History of George E. Dowling

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1893

George Enoch Dowling was born on Tuesday, February 26, 1839 in the township of Bayham, London District, Canada. He came to Grand Rapids in that same year with his parents, and settled on a farm near there. He began school at five years of age. At the age of thirteen he went to town and worked his way through the union and high schools, finishing his course by teaching a four-month’s term in a country district nine miles away. In April 1856 he went to Grand Haven where he found work in a store, and afterwards in a bank. He spent the winter of 1857-8 in a lumber office in Chicago, Ill. He returned to Michigan in April 1858 where he found work with Noah H. Ferry, a lumberman, at White Lake for one year.

In April 1859, at the age of twenty, he went to California to look for gold. Finding none, he returned to White Lake, Michigan in April 1860. In 1865 he entered into partnership with E.P. Ferry in a lumber business in Montague. This firm built mills. He worked there for seventeen years. In 1882, he founded the Muskegon County Bank.

He married Miss Annie Wilson on April 10, 1875 in Lansing, Michigan.

He was raised as a Master Mason in Muskegon Lodge, No. 140 on October 10, 1864. He demitted from Muskegon Lodge, on April 23, 1866 and founded Montague Lodge, No. 198 in Montague, Michigan. He was Worshipful Master of Montague Lodge, Under Dispensation in 1866, and of the chartered Lodge for four years thereafter, and also in 1862, 1882, 1883, 1884, and in 1885. He was secretary in 1873 and treasurer from 1874 to 1881 and from 1886 to 1892.

He was exalted to the sublime degree of a Royal Arch Mason in Muskegon Chapter, No. 47, R.A.M., at Muskegon in Muskegon Chapter, No. 47, R.A.M., on November 28, 1867, and was admitted to the rewards and honors of a Royal and Select Master, in Tyre Council, No. 10, R. & S. M., in Grand Rapids, Michigan on December 28, 1871; was constituted, created and dubbed a Knight Templar in DeMolai Commandery, No. 5, K.T., in Grand Rapids on February 29, 1868; was admitted, constituted and proclaimed a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, 32 of the Scottish Rite, in DeWitt Clinton Consistory, at Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 11, 1886, and was received, admitted and constituted a Noble of the Mystic Shrine at the Moslem Temple, in Detroit on February 10, 1886. He demitted from Moslem Temple to become a charter member of Saladin Temple, in Grand Rapids on April 6, 1886.

Brother Dowling was a member of this Grand Lodge continuously for twenty-eight years, during which time he attended twenty-five Annual Communications. He was Junior Grand Deacon in 1888, Senior Grand Deacon in 1889, was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1890, Senior Grand Warden in 1892, and Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1893.

He died on March 30, 1896.

For more information regarding past Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of Michigan click here. A special thanks to the Michigan Masonic Museum & Library for providing this information.