The Grand Chapter of Kentucky, Order of the Eastern Star was organized at a Special Session of the Grand Chapter in Louisville, Kentucky, June 10, 1903. Mrs. Katie I. Thomas of Dora Chapter No. 2, Dayton, Kentucky was the first Worthy Grand Matron. R. H. Crothers of Bright Star Chapter No. 16 Louisville, Kentucky was the first Worthy Grand Patron. Twenty Chapters had previously been organized under the General Grand Chapter and these constituted the Grand Chapter of Kentucky.
Dr. Rob Morris, the Founder of the Order of the Eastern Star was born in Boston, Massachusetts, August 31, 1818. He became a lawyer, lecturer, educator and instructor in Masonry. He became a Master Mason in 1849 and soon became interested in the idea that the female relatives of Master Masons should share in a measure the benefits of the great fraternal Order. Imbued with his desire, he sought to found an order which would benefit both men and women. The membership of the Order of the Eastern Star consists of Master Masons and the wives, widows, daughters, mothers, and sisters of Master Masons. The first General Grand Chapter was organized on November 16, 1876 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dr. Morris spent the last twenty-six years of his life in LaGrange, Kentucky, where his family was reared and educated. His home is now the property of the Grand Chapter of Kentucky and is maintained as a Shrine in honor of the Master Builder of the Order. A pilgrimage is made each year to honor this distinguished Mason.
On July 31, 1888, when the news of his death was sent to all parts of the world, profound grief was expressed at his passing, as his whole life had been devoted to the uplifting of humanity. He was buried in the cemetery in LaGrange, Kentucky, where admiring friends from all over the world have erected a tall marble shaft in his memory. On one side of the shaft is the Square and Compasses and on the other side is the Five Pointed Star.
Kentucky has given two presiding officers to this world wide organization. Mrs. Clara Henrich of Dora Chapter No. 2 Dayton, Kentucky, Served from 1925 to 1927. Mrs. Henrich died on her world tour in China from smallpox before her term ended. Mrs. Josephine Harkins Browning, formerly of Prestonsburg and later of Henderson, Kentucky served the General Grand Chapter from 1964 to 1967. Her knowledge and understanding of our Order was the pride of the membership, not only of Kentucky, but throughout the United States.
A home is maintained for the aging members of the Order. It is known as the Eastern Star Homes of Kentucky and is located in Louisville.
A scholarship is maintained for religious education of those who are preparing themselves for this special training. Cancer Research is one of the special objectives of the Order. Each year the current Worthy Grand Matron presents an objective which contributes to the welfare of mankind.
Joyce Baker Murphy, Worthy Grand Matron
Doug Holbrook, Worthy Grand Patron