Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Olivet #3, Lander
June 27, 1894

Gertrude Dickinson
Carrie R Fisher
William Dickinson
William Hagans
Theresa  Duncan
Samuel Peterson
Paula Merryman
John "JR" Horton
     According to hand written notes, the charter for Olivet Chapter No. 3 was granted on May 10, 1894, received on May 14, 1894, and the chapter was organized on June 27, 1894. Our chapter was instituted under the General Grand Chapter. There were 38 charter members.
     The first meeting of which we have any record, takes place on June 8, 1894. These are "pencilled, unsigned minutes". The first business was evidently the election of officers.
     On June 27, 1894, Brother F. B. Burnett, Deputy Grand Installing Officer completed the installation of officers to institute our chapter.
     The next meeting of Olivet Chapter No.3 was held on July 10, 1894. These minutes are also pencilled on tablet paper. At this meeting, the By-laws were read section by section for approval and adoption. A Finance Committee was appointed and asked to confer with the Finance Committee of Wyoming Lodge No. 2 and offer them $2.00 for every month the chapter would occupy the hall.  At this time the hall was at 159 N. 2nd Street (what is in 1997 the Magpie Coffee Shop).
     The first meeting with star points present was held on September 5, 1894. The first minutes to appear in the official Minute Book were for the meeting held on November 28,1894.
     At this meeting they voted to spend $3.25 on the frame for the charter.At a meeting on December 13, 1894, several officers were installed by "proxy" with a pro-tern for the office. This was the case of the Worthy Matron.
     On June 5, 1895, the chapter ordered copies of the By-laws for 8 cents each. They paid General Grand Chapter dues of 12 and 1/2 cents per member. The chapter also paid someone 50 cents per meeting to start a fire early so the chapter room would be warm for meetings.
      In our early minutes the roll of officers often listed the Worthy Matron as the Worthy Patron's name and vice versa. It seems the men in our Order were much more in charge and took many of the duties and responsibilities the Worthy Matron has today. Through study of the minutes of elections it became clear the line officers did not move up the line, as they do today. Many times the same officer served in one office for many years and did not necessarily ever become Worthy Matron.
      In these early years the members of Olivet often adjourned their meetings to go to the Fremont Hotel to eat oysters. On April 1, 1896, it is first noted that refreshments were served by members following the meeting.
      The Secretary's expenses for the year of January 1, 1895, to January 1, 1896, were $2.98 for postage, paper, notices, two receipt books, and postals. The first "public" installation of officers was on Christmas Day (in the evening) 1896.
     Many times it is noted in the minutes that Brothers serve as Star Points, even for initiation ceremonies, although no Brother was ever installed as a Star Point.
     Members of Olivet Chapter No. 3 were present when the Grand Chapter of Wyoming was formed in September 1897. The Official Proceedings of the First Annual Session of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming note Sister Mary Dickinson was appointed by the Worthy Grand Matron, Sarah Bristol as a special Deputy to inspect the work of Olivet Chapter No. 3. The following is directly quoted from those proceedings: "Sister Dickinson reports of Olivet Chapter, Lander: The Secretary's and Treasurer's books are properly kept. We have had a pleasant year and all have been congenial. We do our work without the aid of a ritual."
      The Installation of Officers in December 1898 was the first time officers had to be present in person to be installed. On January 4, 1899, a motion was carried that all Past Matrons of Olivet be presented with Past Matron's badges. In 1904 the "New Masonic building" was located in the 200 block of Main Street.
       June 1, 1906, was the first time Olivet had been visited by a Worthy Grand Matron. Prior to this there was no way to reach Lander except by wagon. The railroad came to Lander and made a visit by the Grand Chapter possible. However, the Worthy Grand Matron Sister Ellen Tilton did note the train had to stop to open gates across the rails, pull through, and then close the gate again. Expenses paid by Olivet for the Worthy Grand Matrons visit were $7.00.
     In 1907 Grand Chapter was held in Lander with Sister Ellen J. Schilling as Worthy Grand Matron and Brother George B. Bristol as Worthy Grand Patron. This same year the secretary was paid $10.00 per year, plus her dues. Initiation fees were $5.00, and affiliation fees $1.00. The dish washer was paid 50 cents.
      In June of 1909, the members of Olivet Chapter No. 3 exemplified thework at Riverton for the Institution of Riverton Chapter No. 21.
     In February 1912, a motion was made and carried that Gertrude L. Dickinson, Worthy Grand Matron, be enrolled as a honorary member of our chapter. The Secretary was instructed to order an engraved certificate of membership to be presented to her. This was the first honorary membership given by Olivet No. 3 and, although she was a member of our chapter, she was the first from Olivet to serve the Grand Chapter as Worthy Grand Matron.
      In the minutes of 1917, it is noted that cards were sent to all our Eastern Star boys in military service and their dues paid by the chapter. We also voted to present Past Patrons with a "button." Our own, Sister Carrie Fisher was Worthy Grand Matron this year. She was voted an honorary member of Olivet Chapter No. 3.
      In 1920 yearly dues were raised to $3.00 per year, and initiation fees were raised to $10.00. The Grand Chapter of Wyoming held its Grand Chapter Session in Lander in 1921. Sister Bertha Van Devender was Worthy Grand Matron and Brother John H. Hartzell was Worthy Grand Patron.
      Our Brother William Dickinson served the Grand Chapter as Worthy Grand Patron in 1922 and our Brother William Hagans served as Worthy Grand Patronin 1928. On December 4, 1929, we elected our first Associate Patron Brother A.G. Stevens, but it was not until 1937 that Brother Floyd Payne gave the optional Associate Patron's lecture during initiation for the first time.
      Grand Chapter was held in Lander in August 1933. It was held in the gym of Fremont County Vocational High School. A dance was held at the Training School. The Worthy Grand Matron Effie Lowndes requested that initiation be put on. Expenses to Olivet were $128.10.
      In May 1939, the chapter had a birthday party to celebrate the 45th Birthday of Olivet Chapter. About one half of the charter members were still living at this time.
     At all of the meetings for several years there was an average of 50 members present in chapter. There were sometimes as many as 18 to 20 members appointed to the Refreshment Committees and they usually had meetings twice a month all year.
     During the 1940's and 1950's, it is noted that "card parties" were often held after the meetings. There were often between four and fourteen tables for cards and games, such as bingo, bridge, Chinese checkers, etc.   They even had dances occasionally after the meetings. They often had some sort of program or skit during
the meeting as well.
     A letter to the chapter in February 1942 from the Worthy Grand Matron and Worthy Grand Patron, asked the chapter to learn the 4th stanza of the "Star Spangled Banner" because of its appropriate-ness to the times.
     A Golden Anniversary for our chapter was celebrated on May 17, 1944. One of our Distinguished Guests was Brother Charles H. Townsend, Most Worthy Grand Patron of General Grand Chapter and Past Grand Patron of Wyoming.
     Our own Sister Bess Benson was Worthy Grand Matron in 1946. Brother Howard Hart served as Worthy Grand Patron this year and was made an honorary member of Olivet Chapter No. 3. Homecoming for Sister Bess was held on May 27, 1946, at the Lander Grade School.
      September 1, 1948, was the first meeting of Olivet Chapter No. 3 in the "new" Masonic Building on Garfield. The old school building had been purchased and remodeled. Olivet was the first Masonic Order to meet in the new building.
     Grand Supervisors were appointed by the Grand Chapter to instruct the officers of chapters in their districts in 1952 and Elsie Kelly was our Grand Supervisor.
A new Altar, pedestals, and labyrinth rug were purchased in 1952 with funds raised during the year from bake sales, rummage sales, card parties and special donations. This officer's project netted $1,078.85.
     1955 marks the first time in our history that a husband/wife team served in the East. Sister Theresa Duncan was Worthy Matron and Brother Bill Duncan was Worthy Patron. This was also the first time the banquet for the Worthy Grand Matron's visit was open to all members who wished to attend. Prior to this,
only Past Matrons and Patrons were invited.
     Sister Frances Clark, Worthy Grand Matron, and Brother Kenneth Johnson, Worthy Grand Patron, held their Grand Session in Lander in August 1959. The Grand Lodge of Wyoming also met in Lander just prior to Grand Chapter. Sister Ruth Foster was in charge of housing and expected between 750 and 1,000 visitors in Lander. This was the largest convention Lander had ever had. At the time there were approximately 250 motel rooms in Lander. Because of the large housing shortage, a newspaper article noted that room private homes were urgently needed and being rented for between $2.50 and $6.00.
      It was also in 1959 that Olivet Chapter No. 3 sponsored Lupine Chapter No. 52, Dubois, and exemplified
the work for their institution.
      The minutes of meetings during the 1950's and 1960's have elaborate descriptions of special addenda and entertainments given after the meetings closed. Refreshments were elaborate and decorations were beautiful and usually had a theme.
     At the Official Visit on Octobber 19, 1962, with Sister Lillian Rush as Worthy Matron, a special Indian Ceremonial was presented by Sister Helen Cutler, narrator, and Sister Irene Benjamin assisted. Both were dressed in beautiful Indian attire. Sister Joan Lamet, Worthy Grand Matron, was so impressed with this beautiful ceremony she asked our Sisters to present this "Indian Ceremonial" at Grand Chapter, and they were later asked to present it at General Grand Chapter in Dallas, Texas, in 1964.
     Our own Sister Theresa Duncan served the Grand Chapter of Wyoming as Worthy Grand Matron in 1968. Her Homecoming was held in Lander on May 4, 1968, with Sister Frances Peery Snyder, Worthy Matron, and Brother Sam Peterson, Worthy Patron. Sister Mae Mickelson, serving as Right Worthy Associate Grand Matron for the General Grand Chapter, was present at Sister Theresa's Homecoming and was presented with an honorary membership in Olivet Chapter No. 3.
     Sister Theresa, with Brother John Boucher, Worthy Grand Patron, presided over the Seventy-first Annual Session of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming. This was known as the "Melody of the Stars" Session.
     Our 75th Anniversary celebration was held on May 10, 1969, with Sister Alberta Lyman, Worthy Matron, and Brother David Bates, Worthy Patron. An exhibit of early day memorabilia was on display in the reception room. This included various kinds of record books, emblems and paraphernalia of early-day Eastern Star in
      The Seventy-second Annual Session of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming, convened in the High School Gymnasium in Lander, "Where Rails End and Trails Begin", on August 21, 1969.
     Our Brother Sam Peterson served the Grand Chapter of Wyoming as Worthy Grand Patron in 1977. With Sister Daryl Dutcher, Worthy Grand Matron, Brother Sam presided at the "God is Everywhere" Grand Session in Jackson in August 1977.
     Olivet Chapter No. 3 hosted Grand Chapter Session in 1978 in Lander. This was the "Nature, Life and Beauty" Session, with Kathryn Gay, Worthy Grand Matron, and Russell Sandercock, Worthy Grand Patron.
     Worthy Grand Matron Beverley Williams and Worthy Grand Patron Bucky Finley asked Olivet Chapter to host a Charity Golf Tournament and Ball in June 1983. Brother Bill Duncan served as chairman of this event, and it became an annual event of the Grand Chapter. The First Annual Golf Day raised $464.60 for charity.
     The chapter began planning and preparing for Sister Paula Merryman's Homecoming celebration early in the 1980's. Sister Sharon Gist was Worthy Matron in 1985 when, on May 18, we hosted a tea in the afternoon at the Masonic Temple for all those attending Homecoming for Sister Paula. A dinner and entertainment was held at the Shrine Club in the evening.
     Sister Paula Merryman, Worthy Grand Matron, presided over the Eighty-eighth Annual Session of the GrandChapter of Wyoming in Evanston in 1985. She served with Brother German Findlay, Worthy Grand Patron, at the "Wyoming Bells of Harmony" session.
     Olivet received a plague in 1987 from the Grand Chapter of Wyoming for having the most participation by any chapter.
     Olivet Chapter hosted the 10th Annual ESTARL Fun Day and Golf Tournament in Lander on July 18, 1992, for Worthy Grand Matron Marilynn Mullikin and Worthy Grand Patron, Les Fluckiger. Sister Sharon and Brother Dick Gist were Co-Chairmen of this event. A total of $370.83 was raised for ESTARL.
     On May 14, 1994, our chapter celebrated 100 years of dedication to the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. It was exactly one hundred years to the day since our chapter had been formed. With Sister Shannon Norton, Worthy Matron, and John R. Norton, Worthy Patron, our celebration was held at the Lander Shrine Club. Over one hundred guests and members enjoyed a banquet and entertainment. Brother Edwin "Butch" Hudson served as Emcee for the evening. It was a wonderful celebration of our chapter and the many members of Olivet who have been dedicated to the teachings of the Order of The Eastern Star. Olivet Chapter No. has enjoyed 103 years of service to the ideals of the Order of the Eastern Star. A quote from our Worthy Matron, Sister Hannah Harrison in 1908 is still true. "For us the future has much in store.
     Today we have gathered here, Sisters and Brothers of the great Order, for mutual help and inspiration. We trust much good will result. May we go forth to our different fields of labor laden with renewed zeal and courage; may our hearts be replenished with the sublime virtues of the heroines of this Order; and may we, for so much as we love one another, extend, for the good of humanity, Charity, Benevolence, Truth and Loving Kindness." So may it ever be.