The History of the Golden State Grand Chapter
The Order of the Eastern Star Degree was conferred upon Brother Robert J. Fletcher in the year 1871 by a Deputy from the state of New York, a Mrs. Leggett, Commissioned by the Illustrious Robert McCoy 33rd degree, Supreme Patron of the Order, residing in the city of New York. Power and authority were granted to Brother Fletcher to confer the Degrees and to set up Chapters of the Order of Eastern Star, among the Colored Mason. The first persons upon whom the Degrees were conferred were, Mrs. Emma E. Fletcher, Elizabeth Gibson, Nathaniel Christopher, William H. Ross, John H. Wilson, Edward Hatton, Mrs. A.E. Farrel and Mrs. Letha Bailey.
Chapters were established by Brother Fletcher in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Carson City, Nevada. A Grand Chapter was organized in 1873. Brother Fletcher was elected to serve as Grand Patron; Mrs. A.E. Farrel, Grand Matron; William H. Ross, Grand Secretary. Due to a lack of support from Masons, the Chapter in San Francisco died. In 1878 Brother Fletcher set up Naomi Chapter in San Francisco, and Queen Esther Chapter in Chico, and a Chapter in Marysville.
In 1882, a convention of all Chapters was called in the City of Sacramento, and on the 27th day of December, 1882, the present Grand Chapter was established. Brother Robert J. Fletcher was elected Grand Patron; Sister Letha Bailey, Grand Matron; William H. Ross, Grand Secretary. Official recognition was given the Grand Chapter the Masonic Lodge, under the administration of Grand Master Edwin A. Clarke.
In 1908, Past Most Worshipful Grand Master, Grand Patron Robert J. Fletcher was suspended from Philomathean Lodge No. 2, for affiliating with clandestine, after repeated warnings. He was expelled from the Order by the Grand Lodge. F. & A.M. Due to the expulsion of Brother Fletcher, Brother Joseph S. Hat- ton acting Royal Grand Patron convened the 28th Annual Session of the Grand Chapter, O.E.S., now known as The Golden State Grand Chapter in the city of Sacramento, California October 12, 13, and 14, 1909 in Forester Hall. During the Session, the Grand Chapter voted to change the month of their meeting from October, to meet at the same time and place in the city or Town where the Grand Lodge meets.
By reason of the withdrawal from this Jurisdiction of several Chapters located outside of California, it be- came necessary to re-number the Chapters: Adah Chapter No. 2 was changed to No. 1; Naomi Chapter No. 4 was changed to No.2, Electa Chapter No. 5, changed to No. 3; Queen Esther No. 13 changed to No. 4; Martha Chapter No. 15, to No. 6; Queen of Sheba No. 17, to No. 7; Queen Elizabeth No. 18, to No. 8; Queen of the West Chapter No. 21, to No. 9. The Charter of Naomi Chapter bearing the date of 1878 having been lost, a new Charter was issued bearing the date of 1895.
Since the inception of the Golden State Grand Chapter, there has been fifty-four Grand Worthy Matrons and fifty-one Grand Worthy Patrons.