French Callaway Shell

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French Callaway Shell, PGM,
French Callaway Shell, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1952-1953

French Callaway Shell was born on September 21, 1890 in Monroe County in the State of Tennessee. He was educated in grammar schools in Sweetwater and Knoxville and went on to Knoxville High School and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also attended classes in Mechanical Engineering a Chicago’s Lewis Institute and Law and Accounting at the Walton School of Commerce. During World War I he served with distinction during the greater portion of the War. He saw a full 16 months overseas, and participated in considerable action in the actual war zone. On September 21, 1917 he married May Lu Armour. They were blessed with twin boys. For many years he was associated with the F.W. Woolworth Company starting in the stock department and working up to a store manager position. In later years he worked as an accountant in Chicago. Due to poor health he retired in 1926 and retired to Kalkaska, Michigan. Prior to his election in the Grand Lodge line, his winter custom was to spend the coldest months of the year in Florida.

He was raised as a Master Mason on May 29, 1933 in Kalkaska Lodge No. 332. He immediately became an active member of the lodge and after serving in several office capacities, was elected Worshipful Master on December 7, 1936. He was elected Worshipful Grand Marshal of The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons on May 28, 1947 in Detroit. During the years that followed he was regularly advanced in the official ranks of Grand Lodge and on May 28, 1952 was elected as Most Worshipful Grand Master. During his term of office there were 163,000 Masons and 527 lodges in Michigan.

He died on July 2, 1968.

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