Felicity Chapter #387 is 111 years old and has a rich history in the Order of the Eastern Star.
In the fall of 1897, a group of Eastern Star members of Bloomington Chapter No. 50 expressed an interest in forming a chapter in Normal. Several meetings were held to make plans for the formation of the new chapter. On January 7, 1898, an organizational meeting was held in in the Normal Lodge on East Beaufort Street in Normal, IL. This meeting was presided over by Brother Frank H. Blose of Bloomington Chapter No.50, acting as Deputy Worthy Grand Patron, proxy, for the Worthy Grand Patron, Brother W. B. Carlock. Brother Carlock was a member of Bloomington Chapter No. 50. A dispensation was read from Brother W. B. Carlock, Worthy Grand Patron, of the Grand Chapter of Illinois, appointing Sister Hattie B. Champion, Worthy Matron, Brother John A. Shirk, Worthy Patron and Sister Nettie Subblefield, Associate Matron, of Felicity Chapter under dispensation until the next meeting of the Grand Chapter. There were twenty charter members present, and four candidates were initiated at this meeting.
Mrs. Martha McCann, who was one of the four candidates at the organizational meeting, suggested the name “Felicity Chapter.” The dictionary definition of “Felicity” is: state of being happy; bliss, that which promotes happiness; success. A pleasing faculty, a happy achievement, an apt expression. We of Felicity Chapter believe this name is appropriate for our Chapter. We feel that this name very aptly describes what our Chapter has stood for during the one hundred years of its existence and our hope is that this description will be true far into the future.
Felicity Chapter owes a great deal to Sister Grace M. Seely, a Past Matron of Bloomington Chapter No. 50, who was very instrumental in the establishment of Felicity Chapter and served many years as Instructress of the Chapter. She was also an honorary member of the Chapter. She also served as the Worthy Grand Matron of Illinois in 1922.
The Charter was received November 10, 1898, and the Chapter was officially named Felicity Chapter No. 387 Order of the Eastern Star. There were twenty-six new members initiated during that first year.
First Annual meeting and Election of Officers was held on December 8. 1898. Sister Hattie B. Champion was elected Worthy Matron and Brother John A. Goodwin was elected Worthy Patron. Tragically Sister Hattie Champion passed away on December 19, 1898, before she could be installed as Worthy Matron. The Worthy Matron issued a special dispensation and Sister Bessie McCann was elected to fill the office of Worthy Matron and Brother Louis Hinton to fill the office of Worthy Patron for the remainder of the year.
Felicity Chapter has had a very harmonious relationship with the Normal Lodge No. 673 A.F.& A.M. throughout the last one hundred years and our hope is that this relationship will continue in the future. The first organizational meeting was held in the lodge hall at 124 East Beaufort Street in Normal. When the Lodge moved into its new home in 1912, Felicity Chapter also moved. In May 1920, it was announced that bonds were to be sold to finance a new Masonic building at 102 Broadway in Normal. Several members of Felicity Chapter purchased these bonds to help finance the new building. In November of 1925, it was announced that ground had been broken and construction on the new Temple had begun. The members of Normal Lodge requested help from Felicity Chapter on the arrangements for the kitchen. Sister Olive Martin, Worthy Matron, appointed a committee to confer with the Masons and assist in the arrangements. On July 6, 1926, the dedication of the new Temple was held. Following the dedication, Felicity Chapter served a banquet for all in attendance. Felicity Chapter and Normal Lodge have both prospered at this location for the last seventy-two years and our hope is that this prosperity and harmony will last for many years into the future. Normal Lodge as well as Felicity Chapter take great pride in our facility and are constantly trying to make it a credit to our members, our Masonic Fraternity, and our community.
Throughout the years several members of Felicity Chapter have brought honors to themselves and to Felicity Chapter. The following Sisters have received appointments as Grand Officers: Evelyn Smith as Grand Martha 1972, Delora Wharrie as Grand Organist 1990, Janet Adkins as Grand Electa 1995, and Jean Mayol as Grand Electa 1999. Sister Abbie Barnard while a member of Keystone Chapter served as Grand Warder in 1983. Sister Abbie affiliated with Felicity Chapter in 1990. In addition Sister Carol L. Garner, a member of Wilbur Chapter, served as Worthy Grand Matron in 1995. Sister Carol became a dual member of Felicity Chapter in 1998.
The following Sisters have served the Grand Chapter as Grand Representatives: Laura L. Broyhill of West Virginia 1921-1922, Evelyn Smith of West Virginia 1954-1955, Pearl Swayne of Kansas 1968-1969, Dorothy Schroth of Ohio 1973-1974, Betty Frost of Nova Scotia and Price Edward Isle 1976-1977, Delora Wharrie of the District of Columbia 1985-1987, Jean Mayol of Nevada 1990-1992, Janet Adkins of Connecticut 1991-1992, Charlotte Casperson of Puerto Rico 1995-1997, and JoAnn Darnall of Ohio 1997-1999. In addition, Sister Abbie Barnard served as Grand Representative of Vermont 1989-1990 while a member of Keystone Chapter. Other members of Felicity Chapter that have recieved special appointments since 1998 are as follows: Sister JoAnn Darnell – Grand Adah in 2006, Sister Janet Adkins – Grand Representative of Arizona in Illinois, Sister Lola DeVore – Grand Ester in 2009, and Brother Mike Fowler – Grand Representative of New York in Illinois
Several Sisters have been commissioned as grand Lecturers throughout the years and have served Felicity Chapter and the Grand Chapter with honor and distinction. Also many of the Past Matrons and Past Patrons have served on Grand Chapter committees and have brought honor to Felicity Chapter.
We meet the first and third Thursdays every month and are located on Lincoln Street in Normal, IL.