Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Alvada #43, Guernsey
September 29, 1934 - February 1, 2012

Nolan "Sox" Wellman
     On September 29, 1934, twenty-one individuals met for the institution of Alvada Chapter U.D. and the installation of officers. The chapter was instituted by Sister Ellen Norton, Worthy Grand Matron and Dr. G. O. Hanna, Worthy Grand Patron. They were assisted by Sisters Lillie E. Townsend, Past Grand Matron, Harriet J. Eckerson, Alice Cook, Grand Organist, and Etta Taylor, Grand Marshal. In all, seven Grand Officers and six Past Grand Officers were present for the ceremonies.
     Sister Fern Light and Brother Arthur Stimpfig were elected and installed as the first Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron respectively. Sister Marie McNall was the first Associate Matron.
     It was reported that for the above developments to occur, it was necessary for eighteen members to be willing to demit from Wheatland Chapter in order to proceed. In the fall of 1934, twenty-seven members actually demitted and the new chapter was underway.
     The name Alvada was derived from the given names of Alva and Ada Fowler. This couple had been old timers in the area and quite probably were members of the Masonic Family. There doesn't seem to be any more information concerning the couple.
     Meetings were held in the Masonic Temple located in Guernsey. The room would be full to overflowing with chapter visitors on special occasions. The building had a "rickety" old outdoor staircase on the east side of the building leading to the chapter room. The door opened directly into the ante-room. These rickety stairs were difficult to climb in nice weather and absolutely horrible when they were icy. The building was eventually remodeled and is still the Masonic Temple. Another problem the early members had to put up with were bed bugs. Now, it is easy to joke about the problem, but at the time it was not. The building was fumigated several times before the pests were eradicated.
     On September 14, 1935, one year after the chapter was instituted, Alvada Chapter No. 43 was formally constituted by Sister Helen Lenhart, Worthy Grand Matron, Brother Marion Kline, Worthy Grand Patron, and the Grand Officers of the Grand Chapter.
     During their first year, fifteen members were initiated and one member affiliated. From the beginning of twenty-one members, the chapter grew slowly but steadily until on June 30, 1960, it numbered 158 members.
     During the years, the projects of each Worthy Matron were generously supported. Defense bonds were purchased, the blood bank supported, as were China Relief, Red Cross ambulance fund, seeing-eye dog fund, ESTARL, Cancer Research and the Eastern Star Home.