William W. Carlton was born a Keensburg, Wabash County, Illinois, on July 26, 1898, the first of three children born to James Ashford and Clara B. (Jordon) Carlton. He attended the grade schools of Keensburg and Mt. Carmel, Illinois, and Seattle, Washington. He was graduated from the Mt. Carmel High School in 1917 after having attended one year each in preparatory school at Tennessee Military Institute and Columbia Military Academy, Tennessee. In 1917 he was enlisted in the Illinois National Guard and served as Battalion Sergeant Major. Later, in 1918, he spent one semester in the S. A. T. C. at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. All of his subsequent formal education was obtained through various extension courses and night study at the University of Cincinnati.
He worked as a construction inspector, draftsman, and engineer for various railroad, industrial, and consulting firms, and the city of Cincinnati, until 1927, when he was appointed Chief Structural Engineer for the Cincinnati Department of Buildings. He served in that position until 1936, when he resigned to enter the private practice in which he was engaged with the firm of William W. Carlton and Associates, Engineers and Architects.
In October of 1940, he was called to duty as a Major, Q. M. C., U. S. A., and served subsequently, through World War II, as Major, Lt. Colonel, and Colonel, C. E., U. S. A. His various assignments were: Supervising Constructing Quartermaster, O. Q. M. G.; Chief of the Defense Housing Section, O. C. E.; Executive, Repairs and Utilities Branch, O. C. E.; and Chief, Command Installation Branch, HQ . A. S. F. He was graduated from the Army Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth in March 1944. The War Department awarded him the Legion of Merit Citation in December, 1945, and he was relieved from active duty in March, 1946, but was called back at the time of the Korean War. For ten years he served with NATO and was attached to the Air Force in Europe. He married the former Helene Paul Albert and to this marriage a daughter was born.
He was a member of the Evanston Christian Church of Cincinnati. He was a past president of the Engineering Society of Cincinnati and of the Cincinnati Section, American Society of Civil Engineers. He \vas also a member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Military Engineers. He held membership in the American Legion; Military Order of World Wars; National Sojourner; Army and Navy Club and Army and Navy Country Club, Washington, D. C.; the Cincinnati Club and Oola Khan Grotto, Cincinnati, Ohio.
M. W. Brother Carlton was initiated an Entered Apprentice on February 20, 1920, in Mt. Carmel Lodge No. 239, A. F. & A.M., of Illinois. He was passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft on November 5, 1920, and raised a Master Mason on, January 5, 1920. The Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees were conferred for Mt. Carmel Lodge by Mc Millan Lodge No. 141, F. & A. M., of Ohio. He dimwitted from Mt. Carmel Lodge on September 16, 1924, to become a Charter Member of Evanston Lodge No. 695, F. & A. M., of Ohio. He served as the first Junior Warden of Evanston Lodge and was elected Senior Warden in 1926 and Worshipful Master in 1927. He served as organization chairman and first president of the Hamilton County Masonic Officers Association and as president (in absentia) of the Society of Past Masters of Cincinnati and vicinity.
He was exalted in Norwood Chapter No. 193, R. A. M., in 1927, and advanced to the Cincinnatti Council R. & S. M. in 1946. He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Consistory of the Valley of Cincinnati, A. A. S. R., in 1936.
In the Grand Lodge of Ohio, Brother Carlton served as District Lecturer of the First Masonic District in the years, 1931-32-33-34, and 1936, as Junior Grand Deacon in 1937, Senior Grand Deacon in 1938, Grand Marshal in 1939, and Grand Orator in 1940. During the war years of 1941-46 he was elected to and held (in absentia) the offices Junior and Senior Grand Warden and Deputy Grand Master. He was reelected to the office of Deputy Grand Master for three consecutive years due to his declining advancement and absence from the state in military service. At the 137th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held in Akron on October 17, 1946, he was elected Grand Master of Masons of Ohio.
Colonel Carlton passed away May 30, 1964, in Washington, D. C., funeral services were held at the Fort Myers, Virginia chapel with burial in Arlington Cemetery, Section 35, Lot 2099, Alexandria, Virginia.