William Hinkle was the gentle spirit of maturity and age among the enthusiasm and spirit of the young leaders of the emerging Wimachtendienk. He is a mystery person from the beginnings of the Wimachtendienk. He never emerges to the forefront, but his record of service and recognition places him in the same league with the founders and their key group of adult supporters.
Hinkle was a medical doctor who believed so much in Scouting that in 1918 he gave up his practice and joined the professional Scouter staff as a part-time Field Executive in the Philadelphia Council. Perhaps Hinkle’s greatest gift to the Wimachtendienk was his ability to write the words for the First and Second Degree ceremonies. The Legend of the Order is often credited to Hinkle.
Goodman speaks of Hinkle with great respect.
The Second Degree as now held was developed by Dr. Hinkle who, by the way is responsible more than anyone else for the present ritual of the first and second degrees, had drawn up such ritual and after which it was largely adopted. Up to that time the work illustrative of the three principles of the Order was as stated above given publicly at the camp council fire, the explanation was made in private.
In a newspaper article about the Wimachtendienk in 1921, Hinkle is identified as one of two Medicine Men for Unami Lodge (along with George Lower). Hinkle served as a Medicine Man in the teens for both the First Degree and Second Degree Wimachtendienk ceremonies.
While serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Ordeals and Rituals for Unami Lodge in 1921, Hinkle reported that the ceremonies needed to be rewritten to preserve the mystery because an outsider had observed them. Hinkle led the way on the re-writes of the First and Second Degrees.
When the Grand Lodge was formed in 1921, Hinkle’s work was adopted and used for over a decade. In recognition of his quiet leadership, great wisdom, skillful writing and strong mentoring, Hinkle was elected the seventh Third Degree (Vigil) member and was included in the inaugural class of the Order of the Arrow’s Distinguished Service Award in 1940.