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Order Of The Eastern Star
AR Florence Chapter #15

Humble beginning…
Florence Chapter #15, Order of the Eastern Star of Arkansas,
was instituted with 10 charter members on October 25, 1882,
at the seventh annual Arkansas Grand Chapter session held in
the Masonic Lodge at Jacksonville, Arkansas.

Our Chapter was chartered by George A. Dannelly, Worthy
Grand Patron, who was also the first to serve as Worthy Patron
of Florence Chapter.

At the request of its founder, the chapter was named "Florence"
in memory of the only child of Rebecca Baldwin, the First Worthy
Matron of the Chapter.

On the move again…
Since its institution, Florence Chapter has been located with
Crescent Masonic Lodge #403, F. & A. M., occupying several
different sites in the North Little Rock area.

The original location was Baldwin Hall at 2nd and Main Streets
over a livery stable. In 1900 we moved to Humphrey Hall at 4th
and Main Streets. Then in 1908 we moved a few yards north to
419 ½ Main Street. Meetings were held there for over 16 years.

Beginning in 1924, Florence Chapter and Crescent Lodge met in
a new Masonic Lodge building located at 3rd and Willow Streets,
which also housed Big Rock Masonic Lodge and Jewel Chapter
of the Eastern Star.

On April 17, 1953, the chapter held its very first meeting in a new
Crescent Masonic Lodge Building at 2312 Main Street, across from
the North Little Rock High School. The final meeting in that facility
was held in June 1984. Due to the sale of the property, Florence
Chapter and Crescent Lodge temporarily relocated to 17th and
Maple Streets while waiting for completion of a new lodge building.

In June of 1985, Florence Chapter held its first meeting in the new
Crescent Masonic Lodge building at

4701 West Commercial Drive
where we currently meet on the 3rd Friday of each month.

Membership… Throughout its history, not only has Florence been
"on the move" with respect to its location, but its membership has
also experienced many changes.

The first annual Grand Chapter report submitted in 1883 showed the
Florence Chapter with 37 members. The membership steadily climbed
to a high of 470 reported on September 30, 1952.

2007 marked the 125th anniversary of Florence Chapter.

Distinguished Members…
Many dedicated members have brought honor and distinction to the
Florence Chapter by their service to the Arkansas Grand Chapter.

In 1883 and again in 1884, Arkansas' Grand Chapter convened in
Argenta, now North Little Rock, with Florence Chapter members
taking a very active part, particularly in their exemplification of
the initiatory work. The Florence Chapter was even honored by
a resolution of the Grand Chapter recognizing the fine ritualistic
work of its officers and that tradition has continued to the present.

In addition to our founder, George A. Dannelly, Florence Chapter has
had several members elected to serve in the Grand East: J. W. Weed
served as Worthy Grand Patron in 1925, Gladys Parish was Worthy
Grand Matron in 1960; George Swafford was a Charter Member of
Florence Chapter and served as Worthy Grand Patron in 1967.

O. W. "Bill" Diederich served as Worthy Grand Patron in 1976 and
Dewey M. King served as Worthy Grand Patron in 1991; Jan Jackson
was Worthy Grand Matron in 2007.

Also, we have dual members that served as Worthy Grand Matron and
Worthy Grand Patron. Florence Chapter is proud of these distinguished
members & numerous other members who have been appointed to serve
as Grand Officers and other titles of distinction. Each one has represented
our chapter in a commendable manner.

Although we have had times of hardship and loss during Florence Chapter's
past 125 years, we must remember the periods of prosperity and growth.
As we reflect upon our enduring past, we cannot help but feel great pride
in our accomplishments.

We should not dwell upon the losses, but be inspired to look at our future
just as those 37 members on October 25, 1982 did.

By having pride in our past and present and hope for our future, we will
continue to be dedicated to the principles of Charity, Truth, and Loving
Kindness that are exemplified by the 5 heroines of our beautiful order.

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