Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Fern #31, Greybull
June 18, 1917-January 17, 2003

John H Hartzell
Lois Patterson
Lowell J Davis
     A meeting of those interested in organizing a local chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, was first held in the Masonic Hall (the H.L Mead Building, now a video store is on the first floor) in Greybull, Wyoming, on April 16, 1917. At this meeting, plans were formulated for the institution of such an organization.
     The Grand Patron Harry Shad called a special meeting on June 18th, 1917, to institute the proposed chapter. The meeting was presided over by Special Deputy Grand Matron Carrie R. Fisher from Lander.
     There were twenty-one charter members, and our first Worthy Matron was Sister Zora Q. Williams. Our first Worthy Patron was Brother John H. Hartzell and Sister Nana R. White was Secretary.
     Lewisia Chapter No. 16 of Basin had been called upon to institute the new chapter which was duly named Fern Chapter No. 31.
     At that time the ritualistic work of the Order was exemplified in a most impressive manner.
     In 1917 we purchased emblems, badges and other paraphernalia. 1918 saw the purchase of draperies and a large Bible. We won a flag this year from the Grand Chapter for having the greatest percentage of gain in membership.
     We served a large banquet for a Shriners State Convention in Greybull in 1919. We also purchased a desk for the Secretary this year.
     Only three years after our chapter was instituted our first Worthy Patron, Brother John H. Hartzell served the Grand Chapter of Wyoming as Worthy Grand Patron. At the Twenty-fourth Annual Session held in Lander he served with Sister Bertha Van Devender, Worthy Grand Matron from Lewisia Chapter No. 16 in Basin. His wife, Sister Elizabeth Hartzell, served as Grand Organist for three years, 1924 to 1927.The activities of Fern Chapter have been interesting and varied. We have Friendship Night, birthday parties, programs appropriate to the holidays, Past Matrons and Patrons night, and many others.
     In 1933 our chapter was instrumental in forming a Bethel of Job's Daughters in Greybull and presented them with a Bible and gavel.
     It was in 1938 that a wife and husband served in the East for the first time in our chapter. Sister Esther Emmett was Worthy Matron and Brother J.D. Emmett was Worthy Patron.
     We celebrated our 25th Anniversary in 1942 when Sister Marguerite Lawrence was Worthy Matron and Brother Clarence Walton was Worthy Patron.
     Sister Ethel Mackenzie designed a Fern Chapter Flag in 1943.Sister Lois Patterson honored our chapter when she served as Worthy Grand Matron in 1953. Her session was known as "The Fern Session" and was held in Worland with Brother "Scotty" Jack as Worthy Grand Patron.
     Sister Maxine Knudson was Worthy Matron in 1957 and at the end of her term, her mother, Sister Myrtle Hunsaker, Past Matron, presented her with a Past Matron's jewel. This was the first time in the history of Fern Chapter this honor had occurred.
     In 1974 Brother Lowell J. Davis served the Grand Chapter of Wyoming as Worthy Grand Patron. This was the Seventy-seventh session held in Laramie with Sister Alice Elaine Blatt, Worthy Grand Matron.
     Fern Chapter now meets in the Masonic Hall on 6th Street. At one time the hall was a theater. Later, a new floor was put down and the hall became a dance hall for a time. (We have a beautiful floor under the carpet.)
     Each Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron since 1917 have had interesting and varied programs too numerous to mention. Some have been of a serious and educational nature, some of high comic interest. Each Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron strives always to make Fern Chapter interesting to the sideliners, by the perfection of their ritualistic work, their programs, and other forms of entertainment.
Although we have many struggles, we are determined to strive faithfully to strengthen and lengthen the "Golden Chain" and to build for the future.