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1928 – B. Frank Thomas

M. W. Brother B. Frank Thomas was born on a farm in Paris Township, Portage County, Ohio, the second son in a family of nine children of John R. and Hannah Johns Thomas. He received his education in the public schools, and at the age of 17 was teaching in one of them. Later he was graduated from Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio, with a degree in commercial science, and continued as a teacher for three years. In 1887, he, with his brother Arnold, became associated with their father in the J. R. Thomas and Sons Grocery Co. and took over its operation in 1892 following the death of his father in 1892. He was outstanding as a wholesale grocer and continued in that business for more than forty years.

He was ever pre-eminent in the civic, educational and political life of Youngstown and Mahoning County, and promoted every activity that contributed to the moral and spiritual life of the people. He was a member of the Youngstown Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, Country Club, Rotary Club, Automobile Club, Young Men’s Christian Association, Board of Health, and Glenwood Children’s Home.

M. W. Brother Thomas was married to the former Miss Irma Brenner who died in 1927. To this marriage two children were born a son and a daughter.

M. W. Brother Thomas was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Newton Falls Lodge No. 462, Newton Falls, Ohio, August 20, 1888; passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft, September 3, 1888; passed to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, February 11, 1889. He dimitted and affiliated with Western Star Lodge No. 21, in 1892, serving as its Worshipful Master in 1907. He was an honorary member of Youngstown Lodge No. 615, Argus Lodge No. 545 and Newton Falls Lodge No. 462.

He was exalted in Youngstown Chapter No. 93, November 22, 1892, serving as High Priest in 1897. He was a member of Buechner Council No. 107, Royal and Select Masters. He was created a Knights Templar in St. John’s Commandery No. 20, Youngstown, Ohio, May 11, 1893, serving as Eminent Commander in 1900.

He received his Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Cleveland in 1898. He dimitted in 1904 to Hiram Lodge of Perfection, Youngstown Council of Princes of Jerusalem and Youngstown Chapter of Rose; Croix. He served as Thrice Potent Master of Hiram Lodge of Perfection in 1918-19. He was crowned a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and honorary member of the Supreme Council at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1919.

In the Grand Lodge of Ohio, he served two years as District Lecturer. He was appointed W. Senior Grand Deacon in 1922, R. W. Grand Orator in 1923, elected Junior Grand Warden in 1924, R. W. Senior Grand Warden in 1925, R. W. Deputy Grand Master in 1926. He was elected and installed M. W. Grand Master in 1927.

M. W. Brother B. Frank Thomas died Wednesday, December 12, 1951, at Bethesda, Maryland, where he had been living since 1944. His body is interred in the Oak Hill Cemetery, Lot 1068, Youngstown, Ohio.