“James Madison Pearson was born on a farm near Alexander City, Alabama on Feb. 22, 1862, the son of Stephen M. and Mattie R. Pearson. He was educated in the public schools of Tallapoosa County and in Emory College, Oxford, Georgia. At and early age he began what was to be his life work, teaching school. He served as a member of the City Council and was a member of the Alabama State Text Book Commission in 1913. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and was a member of the Board of Stewards of his church for more than thirty years.
In Dec. 1888, he married Miss Emma B. Overby and to their union was blessed with six children, five girls and one boy.
James Madison Pearson was initiated in Ware Lodge No. 435, of Alexander City, Alabama, on June 6, 1892, passed July 43, 1892 and raised October 29, 1892. He was elected Worshipful Master of that Lodge in 1894 and served in that station for more than fifteen years. In the Grand Lodge of Alabama, he served for many years on the Committee on Work and was the Chairman of the Committee for a number of years. He was unexcelled in his knowledge of the ritual and famed for his splendid rendition of the work. On December 8, 1921, he was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Alabama and on Dec. 7, 1927, was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master, being re-elected the following year. He received the Capitular degrees in Hillabee Chapter No. 79, of Alexander City, Alabama, as follow: Mark Master, Past Master and Most Excellent Master March 3, 1893, and Royal Arch March 4, 1893. He was elected High Priest of that Chapter in 1920 and served continuously, with the exception of one year until 1928. He was anointed, consecrated and set apart to the Holy Order of High Priesthood on November 29, 1920. He received the Cryptic degrees in Dadeville Council No. 65 of Dadeville, Alabama on August 6, 1912. He received the Orders of Knighthood in Dadeville Commandery No. 26, Knights Templar, of Dadeville, Alabama, on November 2, 1917. He demitted from that Commandery to become a Charter member and the first Eminent Commander of Alexander City Commandery No. 38, of Alexander City, Alabama. He served as Eminent Commander until 1929. He was a member of Dadeville Chapter No. 288, Order of the Eastern Star, of Dadeville, Alabama. He was a member of St. Dunstan Conclave No. 57, Red Cross of Constantine, Birmingham, Alabama and a member of Nazareth Chapter, White Shrine of Jerusalem, Opelika, Alabama. He was a member of Holbrook Consistory, A. A. S. R. S. J. of Montgomery, Alabama and a member of Alcazar Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. of Montgomery, Alabama.
Brother Pearson’s outstanding characteristic was a quiet modest and unassuming dignity, together with a friendly and lovable disposition which endeared him to all who knew him. He was loved by all but most by his own hometown people who called him affectionately, “Professor Jim”.
Brother Pearson died May 12, 1951 in Alexander City, Alabama.”