William Mark Sexson’s idea for a group of young girls in 1922 was the beginning of our organization. A member of The Order of Eastern Star and the Masonic Lodge, he saw a need for young women to have a place where they could grow and become strong leaders. The first Assembly was in McAlester, Oklahoma, with 171 members.
Rainbow quickly spread across the country and in less than a year, an Assembly was started in Yakima, Washington. Our first Assembly was instituted with 40 members. In just four years, there were enough Assemblies in Washington for us to hold our first state-wide conference, Grand Assembly, bringing together 22 Assemblies.
Alaska joined Washington from 1938 to 1943. In 1943, Idaho also joined Washington and Alaska forming one massive Jurisdiction that spanned the Pacific Northwest. In 1962, Alaska formed their own Jurisdiction, and Washington and Idaho have remained one Jurisdiction ever since.
In addition to the thousands of young girls and adults who have served Washington Idaho, 87 young women have served at the helm as Grand Worthy Advisors (GWA). Our first elected GWA was Margaret Alleman. As an adult, Mrs. Margaret Alleman Kenrick, went on to serve in various adult leadership positions including Supreme Inspector from 1964 to 1988, when Mrs. Alice Yoder succeeded her. Mrs. Yoder served as Supreme Inspector from 1988 to 1995 and was Supreme Confidential Observer in 1996. In 1995, Mrs. Yoder passed the office of Supreme Officer onto Mrs. Barbara Weedin Brown, a majority member of Aloha Assembly, who had previously been the Director of Grand Officers. Mrs. Brown has served as Supreme Fidelity, Supreme Religion, and Supreme Confidential Observer, and celebrated 20 years as our Supreme Officer in 2015.
In 2015, the torch was passed again and now Mrs. Betty Downing is our Supreme Deputy. Mrs. Downing was a Rainbow girl from Acacia Assembly and has served in many adult leadership roles including Grand Deputy.
Today, 32 assemblies make up Washington Idaho, spanning from Port Angeles, WA, to Mountain Home, ID.