WILLIAM W. BLACKWELL was born in Henderson on the fifth day of April, 1849, and was educated at the best private schools in the town. In early life he engaged, with his father, in merchandising, and soon displayed remarkable business capacity. There are few men his superior in business intelligence and far seeing judgment, Several years ago he was given a partnership with his father in the hardware business, and the success of the firm testifies to his eminent qualifications as a cool, clear headed, calculating man.
Shortly after the institution of Ivy Lodge, No. 21, Knights of Pythias, in 1873, Mr. Blackwell became a member, and, from his initiation, evinced a great interest in the order. By a close study of its laws and mystic aims, he soon became one of the best posted members of his opinion was regarded as reliable upon all matters concerning the order. As an evidence how studiously he applied himself, he first entered the Grand Lodge as a Representative of Ivy Lodge (after having presided in his own lodge) in September, 1877, at its session held in the City of Covington, and was, by that body, elected Grand Master of Exchequer for the term following. At the session of the Grand Lodge, held in Lexington in 1878, he was advanced to the position of Grand Vice Chancellor on the first ballot over five competitors. At the September session, 1880, at Louisville, he received the honorable rank of Past Grand Chancellor for services rendered as Grand Chancellor. At the session of 1881, held at Maysville, he was elected Supreme Representative for four years, from January 1st, 1881, to December 21st, 1885, to represent the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in the Supreme Lodge of the world. Since that time this commission has been extended six year's election, to 1889. He represented Kentucky at the Supreme meeting, held at Detroit, Michigan, in August, 1882, and there received the Supreme Lodge Degree, the highest honor in the order. He also represented the Grand Lodge at the Supreme meeting held in New Orleans in April, 1884, and at Toronto, Canada, in July, 1886, and will, nothing preventing, represent Kentucky at the Supreme meeting to be held in Cincinnati, in 1888. Mr. Blackwell is the youngest Knight who has ever passed the executive chair of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, being only thirty years of age when elected Grand Chancellor. He is the only Supreme Representative ever elected south of the Ohio River. As another evidence of his worth, he was presented, at the session of 1880, held in Louisville, with a handsomely engrossed resolution of thanks for services rendered as Grand Chancellor. This was done by a unanimous vote, and is the first and only time the honor has ever been paid a Grand Chancellor. Mr. Blackwell is a member of the Supreme Lodge Finance Committee, composed of five members, and ranks second in the list. He has twice visited Washington City for the purpose of auditing the books of the Endowment Rank. By authority of the Supreme Chancellor of the world, Howard Douglass, on the twenty-fourth day of December, 1886, Mr. Blackwell was appointed aide-de-camp with the rank of Colonel, on the staff of Major General James R. Carnahan, Commander in Chief of the Uniform Rank, the grandest body of disciplined soldiers in the world. There are now over five hundred divisions, forty thousand Knights in uniform. It is predicted the grand pageant in Cincinnati, in 1888, will surpass any display of military, ever witnessed on this Continent. Mr. Blackwell has just completed the compilation of the revised Constitutions of the Grange and Subordinate Lodges, a duty assigned him by the Grand Lodge. His report is a masterly one and has been attended by a multitude of perplexing surroundings. In honor of his distinguished services as a Knight, and high character as a man, on Friday evening, September 9th, 1887, at Marion Ky., Blackwell Lodge, No. 57, was instituted, named in his honor, and composed of the best men of the town and surrounding country. As a speaker, Mr. Blackwell has few superiors, and upon several occasions, has won the plaudits of his fellow Sir Knights, by his sound reasoning, interspersed by whit and humor. The time is not far distant, when he will be exalted to the distinguished position of Supreme Chancellor of the world, a position he is so eminently qualified and fitted for. On Tuesday, October 5th, 1869, at the residence of his wife's parents, in Evansville Indiana, Mr. Blackwell married Miss Marcia A. Stinson, and unto them has been born one son, Ernest, a bright young man, a chip of the old block. As Gas Commissioner, Mr. Blackwell was tendered the Supreme Secretaryship of the Endowment Rank, K. of P., at a salary of $3,000, but declined it.
The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 778-80;
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