1861 - George K. Rex
George K. Rex was born in Canton, Stark County, Ohio on July 25, 1817 and passed the early years of his life in that community. His parents, Jacob and Katherine Rex, had moved to Ohio from Carlisle, Pennsylvania two years previously. George Rex attended the Lutheran Seminary in Canton for a year and a half and when that institution moved to Columbus to become incorporated with Capital University, he continued his studies in Columbus, graduating two years later. Thereupon he returned to Canton in the winter of 1833-1834 and taught for three years in the public school system.
In the fall of 1839 that Brother Rex began to read law in the office of the Honorable John Harris and on October 10, 1842 he was admitted to the practice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, a tribunal of which, 32 years later, he became a distinguished member.
On February 9, 1843 Brother Rex moved to Wooster and began the practice of law. He was elected prosecuting attorney for Wayne County in 1847 and again in 1849. He was twice elected to the State Senate: in 1851 and in 1867. On September 11, 1874, he was appointed by Governor William Allen as judge of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio. The following October he was elected to this same office and served on the bench of the Supreme Court until February 9, 1877 at which time his term expired.
In 1864 he was president of the Democratic State Convention, and during a portion of the time that he served as a State Senator he was elected president pro-tem of the Ohio Senate. He was recognized as one of the best parliamentarians in the State of Ohio and was a member of the committee that drafted the Ohio School of Law.
In 1846 M. W. Brother Rex submitted his petition to Ebenezer Lodge No. 33 in Wooster, Ohio. A month later he was initiated and within ten days, on May 23, 1846, he had labored so diligently that he was raised a Master Mason. Six months later he was elected Senior Deacon of Ebenezer Lodge No. 33. A year later he was elected Senior Warden and less than a year thereafter, and almost simultaneously with his election to public office, was elected Worshipful Master, an office he was to hold for the ensuing eleven years. Brother Rex was re-elected Master of his Lodge for the last time in the years of 1869 and 1870. Thus he served a total of 13 years as the Master of Ebenezer Lodge.
His first attendance at a Grand Lodge communication was in 1849. In 1851 he was appointed a Grand Steward and in 1853 he was appointed Grand Orator. In the year 1861, upon the untimely death of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, M. W. Brother Horace M. Stokes, a scant month before Brother George Rex, as Deputy Grand Master, Presided over the Annual Communications of the grand Lodge of Ohio. At the same session in 1861 he was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master, He was re-Elected at the Annual Communications in 1861.
M. W. Brother Rex was a member of Wooster Chapter R. A. M., Wooster Council No. 13 R. & S. M. and a member of Massillon Commandery No. 4 K. T.
On his retirement from judicial responsibilities of the Supreme Court in 1877, M. W. Brother Rex's health was noticeably impaired. Returning to Wooster, he resumed his legal practice with success, practicing almost to the very hour of his death.
M. W. Brother Rex passed away on Wednesday, March 26, 1879 while having lunch at home with his wife and daughter. Death was attributed to cirrhosis of the kidneys.
On the following Saturday, Masonic services were conducted under the direction of M. W. Brother William M. Cunningham, Grand Master, with many distinguished Masons in attendance. Burial was in Wooster, Ohio in the Wooster Cemetery, Section 9, Lot 252.