William H. Phillips

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

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1894

William H. Phillips was born in the township of Rome, in the County of Lenawee, in the State of Michigan on August 7, 1839. He worked on a farm until he was 21, and attended district school during the winter until he was eighteen. In the spring of 1860, entered Oak Grove Academy, in the village of Medina, in Lenawee County. After attending there for one year, he taught school winters and worked on a farm during the summer. He attended the Academy during the spring and fall terms of each year until he graduated in 1865. In the fall of 1865 he entered Adrian College, in Adrian, Michigan and attended there two years. He withdrew before obtaining his degree. He turned his attention to teaching school. On February 22, 1867 he married Miss Amy R. BeDell, in the Township of Hudson, in Lenawee County. Afterward he continued to teach school for another three years. At that time, he opened a hardware business in Clayton, Michigan, and continued with that enterprise until 1875. In 1876 he moved with his family to Adrian, and entered the law office of A.L. Millard and began the study of law. He was admitted to the Bar in 1879. He practiced law in the Adrian until 1881, when he moved to Menominee. In the fall of 1882, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Menominee County, and re-elected in 1884. In 1888 he was elected to the office of City Attorney for the City of Menominee and held that office for three years. On November 6, 1894, he was again elected Prosecuting Attorney for Menominee County.

Brother Phillips was raised as a Master Mason in Adrian Lodge, No. 19, in Adrian, Michigan, on April 22, 1863. On February 1, 1866, he was exalted to the august degree of Royal Arch Mason in Adrian Chapter, No. 10. He joined his companions in Menominee and became a charter member of Menominee Chapter, No. 107. He was the first King of that Chapter, and afterwards became High Priest thereof for three years. He was made a Knight Templar in Menominee Commandery, No. 35, on August 4, 1884. He demitted from Adrian Lodge, No. 19, on December 20, 1882 and joined Menominee Lodge, No. 269, and held the office of Worshipful Master of that Lodge for four years. On January 27, 1892, he was elected Junior Grand Warden of this Grand Lodge. On January 25, 1893, he was elected Deputy Grand Master, and on January 24, 1894, he was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master.

He died on February 13, 1906.

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