Horace S. Roberts

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Horace S. Roberts, PGM,
Horace S. Roberts, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master 1861

Horace S. Roberts was born in Rochester, New York. He came to Detroit at an early age. When a mere boy he was a messenger in the legislature at Lansing. He secured his education in the Detroit Public Schools. In 1850 and in 1851 he was private secretary to Governor Barry, and was married while in Lansing. While a young man, he served as a private soldier in the Mexican war, and made a fine record for bravery and efficiency. After the close of that war, he returned to Detroit and in 1853 was elected city clerk. He retired at the end of his term to engage in mercantile business. Later, he accepted a position in the U.S. Custom House at Detroit. In 1857 he was elected Register of Deeds for Wayne County. He served in this position for four years. During these years he was one of the most active and efficient members of the Detroit Light Guard, thus keeping up his military enthusiasm.

When Fort Sumter fell he at once tendered his services to Gov. Blair and raised a company of volunteers and was made its Captain. This Company was known as the “Michigan Hussars” and formed a part of the first Michigan regiment, which started for the front on May 13, 1861.

At the expiration of the three months term of service he helped to re-organize the regiment for a three-year term and was commissioned Lieut. Colonel on August 10, 1861. On April 28, 1862 he was made Colonel and succeeded to the command of the regiment. He led his regiment in the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines Mills, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp and Malvern Hill. He commanded his regiment at the second battle of Bull Run, and on August 30, 1862 lost his life in making a desperate charge with his regiment.

He was raised as a Master Mason on August 4, 1849 in Lansing Lodge No. 33. Later, he affiliated with Union Lodge of S. O. No. 3, March 29, 1852. At the election of officers at the close of that year he was chosen Worshipful Master, a position that he most ably filled for the next six years.

At the session of the Grand Lodge in 1854 he was appointed Senior Grand Deacon; in 1855 he was elected Senior Grand Warden; in 1856 Deputy Grand Master, and in 1861 was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master.

He was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in the Capital Chapter, No. 9 at Lansing, on March 18, 1851. He was a charter member and first High Priest of Peninsular Chapter No. 16, Detroit, when it was chartered on January 15, 1857, and held that position for four years.

He was dubbed and created a Knight Templar in Detroit Commandery, No. 1, on September 10, 1852.

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