William B. Wilson

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William B. Wilson, PGM,
William B. Wilson, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1888

William B. Wilson was born in Palmyra, New York, and came to Michigan with his parents in 1839. After a thorough training in the common schools, he was taken into partnership by his father in the mercantile business, and remained there until 1858 when he moved to Hillsdale and opened a general store. In 1889 he moved to Detroit, and opened a retail and prescription drug store in the Whitney Opera House block on Griswold Street. In 1892 he sold his drug store and in the summer moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where he became the President of The Chemical Manufacturing Company, Wholesale Manufacturers of Extracts.

He was a Democrat and County Treasurer for Muskegon County for two years. He was also a member of the Democratic State Central Committee for eight years, and in 1885 he was elected a member of the State Legislature from Muskegon, and while there, was the author of the Pharmacy Law of Michigan, which passed the Legislature in 1885.

He was raised as a Master Mason in Hillsdale at Fidelity Lodge No. 32 in 1859. He served in all of the offices in Fidelity Lodge, and in 1884 was appointed Grand Senior Deacon of the Grand Lodge by Brother Most Worshipful Grand Master Arthur M. Clark. In 1888 he was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master. In 1861 he received the York Rite degrees in Hillsdale Chapter, No. 18, and after filling the minor offices, was the respected High Priest for four years.

He was knighted in Eureka Commandery, No. 3, in 1862, and filled all the offices in the Commandery, entered the Grand Commandery of the State in 1873, and after holding various offices in this Grand Body, was elected Right Eminent Grand Commander in 1880.

Brother Wilson was also a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, being a member of the Moslem Temple, in Detroit, and was also a member of the Damascus Commandery, No. 42 in that city.

He died on January 24, 1911.

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