Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Snowy Range #45, Laramie
May 20, 1939

W E "Web" Robinson
Larry Farnham
Julie Houchin
     On May 20, 1939, the dream of three Alpha Chapter members, Sisters Maude B. Ingram and Susan Chamberlin and Brother Roy Chamberlin, were realized when Brother Bert Crist, Worthy Grand Patron, instituted Snowy Range Chapter U.D. in Laramie.
     Snowy Range Chapter's first Worthy Matron, Sister Mary Jennings and first Worthy Patron, Brother Roy Chamberlin, received the chapter's charter at the Grand Chapter Session in August 1939 with the signatures of the thirty-four charter members listed on it. On September 16, 1939, Sister Mollie Ellis, Worthy Grand Matron, assisted by Brother Oliver J. Colyer, Worthy Grand Patron, constituted the chapter.
     The chapter's first gift was a framed charter from Brother Howard E. Grunden, Associate Grand Patron. This was followed by five lovely lighted pedestals built by Brother Roy and presented to the chapter by Sister Susan and Brother Roy Chamberlin. Other gifts were the white Altar Bible from Sisters Mary and Alice Jennings; sheaf of barley, Sister Iva Caverly; Altar cloth, Sister Evelyn and Brother George Gillespie; Electa's cup, Sister Danis Hilliard; broken column, Mr. Martin Soule; and five small Bibles, Alpha Chapter No. 1. The chapter purchased the sword, crown and scepter.
     During the early years, Sister and Brother Tipton presented the Eastern Star Flag and Sister Edythe Krafczik gave the Christian Flag. The officers who served in the first two years bought badges which are still in use. One of the most valued gifts was the beautiful gavel presented by Sister Marie Norton. She had acquired it while on her trip to the Holy Land. It is made of olive wood and hand carved by Arabian Christians.
     The chapter's "Project Fund", provided for in their By-laws, started functioning in 1941 and the chapter has been able to contribute to many worthwhile causes because of this fund.
     In 1943 Sister Laura and Brother Nels Swenson and Brothers Roy Chamberlin and Pete Perman presented a beautiful signet to the chapter. The signet was financed, built and decorated by these members. Presentation was made in a ceremony in which five brothers each told the significance of one ray of the emblematic star in the Signet.
     Sister Susan Chamberlin, lovingly called "our Mother Matron", instructed every proficiency class until 1970 when her health prevented her from continuing.
     As a birthday gift to the chapter in 1944, a pedestal for the Worthy Matron's station was designed and built by Brother Roy Chamberlin. In keeping with the motif adopted by the chapter, the pedestal was white and featured a lighted star. The custom-made furniture remains in use today a tribute to the memory of Brother Chamberlin, whose pride in and devotion to Snowy Range Chapter helped the baby chapter take its first walking steps.
     In 1946 the chapter purchased, through its project fund, two "blocks" in the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children in Salt Lake City, Utah. When Grand Chapter convened in Laramie in 1949, the Worthy Grand Matron's project was the Intermountain Unit Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children. Sister Alice Jennings, Worthy Matron of Snowy Range, was instrumental in having an art student at the University of Wyoming paint the picture of "Christ Blessing Little Children". This picture hung in the East of the Grand Chapter room and afterwards was presented to the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City. Snowy Range Chapter was honored by being asked to present the memorial service, "The Clock of Life".
     In 1966 the chapter, for the first time, saw a member progress to an elective Grand Chapter office and in 1969, Sister Elsie Henn was elected and installed as Worthy Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter of Wyoming. In 1970, she presided over the "Snowy Range" Session, named in honor of her chapter. Since then, the chapter has been honored with two Worthy Grand Patrons: Brother Web Robinson served in 1976 and Brother Don Heiser served at the l00th Grand Chapter Session in August 1997. At a special meeting on September 22, 1989, Snowy Range Chapter celebrated its 50th Birthday. Approximately 120 Eastern Star members from around Wyoming enjoyed a dinner prior to the meeting. Worthy Matron Shiral Farnham and Worthy Patron Larry Farnham introduced and welcomed many special guests, including Worthy Grand Matron Nadine Raffelson; Past Grand Matrons Elsie Henn, Daryl Baker, Margaret Mecca and Dorothy Dietz; Past Grand Patrons Web Robinson, Vern Gersmehl, Jr and Harry Baker. Three 50-year members were given special welcomes and gifts. One special invitation was read during this meeting and that was for all members to attend the 101st birthday party for Brother George Gillespie. Entertainment was provided by the "Gem City Gents" Barbershop Chorus. Alpha Chapter No. 1 presented a gift of an engraved silver platter and Bethel No. 44, International Order of Job's Daughters, presented a gift of a silver coffee service.
     Through the chapter project fund, the chapter has been able to contribute generously to each Worthy Grand Matron's and Worthy Grand Patron's projects and to many other worthwhile causes. Snowy Range Chapter has been honored by having many appointive Grand Officers and Grand Representatives. The Worthy Matrons and Worthy Patrons have served as Grand Guards and Emblem Bearers. Past Matrons and Past Patrons and other members have served on Grand Chapter Committees, have sung in the Grand Choir and have been in special ceremonies at the Grand Chapter Sessions.