January 8, 2004 at 10:59 a.m.
Eastern Star is a fraternal organization for women and men, a part of the family of Freemasonry. Carol served as Worthy Matron of the St. Croix Falls Chapter in 1933. During her years of membership she filled several other offices. She had the honor to serve in 1936 as a page for the 46th annual Wisconsin Grand Chapter session in Milwaukee.
Carol’s parents both were active in the Masonic fraternities. Mother, Margaret (Maggie) Orr O’Neil, in Eastern Star and her dad, Charles O’Neil, in the St. Croix Falls Masonic Lodge F. and A.M. # 275. Maggie O’Neil wrote the book, Early Days of St. Croix Falls.
Carol and her mother did a great deal of entertaining at Eastern Star events. They played the piano as well as other musical instruments. The day Dorene Grove, an Eastern Star member of the former St. Croix Falls Chapter and now the treasurer of Frederic Chapter, visited Carol sat down at the piano and played some old-time songs. Back in the 1920s Carol played piano for the silent movies. Every place she went, if there was a piano, she was invited to play. Carol continues to play every day.
She married Paul Norelius in August 1937. He was the Post Master in Lindstrom, Minnesota. During WWII Carol took over as Post Mistress, while her husband was serving his country.
Carol recalled some of the happenings in Star during the early years of her membership. Dues in 1929 were $2.50 per year and then during the Depression it was dropped to $1.50. In 1934 the Star members bought a cook stove for the Masonic center from Clayton Hardware paying the grand total of $16. She mentioned that Star members saved aluminum foil for the Shriners’ during World War II. Another memory was selling Skidoo – a cleaning product – as a fund raiser to fund the chapter’s charitable activities.
Norelius is young at heart. She lives the spirit of Eastern Star. Her family is very important to her. To this day when the grandkids and great grandkids come to visit she has a stash of cookies and goodies for them.
Members of the St. Croix Falls Eastern Star Chapter when Carol was initiated were: worthy matron Florence Riegel, worthy patron Arthur Bishop, associate matron Nellie Thompson, secretary Katherine Konynenburg, treasurer Lucille Weymouth, conductress Ella Caldwell, associate conductress Elaina Monty, chaplain Adelaide Bishop, marshal Daisy Wilson, organist Winnifred Leighton, Adah - Opal Olcott, Ruth - Belle Nelson, Esther - Alice Greenley, Martha - Perle Thomas, Electa - Blanche Pepper, warder Margaret O’Neil, and sentinel Albert Nelson.
Worthy Matron of
Frederic Chapter 239
Order of the Eastern Star