1902 - William Alvin Belt
William Alvin Belt was born on April 23, 1863, in Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio, and the oldest child of Rev. Le Roy A. Belt, D. D., and Rachel Burgett Belt. He spent his boyhood days in Ottawa, Bellefontaine, Marion, and Toledo, Ohio. At the age of sixteen he graduated from the Toledo High School. In 1884 he completed a university course at Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, with the degree of B. S. In 1888 he received the M. S. degree from his alma mater. In 1892 he was honored with a membership in the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity for his scholarship while in that university. On February 22, 1908, when the Delta Kappa Epsilon literary fraternity was established at Wesleyan, he received the honorary degree of D. K. E.
In 1886, completing his medical course, he was given the degree of M. D. by the Medical College of Ohio, now the medical department of the University of Cincinnati. He began the practice of medicine in Kenton that same year, and continued his work there until almost the time of his death.
He was married to Alba Webster, of Kenton, who died twelve years later, leaving two children, a son, and a daughter On June 6, 1901, he married Barbara H. Garst, of Greenville, Ohio, and they were the parents of one son. In the annals of Hardin County, the name of William A. Belt will ever remain a synonym for ability and integrity in the medical, business, literary, social, and political life.
He was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Kenton, and for many years served as one of its trustees. He had an abiding interest in civic affairs, particularly the public schools of Kenton, being one of the members of the Board of Education for a number of years. He was a trustee of Ohio Northern University for ten years.
He held memberships in the Hardin County, Northwestern Ohio, the Ohio and American Medical Societies.
Brother Belt was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Hiram Lodge, No. 18, F. & A. M. Delaware, Ohio, July 21, 1885; passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, August 18, 1885 and was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, August 26, 1885. In June 1886, he dimitted to Latham Lodge, No. 154, Kenton. He served his Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1892 and 1893.
He was made a Royal Arch Mason in Scioto Chapter, No. 118, R. A. M., April 13, 1887, and served as its High Priest in 1894. He was Most Excellent High Priest of the Grand Chapter, R. A. M. of Ohio, in 1917. He was a delegate to the General Grand Chapter, R. A. M. of the United States at each of its triennial meetings since 1915.
He received his Royal and Select Master degrees, and the Super Excel1ent Master Degree in Kenton Council, No. 65, R. & S. M. He was Thrice Illustrious Master of Kenton Council in 1920.
He was knighted in Marion Commandery, No. 36, K. T., in August 1898. He later became a charter member of Kenton Commandery, No. 58, K. T.
In the Scottish Rite his progress was as follows: Gabriel Lodge of Perfection, 14°, Dayton, November 1902. Miami Council, Princess of Jerusalem, 16°, Dayton, November 1902. Dayton Chapter, Rose Croix, 18°, Dayton, November 1902. Ohio Consistory, 32°, Cincinnati, February 27, 1903. He was a charter member of Toledo Consistory. He was crowned a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary member of the Supreme Council Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, at Boston, Mass., September 21, 1909.
In the Grand Lodge of Ohio he served as District Lecturer for eight years beginning October, 1892; was appointed Junior Grand Deacon, October, 1896 and 1897; Senior Grand Deacon, 1898; was elected Junior Grand Warden, 1899; Senior Grand Warden, 1900; Deputy Grand Master, 1901; Most Worshipful Grand Master, October 23, 1902.
He was also Representative of the Grand Lodges of Texas, Idaho, and Delaware near the Grand Lodge of Ohio. He was President of the Masonic Veteran Association of Ohio in 1918. He was a Trustee of the Ohio Masonic Home from January 1, 1918, until the time of his death. He also assisted in compiling the three-volume history of Masonry in Ohio, issued by the Grand Lodge. He rendered a distinctive service as Chairman of the Ritual Committee since 1903, in interpreting and supervising the publication of three editions of the Grand Lodge Ritual.
On the sixteenth day of May 1932, his body was laid to rest in Grove Cemetery Section K, Lot 2, Kenton, Ohio.