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1944 – Alpheus A. Stephens

M. W. Brother Alpheus A. Stephens, was born at Pemberville, Wood County, Ohio, on September 18, 1887, the son of the late Jesse and Ida Bell (Clark) Stephens, his father having been a member of Pemberville Lodge No. 516. A few years later his parents removed to Fostoria, Ohio, where he attended the public schools, graduating from high school in 1906.

In 1908 he entered Western Reserve University, becoming a member of Beta Chapter, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, and playing on the Reserve football teams of 1909, 1910 and 1911, graduating in 1912 with the Degree LLB.

Following his graduation he engaged in the practice of law in the City of Fostoria, and in 1913 moved to Cleveland where he continued in the practice of his profession.

In 1925 be came actively associated with the Cleveland Law School, where he was an instructor on the subjects of “Torts,” “Negotiable Instruments,” and “Insurance.” He was one of the organizers of the Young Men’s Business Club of Cleveland in 1914 and for a number of years had a leading part in the conduct of its affairs.

On November29, 1922 he was united in marriage with Lyda M. Ludwick also of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1942 he became a member of the Cleveland War Committee, a committee composed of the city’s leading citizens for the purpose of handling problems incident to the war effort. He was also active in local civilian defense activities.

He was a veteran of World War I, having seen service overseas with an A. E. F. Tank Corps, and was a member of Victory Post No. 48, American Legion. He was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fostoria, Ohio, the church of his baptism.

In spite of the many demands on his time, he found opportunity to give freely of himself to many worthy civic causes, both in Cleveland and Lakewood, the city of his residence.

In 1945 he was appointed Judge of the Municipal Court of the City of Lakewood by Governor Frank Lausche of the State of Ohio.

At the age of forty he became Interested In Masonry and was Initiated an Entered Apprentice in Lakewood Lodge No. 601 on October 24, 1927, passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft on January 16, 1928; and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on May 21, 1928. In 1929 he was appointed Marshal by W. Bro. Elatus C. Loomis elected Worshipful Master, November 14, 1932; and installed December 5, 1932. Although the black days of the great depression were with us during the year 1933, he served his Lodge with distinction and it continued to advance under his guidance and leadership.

Being very zealous in his search for Light in Masonry, he was advanced to the Degree of Mark Master in Cunningham Chapter No. 187, R. A. M. on October 11, 1928; the Degree of Past Master, November 8, 1928; the Degree of Most Excellent Master, February 28, 1929, and Exalted a Royal Arch Mason on March 7, 1929. He was elected Excellent High Priest of his Chapter on June 4, 1942, and installed on June 18, 1942, receiving the Order of High Priesthood at Columbus, Ohio, on October 7, 1942.

He received the Royal and Select Master Degrees, also the Super Excellent Master Degree In Lakewood Council No. 125, R. & S. M., on April 30, 1928, and was elected and installed Illustrious Master on June 22, 1938.

He received the Order of Red Cross and the Order of Malta in Holy Grail Commandery No. 70 K. T., on March 8, 1933; the Order of the Temple on March 15, 1933; was elected Eminent Commander June 5, 1940, and Installed on June 19, 1940. He was further honored by being elected President of the Council for Templar Advancement, Seventh Division of Ohio, in June 1941, serving until June 1942.

Having completed his work in the York Rite and serving as the presiding officer of all its bodies, he became a Knight of the York Cross of Honor.

He received the degrees in Eliadah Lodge of Perfection on September 13, 1935; Bahurim Council, September 16, 1935; Ariel Chapter, September 17, 1935; and Lake Erie Consistory, September 23, 1935; all in the Valley of Cleveland, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

He was Crowned Honorary 33rd, Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, at Boston, September 23, 1942.

He became a member of Al Sirat Grotto in January 1940, and Al Koran Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. in May 1943.

With Mrs. Stephens, he was initiated in Lincoln Chapter No. 309, Order of Eastern Star, on March 13, 1941.

He was appointed District Lecturer for the Twenty-Second Masonic District in October, 1935; Junior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, October, 1936; Senior Grand Deacon, October, 1937; Grand Marshal, October, 1938; and Grand Orator, October, 1939. He was elected and installed Junior Grand Warden in October 1940; Senior Grand Warden in October 1941; Deputy Grand Master in October 1942; and Grand Master in October 1943, serving with honor and distinction in this high office during 1943-1944.

He was an honorary member of more than eighty subordinate Lodges in the Grand Jurisdiction of the State of Ohio.

A distinguished Brother of noble character; of highest quality, trust- worthy, and always faithful to his trust; but the greatest of these, in all his works, he was most humble.

He entered into his eternal rest at his home in Lakewood, Ohio, on Wednesday, November 4, 1953. Masonic services were conducted by Lakewood Lodge No. 601, F. & A. M., assisted by representatives of the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of Ohio on Friday, November 6, 1953, and interment was made in the family plot located in the Oak Wood Cemetery, Section 26, Lot 9, at Fremont, Ohio.