John S. Cross

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John S. Cross, PGM,
John S. Cross, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1890

John S. Cross was born on May 4, 1849 in Bangor, in Van Buren County, Michigan. He grew up on his father’s farm. His early education was limited to country schools, except for a term or two in the high school after the railroad had come through town. He developed a taste for field sports and light literature. He accepted a minor position with a surveying party, and at twenty-one years of age was employed as a guide and chainman in the preliminary surveys for the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad. He remained with this company for two years. He was promoted through the various grades of employment to the position of Assistant Engineer in charge of construction work. Upon the completion of this road, he went to Pennsylvania and for three years worked for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company in railroad and mining engineering. Upon the sale of the lands of this company in 1874, he returned to Michigan and engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Bangor.

After filling various offices, he was in 1884 and again in 1886, the choice of his party for member of the State Legislature. He retired from the State Legislature in 1888.

He was raised as a Master Mason on July 13, 1871 in Coffinberry Lodge, No. 204, in Bangor, Michigan. He became a member of Lawrence Chapter, R.A.M., from which he was demitted to become a charter member and first King of Bangor Chapter, No. 105. He was also a member of Lawrence Council, R. & S.M., and of Malta Commandery K.T., at Benton Harbor, Michigan. He served several terms as Worshipful Master of his Lodge, and was High Priest of the Chapter. He became a member of the Grand Lodge in 1882, and was appointed chairman of the Standing Committee on Lodges. He has filled the various offices of the Senior Grand Deacon, Junior Grand Warden, Senior Grand Warden, Deputy Grand Master and Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in succession. He served for several years as a member of the Committee on the Masonic Home. During his term of office as Most Worshipful Grand Master, he dedicated the Masonic Home at Reed’s Lake.

He died on September 18, 1899.

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