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Order of the Eastern Star

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  • Barbara Barr Smith (1922 - 2011)
    Barbara served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. She was a 60 plus year member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ where she played the organ and served as church librarian....
  • Bonnie Kathryn Weldon (1919 - 2010)
    Bonnie Kathryn (Winsor) Weldon passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 26. Her beauty and grace were surpassed only by her remarkable courage and spirit. She made an indelible impression and was be...
  • Beverly Ann Findlay (1927 - 2007)
    Mrs. Beverly Ann Findlay January 03, 1927 - March 15, 2007 Beverly Ann Findlay, age 80, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, died Thursday, March 15, 2007, at the Countryside Home, in Jefferson, WI. Beverly A...
  • Alice Balkcom (1905 - 1996)
    ALICE SEWELL BALKCOM, 90, of Auburndale died Thursday at Integrated Health Services. A native of Dale County, Ala., she moved to this area in 1927. She owned Linder/Balkcom Grocery and was a member of ...
  • Betty Lou Blissard (1931 - 2015)
    Betty Blissard Fryar Bain, 84, of Big Spring, died Sunday, November 1, 2015 in a local nursing home. Graveside funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at the Peace Chapel...

The Order of the Eastern Star is a Freemasonry-related fraternal organization open to both men and women. It was established in 1850 by Boston, Massachusetts lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a former Freemason official. The order is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all religious beliefs. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately 500,000 members under its General Grand Chapter.

Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as allowing Job's Daughters, Rainbow Girls, Members of the Organization of Triangle (NY only) and members of the Constellation of Junior Stars (NY only) to become members when of age.

The Order was created by Rob Morris in 1850 when, while confined by illness, he set down the principles of the order in his Rosary of the Eastern Star. By 1855, he had organized a "Supreme Constellation" in New York, which chartered chapters throughout the United States.

In 1866, Dr. Morris started working with Robert Macoy, and handed the Order over to him while Morris was traveling in the Holy Land. Macoy organized the current system of Chapters, and modified Dr. Morris' Rosary into a Ritual.

On December 1, 1874, Queen Esther Chapter No. 1 became the first Prince Hall Affiliate chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star when it was established in Washington, D.C. by Thornton Andrew Jackson.

The "General Grand Chapter" was formed in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 6, 1876. Committees formed at that time created the Ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star in more or less its current form.

Emblem and heroines

The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star with the white ray of the star pointing downwards towards the manger. In the Chapter room, the downward-pointing white ray points to the West. The character-building lessons taught in the Order are stories inspired by Biblical figures:

   Adah (Jephthah's daughter, from Judges)
   Ruth, the widow
   Esther, the wife
   Martha (sister of Lazarus, from the Gospel of John)
   Electa (the "elect lady", from II John), the mother