M. W. Brother James Edward Olmstead was born on July 2, 1936 in Hampton, Iowa, the oldest of three sons born to Roscoe L. and Esther A. Olmstead. Brother Olmstead attended the Hampton public schools, graduating from Hampton High School in 1954. He enrolled in Iowa State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in the field of Industrial Education in 1959. Brother Olmstead received his Master's of Education degree from Bowling Green State University in 1970. Following graduation from Iowa State University he accepted a position as Industrial Education Instructor for the Sioux Rapids Consolidated Schools.
M. W. Brother Olmstead married Shirley Anita Crotwell on November 26, 1959, Thanksgiving Day, and they have been blessed with two sons. Michael James and his wife Julianne of Maumee, Ohio have one son and two daughters. David Leonard and his wife Sherry of Amelia, Ohio have two sons.
M. W. Brother Olmstead and Shirley left Iowa to accept positions with the Toledo Public Schools in August of 1962. He served as President of the Ohio Industrial Technology Association from 1980-82. He was awarded the "Outstanding Industrial Educator" Award from the Midwest Ohio Industrial Technology Association in 1982 and the "Outstanding Educator" Award from the Ohio Industrial Technology Association in 1983. Brother Olmstead was inducted into the professional honorary fraternities of Phi Delta Kappa and Epsilon Pi Tau the latter of which awarded him the Laureate Citation for professional accomplishments.
M. W. Brother Olmstead and his wife made their home in Maumee, Ohio from 1962 until 1991 when they moved to Perrysburg, Ohio. He retired from the Toledo Public Schools in 1992, after 33 years in public school teaching and administration. They are members of the Grace United Methodist Church in Perrysburg.
M. W. Brother Olmstead was raised a Master Mason on March 17, 1969 in Phoenix Lodge No. 123 of Perrysburg, Ohio. He served as Worshipful Master in 1975-76. He served as Secretary of Phoenix Lodge from 1981 through 1987. He was a District Education Officer in the 11th District from 1976-78 and a District Deputy Grand Master from 1978-81.
Brother Olmstead served as Excellent High Priest of Fort Miami Chapter R. A. M. in 1987. He is also a member of Calumet Council No. 133, R. & S. M. and St. Omer Commandery No. 59, K. T. where he served as Sword Bearer, Warder, Standard Bearer and Recorder. Brother Olmstead has also served as Worthy Patron of Perrysburg Chapter No. 446, O. E. S. on six different occasions. He is a member of Zenobia Shrine Temple in Toledo, and is a Past Commodore of the Zenobia Mariners Unit.
M. W. Brother Olmstead has been actively involved with youth organizations throughout his life and currently is a member of the Advisory Board of Fallen Timbers Chapter Order of DeMolay. He has received the Advisory Cross-of-Honor and the DeMolay Honorary Legion of Honor. Brother Olmstead is a Past Puissant Sovereign of St. Thomas Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, Past Sovereign Master Key to the Sea Council A. M. D. and Past Sovereign Master of Turkey Foot Council A. M. D. He served as the Most Venerable Grand Master of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America in 2002.
He is Past Commander-in-Chief of Toledo Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Toledo and was Coroneted a thirty-third Degree Mason on September 27, 1988 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is served as Executive Secretary of the Valley of Toledo, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite from 1992-96. He was elected an Active for the Supreme Council, NMJ in 1995 and appointed Deputy for Ohio in 1996 where he served for nine years. He became an Emeritus member in 2008.
He has received the “Medal of Honor” from the Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ and the Medal of Honor from the Ohio Council of Deliberation. He has received the “Knight Grand Cross” from the AMD of the United States, the High Council of the Societas Rosecruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis and the Red Branch of Erie. He received the Grand Lodge’s “P. Dean Gerber Award” in 2003. He is a recipient of the “Order of the Purple Cross” from the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. The Valley of Toledo awarded him the “Barton Smith Medal” in 2008, the highest award the Valley can present. He is an Honorary Member of the Knights of St. Andrew Chapter in Toledo, OH.
Brother Olmstead has served as the Chief Adept for the Ohio College of Rosicrucians from 2003 to present.
He also serves the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar for the United States as the Chairman of Fraternal Relations.
Brother James E. Olmstead was appointed Junior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Ohio by Most Worshipful Brother George O. Braatz, on October 17, 1987. He was subsequently appointed Senior Grand Deacon in 1988, Grand Marshal in 1989 and Grand Orator in 1990. He was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1991, Senior Grand Warden in 1992 and Deputy Grand Master in 1993. He was elected and installed as Grand Master of Masons in Ohio on October 15. 1994.
M. W. Brother Olmstead currently resides in Perrysburg, Ohio