Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 4, No. 3
September, 1926


Page 298

We find in the Record of Ohoyohoma Chapter No. 1, Atoka, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, that Mrs. T. J. Bond invited the following ladies and brothers to meet at her residence at Atoka, namely: Miss Eddie, Mrs. Hester, Mrs. Kingsbury, Mrs. Martin of Boggy Depot, Mrs. Harlin, Mrs. Ainsworth of Caddo, Mrs. Hulsey of Limestone Gap, and Mrs. Keelah, Mrs. Shaw, J. S. Murrow of Atoka, Mrs. Athenius, M. Colbert of Colbert, Thursday the 28th day of February 1879 for the purpose of taking preliminary steps to organize a chapter of the O. E. S. Mrs. Shaw was elected chairman, J. S. Murrow was requested to act as Secretary. The Chapter name Ohoyohoma, translated into English, means Red Woman. Ohoyohoma Chapter No. 1 was instituted under chapter granted by Thomas M. Lamb most worthy Grand Patron of General Grand Chapter of the order of Eastern Star of U. S., through Willis D. Ingle, Right Worthy Grand Secretary of General Grand Chapter.

The officers on charter were Rev. J. S. Murrow, Worthy Patron, who at this time was Dept. Grand Patron of the General Grand Chapter O. E. S. of U. S. under Most Worthy Grand Patron, Thomas M. Lamb. Mrs. T. J. Bond, Worthy Matron; Mrs. Lizzie J. Hester, Associate Matron; Mrs. Keelah, Secretary.

The next Star in our beautiful Indian Territory was Antek-homa No. 2, meaning Red Sisters, at McAlester under the leadership of Edmond H. Doyle. Then came the third name-sake of a chief—Pawcannla Chapter No. 3 at Colbert. Savanna No. 4 at Savanna, after the great explosion of the

Page 299

mines at that place, several of her citizens moved to Lehigh and they also moved the O. E. S. Chapter retaining name and number.

The next Star shone forth in Prairie City, now known as Fairland, named Naomi No. 5. Then Lone Grove No. 6 shone forth at Lone Grove. All these chapters were Indian in Indian Territory.

In 1889 Ohoyohoma Chapter No. 1 issued a call to all subordinate chapters to meet with Ohoyohoma Chapter No. 1 in Atoka Thursday, July the 11th, 1889, for the purpose of organizing a Grand Chapter of Indian Territory.

Six Chapters sent their representatives and the organization was perfected at this time. The officers were as follows: John Rennie, Grand Patron, of Savanna Chapter; Mrs. Mary E. McClure, Grand Matron from Ohoyohoma Chapter; Mrs. Sue Doyle, Grand Associate Matron from An-tek-homa Chapter; Mr. E. H. Doyle, Grand Secretary.

The Grand Chapter was held with An-tek-homa Chapter at McAlester on the 3rd Wednesday in June, 1890, at 10 O’clock. Believe me we enjoyed our first trip to the Grand Chapter and enjoyed every moment while there. Our Red Sister Chapter entertained us royally at this meeting. We had two visitors from Kansas and two from Texas. We believed in ourselves in that early day, and we in our infancy exemplified the work of the O. E. S. in the presence of these noted visitors, whose Grand Chapters were much older than ours. We were complimented for good work.

The next meeting was held in Atoka in 1891, Rev. J. S. Murrow, Grand Patron of Indian Territory and Mrs. Nettie Ransford, most Worthy Grand Matron of General Grand Chapter O. E. S., U. S. had a continued correspondence over who should hold jurisdiction over Oklahoma Territory, which resulted in the Grand Chapter of Indian Territory holding jurisdiction over Oklahoma Territory on the grounds that she had jurisdiction before the U. S. permitted them to become separate Territories.

In 1892 the third Grand Chapter met with Mrs. C. A. McBride; a committee of three was appointed to work up interest for the Orphans’ fund, consisting of Mrs. Mary L. Herrod, Mrs. Lou Colbert, Mrs. Sarah Walker. The Grand Matron recommended that our Jurisdiction be divided into dis-

Page 300

tricts and the Grand Matron empowered to appoint District Deputies. In 1893 the fifth Grand Chapter was held in Oklahoma City, there were nineteen chartered chapters and nine U. Ds.

The finance committee reported the total amount of money on hand !414.10; expenditures !304.85; balance !109.25. The members became enthused over the Orphan’s Home and desired that at our next meeting steps would be taken to locate such a home.

Mrs. Mary D. Waldron was Grand Matron. The sixth meeting was held in Atoka August 15, 1895, at this meeting Mrs. Herrod reported for the Orphan’s Home Fund !80.00. Ohoyohoma Chapter exemplified the floral work of our order at this meeting. Mrs. Mary M. Rogers was elected Grand Matron.

In 1896 the Seventh annual meeting was held at Muskogee. In this proceeding will be found the portraits of all the Grand Matrons and Patrons up to this time. Mrs. Herrod reported !85.00 for Orphan’s home fund, and requested that the committee be enlarged. The Grand Matron, J. S. Murrow, past Grand Patron, and Leo Bennett, Grand Patron, addressed the Grand Chapter on this subject. Considerable interest was manifested. Miss Clara McBride and Leo Bennett were added to this committee, in the future to be known as the Trustees of the Orphan Home charity fund.

Astrea Chapter No. 14 exemplified the work in a beautiful manner and called forth the praise of all present.

Mrs. Rebecca M. Swain was elected Grand Matron.

In 1897 the 8th meeting was held in Perry, Oklahoma; our Chapter had grown to include 49 subordinate chapters over both Territories. Many good deeds were done. The Trustees of the Orphan’s Home Charity Fund reported !100.20. It was accepted and committee continued. The Grand Secretary’s salary was raised to !150.00. The appointment of District Deputies in each district was very helpful to the growth of the order.

In 1809 the tenth convocation was held at Wynnewood, Indian Territory. On motion it was decided to turn over !168.20 to the Grand Treasurer of A. F. & A. M., all funds of Indian Territory and all funds collected after this do be turned

Page 301

over to the Grand Secretary and she turn over the same to Grand Treasurer of A. F. and A. M. of Indian Territory.

In 1901, August 25th, the annual convocation was held with Durant Chapter, Durant, Indian Territory, at this meeting the subordinate Chapters of Oklahoma Territory asked leave to withdraw from the Grand Chapter of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory to organize a separate Grand Chapter in Oklahoma Teritory, which was granted. Altogether we numbered 670 chapters. Thirteen annual meetings up to August 12th, 1902, in Indian Territory with 39 chapters and 8 U. Ds. In 1905, 16 annual meetings were held. Henry M. Furmen reported having collected for the Orphan’s Home Fund !1140.00 which he turned over to the trustees of the Masonic Orphan Home Fund. The Grand Treasurer’s report shows a total of !2,203.00 with a balance of !1,381.60.

In 1906, seventeenth annual meeting, Mrs. Rhoda M. Hunter, Grand Matron, prepared a book of special instructions on doing what the Ritual instructs us to do. She asked the Grand Chapter to adopt it and to sell them at ten cents a copy to defray the expense of printing them, she asked that she be allowed to use the further proceeds toward furnishing a room in the Masonic Home. We see in the Grand Matron’s address that she is looking for our daughter Oklahoma to come home.

Later proceedings tell us of the coming together of the two bodies, Grand Chapter of Indian Territory and Grand Chapter of Oklahoma Territory.

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