History of Pangburn Eastern Star

Members of the Pangburn Eastern Star. Left to right, front row: Lucy Mae Dial, Evelyn Lewis, Jewell King, Linnie Van Patten, Eva Crook, Aunt Bart Sims, Effie Doyle, Clara Steward. Middle row – Clara Wood, Lola Vernon, Rose Phifer, unknown, Icy Wood, Myrtle Johnston, Almeda Crook, Connie Yingling, Lois Rushin. Back row – Minnie Lee Robbins, Em Medlin, Modean Lowe.

A Star Is Born in 1928


White County Historical Society

I remember so well when the Pangburn Chapter of Eastern Star was organized. The women who had proved their relationship to a Mason and were going to constitute the new chapter, met in the home of Em Medlin to prepare refreshments for the occasion. That was April 30, 1928. Anna Mae King and I were only 12 years old but right there in the middle of everything, talking about how we could join when we got to be 18. We thought it would be so neat to belong to a secret organization.

Minnie Lee Robbins and Lucy Dial from Heber Springs came to form the new chapter. I guess you could say that Heber Springs was the mother chapter or sponsoring chapter. I don’t remember all of the women at Mrs. Medlin’s that day, but I do know Mrs. Jewell King, Aunt Bart Sims, Mrs. Linnie Van Patten and Mama were there. Connie Yingling Patterson, who was in high school at the time, said Irene Sutherland Emde was a charter member. Connie joined five years later and has been a member 66 years.

Two pictures of the original group and the two ladies from Heber Springs hang in the Lodge Hall at Pangburn today. Connie said that as far as she knows, she’s the only active member left from the early days. (Irene is now 90 and living with her daughter in California, but no longer active in the Eastern Star.) Connie recalls a group would go to Heber Springs to attend their meetings and Icy Wood or Evie Crook would drive. The passengers paid them a quarter for the ride. Some of the Pangburn women went on to be officers of the Grand Chapter, Mrs. King in particular and others, too, but I don’t remember who. This is not an attempt to write the history of the Pangburn Eastern Star, but just my memories of it.

Annie Mae and I didn’t join when we became 18. I don’t think Anna Mae ever became a member. When I was in my 20s and Mama was the Conductress, I joined so Mama could take me through the stations, but I never became an active member. At the time there was no chapter in the town where I lived. I remember one time when I was taking a train trip, Papa told me to be sure to wear my Eastern Star pin so if I needed help a Mason would recognize the pin and help me.

The year Mama died she got her 50-year membership pin and it meant a lot to her. Papa was a Mason for more than 50 years.

These two pictures were among Mama’s pictures, but I don’t know the occasion for them, maybe the 25th anniversary. Too bad she didn’t write that on the back .

Officers of the Pangburn Eastern Star. Left to right: Em Medlin, Jewell King, Linnie Van Patten, Effie Doyle, Lois Rushin, Icy Wood.