About Us

History of Myrtle Chapter No.13
As of its 125th Anniversary
1882 - 2007 

On February 18, 1882, a group of men and women met at the Corinthian Lodge No.67 Masonic Hall, located in the Griebie Building in Farmington, Minnesota.  This group was interested in the Order of the Eastern Star and wanted to form a chapter in their town.  Corinthian Lodge was fifteen years old and some of its members and their wives thought having an Eastern Star Chapter in Farmington would be good for the community and expand their Masonic family.  At this informal gathering Debra Akins was selected Worthy Matron; E. L. Brackett, Worthy Patron; R. Adah Underwood, Associate Matron; and Louise Vollmer, Secretary.

A second meeting was held on March 2, 1882, to organize the Chapter.  Associate Grand Patron George Barbaras of Hastings presided.  Worthy Grand Matron M. Louise Lewis, from Minneapolis, and members from Harmony Chapter No.8 and Minneapolis Chapter No.9 were on hand to assist in the work.  Several other officers were elected and selected and at 2:00 p.m. that afternoon the newly formed chapter held its first initiation.  As with all Eastern Star chapters, thinking it best to get new members active as soon as possible, the new Sister, Julia Wang, was immediately appointed to the station of Esther.

Installation of officers was held with Worthy Grand Matron M. Louise Lewis as installing officer and Brother E. C. Needham as installing Marshal.  The Chapter was named Myrtle and given the number 13.  I guess no one present thought there would be any bad luck associated with the number.  Meetings were scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month, although the minutes stated that each Chapter meeting opened at 7 ½ o’clock.

At one of the first meetings Brother E. Z. Needham presented the Chapter with hand cast jewels and since multicolored ribbons could not be purchased, members sewed color ribbons together and the jewels were worn around the neck.  On March 18, 1882, Sister Underwood donated an organ to the Chapter.

By September 13, 1882, the Secretary’s records showed a membership of thirty sisters and brothers.  On October 12, 1882, a charter was granted to Myrtle Chapter No.13, Order of the Eastern Star and the Grand Chapter proceedings reported that we were doing exceedingly well.  In December of that year ribbons were finally purchased and the jewels were then worn as badges.

In March 1883, PGM M. Louise Lewis moved from Minneapolis to Farmington and affiliated with Myrtle Chapter.  At that time the Chapter paid rent of 50¢ per meeting and purchased six songbooks for 50¢ each and a floor cloth for $18.0.

In February 1884 the meeting nights changed to the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.  We continue to meet on those same nights, except for December and June, when we only meet the 2nd Tuesday.  Over the past 125 years Myrtle has met about 2,500 times, not including special meetings.

On October 30, 1917, the Chapter elected to move from the Griebe Building to the new Masonic Temple on Third Street, where we still meet to this day.

Through the years Myrtle Chapter has contributed many items for the dining rooms and lodge hall.  The Past Matrons group provided, among other things, furniture; dishes; silverware; and two large ovens.  To this day we continue to work with Corinthian Lodge in a joint effort to keep the facility up to date, as the chairlift and our new kitchen makeover show.
Like many Eastern Star Chapters, Myrtle Chapter has been into recycling ever since its inception.  Brother E. L. Brackett served as Worthy Patron seven times, C. B. Whittier served as Worthy Patron 10 times, and J. E. Price served that same office 15 times.  Also note the lack of first names among the Chapters early Brothers.  Everyone seemed to go by initials only.  Makes one wonder what those first names really were.

Myrtle Chapter has hosted many fundraisers over the years and our Valentine Tea, started in 1960, is still enjoyed by everyone to this day.  In 1985 our famous golf tournament was started to help raise funds for Grand Chapter projects when Marilyn Carlson was WGM and Vern Bandel was WGP.  Sadly after 21 years of golfing in heat, rain, heat, rain, more rain, and lots more heat, 2006 was the final golf outing we were able to host.

Our Chapter has remained very active in community and patriotic work over the years.  The members assisted wherever they were needed during both World Wars and in times of crisis.  Many hours were spent sewing cancer pads, lap robes and other items needed at the Masonic Home and Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center.  We helped during the town’s Halloween walk for children, served hotdogs and soft drinks during Mountain Dew Days, and participated in local parades, not only in Farmington, but Lakeville as well.  We still continue our tradition of collecting warm items of clothing for those in need during the Christmas season, supply food for the local food shelf and support the Grand Chapter projects.  

On October 8, 1957, we celebrated our diamond jubilee with a visit from the Grand Family led by WGM Grace Aker Clingman and WGP A. T. Whaley.  Our 100th anniversary was held October 16, 1982 with the Grand Family of WGM Marge Hatley and WGP Bruce Johnson.

Myrtle takes pride in its members and officers and through the years we have been honored by having quite a few of our members receive Grand Chapter appointments:  Sisters Deborah Akin, Gr. Ruth – Jennie Fletcher, Gr. Adah – Josephine Needham, Gr. Martha – Esther Copenhaver, Gr. Warder – Viola Nelson, Gr. Marshall – Nancy Richards, Gr. Chaplain – Peggie Jones, Gr. Chaplain – Billie Errico, Gr. Martha – Jeanette Zellmer, Gr. Martha.

We are also proud to have had three serve in elected Grand Chapter offices and appointed General Grand Chapter Committee Members:  Sister M. Louise Lewis, WGM – Brother Jerry Jones, WGP & GGCCM, International Peace Gardens – Sister Billie Errico, WGM & GGCCM, chair Credentials.

Many of our members have served Grand Chapter as Deputy Grand Matrons, District Instructors, Grand Representatives in other jurisdictions, and Grand Pages at Minnesota’s Grand Chapter sessions.

Myrtle Chapter has prospered through good times and held together during the not so good times.  We like to consider ourselves as a small but mighty group of dedicated sisters and brothers who take pride in our rich heritage.  With the continuing support of Corinthian Lodge No.67, Grand Chapter officers and other subordinate chapters in Minnesota we know we will be here to celebrate our 200th anniversary and continue to leave a legacy our future generations will cherish. 

The dreams of a few dedicated Sisters and Brothers in 1882 have been realized many times over by those of us who have followed in their foot steps.  We are proud of our 125 year heritage and are grateful to those who have formed the foundation of our Chapter, and to the 7 members who toiled in labors of love to fulfill the Chapter’s mission.

Let it be know to future generations that Myrtle Chapter continues to this day to stand steadfast and true in its legacy to provide charity, truth and loving kindness to all mankind.