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Isaac Larue Johnson, Grand Master, 1875-76

Brother Johnson was born in Warren County, New Jersey, October 16, 1837. He came to Washington when a youth, was graduated from Columbia College, studied law, and was admitted to the bar of the courts of the District. In 1862 he was commissioned a captain in the 153rd Pennsylvania Infantry, and served in the Army of the Potomac. Resigning his commission in 1863 he returned to Washington and engaged in the practice of law in which he soon won a reputation highly honorable.

An able lawyer, his love of Masonry led him to devote a large portion of his time to the service of the Craft, bringing to that service one of the strongest minds ever devoted to it in this jurisdiction. He was a logical and forceful speaker and writer, and his reputation as an able and learned Mason extended far beyond the confines of this jurisdiction. Genial, witty, thoroughly informed on a great variety of subjects, he will long be remembered for his qualities of mind and heart.

Brother Johnson was made a Master Mason in National Lodge, No. 12, of this jurisdiction, December 12, 1865, and served as Master of his Lodge in 1870 and 1871. His zeal and ability soon won him recognition in the Grand Lodge where he was elected Grand Master for the years 1875 and 1876.

November 25, 1875, he was elected to honorary membership in George C. Whiting Lodge, No. 22.

He received the Capitular degrees in Eureka Chapter, No. 4, R. A. M., in 1867, and was High Priest of that Chapter in 1870. He entered the official line of the Grand Chapter as Grand King in 1873, and became Grand High Priest in 1877.

He was knighted in Columbia Commandery, No. 2, of Washington, District of Columbia, March 22, 1868; dimitted in 1872 to become a charter member of DeMolay Mounted Commandery, No. 4, which body he served as Eminent Commander in 1880.

He also received the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite degrees from fourth to thirty-second in the lodge, chapter, council, and consistory of this jurisdiction.

He closed his Masonic and earthly career of usefulness in this city on Thursday, December 28, 1899, and his remains were interred at Oak Hill Cemetery December 31, 1899, with Masonic honors performed by the Grand Lodge.

In the words of one of his contemporaries, "This well-known brother, honored and distinguished in the Masonic bodies of our jurisdiction, went down into the shadow of death full of experience, full of kind words, and full of good companionship. He was endowed with a brilliant and comprehensive intellect, kindness of heart, and a warm, genial disposition. As a soldier he won honorable distinction; as a citizen, respect and esteem; as a Mason he merited and received honors and preferment"

AHGP District of Columbia

Source: History of the Grand Lodge and Freemasonry in the District of Columbia, compiled by W. Brother Kenton N. Harper, 1911.

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