John J. Carton

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John Jay Carton, PGM,
John Jay Carton, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1896

John Jay Carton was born on November 8, 1856 on his father’s farm near Flushing, Michigan, and attended the district school, and later high school at Flushing. Soon thereafter he taught school for four years. At the age of twenty-five he was elected County Clerk of Genesee county and served for four years, devoting his leisure to the study of law. He was admitted to the Bar in 1881, and was taken into partnership with George H. Durand, who was Grand Master of this Grand Lodge in 1875. His association with Past Grand Master Durand continued until Durand’s death, twenty years later.

He served four years as County Clerk, two years as Counsel for the City of Flint, six years in the State Legislature, 1899-1905 inclusive; during the last four years he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was a member of the last Constitutional Convention of Michigan in 1907 and served as president of that body. He was active in the business affairs of his city, and for many years was president of the National Bank of Flint. He married Addie C. Pierson on November 22, 1898.

He was raised as a Master Mason on June 24, 1882 in Genesee Lodge No. 174 in Flint. He served as Worshipful Master of the lodge during the years 1889 and 1890. He was appointed Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge in 1891; Junior Grand Deacon in 1892; elected Junior Grand Warden in 1893; Senior Grand Warden in 1894; Deputy Grand Master in 1895 and Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1896. Upon completion of his service as Grand Master, he remained active in Grand Lodge affairs by serving as chairman of the Special Committee on Amendments in 1899, chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Constitution, Regulations, By-Laws and Penal Code in 1918 and 1919. He was also a member of the Committee on Jurisprudence for twenty-nine years, and for twenty-seven of those years, he was the chairman. He served as Grand Treasurer for five years, from 1915 to 1920.

He received the York Rite Degrees in Washington Chapter No. 15; in Flint, Michigan being exalted a Royal Arch Mason on October 4, 1883. He received the Order of Knighthood in Genesee Valley Commandery No. 15 in Flint, Michigan; Red Cross on November 28, 1884; Knights Templar, January 16, 1885; and Knights of Malta, on March 20, 1885. He was Coroneted an Honorary 33º Mason in the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the USA at Boston, Massachusetts, on September 18, 1906. He was elected Illustrious Deputy of Michigan in 1909 and continued in that position until the time of his death. He was made a Nobel of the Mystic Shrine in Moslem Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. of Detroit, Michigan, on October 18, 1884. He became a member of the Saint Martin Conclave No. 59, Imperial Ecclesiastical and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, at Bay City, Michigan, on October 25, 1927.

He died on August 26, 1934.

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