History of Queen Bathsheba Grand Chapter
Order of the Eastern Star
Written by PGWM
Balance M. Bruner
Following in the footsteps of the Masonic Lodges in the Indian Territory, the Eastern Star Chapters in said Territory, then numbering only 4 perfects an organization in 1898, known as Indiahoma Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Odelia Walters was the first Grand Worthy Matron and L.A. Bell was the first Grand Patron. At the suggestion of Grand Patron Bell, in the year 1899 a law was enacted whereby some specified endowment should be paid to the family of a deceased member, from the Grand Chapter. Thus, was born, our Eastern Star Mutual Benefit Association. During the first years the Benefit Association paid only fifty ($50) dollars at death. Prior to that time, all the financial assistance given at death came from the local chapter.
In the year 1900- two years after the organization of the Indiahoma Grand Chapter, Oklahoma the Eastern Star Chapters in the Territory of Oklahoma also decided to organize a Grand Chapter. Mrs. Mattie A. Robb was elected first Grand Matron and served for four consecutive years. G.I. Currin was the first Grand Patron and Mrs. Roxie A. Price was the first Grand Secretary.
There were many interesting features of the Constitution of Queen Bathsheba Grand Chapter of the Territory of Oklahoma.
- Three Chartered Chapters constituted a quorum for the sitting of a Grand Chapter.
- The annual session of the Grand Chapter could b held at such time and place as the Grand Chapter directed.
- The Grand Lecturer was considered an elected officer and was elected by ballot.
- No Worthy Matron could serve longer than one year.
- The Annual dues was 25 cents. The joining fee was $3.00. The Grand Secretary received $5.00 per year for compiling the minutes and $10.00 for her year’s work (salary).
- Petitions for membership were required to lay over ‘for a fortnight’ (two weeks) before being acted upon. Young women could join at the age of 16 years.
- All trials were conducted in the Degree of Electa.
In August 1904, the World Masonic Conference met in St. Louis, Missouri, at which time was discussed the state of affairs existing in Oklahoma and Indian Territories among Colored Mason, regarding the dispute over boundary lines. The conference recommended that the Mason in the two Territories get together and settle all disputes as to the Sovereign Jurisdiction and publish in 90 days thereafter such boundary limits and the Grand Master and the Deputy for each. Naturally, whatever affected the two Grand Lodges, also, affected the two Grand Chapters.
For many years, the inhabitants of the two Territories had been asking the Congress of the United States to be permitted to enter the Union as one State.
Being advised that all of the institutions, political, educational, religious and fraternal would in short time reorganize themselves and consolidate for a more perfect union, on August 7, 1904 the St. John Grand Lodge of the Oklahoma Territory and the Most Worshipful King Solomon Grand Lodge of the Indian Territory, met in a joint session in Oklahoma City and consolidated under the name of the Most Worshipful St. John Grand Lodge, A.F.&A.M. whose boundary and Jurisdiction was to be co-existence with the State of Oklahoma.
CONSOLIDTION OF THE QUEEN ESTHER AND THE INDIAHOMA GRAND CHAPTERS
In the year 1908, just one year following statehood, the Indiahoma and Queen Esther Grand Chapters, met in Wagoner Oklahoma on August 5, for the purpose of consolidating. The Charters of the two Grand Chapters were surrendered to Grand Master G.I. Currin. A motion prevailed that C.T. Taliaferro of Perry, act at Chairman of the meeting. The two acting secretaries, Mrs. L.S. Butler of the Indiahoma Grand Chapter and Mrs. Annie M. Logan of Queen Esther Grand Chapter were elected to record the proceedings. A motion prevailed that the tow Grand Chapters now consolidate.
“Bless be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love” was sung.
A motion prevailed that all instruments, seals, books. And paraphernalia belonging to the two Grand Chapters be brought to the desk.
AT 2:30 p.m. the Grand Matrons and the Grand Patrons of Indiahoma and Queen Esther Grand Chapters respectively:
We your committee to whom was refereed the consolidation of these two Grand Chapters, would respectfully submit the following report. And now its adoption
That the two Grand Bodies known as Queen Esther and Indiahoma respectively, unite and consolidate.
We further agree that the names of Queen Esther and Indiahoma be eliminated.
We further agree that each Jurisdiction pay its indebtedness and the same thereafter organize and become one Grand Treasury.
We further agree that all officers shall be elected in the regular course of elections and that the Constitution and By-Laws of the St. John Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma or as far as it relates to the Grand Chapter be and is hereby made the Constitution and By-Laws of the Grand Chapter.
Rev G.W. Wall, Chairman
Elmierer Johnson, Secretary
Florence Johnson; A.E. Jefferson; Henrietta S. Anderson; Wm A. Rice; H.E. Miller; G.I. Taliaferro; A.G.W. Sango; and J.W. Taylor
By Motion a Committee of six was appointed to take both Constitutions and compare them and bring in a Constitution for the United Grand Body.
Committee: Florence Johnson, E. Ward, Pattie S. Williams, Dimple Miller, Agnes Jefferson, H.S. Andrew.
A recess was then taken to allow the committee time to report.
The Chairman called the house to order. The Committee presented its report as follows;
Most Worthy Chairman, Sisters and Brothers: