George H. Durand

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George H. Durand, PGM,
George H. Durand, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1875

George H. Durand was born in Cobleskill, N.Y. on February 21, 1838. He spent his early years on a farm and acquired a good education that allowed him to eventually practice law. In 1858 he came to Flint in Genesee County to practice law. He filled the Office of Alderman and was elected Mayor of Flint in 1873 and re-elected in 1874. Before the expiration of his term as Mayor, he was elected to represent the 6th Congressional District of Michigan in the 44th Congress. He took on the duties of Acting Chairman of the Committee on Commerce.

In October 1892, he was appointed by Governor Edwin B. Winans to fill the unexpired term of Chief Justice Morse on the State Supreme Court.

In November 1892 he was elected a Presidential elector at large from the Eastern District of Michigan, and in January 1893, met with the Electoral College and cast his vote for the Democratic candidates for President and for Vice President.

In the spring of 1893 he was the candidate of his party for Justice of the Supreme Court, but he was defeated.

In the summer of 1893 an investigation by the United States government disclosed gigantic frauds in the custom service of the United States on the Pacific Coast. This involved a large amount of smuggling of opium, and infractions of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Judge Durand was appointed by the Attorney General of the United States as special counsel in the prosecution of the cases.

In 1893 at its annual meeting, Judge Durand was elected President of the Michigan State Bar Association.

He was an enthusiastic Mason, and devoted much time and attention to furthering the order. He was raised as a Master Mason in Flint Lodge, No. 23, in Flint, Michigan. After holding several of the subordinate offices in the Lodge, he was elected and served as Worshipful Master for several successive terms.

He was a member of Washington Chapter, R.A.M., No. 23, and also of Michigan sovereign Consistory, Scottish Rite.

He was a Sir Knight and served as Captain-General of the Genesee Valley Commandery for several years.

In January 1874, he was elected Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, and in 1875 was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master.

He died on June 8, 1903.

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