Eureka Grand Chapter

History

The Order of Eastern Star is an adoptive rite of Freemasonry with teachings based on the Bible and whose objectives are charitable and benevolent. The acknowledged founder of Order of the Eastern Star was Dr. Robert Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, who was a Master Mason and Past Grand Master of the Jurisdiction of Kentucky. Dr. Morris originally intended his creation to become a female branch of Freemasonry, but he failed to overcome the great opposition this idea engendered. After publishing his ritual in 1849-50, he became associated with Robert Macoy. In 1867 Macoy wrote and published a ritual based on the ritual first published by Morris.

On April 17, 1887, under Past Eminent Grand Patron James Walker Hood who at the time was serving as the presiding Bishop of the New York Conference of the AME Zion church, and Bro. Joseph Stills Curtis a resident of New York and a Past Master of Celestial Lodge No. 3, who was also a member of the Most Eminent Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Stars of the State of North Carolina,(now the Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Stars for the State of North Carolina), established Alpha Chapter in the City of New York. This was the first Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star that was established in what is now the Prince Hall Fraternity in the State of New York. The first Worthy Matron of Alpha Chapter was Sis. Annie E. Johnson and the first Worthy Patron was Bro. William Lawrence.

By the year 1895, there were five Eastern Star Chapters under the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Stars for the State of North Carolina and Jurisdiction operating in the State of New York, they were: Alpha Chapter in the City of New York, Omega Chapter in Elmira, Sheba Chapter, in Binghamton, Sunlight Chapter in Saratoga and Starlight Chapter in Utica.

On October 18, 1895 pursuant to the authority of the M.W. Grand Lodge of the State of New York (now the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of New York), M.W. Edward B. Irving, Grand Master at the time presiding, the above five Chapters plus Rebecca Chapter of Montclair, New Jersey which was also a subordinate Chapter of the Supreme Grand Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star for the State of North Carolina and Jurisdiction were warranted and organized as Eureka Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star for the Jurisdiction of New York. The first Grand Officers of Eureka Grand Chapter were: Worthy Grand Matron, Mary E. Reed, Worthy Grand Patron, Joseph Stills Curtis, Associate Grand Matron, Anna E. Johnson, Associate Grand Patron, Norman Van Buren, and Grand Secretary, Catherine Johns.

Six chapters were represented at its first Grand Session held in June 1896 in New York City. They were Alpha No.1, New York, Omega No.2, Elmira, Sheba No.3, Binghamton, Sunlight No.4, Saratoga, Rebecca No.5, Montclair New Jersey and Starlight No.6, Utica. These chapters received their warrants at this Grand Session.

Sis. Fannie A. Lewis succeeded Mary E.Reed, and was the second Grand Matron of Eureka Grand Chapter. In 1906 the records of the origins of Eureka Grand Chapter up to that time were destroyed in a fire in the warehouse where they were stored the Grand Chapter was re-warranted by the M.W. Grand Lodge, M.W. Henry A. Spencer, was the Grand Master at the time. In that year Anna E. Johnson who, at the Grand Session that year was elected Worthy Grand Matron died in office and was succeeded by Hattie Brown. The only other Grand Matron to serve Eureka Grand Chapter between 1906 and 1912 was Clarissa Evans.

In 1937 there was a schism that occurred between Grand Matron Alice Campbell and Most Worshipful Grand Master, George E. Marshall which led to the Grand Master recalling the charter. On September 10, 1937, at a special meeting convened at Mother A.M.E. Zion Church in New York City Eureka Grand Chapter was reconstructed and a new charter issued by the Grand Master.

In 1940 Grand Chapter was incorporated under the name of Eureka Grand Chapter, Prince Hall Order, Eastern Star, Inc.