WILLIAM MINER BELCHER 1855-1933
- MM 1890, WM 1896, 1897, William Parkman
- Charter Member, WM 1920, Mystic Valley
- DDGM, Somerville 6, 1904, 1905
- Senior Grand Warden 1908
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1933
From Proceedings, Page 1933-437:
Right Worshipful Brother Belcher was born in Gaysville, Vermont, December 23, 1855, and died at his home in Winchester, October 23, 1933.
His parents moved to Pepperell, Mass., in 1860, and he received his education in the schools of Pepperell, and Nashua, N. H., and the Bryant and Stratton Commercial School in Boston.
At the age of twenty, Brother Belcher had charge of a large farm. He later took up the typewriter business in which he continued for fifteen years. He then entered the brokerage business, and for a number of years was Vice President of the Quincy Mining Company, a copper property in Michigan.
Brother Belcher was always interested in town affairs, and served as a Selectman of Winchester for three years. He was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Winchester, and for three years a member of the Standing Committee.
Brother Belcher took his degrees in William Parkman Lodge in 1890 and was its Master in 1896 and 1897. He was a petitioner for Mystic Valley Lodge in 1920 and was its Master under Dispensation and under Charter. He was District Deputy Grand Master for the Sixth Masonic District in 1904 and 1905, by appointment of M.W. Baalis Sanford, and in 1908 he served the Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Warden.
Brother Belcher was always keenly interested in the relief work of the Grand Lodge. He was elected a member of the Board of Masonic Relief in December, 1911, and remained a member until his death. Upon the reorganization of the Board in 1927, he was appointed a member of the Standing Committee and served there for the remainder of his life.
He was a member of Woburn Royal Arch Chapter and a Charter member of Winchester Chapter. He held membership also in Orient Council, Royal and Select Masters, De Molay Commandery, Knights Templar, and the Scottish Rite bodies in Boston.
Brother Belcher leaves a record of a long life of usefulness. If work needed to be done he was always ready to do it willingly and cheerfully. His passing leaves a gap in our lines and an empty place in our affections.
From Proceedings, Page 1933-519:
Again the all-devouring Scythe of Time has cut the brittle thread of life and launched into the Great Beyond another well beloved Brother of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, William Miner Belcher, born in Gaysville, Vermont, December 23, 1855; son of James Monroe Belcher and Abby Swan (Miner) Belcher. Educated in schools in Pepperell, Mass., Nashua, N. H., and Bryant and Stratton Commercial School, Boston, Mass. Was manager of a large farm at the age of twenty years; then engaged in the typewriter business in Boston for fifteen years; then in brokerage business in Boston. At the time of passing was Vice-President and Director of the Quincy Mining Company, a copper property in the State of Michigan. He was a member of the Congregational Church in Winchester, and was on its Standing Committee three years. Served on Board of Selectmen of the Town of Winchester three years, and has been connected with Winchester town affairs for many years.
Moved from Gaysville, Vermont, at age of six years) to Pepperell, Mass., remaining until 1876, then located in Winchester in the spring of 1880.
Received Blue Lodge Degrees in William Parkman Lodge in 1890, and was Worshipful Master in 1896 and 1897. Was Worshipful Master of Mystic Valley U. D. in 1919, and First Worshipful Master under Constitution in 1920. Chairman of Trustees of William Parkman Lodge since 1897, and also Mystic Valley Lodge since Constitution. District Deputy Grand Master for the Sixth Masonic District in 1904 and 1905. Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1908. Member of Board of Masonic Relief since opening of Masonic Home, 1911. Member of Standing Committee of Board of Masonic Relief from 1926 to 1933.
Received Royal Arch Degrees March 25, 1891, in Woburn Chapter. Received Super Excellent Degree December 14, 1898, in Olivet Council, Somerville. Order of the Temple Degree June 11, 1891, DeMolay Commandery. Was a member of all the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Bodies located in Boston. Departed October 23, 1933.
Years of experience had placed upon his brow the crown of wisdom with the confidence of his Brethren and, therefore, his services trecame with each year of his mortal life more valuable to the Fraternity. While we feel that his work in this life might have been continued, yet we bow with all humility to the will of the Supreme Master, knowing that His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways, and that he has lived long and well on this terrestrial sphere. We are not here simply to prepare ourselves for another life. This life is a part of eternity. We are here to live this life well. It is not alone the fitting of individual men and women for Heaven for which the race exists. On the contrary man's highest duty and noblest work is to benefit others, to enlighten and elevate their character, to enlarge the sphere of their affectionsl to imbue them with a proper conception of their capabilities for good; to ameliorate their sufferings, and to lead them in the paths of righteousness. Our Brother loved to do good among men, to make those around him happy, to relieve the disressed and comfort the afflicted.
As the splendor of the sun lingers in the west until the coming of the stars, and the light and warmth which it poured upon the earth during the life of a day is not dead nor lost, so will the influence of our Brother's life and the memory of his kind words and deeds remain and live in our hearts and be reflected in our lives. May God give us wisdom to profit by these influences and unto our departed Brother eternal peace, eternal rest, eternal happiness. To his family we extend our sincere sympathy.
Edmund S. Young
Howard E. Custance
FROM NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1933
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXIX, No. 3, November 1933, Page 80:
William M. Belcher, living at 16 Prospect Street. Winchester, died Monday, October 23, following an illness of five months. He was horn in Gaysville, Vt., on Dec. 23, 1855, the son of James M. and Abby (Minor) Belcher. His parents moved to Pepperell in 1860, and twenty years later Mr. Belcher married Sarah Louise Claussen, daughter of Captain Frederiek Claussen of Cambridge. Since that time Mr. Belcher had resided in Winchester, engaging in business in Boston. Since 1890 he had been active in Masonry and was a thirty-second degree member, and the only permanent member of the Grand Lodge from the Sixth Arlington Masonic District. From 1897 to 1898 Mr. Belcher was master of William Parkman Lodge, and he was also master of Mystic Valley Lodge. He had served as guard of the Consistory since 1903, and had been on the Board of Masonic Relief since 1911, afl tively connected with the if Home at Charlton since its organization.
He was a member of the Winchester board of selectmen from 1908 to 1915 and a member of the standing committee of the First Congregational Church in Winchester in 1905. He belonged to the Calumet Club of his home town and served as treasurer of the parish for three or four years. He had been actively connected with the Quincy Mining Company for more than three years, and its vice president for some time.
In 1930 Mr. and Mrs. Belcher celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, following their fifty years residence in Winchester. Mr. Belcher is survived by his wife, a daughter, Miss Elise Belcher, and a brother, Fred E. Belcher, all living in Winchester.
Funeral services, largely attended, were held at the Prospect street church Thursday, Oct. 26, at 2.30 P.M.