Title: Grand Tyler (Mason)
Birthdate: March 28, 1817
Death Date: December 19, 1867
Plot Location: Circle of Saint John
Grand Tyler of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, William Bockius Schnider was born in Philadelphia Pa. and was a bricklayer by trade.
According to Dr. Glenys Waldman, librarian at the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, the first Masonic record of William was in 1838 at the age of 21. He became an Apprentice in March. From other sources, it was determined that he obtained the Fellow Craft degree in April, then Master Mason May 7 at a Lodge of Instruction held by the Grand Lodge.
Within his Lodge, apparently he was never Junior Warden, but was elected Senior Warden in December 1840 and Worshipful Master in 1841. He was also a member of Jerusalem Holy Royal Arch Chapter No. 3, of which he became High Priest in 1843. He is shown to have gained membership in Knights Templar, St. John’s Commandery No. 4, as of June 1848, and Scottish Rite, July 11, 1857. When William died in 1867 he left a widow and nine children.
His family had a long history with the Masons. His grandfather had been Grand Tyler for 21 years, then his father Charles assumed the title in 1823 and held it for 18 years until his death in 1844. William was then appointed the same title and served in that capacity until his death. Then his oldest son Charles was appointed Grand Tyler and remained for six years until his death in 1873. That means the Schnider family held the title for 68 years.
William’s body was originally buried in Monument Cemetery but it was relocated here two years later. On June 24, 1871, St. John’s Day, this memorial was dedicated to him in the center of St. John’s Circle.
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