General and was Eminent Commander in 1894 and 1895.

He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in Michigan Sovereign Consistory, in Detroit, created a 32° on March 26, 1884, and was Coroneted an Honorary 33° Mason in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 21, 1888.

He became a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Moslem Temple, Detroit, on May 21, 1886.

In the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of the State of Michigan, he was elected Grand Marshal in 1895 and was promoted each succeeding year, becoming Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1901.

He was elected Grand Lecturer in 1907 and re-elected each year until 1929.

In the Grand Council, R. & S. M., of Michigan, he was elected Grand Steward in 1903, Grand Captain of the Guard in 1904, Grand Principal Conductor of the Work in 1905, Deputy Grand Master in 1906 and Most Illustrious Grand Master in 1907.

He was also an active member in the Grand Chapter, R. A. M., of Michigan, and the Grand Commandery Knights Templar, serving on important Committees.

He died on November 27, 1929.


From the Proceedings of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, May 18, 1908 FRANK O. GILBERT Grand Master 1907

The subject of this sketch was a native of Canada being born in Norfolk, Ontario, on September 4, 1854. His parents were farmers and he remained on the farm until he was eighteen years old when he removed to Bay City where he has since resided. He became interested in the science and took up the study of Denistry, graduating from the Dental Department of the University of Michigan in 1880, and established himself in the practice of his chosen profession in him home city, where he continued until failing health a few years ago caused him to discontinue his practice.

He was married in 1884 to Miss Carrie Van Campen who died three years later leaving him one son, now a student at the Michigan university. His political affiliations have have been with the Republican part.

The Masonic life of Companion Gilbert has been a particularly brilliant one, and he has enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his associates in that Grand Body of men, and few have been honored as he has at the hands of his brothers. His Masonic record opened when he was initiate into the mysteries of Masonry in Bay City Lodge, No. 129, F. & A. M., and he was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on May 18th, 1882. He was elected and served as Worshipful Master of his lodge in 1887, 1888 and 1893, in the semi-centennial year of the history of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Michigan, Companion Gilbert was elected Grand Marshal and thus started on a pilgrimage whose ultimate goal was the chair of the Grand Master of all Masons of the State of Michigan. He reached this goal in 1901 where in the city of Detroit he was elected to that most exalted station and presided over the Craft for one year.

In 1907 at the Grand Lodge meeting in Bay City, he was elected to the important and responsible position of Grand Lecturer and has made the enviable record of meeting with some representatives of every lodge in the state during the year and of holding more schools of instruction than have ever been held in any one year.

In Capitular Masonry he received the degrees of Mark Master, March 15, 1883, Past Master, March 22, 1883, Most Excellent Master, March 29, 1883, and Royal Arch, April 12, 1883 in Blanchard Chapter, No. 59 of Bay City. He was elected High Priest in 1888 serving one year. He dimitted January 7, 1897. When a charter was granted to Bay City Chapter, No. 136, on January 20, 1897, Frank O. Gilbert was named as the first High Priest. He has been a regular attendant at the Grand Chapter convocations, and served for several years on the Finance Committee.

On April 1, 1884, he passed the Circle of Perfection in Ancient Masonry by receiving the degrees of Roy and Select Master in Bay City Council No. 53, and two years later was elected Thrice Illustrious Master. In 1903 he started in the lines in the Grand Council of Michigan and on this the Semi-centennial year of that Grand Body he presides over the Royal Craft, closing a very successful year.

Companion Gilbert received the Orders of Knighthood in Bay City Commandery, No. 25, K. T., where he was dubbed January 4, 1884. He was elected and served as Eminent Commander in 1894.

In the Scottish Rite he has also achieved distinction being created a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret on March 26, 1884, in Michigan Sovereign Consistory of Detroit, and on September 18, 1884, he was crowned a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d and last degree, and honorary member of the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of America.

He has crossed the hot sands of the desert and made the journey to Mecca under the scorching rays of a tropical sun and after a difficult and dangerous journey with the caravan arrived at the oasis in the valley of Detroit and in Moslem Temple. The weary travelers were resuscitated with zem zem water and tea biscuit.

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