Horace Morgan Stokes was born in the city of Philadelphia on the September 19, 1816. In his early boyhood he moved with his family to Cincinnati, Ohio and after residing there about a year, moved to Lebanon in Warren County where: he spent the remainder of his life.
M. W. Brother Stokes was a lawyer by profession, beginning his career with an appointment as Clerk of Courts of Warren County in 1840, a position he held for nine years. He had a peculiar adaptation to public business and enjoyed the entire confidence of the community in which he lived yet he never aspired to political office.
M. W. Brother Stokes was twice married: in early manhood he married the daughter of Brother Allen Wright, a close friend and associate of his in the Lebanon courthouse. Her untimely death occurred approximately one year after the marriage, leaving no surviving issue. His second marriage was to Miss Ann Parshall, to which union five children were born.
M. W. Brother Stokes was raised a Master Mason on April 3, 1844 in Lebanon Lodge No. 26. He served Lebanon Lodge as Worshipful Master from 1849 to 1856. He first attended an Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio in Dayton in 1846 and never failed to be in attendance from that time forward until his untimely death in 1861. He was a tireless worker on various committees of the Grand Lodge, gaining the respect and admiration of all that served with him. His first elected office in the Grand Lodge was that of Worshipful Grand Master at the Annual communication of 1857. He was re-elected at the three succeeding Grand Lodge communications. His death on September 12, 1861 came a scant month before the Annual communication of the Grand Lodge of 1861, and, thereby, Worshipful Brother Stokes became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio to die in office.
M. W. Brother Stokes was a member of Lebanon Chapter R. A.M. and was elected Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of R. A. M. at Chillicothe in 1853 and served in that capacity for three successive years.
It has been determined that during Brother Stokes' seventeen years of Masonic membership he continuously held office in one or more organizations and served at least 50 terms in various capacities.
For many years he belonged to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and later upon the organization of the Lebanon Congregational Church he became a charter member thereof. In the year 1838 he was the Secretary of the Lebanon Mechanics Institute and of the Warren County Agriculture Society during the years 1853 and 1854.
As stated above, while still serving as Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, he passed away in Lebanon, Ohio on September 12, 1861. His funeral was conducted by the Officers of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, with Past Grand Master William B. Thrall presiding. Burial was in Lebanon, Ohio, Lebanon Cemetery, Southeast Addition, Lot 284.