Roscoe W. Broughton
Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1903
Roscoe W. Broughton was born in Paw Paw, on February 11, 1854, and here he resided during his life of seventy-six years. He received his early education in the Paw Paw public schools and the University of Notre Dame. He graduated from high school in 1871 and the same year entered the law department of the University of Michigan, and after two years of study, entered the law offices of Hughes, O’Brien and Smiley of Grand Rapids.
Attracted by the opportunities of merchandising, he abandoned law and engaged in general merchandising in Paw Paw and for over thirty years conducted one of the leading stores in the county. During this time he also devoted his energies to public service. He served two terms as president of the village and more than twelve years as member of the Board of Education. Retiring from business in 1912, he was elected chairman of the Republican County Committee, holding the office for two terms and building up the acquaintance and friendships that were to lead to a long and honorable career of public service. During World War I he served with distinction as secretary of the Van Buren County War Board in addition to his duties as County Clerk.
His Masonic record is an illustrious one. He was raised as a Master Mason on June 6, 1889 in Paw Paw Lodge No. 25. He was elected Worshipful Master of his lodge in 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1897, and in the latter year was elected Worshipful Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Michigan, and was regularly promoted each year and elected Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1903.
He received the York Rite degrees in Paw Paw Chapter No. 34, Mark Master, August 26, 1889, Past Master and Most Excellent Master, on August 31, 1889, and Royal Arch, on March 16, 1891. He served as High Priest of his Chapter in 1898-1899-1900 and 1901.
He received the Cryptic degrees in Lawrence Council, No. 34, on February 4, 1892.
He received the orders of Knighthood in Peninsular Commandery No. 8, Knight Templar of Kalamazoo, the Red Cross, on May 15, 1891, and the Order of the Temple, on June 23, 1891. He received the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 4°-32° in Moriah Lodge of Perfection, Cyrus Council Princess of Jerusalem, Robinson Chapter of Rose Croix and DeWitt Clinton Consistory, all at Grand Rapids, on February 23, 24 and 25, 1892, and was Coroneted a 33° Mason by the Supreme Council at Chicago, Illinois on September 15, 1914. He was created a member of Saladin Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. of Grand Rapids, on February 25, 1892, and made a life member on December 31, 1917.
He died on July 25, 1930.