1877-1878 W. J. Settegast

1877-SettegastBW copy

WILLIAM J. SETTEGAST
Seventh Master, 1877-1878

William J. Settegast was born in Coblentz, Germany, on September 17, 1843. His father, Dr. Maria William Settegast, was an eminent physician and a native of Coblentz, who married Josephine Matori, a young woman from a wealthy and aristocratic family. The father was connected with the German Emigrant Company for several years as general agent and became interested in Texas. The family of father, mother, three sons and a daughter left Germany on October 29, 1851, and arrived in Houston on December 19, 1851.

The wife and mother died soon after the family arrived in Houston, while two of the children died during the epidemic of yellow fever in the summer of 1852. The father died of the same disease on October 14, 1853, at the age of 35. William J. Settegast at the age of ten and his younger brother, Julius J., age eight, were left as orphans.

The two brothers were reared by J. W. Shrimp, a butcher by trade. In 1862 William J. enlisted in Company K of Col. DuBray’s Regiment of Cavalry and served on detached serv- ice. In 1864 William and Julius went to Matamoras, Mexico, and were employed in the Globe Hotel until the cessation of the Civil War.

Having learned the butcher trade from Mr. Shrimp, they returned to Houston after the war and opened a butcher shop on a small scale and engaged also in buying and selling cattle. They were quite successful and soon were doing a 1iarge business. They invested in real estate in Houston and Galveston and became owners of several thousand acres of land in the Houston area. The result was that the two brothers became two of the wealthiest citizens of Houston.

The wife and mother died July 14, 1881, at Hot Springs, Arkansas. William J. Settegast later married Annie Williams and they had one child, Annie. The second Mrs. Settegast died March 31, 1890, in New York. He then married Dora R. Miller.

William J. Settegast married Annie Elizabeth Scholibo on May 5, 1866, and they had eight children:

1. Emma E. (Mrs. Oliver)
2. Sophia (Mrs. C. L. Lewis)
3. Katie H.
4. Mary E. (Mrs. S. H. Williford)
5. Julius J. Settegast
6. Charles Edward Settegast
7. Mary Blanche Brown
8. Charles Stewart Settegast

The wife and mother died July 14, 1881, at Hot Springs, Arkansas. William J. Settegast later married Annie Williams and they had one child, Annie. The second Mrs. Settegast died March 31, 1890, in New York. He then married Dora R. Miller.

In 1889 William Settegast suffered a stroke of paralysis and the remainder of his life suffered from ill health and gave little attention to his business. He visited many places in his search for health and sought out many physicians.

He was one of the early recipient of the degrees in Gray Lodge, receiving the first on February 4, the second on March 10 and the third on April 20, 1871. He was the third candidate raised in Gray Lodge. N. P. Dolen, was raised on the very same night. He was the first Master of Gray Lodge to have received his degrees in Gray.

He was District Deputy Grand Master in 1881, Grand Senior Deacon in 1882-83 and Grand Marshal in 1883-84. He was one of three members of a special committee of the Grand Lodge in 1884 that proposed the basis of our present system of disseminating the ritualistic work: Prior to this the Committee on Work had been simply charged with the preservation of the ritual but the responsibility of disseminating the work was added by the proposal of this committee. Additions and modifications have been made but the basic system still remains in effect.

William J. Settegast was also a Royal Arch Mason and High Priest of Washington Chapter No.2 in 1879-80. He received the Order of High Priesthood on December 14, 1879.