Grand Chapter
of Wyoming
Footprints Through Time

Burns #47, Burns
January 9, 1947

Official Visit of
Barbara Boster, WGM John Krmpotich, WGP
Photo from Henri Manning
      Burns Chapter No. 47, U.D. was instituted on January 9, 1947, by Brother W. O. Edmondson, Worthy Grand Patron assisted by Sisters Francine Huntington, Worthy Grand Matron; Mollie B. Ellis, Grand Secretary; Lois Datterson, Grand Marshal; Betty Evenson, Grand Chaplain; and Minnie A/illson, Grand Organist.
      At this meeting, Pine Bluffs Chapter No. 29 put on the initiatory work for two candidates. Pine Bluffs Chapter presented the chapter with their jewels at this time.
      Burns Chapter's first Worthy Matron Sister Viola Weber and Worthy Patron Fletcher Youtz initiated thirteen new members and affiliated four in their first year.
      On October 7, 1947, Burns Chapter No. 47 was constituted by Worthy Grand Matron Florence Godfrey assisted by Worthy Grand Patron J.B. Milstead and Sister Agnes Evans, Grand Marshal. The chapter was proudly using their emblems. The sword and broken column were made by Brother Andrew Sorensen; the sheaf by Brother Henry Weber; the veil was given by Sister Margaret Palmer and the Altar cloth by Sister Nellie Scott. The crown and scepter were made by Sister Ruth Mittan. The crown was made from a discarded lamp fixture from the church and the scepter from a piece of tin cut into a star and soldered to a rod. The crown and scepter graced the pedestal at Esther's station for several years. The pedestals were orange crates covered in white muslin. The wooden folding chairs were slip-covered in white.
      The Star room was on the second floor of an older building in Burns. When the chapter was chartered, the entrance was via an outside wooden stairway; not in the greatest condition. During the winter months, there would frequently be ice and/or snow on the steps and the ladies would gingerly make their way up the stairs, attempting to keep their long dresses from dragging in the snow and at the same time holding on to the bannister to prevent a fall. The chapter "preparation room" also served as a kitchen with no running water and no central heat.
      During the years of 1949-50, Burns replaced their "folding chairs" when they purchased new chairs for the Worthy Matron, Associate Matron and Star Points. During the following year, chairs were added for the rest of the officers. During the 1951-52 year, Sister Jean and Brother Milton Bastian presented the chapter with a "beautiful" new crown and scepter.
      On April 19, 1948, the chapter's new signet was dedicated and was purchased at a cost of $175.00.
      In 1954, for the first time, all of Burns' officers went to Cheyenne and gave the initiatory work at Mizpah's Friendship Meeting. This was the first year the ritual was revised.
      In 1962 Burns Lodge No. 41 purchased the building and transformed it into; current configuration; eliminating the every day use of those "outside" stairs.
      In 1971 the chapter started hosting a Pie Social/Auction at their November meeting to benefit E.S.T.A.R.L This soon proved to be one of the most "fun" events of the year and we realized a good profit for this important cause.
      For several years in the late '80's, the first floor of the Masonic Hall was used by the Senior Citizens to serve meals.
      In July 1987, Pine Bluffs Chapter No. 29 consolidated with Burns Chapter No. 47.In 1996 Burns Chapter No. 47 and Burns Lodge No. 41 began planning and fund-raising efforts with the goal of a new Masonic Hall in their future.
      Sister Lela Youtz, a charter member of Burns Chapter, has been serving her chapter "on the floor" every year since her initiation and, at 97, is an inspiration as she continues to serve as Chaplain.
      At their April 21, 1997, meeting, Burns Chapter celebrated their 50th Anniversary. They were joined by Sisters and Brothers from Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, Douglas and Guernsey.
      On May 4, 2002 the Grand Lodge of Wyoming, A.F. & A.M., presided at the cornerstone laying ceremony of the new Burns Masonic Temple.