Founding of the Order of Native
of the Golden West
By Grand Historian Bertha A. Briggs, Past Grand
The historic mining
city of Jackson, Amador County, has the honor of being the
birthplace of the Order of Native Daughters of the Golden West.
Pursuant to a call
issued by Lilly O. Reichling, about twenty young women met in
Pioneer Hall on September 11, 1886. Miss Reichling explained
that the object of the meeting was to form an Order of
California-born women to be known as the Native Daughters of the
The Order was organized in Pioneer
Hall, at a meeting held on September 25, 1886, when, by request,
Judge Curtis Lindley presided, Miss Lilly O. Reichling acting as
Chosen for the first Parlor of the
Order was the distinctive name of Ursula (meaning "The Bear" -
suggestive of courage and strength).
was named as the first President, and the charter list closed
after thirty days with a membership of thirty-three. Charter
Officers were installed March 7, 1887.
The first emblem
chosen was the spotted fawn, which, however, was discarded for
the more impressive emblems of Minerva, the Oriflamme, Sheaves
of Wheat, and the mystic letters P.D.F.A.
Founding principles adopted were
Love of Home, Devotion to the Flag of our Country, Veneration of
the Pioneers of California, and an Abiding Faith in the
Existence of God.
Between the date of
the organization of Ursula Parlor No.1 and June 1887,
seventeen Parlors were instituted.
The first Grand
Parlor was held in San Francisco in July 1887, with the
seventeen Parlors instituted by Ursula No.1 represented by
thirty-nine delegates. Tina L.
President of the Mother Parlor, was elected as the first Grand
later the special honor and title, Founder of the Order of
Native Daughters of the Golden West, was conferred upon Lilly O.
Reichling, later Mrs. Lilly O. Reichling Dyer.
Ursula Parlor No. 1 reserved the
right to institute the Subordinate Parlors until that right was
surrendered to the Grand Parlor in July 1887, when it met in San
Francisco for its first session. At this time, Grand Parlor
adopted its Constitution and selected a full corps of Grand