James Herbert Thompson
Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1912-1913
James Herbert Thompson was born in the village of Flushing on April 6, 1866. He came with his parents and spent much of his childhood in Reed City. He attended the Reed City schools and graduated from the Reed City high school, and then went to the State Normal College at Ypsilanti (Eastern Michigan University) and then to the University of Michigan. After graduation he became superintendent of the schools in the village of Evart, and later became county commissioner of schools. He served five years as a member of the State Board of Education and six years as a member of the Board of State Tax Commissioners.
While living in Evart, he married Minnie E. Ardis, on August 8, 1894. He lived in Lansing and was employed by the R.E. Olds Automobile Manufacturing Company.
He was raised as a Master Mason on December 14, 1889 in Phoenix Lodge, No. 13, in Ypsilanti. He demitted from Phoenix Lodge, on June 28, 1901, and joined Evart Lodge, No. 320. He served Evart Lodge as Senior Deacon and Worshipful Master and was elected Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of the State of Michigan in 1906, and was regularly advanced each year until his election as Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1912.
He received the York Rite degrees in Reed City Chapter, No. 112, in 1891, transferred his membership to Evart Chapter, No. 97, in 1900, and served that Chapter as High Priest from 1901 to 1906. He was elected Grand Master of the First Veil of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the state of Michigan in 1904, and was regularly advanced each year until he occupied the position of Grand High Priest.
He was created a Knight Templar in Pilgrim Commandery, No. 23, in Big Rapids on March 19, 1892 and transferred his membership to Lansing Commandery, No. 25, on January 13, 1901. He received the degrees of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, 32nd inclusive, in DeWitt Clinton Consistory of Grand Rapids, in February 1906. He was an active worker in that rite. He became a member of Saladin Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. on June 2, 1892, and of Evart Chapter, O.E.S. on February 2, 1899.
He died on December 19, 1943.