Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Lincoln #28, Kemmerer
September 2, 1913 - December 31, 1989

     On May 20, 1912, the Worthy Grand Patron Clement E. Jensen, received a letter from Mrs. Marie King of Mountain Lily Chapter No. 10 of Rock Springs, Wyoming, asking for instruction regarding organizing a chapter at Kemmerer. The necessary papers were forwarded on May 23.
     At a preliminary meeting, a large number signed the petition for dispensation, but here the matter rested until a waiver of jurisdiction was obtained from Esther Chapter No. 9 at Evanston.
      Worthy Grand Patron Fred C. Barnett received this petition in proper form November 6, 1912, and on November 20, Brother Barnett granted the dispensation and commissioned Brother George Bristol of Esther Chapter, Evanston, a Special Deputy, to institute this chapter.
      Brother Bristol called a meeting of the petitioners, for the purpose of organization on Friday, December 13, 1912. A group of 18 women and 15 men met in the Masonic Hall over the Post Office on the Triangle in Kemmerer. The following officers were chosen at the instituting of the chapter: Sister Marie King, Worthy Matron; Brother J.W. Brownson, Worthy Patron; Sister Lucy Wright, Associate Matron; and Sister Mary Embree, Secretary.
     The name chosen was "Lincoln", and the meeting night would be the second and fourth Fridays. In 1926 the meeting night was changed to the second and fourth Thursdays of each month.
     Lincoln Chapter No. 28 received its charter from the Grand Chapter of Wyoming, September 2, 1913.
     Although many members of Lincoln Chapter have served the Grand Chapter, Sister Marie King is the only member to serve as Worthy Grand Matron. She served her chapter as the first Worthy Matron and in its second year she was elected secretary, a position she held for 33 years. The minutes she recorded for us are faithful accounts of a membership which enjoyed being together.
     During the war years (1918), our members voted "that dues of any member serving in our country's service be exempt during their service." Liberty Bonds were also purchased by the chapter.      There are no minutes from September 1918 until January 1919. In February of that year, it is revealed that the election and installation of officers had to be delayed from December to February because of the flu epidemic. There had been a ban on public meetings during the worst of the epidemic.
     Our Brother N.W. Reynolds served as Worthy Patron of Lincoln Chapter No. 28 for ten years consecutively, from 1920 to 1930. He was honored by the General Grand Chapter with a pin for his many years of service as Worthy Patron in 1940.During the 1930's the chapter was very supportive of the local DeMolay Chapter and was instrumental in forming Bethel No. 13 of the International Job's Daughters.
     The war years of the 1940's saw our chapter working with the Grand Chapter to purchase an ambulance and buying kits for the soldier boys. We used money collected to buy War Savings Stamps which were made into a victory corsage and presented to the Worthy Grand Matron.
     In 1946 we were notified we would have to move because the building was being sold. Along with the Masons, we moved all of our furnishings to the Odd Fellows Hall on Pine Avenue. Our meeting nights had to be changed several times. During the years 1948-49, we met only once a month.
     In 1950 the Masons purchased the Quealy Building on Pine Ave. for the sum of $10,000.00. Work was begun immediately on the remodeling of the building. Members from all walks of life and women of our Chapter worked daily and far into the hours of the night to finish this worthwhile product. Lincoln Chapter No. 28 held its first meeting in the new hall on October 11, 1950, and from that time on the members continued to exert every effort to improve and add to our new home.
     With money collected from a memorial to Sister Marie King, our chapter purchased a new Altar, new crown and scepter, new column for Martha, new sheaf for Ruth, new draperies, and new chairs for the Star Points.
     In 1952 our Worthy Matron Verna Rummel's husband, Worthy Patron Jack, made a special gavel and Sister Verna proposed to send this and a large scroll to all the Eastern Star Chapters in Wyoming. The gavel would be used at a meeting and the scroll signed by the presiding officers, then sent on to the next Chapter. They were sent off on a journey that lasted eleven years, five months, and nine days. They returned home on March 4, 1964, and had traveled to 42 chapters in Wyoming.
     At our Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration on April 21, 1963, fifty year pins were presented to our three remaining charter members, Sisters June Stewart, Jane Chapin and Marion Witherspoon.
     The sixties saw the chapter struggling for money and our dues were raised in 1960 from $3.00 to $5.00. We also put savings into Time Certificates that paid 5% interest.
     In the seventies there were further renovations to the building. The first floor area, which had been rented, was taken over and converted into a kitchen and dining room. All the ceilings were lowered and indirect lighting panels installed. A new furnace, water heater, silverware, cutlery and dishes were purchased. Of all the original paraphernalia bought by the charter members, only the large signet, which had been rewired, and Adah's sword, which had to have minor repairs, were still being used by the chapter.
     Our chapter was saddened to learn of the death of the last of our charter members, Sister Marion Witherspoon. She was given an Eastern Star funeral service on December 3, 1976.Membership declined in the 1980's, but each Worthy Matron continued to observe the following special occasions: Obligation Night, usually under the direction of the Worthy Patron; Memorial Service, with the Altar draped in memory of members who had died during the year; a Robert Morris program to honor the founder of our organization; special programs presented by the Star Points honoring the five heroines of our Order; Past Matrons and Patrons Night with special programs to honor these past officers (these were the most varied of all the programs); and the Mother's Day program in May together with the Christmas parties in December which were always followed by the men of the chapter serving the refreshments.
     Lincoln Chapter attempted with many innovative ideas to strengthen their membership and increase their funds. More and more often the offices were being filled with Past Matrons and Patrons.
     In 1986 Lincoln Chapter No. 28 celebrated its 75th Anniversary and Sister Dolly V. Edmonds wrote a most interesting and informative history of the chapter.The members of Lincoln Chapter No. 28 voted on September 7, 1989, to surrender their charter. The charter was surrendered on December 31, 1989, and the Worthy Grand Matron Nadine Raffelson stated: "The Grand Chapter is saddened by the decision to surrender the charter. We understand the burden of carryingon is sometimes too much for too few to bear."