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Montana Freemason                                              January 2018                                 Volume 94   Number 1
                      The Hands of the Workmen


                                           Reid Gardiner, R.W. Past Grand Secretary

              Theodore M. Brantley
                 35th Grand Master

      Theodore M. Brantley (or Brantly) (February                       Cornelius  Hedges,  MWPGM,  and  RW
                                                                      Grand  Secretary  provided  the  following
     12, 1851 – September 16, 1922) was the longest-                  G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G
     serving  Chief  Justice  of  the  Montana  Supreme               for  the  Masonic  Rites.  Brother  Brantly  was ffffffffffffffffff
     Court, serving for 23 years (1899–1922).                         initiated  in  Deer  Lodge  No.  14  on  May  7, iiiiiiii
                                                                     1892, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on 11111111111111111
      Theodore  Brantley  was  born  near  Lebanon, ,                July 1, 1893, and raised to the sublime degree Ju
     Tennessee;  he  was  educated  at  Southwestern rn             of a Master Mason on September 18, 1893. He of
     Presbyterian  University  in  Clarksville,  Tennessee         was elected Worship Master of Deer Lodge No. was
                                                 see
     and  the  law  school  of  Cumberland  University  in       14  in  1899.  Brother  Brantly  was  elected  Junior 14 i
     Lebanon,  graduating  in  1881.  After  practicing  law  for  Grand Warden in 1898, Senior Grand Warden in 1899 and
     several years. In 1887 he was elected to the chair of Latin  Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Montana in
     and Greek in the College of Montana at Deer Lodge.  He  1900 (seven years after being made a Master Mason).
     served in this position for two years.
                                                             The  absence  of  Grand  Master  Barret  during  much  of
      In 1888 on examination before the Supreme Court of the  his term and the death of Deputy Grand Master Chapple
     State, he was admitted to the bar, after which he associated  devolved  the  duties  of  Grand  Master  upon  Brother
     himself in the practice of law with Hon. J.C. Robinson of  Brantley during most of the preceding term, which was
     Deer Lodge.  A year later this partnership was dissolved,  most creditable and prosperous. Brother Brantly, Senior
     and Mr. Brantly opened an offi  ce on his own account and  Grand Warden, was busy with his duties as Chief Justice.
     continued the practice of his profession alone.       Brother Slack, the Junior Grand Warden, lived nearly 400
                                                           miles away and was compelled for a while to be the active
      About    this  time  he  was  nominated  on  the  Republican  head of the Craft.  Still, no interest in the Craft seemed to
     ticket  for  District  Judge  but  was  defeated  by  a  small  suff er. The gain of membership was 144, almost equal to
     majority.  In 1890 Hon. Ed Scharmkow became associated  the best previous year.
     with him in practice, and they did a large and successful
     business  for  two  years  when  in  1892  Mr.  Brantly  was   Most  Worshipful  Brother  Brantley  died  on  Saturday,
     elected Judge of the Third Judicial District of Montana.  September  18,  1922,  at  the  age  of  71  years  and  218
                                                           days.  Masonic  rites,  under  the  auspices  of  the  Grand
      Theodore Brantley was elected District Judge in the 3rd  Lodge of Montana, A. F. and A. M., were conducted at 2
     Judicial District of Montana in 1892 and then Chief Justice  o’clock Thursday, 28 Sep 1922 at the Consistory Temple
                         of  the  Montana  Supreme  Court  on  Jackson  Street  The  eulogy  was  spoken  by  the  Rev.
                         in  the  November  1898  elections.  Newman Hall Burdick of the First Presbyterian Church.
                         He  remained  Chief  Justice  until
                         resigning  for  reasons  of  health   The funeral cortege formed on Broadway, with the head
                         shortly  before  his  death  in  1922,  of the column resting on Main street. The route of march
                         in  Helena,  Montana.  Theodore  M  was  north  on  Main  Street  to  Neill Avenue,  where  foot
                         Brantly  was  the  longest-serving  marchers entered automobiles. Burial was in Forestvale
                         Chief  Justice  of  the  Montana  Cemetery.
                         Supreme Court, serving for 23 years
                         (1899-1922).                        Brantley was also a past exalted ruler of Helena lodge
                                                           No 193, B.P.O.E and a member of the Knights of Pythias.
                           Brother  Brantley  was  married  in
     1891 to Lois Reat and had 3 children - Theodore Lee, Lois
     Brown,  and  Neill  Duncan  Brantly.  Neill  Duncan  Brantly
     (1897–1972) joined the navy and became a Rear Admiral
     during  World  War  II,  commanding  vessels  at  the  Battle
     of Leyte Gulf. Lois Brown Brantly (1894–1972) married
     Francis  A.  Hazelbaker,  who  was  lieutenant  governor  of
     Montana 1929–1933.





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