Dr. Walter Millard Fleming
Established the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in the United States. In 1867 Brother William J. Florence made a trip to the Old World and is reported to have secured there useful information for the introduction and establishment of the Shrine.
When he returned to the United States with all the data obtainable he communicated the particulars to Doctor Fleming, and thereby after further consultation with Brother Charles T. McClenachan and other able Masonic ritualists, they prepared the way to establish the Shrine in the United States. On June 16, 1871, Doctor Fleming, assisted by Brother Florence, conferred the Degrees upon four Knights Templar and seven members of Aurora Grata Consistory, Thirty-second Degree, and September 96, 1872, the organization was effected and officers elected.
Doctor Fleming was born on June 13, 1838, in Portland, Maine, and died at Mount Vernon, New York, September 9, 1913, being buried in Kensico Cemetery. He was a prominent medical man; joined the Masonic Fraternity February 13, 1869; was raised in Rochester Lodge No. 660 of Rochester, New York. He removed his office and residence to New York City and associated himself with Aurora Grata Lodge of Perfection in 1870; received the Degrees of the Consistory up to and including the Thirty-second Degree on May 31, 1871, and was given, on September 19, 1872, his Thirty-third Degree. December 3, 1872, he affiliated with New York Lodge, No. 330, of New York City, he having demitted from his Rochester Lodge. He was exalted in Lafayette Chapter, No. 207, Royal Arch Masons; became a member of Adelphic Council, No. 7, Royal and Select Masters; was knighted in Columbia Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar of New York City, March 19, 1872, and was unanimously elected Eminent Commander at the succeeding Conclave, April 15, 1872, which office he retained four successive years. He founded and served as Illustrious Potentate the Mecca Temple, originally named Gotham, which was the first Temple established by the Shrine.
Mecca Temple received its Charter on September 26, 1872, and Brother Fleming held his original office from the time of its inception until December, 1887. Re was elected Grand Imperial Potentate at the first Session of the Imperial Grand Council of the Order, June 6, 1876, and retained this office until June 14, 1886. The name Grand was after a time dropped from the.
- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry