The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Wood
The Times 



November 6, 2014

WAITSBURG - Chartered just days before Washington became a state, the Waitsburg Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star celebrated its 125th anniversary on Monday. Waitsburg's Eastern Star Chapter #9 was instituted on Aug. 4, 1888 and chartered Nov. 1, 1889. Eastern Star dignitaries attended Monday's celebration which included a catered dinner, a business meeting and special entertainment.

On Aug. 4, 1888, Right Worthy Associate Grand Patron J.E. Edmiston at the Masonic Lodge communicated the degree of the Order of Eastern Star to 26 members - 13 sisters and 13 brothers. Sixteen officers were installed with Frances Hudgin as Worthy Matron and Platt Preston as Worthy Patron.

"November was an important month for our Chapter," said current Worthy Matron Marilyn Wilson.

On Nov. 1, 1889, the Waitsburg Chapter was chartered with 52 chartered members - 27 sisters and 25 brothers. On Nov. 11 of that year, Washington became a state. The Waitsburg chapter was constituted on Nov. 19, 1889. Three delegates were elected to represent Waitsburg at Grand Chapter in 1889 and the chapter has continued to have representation at Grand Chapter in all but two of the following 125 years.

Over the years, the Chapter has developed many committees and carried out many projects. The Bylaw and Finance committees were set up in 1889 followed by the Reporting of Sickness or Distress Committee (now called the Sunshine Committee) in 1952.

The current lodge was dedicated in 1914 and the Chapter purchased the furnishings for the kitchen and dining halls. Among the budgeted item list for new furnishings were: 6 dining chairs $35, 8 dozen folding chairs $13.50 per dozen, 30-feet of brass curtain rod 10 cents per foot, small rocker $3.50, and a couch for $30.

On April 6, 1936 the Waitsburg Chapter was approved to sponsor an Order of Rainbow for Girls Advisory Board which was the beginning of Waitsburg's Rainbow Assembly #68, which is still active today.

Recent WHS graduates and Past Worthy Advisors Jessie Hopkins and Kendra Roberts were appointed to Rainbow Grand Offices this summer and will represent Washington and Idaho at state assemblies. Hopkins is the Grand Washington Flag Bearer and Roberts is Grand Religion and Grand Christian Flag Bearer.

"In the last twenty-five years, the Waitsburg Chapter #9 OES has been dedicated to Charity, Truth and Loving-kindness," said Wilson. "We continue to donate sweatpants and towels to the Shriner's Hospital, we support the Grand Worthy Matron's and Grand Worthy Patron's Projects plus the Grand Chapters Committees and money-making projects."

In 1998 the Masons purchased a chair lift and the chapter helped with the expense. They also helped funded carpeting and painting in 1999 and installed a sound system in 2012.

In March 2008, Mayor Markeeta Little Wolf declared

March 17 as Order of Eastern Star Day in Waitsburg. The Chapter uses the day to honor local groups, businesses and organizations by delivering cookies and certificates of thanks. Some of the previous recipients include the Waitsburg Ambulance Service and Fire Department, City Hall, the Waitsburg Clinic, Weller Library, the Historical Society, the City crew, Black Dog Animal Rescue and more.

Monday night's 125th anniversary celebration included an official visit from Worthy Grand Matron Mary Ann Fergusson and Worthy Grand Patron Jim Iverson. Festivities began at 6 p.m. with a dinner in the basement of the Presbyterian Church for approximately 70 guests. The meal was catered by Rita Brown and Rainbow Girls helped with service and clean-up.

At 7:30 p.m., guests moved to the Masonic Temple where Worthy Matron Marilyn Wilson and Worthy Patron Jack McCaw welcomed the attendees and Marilyn gave a brief history of the club. A style show of dresses worn by EOS members from 1976 - 2014 served as the evening's entertainment and was followed by refreshments.

"I'd like to thank our co-chairs for the 125th Anniversary Celebration, Nancy Otterson and Lenore Kromm, entertainment chairman Barbara Danforth and Tom Baker for making the programs," said Wilson. She closed her speech with the following thought, "The Heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future."

Waitsburg Officers


Frances Hudgin, Worthy


Platt Preston, Worthy Patron

Lena Allen Associate Matron

Emma Brown, Secretary

Matie Shaffer, Treasurer

Emma Morrow, Conductress

Lois Parker, Associate Conductress George Brown, Chaplain

Vinnie Purrington, Organist

Lois Lloyd, Adah

Eva Erwin, Ruth

Lucy Parton, Esther

Elizabeth Fudge, Martha

Sallie Phipps, Electa

Martha Steward, Warder

C.H. Erwin, Sentinel

Waitsburg Officers


Marilyn Wilson, Worthy


Jack McCaw, Worthy Patron

Nancy Otterson, Associate


Jack Otterson, Associate


Lois Winchester, Secretary

Molly Stedman, Treasurer

Lenore Kromm, Conductress

Patricia Wilson, Associate


Rosemary Shelly, Chaplain

Darline Locati, Marshal

OES Chapter #9 officers and visiting dignitaries attended a banquet at the Presbyterian Church before heading to the Masonic Hall for more 125th Anniversary festivities. Standing from left: Lois Winchester, Mary Fardyce, Karen Palmer, Barbara Danforth, Darlene Locati, Lenore Kromm, Talutha Wilson, Rosemary Shelly, Krista McKinley, Nancy Otterson, Jack Otterson, Anita Baker, Tom Baker Seated from left: Molly Stedman, Mary Ann Fergusson (Worthy Grand Matron), Marilyn Wilson (Worthy Matron), Jack Mc- Caw (Worthy Patron), Jim Iverson (Worthy Grand Patron).

Anita Baker, Organist

Barbara Danforth, Adah

Tabitha Wilson, Ruth

Mary Fordyce, Esther

Krista McKinley, Martha

Karen Palmer, Electa

Tom Baker, Warder

Randy Kromm, Sentinel


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