William L. Sharp was born in Princeton, Illinois, on January 19, 1862. In 1867 the family moved to Iowa, but he was sent back to Princeton for his schooling and graduated from the high school there in 1878.
After leaving school he entered the First National Bank of Muscatine, Iowa, as a clerk. Four years later he became cashier of the Carroll County Bank, but on account of impaired eyesight was forced to change his occupation. He then became associated with the Western Sash and Door company, and later became manager of the branch in Wichita, Kansas. In 1890 he came to Chicago in partnership with E. L. Roberts, a manufacturer of the same line of goods. In 1912 he established his own company - Sharp, Partridge and Company, dealing in plate and window glass. Later on he established the Wm. L. Sharp & Company, dealing in first mortgage bonds. He was also a director and vice-president of the First National Bank in Englewood, Illinois.
He was married in 1892 to Miss Georgia Kendall of Chicago, and to this union three children were born. He passed away on December 22, 1950, following a long period of ill health. The funeral services were held on December 26, under the auspices of Englewood Commandery No. 59, and was attended by representatives of the Grand Encampment and the Grand Commandery of Illinois.
Sir Knight Sharp was made a Master Mason in Normal Park Lodge No. 797 in Chicago on September 21, 1891, and became Worshipful Master in 1895.
He was exalted in Englewood Chapter No. 176 on October 20, 1891, and became a charter member of Normal Park Chapter No. 210 upon its organization. He was elected High Priest in 1902. He was greeted in Imperial Council No. 85 and held the office of Treasurer in that Council for many years.
In the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, he received the 32° in Oriental Consistory at Chicago in 1900, and on September 19, 1905, was crowned Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33degree for the Northern Jurisdiction at Indianapolis. He was a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, and Medinah Templar AAONMS, and a Past Sovereign of St. John's Conclave No. 1 of the Red Cross of Constantine.
He was Knighted in Englewood Commandery No. 59 on February 6, 1892, and was Eminent Commander in 1902. In the Grand Commandery of Illinois he was elected Grand Warder in 1905 and Grand Commander in 1912.
At the 32nd Triennial Conclave of the Grand Encampment held in Denver in 1913 he was appointed Grand Sword Bearer, and in 1928 was elected Grand Master.
Sir Knight Sharp's life was characterized by genuine sincerity of purpose and loyalty in all his relations with his friends and associates, and a firm but kindly leadership in the positions of responsibility he occupied. He was one of the best known and most universally loved Masons in the State of Illinois, where he continued his active interest in Templary up to the last.
Reference: From Dr. Francis J. Scully's...History of the Grand Encampment, Chapter XXIII, Biographies Of The Grand Masters, as published in the Knight Templar Magazine, February 1995 Edition, page 16