Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Shoshoni #20, Shoshoni
February 11, 1908 - April 19, 1988

Harry J
Livia A Jewell
Ralph S
      On February 11,1908, a special meeting was held in the town of Shoshoni, in the Masonic Hall, for the purpose of organizing a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. Brother Charles Townsend was appointed Deputy Grand Patron to institute the chapter. He was assisted by Brother Hosick as Marshal and Sister Mokler as Chaplain.
      The elected and appointed officers were installed by Brother Townsend. Sister Vivian Gill served as the chapter's first Worthy Matron and Brother Ralph Horton, the first Worthy Patron.
      The Masonic Hall was located over the Williams Building (where the Park Cafe was later to be located).
      Meetings in early days were somewhat irregular. On March 18, the meeting was held in the Madden home (Esther) as the Masonic Hall had been destroyed by fire. Several locations were available. For a short time, they met in the school building attic. There was no staircase and the members had to climb a ladder to the chapter room. This did not in any way seem to hamper their activities nor dampen enthusiasm. They lugged food for refreshments, dishes to eat from, and even a little stove to make coffee on, up and down the ladder, in bushel baskets relayed from one to another. When the school enrollment increased, requiring the use of the upper level, the Eastern Star moved to the basement of the Shawver Hotel, then to the Horton building and in 1911 they moved into the final location.
      In 1908 the chapter voted to purchase a piano for $845.00 to be paid for at the convenience of the chapter. That year they also purchased $17.50 worth of cups, saucers and plates.
      In 1909 Sister Grace Godwin, Grand Matron, visited the chapter for their first official visit. Unfortunately, there were no other visitors present. The chapter had forty members at the time.
      In 1910 the piano was finally paid for and they rented it to the Rebeccas for $4.00 for a period of six months.
      In 1911 the emblems were purchased and Brother Harry Shad donated the pedestals to the chapter. 1912 was when the chapter added a gasoline stove and a tablecloth to their chapter room.
       In 1913 Rituals were raised in cost from $.75 to $.80 and a bill for repairing the stove was turned in for $.25.
       In 1916 the chapter bought a veil for Adah's station. They also hired a janitor for $5.00 a month.1917 saw our Brother Harry Shad as Worthy Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter. He served with Sister Carrie Fisher, Worthy Grand Matron, from Lander. Their session was held in Cheyenne.
      In 1918, when the Grand Matron visited, there were nineteen visitors also in attendance.
      In 1920 the chapter purchased new furniture for the chapter room. The bill was for $428.00 plus a freight bill of $159.00. At the time of delivery, the chapter had$292.00 in the bank. Undaunted, they went right along selling box lunches at dances, dance tickets and other activities. They paid off all debts and ended the year with $16.46 in the treasury.
      In 1923 the chapter purchased and installed linoleum in the dining room and kitchen.
      In 1925 the chapter purchased $75.00 worth of silverware, and in 1929 Shoshoni Chapter had a joint meeting with Lander and Riverton chapters.
       We were honored in 1930 when our Sister Livia A. Jewell served as Worthy Grand Matron with Brother Charles N. Bell at the Grand Chapter Session in Casper.In 1932 Shoshoni won the flag at Grand Chapter for having the best attendance during the year.
      Again, in 1937 we were honored to have our Brother Ralph S. Linn serve as Worthy Grand Patron at the Grand Chapter Session in Cheyenne with Sister Lora McCarthy from Gillette as Worthy Grand Matron.
      In 1939 the chapter replaced the gasoline stove with a new one.
      In 1948-49 the subordinate chapters changed their official year to correspond to the Grand Chapter year and the officers served a short term from November 1948 to June 1949.In 1951 our chapter initiated ten candidates, the most in any one year of the chapter.
We served our first "Smorgasbord Dinner" in 1954. In 1957 the Worthy Matron used her special fund to purchase a clock for the chapter room.
      On February 1, 1958, the chapter celebrated their 50th Anniversary. "An enormous cake was lighted with fifty candles" and there were three charter members present, Sisters Ann Gudmundsen, Jesse Keith and Lillian Hayden.
       In 1959 the chapter voted to pay the dues of all fifty-year members for the rest of their lifetimes and in 1960 the dues were raised from $2.50 to $3.50 a year.
       As the town of Shoshoni lost population our chapter struggled more and more, but our dedicated members still served dinners and did projects for charity. It was on April 19, 1988, that we finally consolidated our chapter with Riverton Chapter No. 21.