Matthew H. Maynard

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Matthew Henry Maynard, PGM,
Matthew Henry Maynard, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1876

Matthew Henry Maynard was born in Brownsville, Indiana, on April 10, 1832. His father took the family to Vermont in 1840. He prepared for college at Castelton Seminary, spent a year in teaching, and entered the Middlebury College as a sophomore in 1849, graduating in 1852 with the highest honors of his class. During the winter of 1852-3 he was principal of the high school at Sackett’s Harbor, New York, but left there in April of the latter year to enter the law office of Andrews, Foot and Hoyt, in Cleveland, Ohio.

He was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Ohio in April 1855. In June 1856 he went to Marquette, Michigan. He entered into a partnership with Peter White, who was County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Township Treasurer, Deputy Count Treasurer and Postmaster. This relationship lasted ten years. Meanwhile White was admitted to the Bar and there were no other lawyers in Marquette County. Maynard was the Prosecuting Attorney and Circuit Court Commissioner.

Although Mr. Maynard kept open a law office for over thirty years and tried many notable cases, he never seemed to be greatly interested in his profession.

As early as 1857 he became a member of the School Board of Marquette and a School Inspector, and for over thirty years he personally examined every teacher in the public schools and for a least twenty-five years, he was director and executive officer and kept all the accounts of the district.

He was raised a Master Mason in Marquette Lodge, Under Dispensation on October 12, 1857. As soon as possible, he became Senior Deacon and served as such at every meeting after his raising until the lodge received its charter. He was then Junior Warden for one year and Worshipful Master for nine years. He raised many Masons during his tenure as Worshipful Master. His first appearance in Grand Lodge was when Henry Chamberlain was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master. At the next session, when G.M. Chamberlain presided, he was appointed chairman of the Committee on Grievances (appeals) and his report from that committee brought him favorable notice. Because of his outstanding report, at the next meeting he was elected Deputy Grand Master. He was elected and installed into the office of Most Worshipful Grand Master in January 1876. He was one of the youngest ever to be elected Grand Master. He reported twenty-four decisions upon Masonic law, which were referred to the Committee on Jurisprudence. The Committee approved with commendation, all of the decisions reported, with but two exceptions.

He died on December 27, 1907.

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