October 1953, the officers and members of Meridian Lodge, No.33, went to Detroit, Michigan for a joint meeting with Mt. Pavan Lodge. During this meeting, Brother Lucian Patton, the Worshipful Master of Meridian Lodge, No. 33, entertained the idea of organizing a Ladies’ Auxiliary to Meridian Lodge in Indianapolis, Indiana, so that on subsequent visits, the two Lodges could bring along the wives and they, too, could meet together. AND, SO WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS NELLIE M. STRONG CHAPTER, NO. 59.
The baby developed further on January 22, 1954, when a group of thirteen (13) women and two (2) men met in the home of Brother Patton at 909 Fayette Street for the expressed purpose of forming a club which it was hoped would later become the fifth O.E.S., Prince Hall Affiliation, Chapter in the City of Indianapolis. Because of the illness of Worthy Grand Matron of Indiana, Mrs. Mattie Anderson, Mrs. Willa Owsley, the Past Grand Matron took charge. Mrs. Irene Bookins, Deputy Grand Matron of District No. 2; Miss Fannie Hyde, Past Grand Recording Secretary; Mrs. Ethel B. Smith, Past Grand Marshal; Mrs. Susie Goodwin, Matron of Leah Chapter, and Brother Keyes, Past Patron of Purity Chapter, were all present at this meeting and gave many words of advice and encouragement.
The name, Nellie M. Strong, was suggested by the Past Grand Matron, Mrs. Willa Owsley, who knew of the fine Christian qualities possessed by Sister Nellie M. Strong, who was a charter member of Grand Esther Court and later this name was changed to Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation, State of Indiana. Sister Strong, better known to everyone as Aunt Nellie, served as Grand Matron from 1903-1905 and was the seventh (7th) Grand Matron. Her home was in New Castle, Indiana. Aunt Nellie was organizer of the Art Booth, which is the Stone Pillar of our Masonic Home in Marion, Indiana. After careful consideration by the club pertaining to this great Christian Character, the late Sister Nellie M. Strong, the name became a reality.
Other business of the meeting consisted of election of officers followed by adjournment of the meeting. At the weekly meetings which followed, plans were made for a George Washington Tea to be held on February 21, 1954, in the YWCA Tea Room. Under the guidance and direction of Mrs. Willa Owsley, now sponsor of Nellie M. Strong Club, and Mrs. Ethel B. Smith, co-sponsor, and Brother Lucian Patton, the tea was a huge success.
On March 13, 1954, at 7:00 P.M., the Nellie M. Strong, U.D. Chapter was BORN. Twenty-four (24) women and three (3) men were initiated and became the charter members of the fifth O.E.S., Prince Hall Affiliation, Chapter in Indianapolis, Indiana. The charter was received on June 23, 1954, in Gary, Indiana.
From 1954 to January 31, 2018, Nellie M. Strong Chapter No. 59 has thrived to become one of the most successful Chapter in the State of Indiana. We have been blessed to have had the following members elevated to these positions: (2) Past Most Worshipful Grand Masters, Honorable Bro. Paul Edmonson-35th (1995-1997, Deceased), Past Most Worshipful Grand Master, Honorable Bro. Darrell E. Morton-41st (2008-2011), (1) Past Grand Master, Bro. Otis C. Tyler (2001), (1) Right Worshipful Grand Secretary, Bro. Otis C. Tyler 1988-2007).
A total of (2) Past Grand Worthy Matrons, Sis. Phyllis A. Tyler-51st (2005-2007) and Sis. Loretta M. Morton-56th (2015-2017), (1) Honorary Grand Worthy Matron, Sis. Bessie F. Adams (2000, Deceased), (2) Past Grand Worthy Patrons, Bro. Charles D. Albert (1990-2001, Deceased) and Bro. Bruce E. Wright (2003-2005, Deceased).
Nellie M. Strong has had (2) Grand Kings, PGWP Bro. Bruce E. Wright (1999-2011, Deceased) and PP Bro. Richard Wright (2011-2017), (4) Grand Queens, PWM Sis. Lucille Sanders (1985-1986, Deceased) PWM Georgia Spann – Three Times Grand Queen-(1975-1976, Deceased), PWM Sis. Chavetta Wright-Clemons (2004-2005), PDDGM Sis. Tammie Thomas (2016-2018).
A total of (1) PWM Sis. Georgia Spann-Grand Chaplin-Emeritus (2004, Deceased), (2) Grand Youth Supervisors, PWM Sis. Catherine Stevison and PWM Sis. Cassandra Hall-Williams (2013). (2) Grand Photographers, (FIRST) Sis. Sahara Williams (2001-2003) and PWM Sis. Cassandra Hall-Williams (2007-2011).
A total of (6) Past District Deputy Grand Matrons, PDDGM Rosa Tootle (1978-1979), PDDGM Sis. Lillie Miller (1993-1995, Deceased), PGWM Sis. Phyllis A. Tyler (1997-1999), PDDGM Sis. Tammie Thomas (2011-2012), PDDGM Sis. Cassandra Hall (2014-2015).
A total of (6) District Patrons (PDP Bro. Bruce Wright-2000, Deceased), PDP Bro. Keith Harding-2011, PDP Bro. Richard Wright-2012, PDP Bro. Frank Williams-2014, PDP Bro. Curtis Hairston-2015.
A total of (2) Miss Prince Hall, Sis. Alisha Simmons (2005-2006), WM Sis Denita R. Hairston (2010-2011). The (FIRST) Mr. Prince Hall & Miss Prince Hall – WM Sis. Denita Hairston and PP Bro. Curtis Hairston (2011-2012).
A total of (3) Grand Marshals in the East, PM Sis. Anita Rush (2000-2001, Deceased). PWM Sis. Belinda Robinson-Murray (2014-2015) and PWM Sis. Aisha Smith (2015-2016).
Nellie M. Strong Chapter #59 presently has (1 Elected Executive Secretary-The Midwest Regional Conference, PMWGM Bro. Darrell E. Morton (2012-Present). (1 Elected-Grand Treasurer, Sis. Cassandra Hall-Williams (2017). The present District Deputy Grand Matron, Sis. Aisha Smith (2017) and the present District Patron, Bro. Steven Smith (2017). The Grand Photographer, WM Sis. Denita Hairston (2008-Present), Grand Auditor, WP, Bro. Martin F. Hill (2017), PP Bro. Keith Harding, (Grand Warder-Emeritus) and (22 Appointed Grand Officers) as of July 30, 2017.
We have been blessed to receive a total of 46 Past Worthy Matrons, (4) Honorary Past Worthy Matrons, Sis. Shirley Davis (2004), Sis. Annie Bell Moss (2004), Sis. Mattie Duncan (2004) all (Deceased), Mary Radford, with Sis. Denita R. Hairston is the 47th (2017-2018) Worthy Matron of this Great Chapter. Some our Past Worthy Matrons have also served a total of three years or four years of dedication to Nellie M. Strong Chapter #59.
We have also been blessed to have a total of 52 Past Worthy Patrons, with Bro. Martin F. Hill is the 53rd (2017-2018) Worthy Patron. Some our Past Worthy Patrons have also served a total of three or four years as well, demonstrating their dedication to Nellie M. Strong Chapter #59.
|Years||Worthy Matrons||Worthy Patrons|
|1954-1955||Priscilla Dean Lewis Weathers||Lucian Patton|
|1956-1957||Abbie Thomas||Gerald Smith|
|1958||Sarah Mitchum||Gerald Smith|
|1959||Louise Malone||Gerald Smith|
|1960-1961||Lella Ball||Ennis Taylor|
|1962-1963||Edna Woods||Cater Osby|
|1964||Mary Williams||Lucian Patton|
|1965||Lillian Holt||Lucian Patton|
|1966||Ruth Smith||Lucian Patton|
|1966-1967||Birdie Trabue||Lucian Patton|
|1968||Eugenia Briggs||Samuel Spann|
|1969||Eugenia Briggs||Charles Harris|
|1970||Georgia Spann||Charles Harris|
|1971||Virginia Gayhart||Charles Harris|
|1972||Bessie F. Adams (H.P.G.W.M.)||Walter Brown|
|1973||Hazel Whitaker||Walter Brown|
|1974||Hazel Whitaker||Robert Pope|
|1975||Iva B. Holifield||James Canady Sr.|
|1976||Rosa L. Tootle||James Canady Sr.|
|1977||Lucille Sanders||Jefferson Sanders|
|1978||Barrther A. Brown||Jefferson Sanders|
|1979||Virginia Linthercome-Booker||Carvis Herron|
|1980||Lillie B. Miller||Carvis Herron|
|1981||Lillie B. Miller||Larry Linthecome|
|1982||Louise Dixie||Willie J. Lucy|
|1983||Virgie L. Lucy||Willie J. Lucy|
|1984-1985||Phyllis A. Tyler (P.G.W.M.)||Otis C. Tyler|
|1986||Hazel Whitaker||Otis C. Tyler|
|1987-1988||Dyrthene R. Crowe||Otis C. Tyler|
|1989||Norma Grayson||Otis C. Tyler|
|1990||Barrther A. Brown||Otis C. Tyler|
|1991||Barrther A. Brown||Charles D. Albert (P.G.W.P.)|
|1992||Lillie B. Miller||Charles D. Albert (P.G.W.P.)|
|1993||Jeanarria Sarden||Charles D. Albert (P.G.W.P.)|
|1994-1995||Anita L. Rush||Charles D. Albert (P.G.W.P.)|
|1996||Mary E. Kennedy||Charles D. Albert (P.G.W.P.)|
|1997||Mary E. Kennedy||Darrell E. Morton (P.G.M.)|
|1998-1999||Twilla Westbrooks||Bruce E. Wright (P.G.W.P)|
|2000-2001||Loretta Morton (P.G.W.M.)||Darrell E. Morton (P.G.M.)|
|2002||Recbecca Skelton||James Wooten III|
|2002-2003||Jimi Monix||James Wooten III|
|2004||Jimi Monix||Issac White|
|2005||Catherine R. Stevison||Darrell E. Morton (P.G.M.)|
|2006||Jimi Monix||Ryan K. Harding|
|2007||Flora Robinson||Ryan K. Harding|
|2008-2009||Tammie Thomas||Richard Wright|
|2010||Emily Holton||Kenneth Allen|
|2011||Stefanie Lee||Albert J. Moore|
|2012-2013||Cassandra G. Hall||Frank A. Williams|
|2014||Belinda Robinson||Curtis Hairston|
|2015||Aisha Washington-Smith||Curtis Hairston|
|2016||Aisha Washington-Smith||Steven Smith|
|2017-2018||Denita R. Hairston||Martin F. Hill|
|Honorary||Annie Bell Moss|
|Demitted from Wisdom #60, Gary, Indiana (2001-2002)||Chavetta Wright-Clemons|
|Demitted from Cosmopolitan #1, Pearl City, HI (2006)||Johnnie Wade (P.G.W.P.)|
We are continuing to grow in knowledge and love. We presently received a total of 75 members on our roster. We are continually working along the side of our Brother Lodge, Meridian Lodge #33. We are endeavoring to enhance our Community Outreach Service. We continue to work and participate in Foods drives, Health Fairs, Christmas Giveaways, Easter Giveaways, Thanksgiving Giveaways, Book as well as feeding the public and volunteer our services to the Riley Hospital and Wheeler Missions.