Chapter DD of the P.E.O. Sisterhood will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on May 28. In addition, the P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Sisterhood is celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary this year. The chapter is apparently the oldest organization of its type in Aurora.
P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College in Nevada; and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.
Chapter DD was organized in the spring of 1919. Members of Chapter CU in Mt. Vernon suggested a group of women in Aurora they thought would be interested in organizing a chapter. Nelle K. Sutton of Chapter BV in Bethany was state organizer in 1919; she contacted the women in Aurora about the possibility of organizing a chapter here. After two weeks of combined efforts by Anna Brunk and Louise Hudson, a group of 10 women were selected as prospective members.
On May 28, 1919, these women met at the home of Edna B. Leekinzy and were organized by Miss Sutton, the only state officer present and to whom much of the chapter's early enthusiasm and success is credited.
Charter members/officers at the meeting included Edna B. Leekinzy (president), Osseye C. Davis (vice president), Anna Brunk (recording secretary), Louise Hudson (corresponding secretary), Vera C. Phelps (treasurer), Elanor May Plank (chaplain), Mary McPherson (guard), Jessie Robinson, Emma Wharton and Bessie Pauline McPherson.
The P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international organization, was organized by seven young women on January 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Founding members of the sisterhood include Mary Allen Stafford, Franc Roads Elliott, Alice Bird Babb, Suela Pearson Penfield, Hattie Briggs Bousquet, Alice Virginia Coffin and Ella Stewart.
The local chapter is planning a centennial celebration on May 28, while the international organization will celebrate the sesquicentennial (150 years) at the international convention in September.
Currently serving as officers of the chapter are Hollie Davies, president; Cindy Fisher, vice president; Martha Pettegrew, recording secretary; Linda Peterson, corresponding secretary; Janet Stubblefield, treasurer; Linda Cook, chaplain; and Peggy Dial, guard.