QUEEN ESTHER ASSEMBLY NO. 1
Order of the Golden Circle, Prince Hall Affiliation
Queen Esther Assembly No. 1 Order of the Golden Circle was organized on June 26, 1908. Hiram Consistory No. 2 was the first in the nation to organize a group of ladies and so they became number one on the roster and were known as Queen Esther Assembly of Baltimore, Maryland; the Richard Howard Gleaves Assembly No. 2 Order of the Golden Circle of Washington, D. C. were the first assemblies in the nation to be constituted and established by the United Supreme Council.
From this very small beginning of two assemblies, the number has swelled so that today there are Prince Hall Scottish Rite Assemblies in each of the State Jurisdictions. Queen Esther Assembly has a long history of service to the fraternity and to the community. The following officers were installed by the Ill. J. L. H. Smith, 33º. Sovereign Grand Commander:
Fannie Brown - Loyal Lady Ruler
Cornelia Snyder - Loyal Lady Associate Ruler
Ada J. Duffin - Loyal Lady Priestess
Annie Tawson - Loyal Lady Guide
Elizabeth Thompson - Loyal Lady Treasurer
Annie J. Caldwell - Loyal Lady Secretary
Rosa A. J. Richardson - Loyal Lady Herald
Mary Satchell - Loyal Lady Standard Bearer
Louise Smith - Loyal Lady Inner Guard
S. J. C. Ralph - Loyal Lady Outer Guard
Other Charter Members were as follows:
L.L. Maggie C. Upshur
L.L. Muelie Evans
L.L. Marietta Stewart
L.L. Ardella Dorsey
L.L. Laura V. Harris
L.L. Jane Waller
L.L. Bescillia W. Smith
L.L. Lottie Wiender
L.L. Mary A. Gross
L.L. Mattie Watson
L.L. Celia V. Taylor
L.L. Carrie Jones
Qualifications for membership were as follows: Any female of good standing or character who is the wife, widow, daughter, mother or sister of a non-suspended or unexpelled Consistory member of Masonry with the consent of the Sovereign Grand Commander and Deputy of the Orient and State of Maryland.
On September 18, 1908 the first initiation was held Mrs. Frances Cher and Mrs. Amanda Langford had the honor of beings the first initiates. Also in September the first activity of Queen Esther Assembly No. 1 was a musical and supper held at the home of Loyal Lady Ruler Fannie Brown.
There were many deaths and much illness in the early years of the Assembly. The Recording Secretary were diligent until November 14, 1913. No minutes were recorded the first nine months of 1914, although money was collected and recorded. In the record books were minutes of October 9, 1914; financial report only for November 13, 1914 and December 11, 1914; minutes for January 8, 1915; no records for February and March 1915; minutes for April, May and June 1915; then only financial report from July 9, 1915 through January 14, 1916; minutes for February, April, and September 1916; financial report only for March, May, July and August 1916. From this point in time, the records were diligently kept and maintained by the Recording Secretaries.
In the beginning memberships were open to any female of good character with the proper Masonic, Consistory Affiliation. On January 11, 1946, after careful consideration and consultation with Sir William A. Jones, Deputy for the Valley, it was recommended that any female seeking membership in Queen Esther Assembly No. 1 Order of the Golden Circle, shall be of good character and a member in good standing in an Order of the Eastern Stat Chapter, she must also be the wife, mother, widow, daughter or sister of a Scottish Rite Mason in good standing in a Consistory of Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret of either the Northern or Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America. This was accepted and is so today except daughters are no longer eligible for membership.
Over the many years of the existence of the Order of the Golden Circle, Prince Hall Affiliation there has been various activities to raise funds to enhance the Treasury, and to secure paraphernalia, as well as to promote fellowship.