Harry S. Truman, Past Master

Harry S. Truman Thirty-third President of
the United States (32nd to serve, although officially designated as the 33rd).
b. May 8, 1884 at Lamar, Mo. Educated
in the public schools of Independence,
Mo. and a student at the Kansas City
School of Law. He was with the Kansas
City Star in 1901; a timekeeper for a railroad contractor in 1902; with National
Bank of Commerce and Union National
Bank, Kansas City, 1903-05; and operated the family farm from 1906-17. In WWI
he served from first lieutenant to major
with Battery F, and later Battery D, of the
129th Field Artillery, 35th Division, participating in the Vosges operations, St.
Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives of
the A.E.F. He was discharged as a major
in May, 1919. Since 1927 he has been a
colonel of Field Artillery in the reserves.
Following the war he was a judge of the
Jackson Co. Court (1922-24), and presiding judge, 1926-34. He was elected U.S.
senator from Missouri in 1934, and
reelected in 1940. In the senate he distinguished himself as chairman of a special committee to investigate the national defense program. On Nov. 7, 1944 he
was elected vice president of the United
States on the ticket with Franklin D. Roosevelt, q.v., taking office on Jan. 20,

  1. On the death of Roosevelt, he succeeded him to the presidency on April
    12, 1945. He was elected president in
    1948, and served the term of 1949-53.
    Thus, he served two terms in that office,
    less approximately three months. He is
    the author of Years of Decisions, Vol. I in
    1955, and the companion volume, Years
    of Trial and Hope, Vol. II, 1956. Truman
    petitioned Belton Lodge No. 450,
    Grandview, Mo. on Dec. 21, 1908 when
    24 years old. He was elected on Feb. 9,
    1909, and received his first degree that
    evening. He was passed March 9, and
    raised March 18, 1909. The following
    year he accepted the station of junior
    warden, but in 1911, several members of
    Belton Lodge separated to establish a
    new lodge—Grandview Lodge No. 618,
    and Truman was honored by being made
    the first master. Later, he served as secWor. Harry S. Truman, PGM
    On this date in 1959, Harry S. Truman (U.S. President 1945-1953) received his 50 year masonic award.
    Wor. Harry S. Truman, PGM (cont.)
    retary of the lodge, and in 1917, when
    leaving for WWI, he was again master of
    the lodge. After the war he was appointed district deputy grand lecturer, and
    district deputy grand master of the 59th
    Masonic district. He remained in these
    stations from 1925 until his appointment
    in the grand lodge line in 1930. In that
    year he became Grand Pursuant through
    the appointment of Grand Master John
    H. Trumbull William R. Gentry of St. Louis. In Sept., 1940 when the Grand Lodge
    met, Truman was running for U.S. senator and the political situation was heated. Notwithstanding, he was elected
    Grand Master, and a few weeks later,
    U.S. senator. During his year as Grand
    Master, Congress was in session most of
    the time, yet he found time to make
    individual visits to 19 Mo. lodges; six
    district associations; both conferences of
    district deputies; presented several 50-
    year buttons; visited the grand lodges of
    Texas and District of Columbia; attended
    an anniversary gathering of Philadelphia
    Lodge, and in Jefferson City attended a
    Masonic dinner at which Gov. Forrest C.
    Donnell, grand senior warden, was present and 128 lodges were represented
    by 394 Master Masons, including 80
    members of the Missouri legislature.
    Representing Mo. at the Washington
    conference of Grand Masters in Feb.,
    1941, he presented Missouri’s check for
    $1,900 to the Washington Memorial at
    Alexandria. It was also during his year
    that the Missouri Lodge of Research was
    established and both the dispensation
    and charter were signed by him. Long
    interested in the research lodge, he
    served as its master in 1950, while president of the United States. In this capacity he secured the offices of the Library of
    Congress, and furnished the research
    lodge with copies of the vast amount of
    reference cards on Freemasonry that are
    on file in that institution.
    He again aided the Missouri
    Lodge of Research by writing the foreword for Volume I of 10,000 Famous
    Freemasons, published in 1957. While
    president, he was never too busy to go
    out of his way to render a Masonic service. During this period he raised more
    than 30 candidates with the strict injunction that no publicity was to come from
    his participation. His capitulars degrees
    were received in Orient Chapter No. 102
    of Kansas City on Nov. 11 and 15, 1919;
    the cryptic degrees in Shekinah Council
    No. 24, Kansas City on Dec. 18, 1919; the
    orders of knighthood in Palestine Commandary No. 17 of Independence on
    June 7 and 15, 1923. His Scottish Rite
    degrees were received in Kansas City,
    Jan. 24, March 27, 30 and 31, 1917. On
    Oct. 19, 1945, he received the 33° (SJ) at
    Washington,_ D.C. while president. Became a member of Ararat Shrine Temple, Kansas City, April 2, 1917. He was
    orator of that body in 1932, marshal in
    1933, and second ceremonial master in
  2. Became member of Royal Order of
    Jesters, Kansas City Court No. 54 on Dec.
    18, 1931. He is also a member of Mary
    Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, Kansas City. He is the grand representative
    of the Grand Lodge of Scotland near the
    Grand Lodge of Missouri. Mrs. Truman,
    the former Bess Wallace, is the daughter
    of David W. Wallace, who was grand
    commander of the Grand Commandary,
    K.T. of Missouri in 1892. His sister, Mary
    Jane Truman, is past grand matron of
    the Order of Eastern Star of Missouri