Joseph L. Hunter
Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1958-1959
Joseph L. Hunter was born in Chesaning, Michigan on January 21, 1896. He received his formal education in the public schools of Michigan and received his higher learning at McLaughlin’s Business College where he studied railroad station accounting and telegraphy. His early boyhood was spent on a farm in Chesaning and Brady Townships in Saginaw County. Before completing his education he enlisted in 1915 in Company F, 33rd Michigan National Guard. He was mustered into the Federal service in Grayling, Michigan on June 16, 1916. He saw service on the Mexican border where he served patrol duty during the pursuit of Pancho Villa. At the outbreak of World War I he was sent to Texas and became a part of Company K, 125 United States Infantry of the 32nd Division, which later became the famed Red Arrow Division and was labeled by the French as the “Les Terribles.” He saw service with the A.E.F. early in 1918 and was wounded in combat during the battle of Juvigny Plateau, which was a part of the Soissons sector of France. He returned from the War on Christmas Eve 1918 and sent to Camp Custer and later honorably discharged. Because of war injuries he was unable to continue operation of his mother’s farm and enrolled under the Veteran’s Rehabilitation act as a business college student. Following his studies he was sent to Coleman, Michigan for practical training in station accounting. The Pere Marquette Railway next employed him as a station agent operator in Beaverton where he worked for eight years. He resigned to work with the U.S. Post Office as a rural mail carrier. He retired from that position on September 30, 1957.
He was raised as a Master Mason in Chesaning Lodge No. 194 in November 1922. In October of 1925 he transferred to Beaverton Lodge No. 453 and served as Worshipful Master for four terms, 1928-29, 1932 and 1935. During his Masonic service he was honored with honorary membership in Centre Lodge No. 273 in Midland and Tawas City Lodge No. 302. He was exhalted to the Sublime Degree of a Royal Arch Mason by Midland Chapter No. 169 and made a Knights Templar by Saint Bernard Commandery No. 16 in Saginaw. He was also a member of the Coordinate Scottish Rite Bodies of Bay City having been created a 32° Mason in Bay City Consistory in 1922. He served District 24 as District Deputy Instructor for five years. He was named Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge in 1953. He was proclaimed Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Michigan during the closing session of the 131st Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of Michigan in Detroit on May 28, 1958.
He married Sylvia L. Bates in 1938.
He died on November 12, 1979.