JAMES BESTOR MERRITT
The subject of this sketch can claim no higher honors than his ancestry: Huguenot on the side of his father and Puritan on the side of his mother. Like thousands of young men in our country, he has by his own exertions in manual and literary callings in early manhood, by teaching school in winter and agricultural pursuits in summer, laid the foundation for his useful life. He was born in Alabama in 1839 and is a fine type of high intellectuality and physical manhood. In the prime of life, esteemed, surrounded by an interesting family, consisting of an estimable wife and five children, living in a beautiful and luxurious home in Seminary Park, Alameda, it may be truly said that his career in life has been a success and covered with distinguished honor.
He is now manager of the California Fuse Association, which position he has filled since 1879. In Fraternal Society life he occupies membership as follows: He was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, January, 1866, in St. Mark’s Lodge, No. 36, Simsbury, Connecticut; demitted to Payson Lodge, No. 379, Payson, Illinois; and to Oak Grove Lodge, No. 215, Alameda, California, which lodge he served as master in 1885. Was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in 1881, in Alameda Chapter, No.36, Oakland, and knighted in Oakland Commandery, No. 11, K. T., in 1881. Was Eminent Commander of Oakland Commandery in 1887. Received the degrees of the Scottish Rite in San Francisco in 1882, and assisted in the formation of the bodies of that Rite in Oakland in 1883. Was Venerable Master of the Oakland Lodge of Perfection, No. 12, in 1885. Was Wise master Gethsemane Chapter Knights Rose Croix, No. 5, in 1886. Was Commander of De Molay Council of Kadosh, No. 3, in 1887. Crowned an Honorary Inspector General of the 33d degree, January 16, 1887. Was greeted a Royal and Select Master in Oakland council, No. 12, in 1882, and was Thrice Illustrious Master in 1884, and was elected M. P. Grand Master of the State of California April 16, 1888. Crossed the hot sands of the desert with the first San Francisco Caravan in August, 1883, and having passed the Moslem test, is a member of Islam Temple Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also Charter Member of Garden City Lodge, No. 1745, Knights of Honor and Charter Member of Ashler Lodge, No. 165, A. O. U. W.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: “Illustrated Fraternal Directory Including Educational Institutions on the Pacific Coast”, Page 134, Publ. Bancroft Co., San Francisco. Cal. 1889.
© 2012 Cecelia M. Setty.