Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Wheatland #11, Wheatland
September 9, 1901

Louise Soward
William E Sloan
Mary F Elliott
Alonzo Moeller
George Banscom
      On January 28, 1901, a dispensation was granted to twenty-seven petitioners by Henry Bunger, Worthy Grand Patron, to organize a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. Brother Bunger personally organized the chapter.
      The chapter was instituted February 20, 1901, under dispensation, and the charter was granted on September 9, 1901. Sister Anna M. Johnston and Brother O.E. Tisch were the first Matron and Patron, respectively with Sister Josephine K. Scovell being the first Associate Matron.On September 3, 1901, the Fourth Annual Session of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming was held in the Masonic Temple in Wheatland. The following quotation is taken from Worthy Grand Matron Ada Miller's closing speech, as recorded in the 1901 Grand Chapter Proceedings: "On Monday evening preceding the session, Wheatland Chapter exemplified the Ritualistic Work, initiating a candidate in a very creditable manner. Too much cannot be said in praise of this little chapter, which has worked under dispensation with only thirty-two members, many of whom live a considerable distance from town. They have labored untiringly for the upbuilding of their chapter."Records for 1902-1907 were virtually not available except for presiding officers.
      In 1908 Wheatland Chapter had three Grand Officers installed at Grand Chapter.
      In 1914 Brother William Sloan began his seventh term as Worthy Patron. The chapter voted to discontinue refreshments after initiation, to hold only one meeting during July, August, and September, and to meet the fourth Thursday each month. The chapter also voted to pay the Treasurer $5.00 per year and forgive her dues. The Secretary's salary was $15.00 per year.
      In 1915, during the Worthy Grand Matron's visit, "the balloting was exemplified and found not clear".
       In1916 the May 10th minutes read "no quorum, 8th grade graduation, only the Worthy Matron appeared". The minutes of September 14, 28 and October 12, also read "no quorum". It appears Sister Addie Hemmant may have weathered some rough seas.
     In 1917 Worthy Matron Millie G. Johnson reports that Sister Carrie Fisher McLaughlin, Worthy Grand Matron, was to arrive from Torrington for a five o'clock dinner. Getting a late start and no paved roads, her car had problems. She had flat tires and engine troubles. She didn't arrive until 8 o'clock, the time to start the meeting, which resulted in considerable hub-bub both at the house and chapter room. When they arrived at the chapter room, two of her officers were absent, yet-the evening went on, and on, and on.
      In 1918 every member of the Eastern Star able to work became very active in the war effort.
      In 1919 the initiation fee was raised to $5.00 and for affiliation to $2.00. A piano fund was started and one was purchased in time for the April 24, 1919, meeting.
       In 1920 forty members of Wheatland Chapter journeyed to Chugwater and were guests of Laurel Leaf Chapter for a 6:30 dinner and at the initiation ceremony.
      In 1922, the chapter and Masons bought five dozen folding chairs and the chapter purchased a rug for the Temple. It was voted to increase the Secretary's salary from $25.00 to $50.00.
       In 1924 Wheatland Chapter had its first summer recess for the months of July and August.
       In 1927 the chapter moved from the old building with its cramped quarters and faded red carpet to the spacious new and beautiful Masonic Temple. The chapter provided the blue velvet drapes for the windows.
       1935 was the beginning of the covered dish dinners for Wheatland Chapter. Unfortunately, they had no tables so Brother Russell Fisk, Master of the Lodge volunteered to have tables there and they had the combined lodges to dinner. Through their frugal efforts, they were able to acquire three large tables and a tea cart. The chapter purchased the materials and the boys in High School madethe tables.
       In 1936, with the aid of the Eastern Stars, the local Jobs Daughters and DeMolay organizations were established.
       In 1947 the first Friendship Night was held and "Ruth's" fund was started for beneficent purposes. They also made every attempt to have covered dish suppers at every other meeting and the Worthy Matron felt that they improved attendance at the meetings.
      In 1948 dues were raised to $3.50 and, with the results of funds earned from serving dinners, the chapter purchased two gas stoves for the kitchen. It was during this year, that the Grand Chapter changed the star year and officers were to be installed in June.
       In 1952, on the eve of the Official Visit, a robbery of the store under the Temple occurred. After the meeting the members watched the police capture the robber who had been hiding in the basement of the building.
      On December 23, 1954, the chapter held their first meeting in the new Masonic Temple.
      In 1955-56 the first programs for the year were planned and printed. During the year, monies were raised to purchase star point chairs appropriate to their colors.
      In 1958-59 a little Spinet piano was purchased by the chapter to replace the old faithful upright piano.
      In 1959-60 the "Pancake Supper" originated and was held at the outdoor Masonic Grounds and became an annual event. We had a beautiful candle light ceremony for Obligation Night. We also had a Platte Country night, with Chugwater and Guernsey Chapters as honored guests.
       In 1961 out own Brother Jack Nixson was installed Worthy Grand Patron.
      In 1965-66 Wheatland Chapter No. 11 celebrated their 65th Anniversary. This same year, the dues were raised from $3.50 to $5.00.
      In 1968-69 gold skirts and white tops were worn for special meetings. Worthy Patron Dave Noyce built and presented a large wooden name plaque which was hung in the temple. The names of all Past Matrons and Past Patrons from 1901 to the present were inscribed on it.
      In 1969-70 Worthy Matron Ellen Marie Burnett reports: "My year started quietly enough, then Adah's sword was purloined." This led to a new sword, a new crown and scepter, a new Altar rug and a new Altar cloth, which was made by Sister Goldie Bollin. The Worthy Patron missed the visit of Worthy Grand Matron Elsie Henn due to developing a case of ulcers.
      In 1971-72 we began to redecorate the Masonic Hall, starting in the Library, which was used by the High School after the school burned down. The project had to be done again after they left.
      In 1972-73 the chapter served the Job's Daughters Banquet and welcomed the Worthy Grand Matron's entourage.
       In 1973-74 five temple chairs were recovered by Sister Vi Goodrich and her Conductress. The kitchen cupboards were cleaned and varnished. A table top stove and double oven was donated for the kitchen by the Past Matron's Club. The pedestals were repainted and paid for by the Past Matron's Club.
       In 1974-75 plans were made to remodel the kitchen and when they were implemented it made the kitchen much more convenient.
       In 1975-76, Homecoming for our own Worthy Grand Matron Louise Soward was held in the Wheatland Gymnasium.
      In 1976-77 we celebrated our 75th Birthday and the Bi-Centennial of our country. It was a time for old memories, but also a time for new beginnings.
      In 1977-78, from the Dorothy Kennedy Memorial Fund, a new veil, sheath, and crown were ordered. Sister Elsie Ryan was presented a plate and a corsage for ten years as Secretary.
       In 1978-79 Sister Louise Soward revised the By-laws. Initiation fee was raised to $10.00; the affiliation fee, $5.00; dues to $10.00 and Temple Fund to $1.00. New chairs and pedestals were purchased from the Dorothy Kennedy Memorial Fund. The Past Matron's Club presented the chapter with a star of silk flowers tobe used for funerals and was to be stored at the Funeral Home.