John W. Finch

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John W. Finch, PGM,
John W. Finch, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1878

John W. Finch, D.D.S., was born on June 6, 1826 in Arcadia, Wayne County in New York. He worked on the family farm as a boy and during vacations while attending school. He was a student at the Academies at Yates and in Marion, N.Y., for several years. He taught school eleven winters while getting his education. From 1850 to 1854 he worked at railroad construction, taking contracts on the Illinois Central, Chicago & Alton, and Baltimore & Ohio railroads. In 1855 he married Miss Frances M. Thorp. At that time, he worked in the grocery business. In 1858 he went to Delaware, Ohio, to begin the study of Dentistry.

He was one of the few selected by the Regents of the University of Michigan, for the Honorary Degree of D.D.S., which was conferred upon him on March 5, 1879.

He was honored by the voters of Adrian and Lenawee County, many times; having served as Alderman in 1870-’71, being President of the same in 1878; and was for several years one of the Superintendents of the Poor for Lenawee County.

He was raised as a Master Mason in Meridian Sun Lodge, No. 266, at Richfield, Summit County, Ohio, on September 1855; a Royal Arch Mason in Adrian Chapter, No. 10, Adrian, Michigan in 1864; a Royal and Select Mason in Jonesville Council, No. 3, in 1865; and Knighted in Adrian Commandery, No. 4, K.T., in 1867.

He also has served in the Scottish Rite bodies, having filled the officers of T.P.G.M. Zion Lodge of Perfection, and M.W. & P.M. Mt. Calvary Chapter of Rose Croix.

He was elected Grand High Priest in 1873, and Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1878.

He died on April 4, 1906.

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