Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Big Piney #42, Big Piney
April 25, 1931

Mae E Mickelson
Gorman Findlay
Luella Blackmon
Spencer Nichols
Valerie Williams
Diane Mickelson
      On April 25, 1931, David A. Muir, Worthy Grand Patron; Majorie Hagenstein, Grand Secretary Pro-tem; Sally Parrish, Grand Chaplain Pro-tem; Josephine Johns, Grand Organist Pro-tem; and Flora Alien, Grand Marshal pro-tern; took their stations in the hall of the Masons in Big Piney. At this time, a new chapter was formed by the granting of a dispensation by Worthy Grand Patron David A. Muir. It was attested to by Harriet J. Eckerson, Grand Secretary, who affixed the seal of the Order.
      On this same date under the direction of Mary F. Elliot, Worthy Grand Matron, and David A. Muir, Worthy Grand Patron, Grand Secretary Harriet J. Eckerson issued a proclamation establishing Big Piney Chapter No. 42 as a legally instituted chapter. Following this, Pinedale Chapter No. 39 under the direction of Sister Frances Clark, Worthy Matron and Brother William Wood, Worthy Patron, exemplified the ritualistic work of the Order and installed the newly appointed officers.
      Sister Patti Larson and Brother James P. Jensen were appointed to serve as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron, and Sister Helen Beck and Brother Frank Fear were appointed to fill the stations of Associate Matron and Patron. Other charter members were Sisters Sadie Osterhout, Claire Tanner, Ona Gurney, Eva Jenkins, Anna Hopkins, Louise Covey, Jessie Fear, Lula Cooper, Edna Mae Gunter and Brothers J.A. Budd, George Hopkins Jr., Irwin Covey, Fred Spreng, Fred Beck, Perry W. Jenkins and Albert Larson. Today, the only remaining members of this distinguished group of Sisters and Brothers are Ona Gurney and Irwin Covey.
      A code of By-laws for Big Piney Chapter No. 42 was drawn up by Sister Claire Tanner and Brothers Albert Larson and Perry Jenkins. The meetings are to be held on the third Tuesday of the month from September to June, starting at 8:00 p.m. This was amended in 1996, changing the starting time to 7:30 p.m.
      On January 15, 1932, a fire destroyed the Masonic Hall, it contents, and all the records of the chapter. A recap by the Secretary for this time shows that from April 25, 1931, to January 9, 1932, the degrees of the Order were conferred on nine Sisters and two Brothers. The Treasurer showed a balance on hand of $69.17. Meetings were temporarily held in the church. Other chapters throughout the state came to our assistance and $145.00 was received to help our recovery. Each member was assessed $3.00 to help out. At a meeting held on April 19, 1932, with the Masons, the proposal was made that the Star and Masons bind together jointly and rent the upstairs of the Big Piney Mercantile building as a permanent meeting place. The rent was to be $20.00 a month unheated, and $22.00 a month, heated. This remained our home until 1950 when Jim and Mae Mickelson and Mildred Miller purchased the old Marbleton Store Building and presented it to the two bodies for a permanent home. Expenses were to be split: Masons -2/3; OES -1/3.
      On May 17, 1932, Worthy Grand Matron Blanche Innes, presented a gavel made of black walnut to the chapter. It was made by her brother in 1912 from furniture their parents had when they started housekeeping following the Civil War.
      On October 18, 1938, Sister Claire Tanner was introduced and welcomed a Grand Representative. This is the first record of a Grand Representative from our chapter.
      It was in March 1940 that a motion was made and seconded that officers wear white dresses for the meetings. Also, in October of this year, we started refreshments and fellowship following the meetings.
      In August of 1950, Sister Mae Mickelson was installed in Sheridan as the Worthy Grand Matron of Wyoming. Her Homecoming was held on June 2, 1951. Our hall was filled to capacity. We presented Brother N.H. "Sox" Wellman with an Honorary Membership. This was the first recorded Honorary Membership presented by our chapter.
      Sister Mae and Brother "Sox" presided over the "Mountain Cathedral" Session of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming, held in Rock Springs in 1951.
      Sister Mae was appointed to the Educational Committee of the General Grand Chapter in 1952. As Chairwoman of this committee she is credited with the honor of the inception of Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership or ESTARL. Sister Mae continued to honor our chapter and the Grand Chapter of Wyoming as she proceeded to be involved in the General Grand Chapter.
      In April of 1953 at our Friendship Night, Lincoln Chapter No. 28, Kemmerer, exemplified the Ritualistic work as done 85 years ago.Our Twenty-fifth Anniversary was celebrated on April 17, 1956, and all of the charter members were honored. On May 17, 1956, we were honored for the first time by a visit from a General Grand Chapter Officer, Ruth A. Jones, Most Worthy Grand Matron.
      In October 1970, our own Sister Mae E. Mickelson was installed as the Most Worthy Grand Matron of the General Grand Chapter. In October of 1973, she presided over the General Grand Chapter Meetings in Denver, Colorado. Many members from Wyoming were in attendance.
      Our Brother German Findlay was installed as Worthy Grand Patron of Wyoming in 1984. He presided over the 'Wyoming Bells of Harmony" Session in Evanston in 1985, with Sister Paula Merryman as Worthy Grand Matron.
      Over the years, our members gave many plays,dances, and dinners. The records show for many years, petitions were read at nearly every meeting and the average attendance at chapter meetings was twenty-eight members.
      Our Sister Mae Mickelson, at her "Mountain Cathedral" Session, described what the Order of Eastern Star meant to her. She said "Ah, this is to live with plenty, which is just enough to make life what it should be -an adventure in happiness where one finds those precious things that neither age nor misfortune can snatch away!"