1896 - Barton Smith

M. W. Brother Smith, son of Charles Claibourne and Corinza (Burr) Smith, was born at Channahon, Will County, Illinois, June 2, 1852, a descendant on his mother's side of the Burr family who settled in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1630. On December 25, 1877, he married May Searles and from that marriage one daughter was born. Brother Smith obtained his early education in the public schools of Channahon and then attended the University of Michigan, receiving the degrees of B. S. and L.L.B. in 1872 and 1875 respectively.

Following the completion of his education, he located in Toledo and established a law practice with Frederick L. Geddes. This partnership was dissolved in 1881. He thereupon became associated with William and Rufus H. Baker under the firm name of Baker, Smith and Baker, and this office (with subsequent changes in personnel) still continues. Brother Smith specialized in real estate law and corporation practice, and was prominent in the consolidation of the small street railway interests of his home city into the Toledo Traction Company. He was President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Toledo Blade Company for many years, and was its counsel from 1879. This business was sold in 1926. During the first forty years of his career, he was almost continuously engaged in the trial of cases.

President Harding honored Brother Smith, in 1922, with an appointment to represent the United States on an Arbitral Commission, which sat at London and decided the case of Landreau, a citizen of the United States, against the Republic of Peru.

Brother Smith was a far-sighted citizen of keen intellect, and he exerted a great influence for good in every contact of life, Although an ardent and zealous Democrat, he never aspired to or held a political office. He was a member of the Ohio State and Toledo Bar Associations, a charter member of the Toledo Museum of Art, the Peninsular Society, Alpha Delta Phi and the University and Toledo Country Clubs.

Brother Smith's active interest in Freemasonry began at the age of twenty-four, and his loving devotion to its principles and unselfish service for its welfare will ever remain an inspiring monument and cherished memory, He was made a Master Mason in Sanford L. Collins Lodge, No, 396, Toledo, June 13, 1876, and had the distinction of never sitting in a Blue Lodge except as an officer or past officer, having been appointed Junior Deacon at the first meeting of his Lodge after being raised, He was Worshipful Master of his Lodge in 1884-1885, Honorary membership was conferred upon him by several Symbolic Lodges, one of which bears the name: Barton Smith Lodge No. 613 of Toledo Ohio. He presided as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Ohio in 1897.

The Scottish Rite degrees from the Fourth to the Eighteenth were conferred upon him by the bodies at Toledo in 1881, and he became a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret in Ohio Consistory, at Cincinnati, in February, 1882, He later became a charter member of Lake Erie Consistory, at Cleveland, and Toledo Consistory, at Toledo; and received Honorary membership in several other Consistories, He was Thrice Potent Master of his Lodge of Perfection 1887-1891, and was Commander-in-Chief of Toledo Consistory 1905-1907.

The Honorary Thirty-third Degree in the Supreme Council was conferred upon Brother Smith, September 20, 1887. He held Honorary Membership in the Supreme Councils for Italy, France, Mexico, Greece, Canada, England, Wales, etc., and Cuba.

In other Masonic endeavors, Brother Smith was an officer in Fort Meigs Chapter No, 29, R. A, M., of Toledo, Ohio; a member of Toledo Council No, 33, R. and S. M., Toledo, Ohio. Eminent Commander of Toledo Commandery No, 7, K. T., Toledo, Ohio; Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery, K. T. of Ohio. Honorary member of Detroit Commandery No, 1, K. T; St, Omar Commandery No, 59, K. T., Toledo, Ohio and Erie Commandery No. 23, K. T., Sandusky, Ohio; Commander-in-Chief of Ohio Council of Deliberation, 1907-1909.

M. W. Brother Smith died at his home after an illness of about five years on November 16, 1935. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Section 40, Lot 5, Toledo, Ohio.

Contact Us

One Masonic Drive
Springfield, Ohio 45504

(800) 292-6092 - Toll Free
(614) 885-5318 - Local