George Benton Dolliver

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George Benton Dolliver, PGM,
George Benton Dolliver, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1930-1931

George Benton Dolliver was born on March 13, 1880 in Battle Creek. His mother, Amy McCamly came from the family that founded Battle Creek in 1831. His father was John Benton Dolliver, of New Hampshire. He began to study voice with Frank King Clark of Chicago, and completed his vocal education in Paris. The Paris Grand Opera Company offered him a contract in 1909, but the lure of newspaper work was strong, so he did not sign. After singing in St. Thomas Episcopal church, he sang for one year with the First Presbyterian quartette. With the completion of the new Congregational church in 1908, he became bass soloist and sang in that capacity for twenty-two years. He enjoyed his camera, which he used with extreme skill. He broke into professional amateurism at the St. Louis Exposition, and in 1928 he won the Third International Rotary prize. His pictures of Belgium, France, Italy, and England routinely appeared in the rotogravure section of the Detroit Free Press for many Sundays. As Secretary and Managing Editor for the Moon-Journal, Battle Creek daily newspaper, He was a newspaperman. He was Secretary and co-publisher of the Traverse City Record-Eagle, and of the Conine Publishing Company. He was with the Moon since 1893, except for a few years when he edited the Sunday Record, a weekly, and Dogdom, a monthly magazine; but in 1915, with N.E. Conine, his partner, he bought the Daily Moon and the Daily Journal, and consolidated them. At one time he was a staff correspondent for the Detroit Free Press and served that paper for 30 years. He appeared in many amateur plays. He had professional experience, having appeared with the Post Theater Stock Company, and acted with many famous professionals.

He was raised as a Master Mason in 1917 in A.T. Metcalf Lodge, No. 419. During World War I, Masonic degrees were conferred upon hundreds of soldier candidates, and Brother Dolliver learned the degree work and helped to confer it. Often times the team worked all night. At the end of 1917, he started in line as Junior Deacon. In 1920 a new lodge was formed and named after Past Grand Master, Ira A. Beck. Brother Dolliver transferred to this lodge and became its first Senior Warden. The new lodge received its charter in May 1921, as No. 503, and he became its first elected Worshipful Master. He was received into Battle Creek Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, on March 11, 1920, and into Zabud Council, No. 9, Royal and Select Masons, on October 22, 1920. He was Knighted on April 15, 1921, as a member of Battle Creek Commandery, No. 33 Knights Templar. On November 1, 1918, he became a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret at DeWitt Clinton Consistory meeting in the Valley of Grand Rapids, and on May 6, 1921 he became a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in the Saladin Temple. In 1924 at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of F. & A.M. of Michigan in Flint, he was elected Grand Marshal. He was elected to all of the positions in the moving line and became Most Worshipful Grand Master in Jackson on May 28, 1930. He dedicated the third version of the Michigan Masonic Home during his term of office.

He married Mabelle White Dolliver. They were blessed with two sons.

He died on January 18, 1961.

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