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Founding of the Order of Native Daughters
of the Golden West

By Grand Historian Bertha A. Briggs, Past Grand President 1953

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 Golden West.

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 Secretary.

Chosen for the first Parlor of the Order was the distinctive name of Ursula (meaning "The Bear" - suggestive of courage and strength).

Tina L. Kane 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. Kane, President of the Mother Parlor, was elected as the first Grand President. Years 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 Officers.