by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
This photograph was given to the Grain Valley Historical Society by Winona Sharp Burgess. The photo was taken in 1945 and while it is labeled “Officers,” it must be a group photo taken on the night she was installed as Worthy Matron. At the Historical Society we also have her gavel which was made by John Perkins, Grand Patron.
Others in the picture are: Front Row: Laura Whittlesey, Vera Holland, Winona Sharp, John Perkins, Roy Van Loon, Anna Louise Poage, Billy Poage and Cecil Poage. Row 2: Mildred Harmon, Ida Ryan, Lucy Perkins, Sarah Tate, Bess Herrington, Pearl Savage, May Raines, Madge Warren, Birdie Davidson, Grace Heohn Stillions and Rosalie Walker. Row 3: Floyd Sharp, holding David Sharp, Opal Faulkenberry, Emma Hoehn, Zelma Barnett, Charlene. Richard, Ruby Johnson, Angeline Covington, Charlie Johnson and Walter Hoehn.
While all are deceased (except Billy Poage) many of these names are still known by residents of Grain Valley. Mrs. Winona Sharp Burgess helped to start the Historical Society and she has a room named for her at the Community Center.
I have been wanting to share this photograph since April but I’ve had limited success in learning more about the Order of the Eastern Star in Grain Valley. The Historical Society recently received a gift from Mr. Pat Costigan of Oak Grove. It is the History of Grain Valley, written by Mr. Frank Sebolt in 1937 or 1938.
In the history he states, “At the present there are only four lodge organizations in operation. They are: Royal Neighbors, Modern Woodman, Eastern Stars and Masons. Previously there has been the Yoeman and the Modern Brotherhood of American.”
While the date for the founding of Liberty Chapter No. 413 is unclear, it was consolidated with the Blue Springs Chapter in 1981so it must have existed for more than 50 years. Members of the Order of the Eastern Star 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 and Rainbow Girls.
While in high school (1960s) I remember that Job’s Daughters and Rainbow Girls were both active organization in Grain Valley.
According to their mission statement “Eastern Star strives to take good people, through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service as well as through precept and example, to build an Order which is truly dedicated to Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness.”
Mike Reeder, GVHS Class of 1966, was initiated in Liberty Chapter in February, 1975. He was the 2020 Worthy Grand Patron for Missouri.
Visit the Historical Society to view other photos and keepsakes from the O. E. S.