William T. Mitchell

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William Thomas Mitchell, PGM,
William Thomas Mitchell, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master 1865

William Thomas Mitchell was born in the town of Middlebury, Genesee (now Wyoming) county, New York on May 27, 1817.

His early education was largely under his father’s instruction. He received a good classical preparatory education, but, because of poor health, was not able to graduate from college. He was employed for two or three years as a clerk in a store, and then entered upon the study of law, first with his father, then with the firm of Putnam and Hugh, in Attica, New York. After three years application, he was admitted to the Bar as an attorney and received his first diploma from the hands of his father, the presiding Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and was soon afterward admitted to the Supreme Court of New York.

At the age of twenty-two he was married to Adeline A. Peck, of Attica, and then moved to Lapeer, Michigan in October 1839. In November 1839, he was admitted to all the courts in Michigan.

In 1840 he was appointed Prosecuting Attorney pro tem and conducted many prosecutions, with creditable energy and ability.

He was editor of the Lapeer Plain Dealer, the first democratic paper in that county, and an office worth $250 to $300 per year. Unfortunately, he had to return to New York, because of illness and practiced law there for one year. When his health was restored the next year, he returned to Michigan and settled in Romeo and formed a partnership with H.W. Williams his brother-in-law. He was appointed Prosecuting Attorney for Macomb County by Governor Barry, but resigned before his term expired and moved to Port Huron.

In 1869 he was elected Circuit Judge on the Democratic ticket. The circuit was large, and embraced four counties. After three years service, he resigned to re-enter private practice. In 1879 he was the Democratic nominee for congress against Hon. O.D. Conger, but in this case was not elected. In 1886 he was appointed by the President as a U. S. Commercial Agent, a consular office of same grade and duties as Consul at St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, where he remained for over three years.

He was raised as a Master Mason in Port Huron Lodge No. 58 on April 13, 1854. He had soon filled all the chairs and represented his Lodge in Grand Lodge almost continuously for the next ten years. At the annual meeting of 1863 he was elected Deputy Grand Master and in 1864 was chosen Most Worshipful Grand Master.

He died on February 6, 1916.

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