Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Torrington #22, Torrington
August 31, 1909

Oliver J Colyer
Myrtle M Sawyer
Harry Bowers
Wendy Lewandowski
1. Wendy Lewandowski, Henri Manning (4)
2. Audra Weitzel
      Photos by Henri Manning
     The history of the growth of Torrington Chapter No. 22 was governed a lot by the growth of our village. Torrington was a town of three or four buildings on main street, a residence or two, and little else.
      The chapter was started by a small number of determined and hopeful members. Brother Carl Jackson, Worthy Grand Patron, deputized Worthy Grand Matron Sister Grace Godwin of Sheridan to officiate in the organization of Torrington Chapter No. 22, with twenty-five charter members.
      The charter was granted August 31,1909. The first Worthy Matron of our chapter was Mrs. Josephine Scovall who served for three years. Our first Worthy Patron was P.G. Fowler, and the first Secretary was Wilda Copeland. The meetings place was over the general store, heated by a coal stove, and lighted by kerosene lamps. The ladies took turns as charwoman, that is, those who lived close by. The ones who lived miles out came to meetings whenever they could. Many evenings found a mere quorum to carry on, but each member could move from chair to chair and give the ritualistic work.
      Our first Grand Officer was also Sister Josephine Scovall. She served as Grand Treasurer from 1909 to 1911.As the country settled, the town grew, as did the chapter. Dues were held at $1.50 for about twelve years, but the loss of all chapter records, charter paraphernalia, etc. when the hall burned down the latter part of January 1919, was such a drain on the budget that consent was given to raise the dues to $2.00. No meetings were held from January 23, 1919, until a charter and other essentials were attained and meetings were then held in the county court room, starting again March 27, 1919, with a charge of $2.00 an evening.
      In 1922 the Kellam and Kellam hall was rented and meetings were held there until the Temple was ready for occupancy in 1955.Our Sister Myrtle M. Sawyer was Worthy Grand Matron in 1926. She presided at the Twenty-ninth Annual Session of the Grand Chapter in Casper, with Brother John A. Green from Lovell as Worthy Grand Patron. She was elected Grand Treasurer in 1928 and served until 1937. It is interesting to note that both Sister Myrtle Sawyer and Sister Josephine Scovall died while serving their terms as Grand Treasurer.
      In June 1927, sixteen of our members who lived in Lingle felt they wanted to have a chapter. On July 8, 1927, a chapter was instituted there. We were sorry to lose them but realized they would do very well and continue to grow, as the Mother Chapter has grown.
      Among the accomplishments of which we are proud are: 100% donation to the International Temple Fund, and to the Children's Home, and helping in the many projects endorsed by each Worthy Grand Matron, also the Job's Daughters and the DeMolay.
      Brother Oliver Colyer was Worthy Grand Patron in 1940 at the Forty-third Annual Session of the Grand Chapter. Thissession was held in Worland with Sister Mollie E. Ellis from Buffalo as Worthy Grand Matron.
       Brother Oliver's wife Sister Ruth was elected to the Grand Line in 1948, and was Worthy Grand Matron in 1952 at the Fifty-fifth Annual Session of the Grand Chapter in Riverton. This was designated "The Gleaner Session" and she presided with Brother Ralph Platt as Worthy Grand Patron.
      Torrington was the site of the Wyoming Grand Chapter Session in 1956. This was the only time Grand Chapter has been held in our city.
      Brother Harry Bowers was Worthy Grand Patron in 1989 at the Ninety-second Grand Chapter Session in Cheyenne. He served with Sister Dorothy Mclntosh as Worthy Grand Matron at the "Road of Life" Session.
      Sister Margaret Lee, Past Grand Matron from Mariposa Chapter No. 25, has affiliated with Torrington Chapter No. 22 and honored our chapter by serving as Grand Secretary from 1990 to 1993.Our Sister JoAnn Fuller was elected to the Grand Line in 1994. She will be serving as Worthy Grand Matron in 1998 as our Grand Chapter moves into another century of service.
      Lingle Chapter No. 40 consolidated with Torrington Chapter No. 22 on Decembers, 1994.