Henry T. Backus

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Henry T. Backus, PGM,
Henry T. Backus, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master 1851-2-3

Henry T. Backus was born at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1809. He graduated from Yale College and soon afterward moved to Detroit to practice law.

He was raised as a Master Mason on February 18, 1845 in Detroit Lodge No. 2. He became at once a leading and active member of our institution. In December 1846 he was elected Senior Warden and the next month he made his first appearance at Grand Lodge. One year later he was elected Worshipful Master of his Lodge and represented it at Grand Lodge. His abilities were soon recognized, and he became a prominent and influential member. In 1851 he was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master and served with distinction for three years, conducting this Grand Lodge successfully through that formative period.

Brother Backus was a member of Monroe Chapter, No. 1. Royal Arch Masons, and High Priest for the year 1858, representing his Chapter that year in the Grand Chapter. His principal labors, however, seem to have been performed in Blue Lodge work rather than in the higher degrees.

He was appointed by President Lincoln, Judge of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Arizona, and held this honorable position to the time of his death, which occurred at Greenwood, Arizona, on July 13, 1877. He was sixty-eight years old.

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