What a wonderful gift I was given this afternoon. I am most thankful for it. In my mailbox was the usual, unwanted mail, magazines (excited to get the new NGS Magazine and New England Ancestors), but the best was a letter from Beckley, WV. As I looked at it, I was not sure what it was. I had recently been to Beckley, but did not remember anyone saying they would mail me something. As I stared at this letter, it occurred to me that the envelope was one I addressed, months ago. I had sent a letter to the local Order of the Eastern Stars to see if they had any information on my great-great grandmother, Nettie Ann (Warden) Richmond. I had given up hope for a reply because it has been a few months.
So I am extremely excited, I opened the letter before I even took my coat off and got comfortable. Inside was a letter, on OES letterhead from their current Secretary. It gives me the following bits of information:
- Nettie was initiated 20 May 1926
- Her husband, John E Richmond was a member of Beckley Lodge No 95, A.F & A.M, Beckley, WV
- Her petition shows address as Riley, WV and dues record shows address as Stanaford, WV
- She was the Chapter Worthy Matron 1 Jul 1939 – 30 June 1940
- Charles Tongue served as Worthy Patron with her.
- She was given life membership 26 Feb 1967
Nettie died 3 Feb 1968, almost a full year after she was given her life membership.
I have recently spoken with a Granddaughter of Nettie, who referred to her as Granny, she said that the OES was very important to Granny and she thought she would not get into heaven without her OES ring she wore. Unfortunately, she was not buried with the ring. I look forward to more conversations with this cousin, she has shared many family stories and I hope with my urging she will commit these stories to paper. I have only been able to collect historical facts, and she has the personal, together we can create a wonderful history of the Richmond’s life.