James McCrorry Willson, Jr. of Floydada was elected and installed as Grand Master of Texas Masons on December 5, 1981, for the Masonic year 1981-1982.
Most Worshipful Brother Willson was born at Hale Center, Texas on November 30, 1921, the son of James M. Willson and Mavis L. Terry Willson. He attended the public schools of Floydada and graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1943 with the BBA degree. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946.
He married Anne O’Berry Newman of Cary, North Carolina in 1946 and they have five children. The Willsons are members of the First United Methodist Church of Floydada and Mr. Willson has served as a Sunday School teacher, Chairman of the Administrative Board, Trustee, Finance Committee, District Lay Leader of Plainview District, Conference Lay Leader, 1968-70, and member and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Home in Waco.
Active in community affairs he has served three terms on the City Council of Floydada and two terms as Mayor. He has been Treasurer, Secretary, President and District Governor of the Rotary Club; Past President of the Floydada Jaycees; Past Director of the Floydada Chamber of Commerce and West Texas Chamber of Commerce; member Board of Directors and Past President Floydada Development Company; served as Vice President, District Chairman, Commissioner and Executive Board Member of South Plains Council, Boy Scouts of America; Director of Texas Lumberman’s Association and High Plains Research Foundation; Director of Methodist Hospital Board in Lubbock; member of Advisory Board of Small Business Administration; Past Commander and Adjutant of American Legion Post; registered with Boy Scouts of America and received Eagle Award, Silver Beaver Award and Distinguished Eagle Award.
He was raised a Master Mason on February 22, 1947 in Floydada Lodge No. 712 and served as Master in 1956-1957, District Deputy Grand Master of the 96th District in 1958, Grand Marshal in 1976, and State Regional Conference Coordinator for three years. He also served as Workshop Chairman three years, Grand Orator in 1978 and Chairman Finance Committee in 1978. He was elected Grand Junior Warden on December 2, 1978.
He was exalted as a Royal Arch Mason on May 21, 1947 in Floydada Chapter No. 227, High Priest in 1961-1962, District Deputy Grand High Priest of the 39th Capitular District in 1963, Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of New Mexico and Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 1978.
He was greeted in Floydada Council, Royal and Select Masters, No. 163 on June 9, 1947, served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1960-1961, District Deputy Grand Master of the 39th Cryptic District in 1965 and Grand Representative of the Grand Council of New Mexico.
Knighted in Plainview Commandery No. 53, K.T. on September 22, 1947, he served as Commander in 1962. He was a member of Lubbock Commandery No. 60 and Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Texas in 1973-1974.
He received the honorary 330 at Dallas on December 16, 1965, and is now a charter and life member of the Lubbock Scottish Rite.
Other Masonic memberships include Philalethes Society, Texas College Societas Rosicrucians, Great Priory of America Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cite Sainte, the Order of High Priesthood, Order of the Silver Trowel, Super Excellent Master, Past Prior of Texas Prior No. 23, Knights of the York Cross of Honor, Past Sovereign of the Red Cross of Constantine, Texas York Rite College No. 14 and dual member of West Texas York Rite College No. 36. He has served as Deputy Governor of the York Rite College of North America for Texas, Past Preceptor of Ascension Tabernacle XX of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, life member of the Royal Order of Scotland, life member of Khiva Shrine Temple and honorary member of El Mina Shrine Temple, Maskat Shrine Temple, El Mida Shrine Temple, Moslah Shrine Temple, Hella Shrine Temple, Arabia Shrine Temple, Suez Shrine Temple, Alzafar Shrine Temple, Sharon Shrine Temple, Ben Hur Shrine Temple, Al Amin Shrine Temple and Karem Shrine Temple.