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J. Claude Keiper, Grand Master, 1911

The Most Worshipful Brother who occupies the East in the Grand Lodge for the Centennial year was elevated to that office at the comparatively early age of forty-one.

He was born in St. Nicholas, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, October 9, 1869, and received his education in the public schools of Shenandoah, in the same county, and the State Normal School of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, After graduation from the latter institution he taught school for several years in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, and in 1890 removed to Washington and accepted an appointment in the Surgeon General's Office, War Department, in which branch of the service he has since remained, at the present time occupying a position of trust and responsibility in the office of the Adjutant-General of the Army.

After locating in this city he attended the Law School of the Columbian (now George Washington) University and holds the degrees of LL. B. and LL. M. from that institution.

His Masonic career began January 16, 1895, when he was made a Master Mason in Columbia Lodge, No. 3, F. A. A. M., of this city. He became at once a most active and efficient worker, his exceptional qualifications bringing him rapid promotion from the chair of Senior Steward (to which he was appointed June 19, 1895), thro several offices to the East where he served his lodge for the year 1899. He also filled the position of Secretary of Columbia Lodge from April 15, 1904, to December 2, 1910.

Elected Junior Grand Steward in December, 1900, he has successively filled the various intermediate offices and was installed as Grand Master December 27, 1910.

He received the Royal Arch degree in Mt. Vernon Chapter, No. 3, R. A. M., October 30, 1895, and was elected High Priest December 10, 1900. He was knighted in Washington Commandery, No. 1, K. T., March 7, 1900; served as Commander 1908-9; was elected Recorder of that body April 14, 1909, and is filling that office at the date of publication. He has also been a member of Almas Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., since March 17, 1900.

Possessed of tireless energy and a genius for detail work he has filled the various offices to which he has been called with conspicuous ability, his terms as the executive officer of the several Masonic bodies being especially brilliant and successful.

His equipment for the exalted station of Grand Master is of a high order. To a trained and cultured intellect he adds a power of clear and graceful expression that gives him oratorical rank as a forcible, convincing and pleasing speaker, while his well-balanced mind, enriched by years of conscientious study, affords him a grasp upon the larger phases of Fraternity life of the utmost value to the Craft.

His pleasing personality and affable manner make him deservedly popular among his brethren and fit him especially for the social obligations of his position, more than usually exacting during the Centennial year.

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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