The Most Worthy Women (and Men) of
THE ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
THE ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
For more than eleven decades, the female and male members of the Dublin Chapter 1975, Georgia chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star have served their community faithfully, reverently, and without hesitation or hope of recognition or reward. They serve because of their abiding belief in charity, truth and loving kindness toward others. They raise money, volunteer and support the young and the old with projects ranging from juvenile diabetes to Alzheimer's.
The Order of the Eastern Star was first envisioned and organized by Rob Morris in 1850. From its beginning until the present the world's largest fraternal organization has been tied to the Free and Accepted Masons. Membership, although primarily female, is open to certain males, who are qualifying Mason. Female members are required to be related to male Masonic members. Membership peaked in Georgia in 1979 with more than 41,000 members.
The first chapter of the Order in the State of Georgia was the Tithonia Chapter, which was organized in 1891. Locally, the Lorraine Chapter in Tensile, was the 10th chapter organized (1899) in the state. It was organized by Rev. W.S. Ramsay of Dublin.
The ladies of the Tennille Chapter hosted the very first annual session of the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in May 1902. Nearly ten years later, and one century ago, representatives of 77 chapters representing more than 4400 members of Georgia's grand chapter converged on the popular convention center in Dublin, Georgia on April 16-17, 1912.
The meeting was held in the Masonic Lodge, located on the third floor of the C.W. Brantley/Lovett & Tharpe building. One hundred and fifty delegates from around the state were housed in private homes. A banquet was held in the grand dining room of the New Dublin Hotel with 200 seated guests in attendance.
The Dublin Chapter, for three years known as Chapter 75, was instituted on April 13. 1910 and chartered on May 18, 1910 at the state session in Cordele. The initial 42 members elected as their first officers: Worthy Matron - Mrs. W.B. Rogers, Worthy Patron - W.B. Rogers, Secretary - J.C. Spencer, Treasurer Linnie Reihardt, Conductress - Omie Beacham, Associate Conductress - Mrs. W.L. Williams, Adah - Essie Rogers, Esther - Jennie Dial, Ruth - Mrs. Dewitt Freeman, Martha - Hattie Gilbert, Electa - Mrs. J.Y Keen, Warden - Mrs. Emma Manning, and Calvin Tyre - Sentinel.
The Dublin Chapter was aided in organization by Senie M. Hubbard, a resident of Macon and a native of Laurens County, served as a Worthy Grand Matron of Georgia from 1906-1910, the only woman in the state chapter's history to serve five years in the top position.
Although the Dublin Chapter was 88th chartered chapter in Georgia, the still active chapter is now tied with Thomasville as the states 10th oldest chapter. The first ten Worthy Matrons were; Mrs. W.B. Rogers, Mrs. Lota Orr, Mrs. Linnie Bright, Mrs. Viola Daniel, Mrs. Annie Ward, Mrs. Mamie Jordan, Mrs. J.S. Almond, Miss Alma Carrere and Mrs. J. Williams and Mrs Anna Shea. The first ten Worthy Patrons were; W.B. Rogers, J.J. Flanders, W.B. Adkins, C.C. Jordan, Andrew Grier, W.W. Ward, S.P. New, T.M. Hicks, C.C. Crockett and T.C. Keen.
Over the last century many Dublin women and one man have served as officers in Grand Chapter of Georgia. Mrs. Lota Orr, wife of Dublin mayor E.R. Orr and the Chapter's 2nd Worthy Matron, was elected in the Dublin session as Grand Esther in Ap;ril 1912 and in the Macon session as Associate Grand Conductress in 1913. Mrs. Annie Graham Ward served in seven capacities as Grand Chaplain, Grand Warden, Associate Grand Conductress, Grand Conductress, Associate Grand Matron, Grand Lecturer and in 1932, Mrs. Ward was selected by her fellow members as the Worthy Grand Matron of the State Chapter.
M.Z. Claxton, the only male Dublin officer, was elected as Grand Sentinel in 1940. Mrs. Ollie Mackey served as Poet Laureate in 1946. In 1957, Virginia Harville was chosen as Grand Warden. The position of Grand Electra was held by Vera Shiver in 1973 and again in 1998 by Sara West. Most recently, through 2001, Brenda Holloway served as Grand Organist.
Mamie S. Lander (3rd from left) at her
By far, the most well known Laurens County member of the Order of the Eastern Star was Mamie Stubbs Lander. Although not a native of the county, Ms. Stubbs taught school in Dexter in 1910. Living as one of two school teachers boarding with the family of Evie Currell in her home on Elm Street, Mrs. Stubbs married Thomas Lander in 1911 and moved first to Louisiana and then to Florida, where she became active in that state's chapters on both local and state levels.
Mamie Lander was elected by the delegates to the Triennial Assembly as the Most Worthy Grand Matron of the General Grand Chapter. As the leader of all of the members of the World Order of the Eastern Star, Mrs. Lander presided over the 1946 Triennal Assembly in Tampa, Florida. At the expiration of her term, Mrs. Lander's service to the Order of the Eastern Star was not over, not by any means. From 1946 to her retirement in 1973, Mamie Stubbs Lander, the Washington County native, former Adrian school student, and Dexter school teacher, served as Right Worthy Grand Secretary of the General Chapter. From 1973 to her death, Mrs. Lander continued to be somewhat active as the organization's Right Worthy Grand Secretary Emeritus.
The second chapter organized in Laurens County was the Magnolia Chapter in Dexter. Instituted on March 29, 1912, the chapter was officially chartered at the 1912 Dublin session. The chapter surrendered its charter in 1917. The Magnolia Chapter's initial officers were; Viola Daniel, Worthy Matron, Dr. L.W. Wiggins, Worthy Patron, Mary Ussery, Associate Matron, Dr. Floyd Rackley, Secretary, Jennie W. Wiggins, Treasurer, Myrtle Tutt, Associate Conductress.
A third Laurens County chapter, Harmony Grove Chapter No. 3, was first organized six weeks after the Dublin session and chartered on May 31, 1913. The Minter/Lollie chapter survived only ten years until 1923.
A second Dexter Chapter (No. 280) was instituted in April 1937 and chartered two months later. It survived until May 1972. The last Laurens County chapter to be chartered was the Rock Springs Chapter (No. 467), chartered in May 1956. Its members served our community for forty-three years until the charter was surrendered in June 1999.
Although far from a secret society, the most worthy ladies and gentlemen of the Order of the Eastern Star are still around, quietly serving without fanfare as they have for the last 102 years with Kind Hearts, Kind Thoughts, Kind Words and Kind Deeds praying to seek God's door and maintaining their constant faith to open that door.