Richard D. Swartout

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Richard D. Swartout 33˚
Richard D. Swartout 33˚ (From the Lou B. Winsor Photo Collection of the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library)

Brother Richard D. Swartout was born June 20, 1846, at Clifton Park, Saratoga county, New York, and died on the farm of his neice near Waterford, New York, Aug 1, 1919.

He came to Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 25, 1876, He was a valued partner in the dry goods house of Spring & Co. and later dedicated his time entirely to the fraternity. He was made a Master Mason in Valley City Lodge No. 86, February 5, 1878, demitting therefrom May 23, 1899 to become a charter member of York Lodge, No. 410, to which Lodge he belonged at the time of his death.

He was made a Royal Arch Mason in Grand Rapids Chapter, No. 7, in November, 1878. A Royal and Select Master in Tyre Council, No. 10, February 7, 1883. A Knight Templar in DeMolay Commandery No. 5 in February, 1880. A 32˚ Mason in DeWitt Clinton Consistory in February 1879, and was crowned an Honorary 33˚ Mason on September 29, 1887. He was eminent Commander of DeMolary Commandery, No. 5, in 1889 and Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Michigan in 1904. He was also a member of Saladin Temple, N.M.S. and was known to be in regular attendance at ceremonials.

He was Commander-in-Chief of DeWitt Clinton Consistory in 1885-86-87 and Secretary of DeWitt Clinton Consistory and co-ordinate bodies from 1891 until his death.

He was buried in the little country cemetery near where he was born, with the Knight Templar services conducted by a delegation of his intimate fraters from Michigan under the auspices of representatives from the Grand Commandery of New York.

Richard D. Swartout was a Prince in deeds and words, fully and rightfully clothes in the purple of our Fraternity. He has left a memory to be revered, a record of accomplishment to be emulated, and a retrospection to be cherished.

His was a sweet, kind, lovable nature, with whom all of his legion of friends delighted to come in contact.

He will surely meet out Supreme Grand Master's approbation of "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of our Lord.

This information was compiled from a variety of sources including Swartout's 33˚ bio and description written in a special edition of "The Tyler" published in Grand Rapids, MI on May 21st, 1889 (pg. 72).

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