Past Grand Matrons and Patrons


G.W. MATRON MINERVA G. MINOR January, 1912 – March, 1948 — (Deceased)

Under Sis. Minor’s administration 69 chapters were organized — along with the Heroines of Jericho and the Amaranth Court (Loyalty Court No. 1). Sis. Minor passed to that Great Beyond in March, 1948. She was a wise counselor, highly honored and respected by all who knew her. Esther Grand Chapter benefited, grew, and succeeded under her leadership.


G.W. MATRON MARY McGRIFF BELL March, 1948 – December, 1967 — (Deceased)

After the death of Sis. Minor, Sis. Mary McGriff Bell who served as Grand Associate Matron, served until the Grand Session was held in Bogalusa, LA. During this Session, Sis. Bell was nominated and installed as Grand Worthy Matron. This office she served until her death in December, 1967. In the year of 1948, when Sis. Bell became Grand Worthy Matron there were fifty-three active subordinate chapters, and at the time of her death there were 163 active subordinate chapters and a membership of 6,873, total assets $306,322.99 and commanding share in the 127 acre recreation center for youth.

The Chapter continued to grow. The Constitution was revised in 1955 under the leadership of the officers of Grand Matron Bell, Grand Patron John M. Dawson, Grand Associate Matron L. G. Jones, Grand Treasurer Clara B. Hart, and Grand Secretary Fannie J. Smith.

The Act of Incorporation of Esther Grand Chapter was completed on December 4, 1954.

During the Session of 1955 the Youth Fraternity was organized. Motto: Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Hope. Small children between the ages of four and seven years would be known as Prince Hall Midgets and that the Eastern Star members who worked with these groups to be known as Sponsors. The body accepted this plan and began working.

The Youth Fraternity was then organized over the State. Sisters: Sammie Mae Pettis was appointed as Grand Sponsor and Sis. Jeanette P. Wiley as Co-Sponsor for the State of Louisiana.

In 1956 Sis. Bell recommended in her Annual Address that a Camp site be purchased for the youth of our organization. Out of this recommendation the Annual M. M. Bell Youth Encampment was held for quite a few summers at Camp Jessie Harrison in Colfax, LA and was well attended by the youth and adults. The Prince Hall Masons and members of Esther Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star purchased a beautiful site near Ville Platte, LA where a modern camp was built for our youth.

Out of a need for funds to help support the youth camp, the officers, members, and volunteer contestants and the dedicated Deputies began the Annual Queen’s Contest. Our first Queen was chosen in 1961, Sis. Clara B. Hart, Grand Treasurer from Bogalusa, LA. The first successful project was the Queen’s Contest. Sis. Hart with other contestants raised $400.80.

Sis. Bell succumbed in December 1967, but we all had the privilege to see this project present itself successfully seven years before her death. The last queen to reign under her administration was Sis. Annie B. Johnson who along with other contestants, deputies, officers, members, and Queen’s Contest Chairwoman, Sis. Augustine Ventroy, raised an amount of $5,022.45. We then began to feel the magnetism of this project to raise funds for the youth.

Sis. Bell’s regime has been inspiring through the years, in that it included the wearing of all white and white fezzes for Eastern Star Work. Sis. Bell’s recommendations over the years have been — The celebration of Esther Grand Chapter’s Birthday, January 12th of each year, revival and rezoning of District Meetings, the organization of the Youth Fraternity, and Esther Grand Chapter as a member of the International Conference of Grand Chapters.

G.W. MATRON ESTHER LEE MEADORS December, 1967 – October, 2010 — (Deceased)

Sis. Esther Lee Meadors was Grand Associate Matron when Sis. Mary McGriff Bell died December, 1967. She continued to serve as Grand Associate Matron until June 1968, when she was elected as the Grand Worthy Matron of Esther Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star. She became the third Grand Worthy Matron to serve in Esther Grand Chapter’s Administrative capacity.

Sis. Esther Lee Meadors assumed a great responsibility when she was elected Grand Worthy Matron. She inherited with her administration two outstanding liabilities — an outstanding loan to be paid by Prince Hall Building Committee of Lake Charles, LA; its balance was $54,083.34 and to help pay the balance on the 127 acres for the youth camp at camp Chicota. Prince Hall Building Committee was very ambitious. By March 29, 1982, the balance was paid in full.

In 1981, Sis. Meadors, Bro. Shannon and others had a dream to pay tribute to Sis. Bell for her many years of service to this great organization, Esther Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star. Their dream was to build a building in honor of the late Sis. Bell. This building became a reality, January 11, 1983, valued at $170,551.78. The officers and members were very supportive.

The Queen Contest continued to progress under the leadership of Sis. Meadors. The amounts brought in by the queens continued to grow. One of the greatest amounts to be raised was in 1980. Sis. Harriet M. Jones with other contestants raised $38,405.55.

Some other accomplishments under Grand Worthy Matron Meadors were: many of the members had not had the Queen of the South and Amaranth Degrees, most members received both. The Amaranth Courts grew from seven in 1968 to have twenty. The Burial Ceremonies were shortened. Robes for the Memorial services were purchased. Instead of a Public Night with Memorial Services, an “Awards Night,” was started to give deserving people awards as well as charitable contributions. All of the Masonic Bodies visited Esther Grand Chapter, which showed a spirit of cooperation between them. Banners were bought for the five Star Points. Bi-annual Deputy’s Workshops were organized, usually held in February, as well as planning for the Grand Session and September planning for the year. Several officer position were added to our staff: Historian, Pubic Relationist, etc. We added another District, 1-A, bringing the total to 17 Districts. Since meeting in Baton Rouge in 1987, another Chapter, Charles Sullivan No. 181 was formed. The Charity benefits were raised from $200.00 to $300.00 at death. The Constitution was again revised in June 1971.