William H. Harmon

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William H. Harmon, PGM,
William H. Harmon, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1969-1970

William H. Harmon was born in Portland, Oregon on August 15, 1911. He graduated from Elwood High School in Elwood, Indiana, and then attended Butler University and Indiana University. While in Indiana he worked in food processing and in construction between 1932 and 1936, and from 1936 to 1945 he worked for Indiana General Service Co. and for Indianapolis Power & Light, and was an industrial accountant with the Chevrolet Division of GMC. In 1945 he entered public accounting and maintained a practice in Cheboygan, with a part-time branch office in Gaylord. On March 5, 1933 he married Martha Savage. They were blessed with one daughter and two sons.

In Cheboygan he served as a director of Step Inn, Inc., Scott Lumber Co., Kingston Corp., and Straits Distributors Inc. He, also, served as a Vice-President and Treasurer of Straits Distributors Inc., which is an electronic wholesaling firm with, stores in Cheboygan and Sault Ste. Marie. During 1949-53 he served the Cheboygan Board of Education as its Secretary. He served for two years as the pastor of the Mackinaw City Presbyterian Church, and for ten years he was the pastor of the Ironton Congregational Church (U.C.C.). He was ordained as a minister of the United Church of Christ, Cheboygan Association in June of 1961. He was raised as a Master Mason on May 10, 1937 in Quincy Lodge No. 230 in Elwood, Indiana. He transferred to Cheboygan Lodge No. 283, in Cheboygan, Michigan in 1945 and served as Worshipful Master in 1954. He was duly exalted in Elwood Chapter No. 109, R.A.M., in 1938 and served in the official lines of both Elwood Chapter and Calvin Prather Chapter No. 129 in Indianapolis, and then later in Bay City Chapter No. 59 in Bay City, Michigan. He served in the official line of Cheboygan Chapter No. 109, R.A.M., and served as Excellent High Priest in 1950. For many years he was an officer of the Grand Council of the Order of High Priesthood for Michigan and served as its Most Excellent President in 1964. In York Rite Masonry he was greeted in Calvin Prather Council No. 100, R. & S.M., Indianapolis, Indiana, and in 1942 transferred his membership to Cadillac Council No. 70, and in 1952 became a charter member and the second Thrice Illustrious Master of Inverness Council No. 60 in Cheboygan in 1953. He was elected into the official line of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masons of Michigan in 1955, when he became Grand Marshal, and was regularly advanced until May 1961, when he was elected Most Illustrious Grand Master and presided in May of 1962. He was Knighted in the Order of the Temple by Cheboygan Commandery No. 50 K.T., in 1950, served as its Eminent Commander in 1955-56, and served on the Grand Commandery Committees on York Rite and Hospitality. He was invited to become a member of the York Cross of Honor in 1955, served as Eminent Prior in 1966, and was named Knight of the Grand Cross with One Quadrant in 1964. He petitioned the Coordinated Scottish Rite Bodies of the Valley of Grand Rapids and received the degree of 32° Mason in DeWitt Clinton Consistory, on May 15, 1962. In 1963 he was duly elected as Grand Marshal and has advanced regularly until becoming Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons on May 28, 1969. There were 160,000 Masons in Michigan during his term of office.

He died on October 22, 1977.

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