Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Riverton #21, Riverton
June 17, 1909 - February 6, 2018

Paul Woodward
      On June 17, 1909, a meeting was held at Riverton, Wyoming, under and by virtue of a special dispensation issued by Lawrence Phillips, Acting Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming. Brother W.E. Harden, then Worthy Patron of Olivet Chapter No. 3 of Lander, was authorized to institute the chapter. Members of Olivet Chapter No. 3 conferred the degrees of the Order upon seventeen charter members. On August 3, 1909, Sister Lillie Townsend, acting for the Worthy Grand Matron, paid an official visit to our chapter under dispensation, and in September of 1909 we received our charter.
      The following officers were elected to serve the chapter: Sister Bertha Jewett, Worthy Matron; Brother William Haines, Worthy Patron; Sister Grace Dobler, Associate Matron; and Brother George Dobler, Secretary.
      During the first year, two members were initiated and there was an average attendance of 12 at the meetings held.
      In 1910 Riverton Chapter No. 21 put on a play to raise much needed money. It was well received and the chapter raised $59.50. We also raised $30.90 to help pay for a piano which we purchased for $185.00 with a loan from the bank. We purchased kerosene lamps for the Masonic hall at $2.45 each.
      At the end of 1915, our first financial report was filed with a year-end balance of $32.56. An Altar was given to the chapter.1917 was the first time that all of the offices, except Worthy Patron and Sentinel were filled by women. We brought in eighteen members this year. The chapter donated $10.00 to the Y.M.C.A. and purchased twelve card tables, six dozen plates, cups, tumblers, and silverware.
      In 1918 the chapter donated $35 to the Red Cross and purchased one Liberty Bond, for $100 and one for $50.1919 saw the kitchen in the Masonic Temple completely furnished. A regular date for having an Annual Ball was decided upon, and it was determined to have the Annual Installation and Annual Ball on the same date. It was also established to present the retiring Past Matron with a Past Matron's pin.
      Between 1920 and 1930 we paid off the piano loan by renting out the dishes. We also purchased nine chairs, a new veil and ribbons for badges. The chapter donated $10.00 to the Armenian Relief Fund and $10.00 to the Wyoming Children's Home in 1922.At all Masonic dinners during this time we ate elk, elk, and more elk. We served grape juice to the sick, and had our first O.E.S. picnic in 1930.The Riverton State Bank closed its doors on August 19, 1932, and all monies were forfeited, $244.89 in savings and $16.12 in checking. Many money raisers were held to build the treasury. One fellow Mason even sold a calf so that an O.E.S. Sister might attend the Grand Chapter. We opened a new checking account in the Lander First National Bank and the Riverton State Bank slowly started to pay back our funds. We later transferred our funds back to Riverton to the Riverton First National Bank.
      Between 1930 and 1940, we were still serving grape juice to the sick and eating elk at the Masonic dinners. We purchased an American Flag and stand and two dozen chairs for $62.60, a ballot box and service for 150 people. Our signet was purchased for $169.55.
      The new Job's Daughters Bethel was formed and we allowed them to use our chapter Bible.
      During this decade we also purchased a new stove for the kitchen and a new Altar.
      Between 1940 and 1950 we began serving boysenberry juice to the sick instead of grape juice. We remained very busy with money making projects to purchase curtains for the double doors, and colored star point chairs. We donated money to the O.E.S. Ambulance Fund and it was later reported to have been seen by a soldier in Tunisia.
In 1944 our members contributed 1,656 1/2 hours of labor either by serving in or knitting for the Red Cross. In 1945 we initiated nineteen new members.The Grand Chapter Session was held in Riverton in 1952. This was the "Ruth" Session, with Ruth Colyer, Worthy Grand Matron and Ralph Platt, Worthy Grand Patron.In 1953 we had twenty-two new members join our chapter and in 1955 we changed our By-laws to elect our Sentinel.
      Our Sister Elsie Kelly honored our chapter by serving as Worthy Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming in 1956. She presided over the "Guiding Light" Session in Torrington with Brother Norman Markuson, Worthy Grand Patron.
      By the end of 1959, we had 271 members on our rolls.
      We were honored in 1964 when our Brother Paul Woodward served as Worthy Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter. Grand Chapter was held in Riverton this year with Sister Hester Peverley, Worthy Grand Matron at the "Heart of the Star Session".
      Again, in 1978 we were honored to have Sister Kathryn Gay Logan serve as Worthy Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter at the "Nature, Light and Beauty" Session held in Lander. She served with Brother Russell Sandercock as Worthy Grand Patron.
      The last Grand Chapter Session to be held in Riverton was in 1987 when Sister Ada Mary Melonuk was Worthy Grand Matron and Brother Stanley Meeker was Worthy Grand Patron. This was known as the "Symphony of the Stars" session.
      It was on April 19,1988, that Shoshoni Chapter No. 20 consolidated with Riverton Chapter No. 21.
      We have continued to improve our chapter room by installing a new sound system and purchasing a display cabinet for memorabilia. Our meeting time has been changed to 7:30 p.m. and our dues are now $10.00 per member with golden age members paying per capita of $3.50. We have seen many members taken away by death, but also have seen new more youthful members join us.