Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Golden Rod #13, Buffalo
March 8, 1901- August 12, 1999

Kenneth Johnson
      In March of 1900, twenty-two Master Masons, their wives, sisters and daughters, petitioned the Grand Chapter of Wyoming for a chapter in Buffalo. But, due to spring weather that made roads impassable and a diphtheria epidemic, the forming of Golden Rod Chapter had to be postponed until the following year, thus becoming No. 13 instead of No. 11, as intended.
      A name had to be chosen before the chapter was organized. Each person who planned to be a member wrote the name they wanted on a slip of paper. Sister Isabelle Hesse wrote the name "Golden Rod", and pinned a sprig of goldenrod to the paper. Thus, the name was chosen. Unfortunately, due to illness, Sister Hesse did not get to be a charter member but she was initiated in July 1903 and was always considered a charter member.
      On March 8, 1901, Golden Rod Chapter was instituted with eleven charter members. Emma Fryberger and Dr. John H. Lott served as the first Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron. Initially there were not enough officers to fill all the chairs but at the end of the first year the chapter had 28 members.
      The first meeting place was in Jensen Hall, now called the Holland Building. The next was upstairs over what is now the "21 Club". This was used until the flood of 1912 after which the building was condemned. Sister Ida May Lowe, Worthy Matron at that time, fixed her living room to resemble a chapter room and the meetings were held there until the chapter moved upstairs above the old Jolly's Food store.
      In 1924 the chapter paid the fees necessary for a charter to be granted to Bethel No. 4, I.O.J.D., in Buffalo. As its number denotes, it was the fourth Bethel to be organized in Wyoming.
      A delegation from Golden Rod Chapter helped with instituting Lakota Chapter No. 38 in Midwest in 1925.In 1931, when Sister Mollie Ellis was Worthy Matron, Golden Rod moved into the present Masonic Temple, where they have been privileged to reside for 57 years. Sister Mollie served as Worthy Grand Matron in 1940 and was the Grand Secretary from 1946-1956. She was honored as Secretary Emeritus until the time of her passing to the Grand Chapter on High in 1985.During the war years the chapter bought war-bonds. The chapter also helped purchase sugar and coffee and sent those items, as well as cookies, to the USO Center in Cheyenne. The chapter sponsored a homeless Chinese child for three years.
      In 1949 the chapter purchased a white ballot box and presented it to Friendship Chapter No. 51 at their institution on May 14, 1949. A large delegation of Golden Rod's members traveled to Sheridan for that special meeting.
       On March 8, 1951, 50 years after the organization of the chapter, the Golden Anniversary was celebrated. Sister Emma Fryberger, the chapter's first Worthy Matron, was as a special guest. Sister Emma presented the chapter with a monetary gift which was later used to help purchase the furniture presently used in the chapter. Sister Mae Mickelson, Worthy Grand Matron, was also a special guest.
      The white slip covers, crown and scepter, and flag were purchased by the chapter in 1953. The chapter's white Bible, used on the Altar, has the name of each Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron who has served Golden Rod Chapter.