George William Vallery was born in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, on January 24, 1861, the son of German parents, Jacob Vallery (1824-1905) and Magdalene [Feucht] Vallery (1835- 1919). A total of eight children was born to the Vallerys.
George was educated in the public schools, and upon graduation from Plattsmouth High School, he entered employment in 1877 with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad as a messenger boy, being later promoted to telegraph operator and station agent. This started his career in the railroad business which took him to Denver in 1882; to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1888; to Salt Lake City as general agent in 1889; and back to Denver in 1891. In 1904 he became general manager of the Colorado Midland Railroad and in 1911 was elected president of the company. When he retired from the railroad business, he established an investment and brokerage business of which he was head at the time of his death.
In 1891, while general agent of the C. B. & Q. Railroad in Salt Lake City, he married Miss Martha E. Pickard (1862-1937), the daughter of a prominent merchant of that city. To this union was born a son, George P. Vallery (1892-93).
Sir Knight Vallery was made a Mason in Oriental Lodge 87 in Denver on June 28, 1893. He was exalted in Colorado Chapter 29 at Denver on September 11, 1893. He was greeted in Denver Council 1 at Denver on August 27, 1906.
He received the 32° of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Denver in January of 1894. In 1909 he was elected a knight commander of the court of honor, and in 1911 he was coroneted a 33° honorary inspector general of the Southern Jurisdiction.
He was knighted in Denver Commandery 25 of Denver, Colorado on September 11, 1894. He was elected eminent commander in 1901. He was appointed grand sword bearer of the Grand Commandery of Colorado in 1895 and was elected grand commander on September 23, 1910.
At the Triennial Conclave in Denver in 1913, he was appointed grand warder of the Grand Encampment, and in 1925 was elected grand master. During the Thirty-Seventh Grand Conclave at Detroit, Michigan in July of 1928, over which he presided, the following important items of business were accomplished: each Grand Commandery was given the right to adopt its own tactics, and it was also decreed that the ritual was to be under the sole supervision of the Grand Encampment.
Sir Knight Vallery died on December 29, 1933, in Denver, Colorado. He had not been well following an operation performed the year before and had been confined for three months to his apartment in the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver where he had made his home for years.
The funeral was held in Denver on January 2, 1934, and was attended by acting Grand Master Andrew Agnew and Grand Recorder Adrian Hamersly, as well as by past grand commanders of the Grand Commandery of Colorado. After the religious services, a final tribute was given by past grand commander Stanley C. Warner. Interment was at the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.
It was said that Sir Knight Vallery possessed a rare executive ability which enabled him to handle with efficiency the duties of the office of grand master. He was affable and courteous and numbered his friends by the thousands.
Right Eminent Sir Knight Marshall, KYGCH(3), KCT, 33°, is a past grand commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Alabama. He is a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Knight Templar magazine and has published several articles in that magazine as well as in the Royal Arch Mason magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Francis J. Scully, History of the Grand Encampment, Chapter XXIII, Biographies of The Grand Masters
Biographical Album of Otoe and Cass Counties, online at http://archive.org/details/portraitbiograph01geof
The Railway Age, July 29, 1904, page 157, online at
Knight Templar Magazine, January 1995 Edition, page 16, and the February 1995, Edition, page 16
Published August 2018, Knight Templar Magazine, pages 9-11