Charles Town Chapter No. 128
LOCATION: 110 South George St., Charles Town, WV 25414
MAILING ADDRESS: 1266 W. Washington St., Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
MEETINGS: First and Third Thursdays at 7:30
DATE OF GRAND VISITATION: March 16, 2012
|WM||Gail Sherman||167 Jefferson Ave., Charles Town, WV 25414|
|WP||William S. Friend||2716 Brucetown Rd., Kearneysville, WV 25430|
|AM||Dawn Welsh||P. O. Box 402, Kearneysville, WV 25430|
|AP||Robert Spencer||P. O. Box C, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425|
|Sec||Jo Ellen Toothman||189 Daisy Lane, Charles Town, WV 25414|
|Trea||Delores Nicodemus||388 Belevedere Heights, Charles Town, WV 25414|
|Cond||Mary Virginia Paletta||210B Middleway Pike, Inwood, WV 25428|
|A Cond||Elaine Friend||2716 Brucetown Rd., Kearneysville, WV 25430|
|Chap||Nancy Hough||1266 W. Washington St., Harpers Ferry, WV 25425|
|Mar||Howard Malin||2250 Bear Den Rd., Suite 210, Frederick, MD 21701|
|Org||Fern Willingham||P. O. Box 402, Kearneysville, WV 25430|
|Adah||Janet Harner||259 Finway Dr., Charles Town, WV 25414|
|Ruth||Renee Spencer||P. O. Box C, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425|
|Esther||Angela Lang||605 Forbes Dr., Martinsburg, WV 25404|
|Martha||Cindy Gruber||2190 Hinton Rd., Kearneysville, WV 25430|
|Electa||Carolyn Barnett||856 Oregan Trail, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425|
|War||Doris Costello||P. O. Box 66, Halltown, WV 25423|
|Sent||Marcy Bisher||P. O. Box 1926, Shepherdstown, WV 25443|
|Elizabeth Adams||Sandra Gruber||Charles Printz|
|Carolyn Barnett||Janet Harner, P.M.||Gail Sherman, P.M.|
|Marcy Bisher||Willliam Harner, P.P.||Isabelle Shockey|
|Raye Ellen Blackford||Ernest Hawkins, P.P.||Bettie Slaughter, P.M.|
|Penelope J. Blake||Shirley Heckman, P.M.||Renee Spencer, P.M.|
|Vivian Blum, P.M.||George Hough||Robert Spencer, P.P.|
|Eloise Bowley||Nancy Hough, P.M.||Angela Toney, P.M.|
|Richard Carper||Marcella Hunt||Jo Ellen Toothman, P.M.|
|Alice Ann Clendening, P.M.||Angela Lang||Marie Trussell|
|Doris Costello, P.M.||Helen Longerbeam||Patty Turner|
|Sandra Dailey, P.M.||Dora Lundsford||Esther Via, P.M.|
|Betty Day||Howard Malin, P.P.||Patricia Mills Walker, P.M.|
|Beatrice DeHaven||Sandra McCloud||Dawn Welsh|
|Edith Dodson, P.M.||Stacey D. McDonald||Charlene Williams|
|Mary Lane Edge, P.M.||Elizabeth McIntyre, P.M.||Fern Willingham|
|Lisa Ervine, P.M.||Glenn McIntyre, P.P.||Opal R. Willis|
|Misty Frank||Minnie Mentzer||Ronald L. Willis|
|Elaine Friend, P.M.||Barbara Meyers, P.M.||Faylee Wilt|
|William S. Friend, P.P.||Reva Mickey, P.M.||Norma Jean Wilt|
|Charlotte Fritts||Patricia C. Mills||Dolores A. Wojcik|
|Kathryn Widmyer Goff||Delores Nicodemus, P.M.||Eleanor Zombro|
|Cynthia Gruber||Mary Virginia Paletta||Stanley Zombro|
|George J. Gruber, P.P.||Bethel Printz, P.M.|
Charles Town Chapter #128 was organized on April 10, 1930 with 36 Charter members. Our “Mother” Chapter was Martinsburg who assisted with projects and activities. The chapter met above the fire hall in downtown Charles Town until 1983. At this time a new Masonic Building was completed on South George Street with a dedication ceremony in the new Chapter Room on September 15, 1983. Although our membership is small (currently 70) the active members are faithful to the teachings of our wonderful star.
At the beginning the initiation fee was only $5.00 and dues $1.00 a year for the first year. Then the dues were raised to $2.00 a year until 1948. The initiation fee was raised to $7.50 and the dues went to $4.00 and remained there until 1967. That year dues were raised to $5.00 and the initiation fee was raised to $25.00. They remained the same until 1975 when dues were raised to $15.00. Current dues are $20.00.
Our first Worthy Matron was Katherine Boxwell. Sister Mary Magaha and Edith Dodson visited Sister Katherine Boxwell for information. She told them of the first official visit of the Worthy Grand Matron, Hattie Taylor Thompson. She presented a bill to the Chapter for her hotel room and travel expenses. The Chapter had no money and could not pay her bills. These were embarrassing moments for the Chapter.
The Worthy Grand Matron wanted the chapter named for her, but a ruling came from Grand Chapter saying any newly formed chapters were to be named for the town in which they were located. This kept the Chapter from being named Hattie Taylor Thompson, according to Sister Boxwell’s remembrance.
Martinsburg is our mother Chapter and helped Charles Town get started. The only moneymaking projects were “card parties”. Martinsburg always attended parties or special functions of the Chapter. Charles Town attended all special activities of Martinsburg Chapter and Martinsburg was the only chapter they visited. She said there was a chapter in Harpers Ferry but it too turned in its charter, but she did not remember what year this happened. She told us that some of the Master Masons at the beginning were not in favor of having an Eastern Star Chapter but said after all those were the days before the ERA.
Charles Printz told me in 1975 - the rumor in the Mason’s camp was that after one of the Masons received his 3rd degree, someone looked in the transom and there was the Mason’s wife. So to get her pledge for secrecy the Eastern Star Chapter was formed. Sister Boxwell said she was surprised to learn after the first year she had to serve a second year as Worthy Matron. Mary Hoffmater with Worthy Patron William Myers followed her in the East. The Chapter finally had a rummage sale, but she did not remember when or why it was necessary to raise money. She was active only a few years because she had a heart attack and could not climb the stairs.
Each officer had a ritual and used it in the Chapter room. In fact, all rituals were open at the same time and no one memorized. Sister Dorothy Furr remembered all officers read their parts. She memorized her part and she was sure all officers were instructed to memorize their parts. The Program Book (the first one) was initiated by our organist, Sister Dorothy Furr, in 1946-47. And interesting to note, the Chapter had the same opening and closing ode until 1961-62. The closing ode was “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”.
Sister Nellie Hoffman, Worthy Matron in 1947-48, stated the Chapter purchased the rug and the star (signet) in her year in the East. She and the Worthy Patron George Heidrich and his wife went to Washington Eastern Star Building to get the star approved since it was handmade. She did not remember the name of the man who made it.
Sister Hoffman said the Chapter served the Masonic Lodge in Charles Town in their 100th year a luncheon in the Chapter Room. The Eastern Star had Dovenmuehle to bake the cake. He had a bake shop here in town at that time. They served Mexican sandwiches and she gave two tenderloins and ground them at home for sandwiches. Sister Nellie said the Chapter had many bake and rummage sales during her year to pay for the rug and star. On her last day in the East they received the rug and the star. How proud they all were of their purchases. She alone raised $27.00 toward the purchase of the rug.
In January 1973 a committee was appointed to check into buying new pedestals and chairs. They were purchased and dedicated in 1978. In 1959 the Eastern Star and the Masonic Lodge voted to sponsor the Order of Rainbow for girls. It was an active organization until 1985. Then due to lack of participation the charter was turned in.
The move to the new Masonic Building on South George Street was completed on August 27, 1983. O.E.S. Chapter No. 128 held a dedication ceremony in the new Chapter Room on September 15, 1983 with many members and guests present. A luncheon was served by the O.E.S. members of Charles Town Chapter No, 128 to the Malta Lodge No. 80 members and guests in the Asbury Methodist Church Fellowship Hall prior to the dedication ceremony on September 17,1983. Since moving into the new building in 1983 we have enjoyed a beautiful and large chapter room. Currently we have 69 members on the roll but only about 20 active members as many live out of town or are older and unable to attend meetings.
Chapter's Past Grand Officers
Phoebe Payne Grand Esther — 1956
Mary Adams Grand Adah — 1966
Mary Adams Grand Martha — 1980
Maxine Andrews Grand Martha — 1985
Gail Sherman Grand Adah — 1987
Nancy Hough Grand Ruth — 1997
Bill Friend Grand Marshal 2007
Elaine Friend, Grand Martha 2010
Chapter's Past Grand Representatives
Ruth Ronemus Rhode Island 19341937
W. T. Patton Maryland 1942-1945
Dorothy A. Furr Manitoba 1945-1948
Mary Magaha New York 1951-1954
Lois Christian New Mexico 1952
Johnanna VanTol Pennsylvania 1957-1958
Mary Adams British Columbia 1969
Mary Adams Indiana 1978
Gail Sherman Vermont 1980-1982
Eileen Hovermale District of Columbia 1982-1985
Patricia Mills Nevada 1986-1988
Edith Dotson Saskatchewan 1988-1990
James Andrews Nebraska 1995-1997
Nancy Hough California 1999-2001
Howard Malin Australia 2001-2003
Elaine Friend South Dakota 2004-2006
Jo Ellen Toothman South Dakota 2006-2008
William Friend, South Carolina 2009-2011