Fearless Females Challenge: March 17 – Social Butterfly?

The following post continues the month long Fearless Females Challenge by Lisa Alzo, author of The Accidental Genealogist blog, which is focused on “celebrating and honoring ‘fearless females’ in our family trees” to mark National Women’s History Month, which is the month of March, with a post responding to unique prompts for each day of the month.

Prompt for March 17 — Social Butterfly? What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to? Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge? Describe her role in the group.

While researching my family history, I have uncovered male ancestors involved in various social organizations, such as the Masons, the Elks, the Odd Fellows, etc. I have, however, found few female ancestors with records of involvement. I have had some that were involved in the Daughters of the American Revolution, though I am uncertain if they participated in any meetings. Apart from this, I do have some that were heavily involved in their churches. Apart from these. the closest I have found for my female ancestors include my paternal great grandmother, Alice Lucretia (Wellin-Lapham) Graber (1916-1985), and my maternal grandmother, Alberta (Sebok) Hamilton (LIVING).

My paternal great grandmother, Alice Lucretia (Wellin-Lapham) Graber (1916-1985), was employed during WWII as a welder for the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon. In addition to this, she was a member of the International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers, Iron Ship Builders and Helpers of America, which is a trade-union. Alice was initiated on October 1, 1943, and regularly payed her dues. While going through some items that belonged to her following the death of her daughter Marla, her membership and dues book was discovered. Presently, I do not know how actively involved Alice was apart from paying her dues, which was likely a required part of her employment as a welder.

Alice (Wellin-Lapham) Graber's International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers of America Membership and Dues Book
Alice (Wellin-Lapham) Graber’s International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers of America Membership and Dues Book

As for my maternal grandmother, Alberta (Sebok) Hamilton (LIVING), she was involved for many years with the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem, a Masonic social organization that was founded in 1893 and comprises both men and women. She joined this organization around the time her husband, Lee Hamilton, became a member of the Masons. Throughout her involvement with the organization, she served in the offices of Worthy Guide and Worthy Shepherdess in her local chapter.

Logo of The Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem
Logo of The Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem

 

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