Succeeding Brother J.W. Grant, First Most Worthy Grand Superior of the Grand Household of Ruth from 1887 to 1908, Mary Alice Parker of Rose of Sharon Household of Ruth No. 442, Washington D.C., was the first female to head the Female Branch of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America and Jurisdiction.
Mary Alice Parker had served as Worthy Grand recorder under Brother J.W. Grant for several; years and in August of 1908, at the 7th Quadrennial Convention of the Grand Household of Ruth in Atlantic City, New Jersey, she was elected Most Worthy Grand Superior. She held the position for nineteen years until her death, May 14, 1927.
Mary Alice Parker recommended the establishment of the Past Most Noble Governors Chambers at the various meetings of the Grand household of Ruth from 1908 to 1915, finally achieving her success when the then Sub-Committee of management approved the proposition January 15, 1915.
The Chamber No.1 was open in Chicago, Illinois, November 13, 1916. The Ritual for the Chamber was composed by Most Worthy Grand Superior Parker, approved by the Sub-Committee of management in 1915 and printed at the Odd Fellows Journal office in Washington, DC, by the authority of the Sub-Committee of Management.
Upon recommendation for the establishment of Ruth Day or Founder’s Day for the Household of Ruth were proposed by Sister Parker at the Grand Household Convention in Baltimore, Maryland 1910; Washington, DC; and Cleveland, Ohio, OH, 1922. They were finally approved by the Committee of Management July 12, 1927. The second Sunday in June was designated as the day to be set aside for the commendation to honor Patrick H. Reason of Hamilton Lodge No. 710, New York, author and sponsor of the proposition by which Household of Ruth came into being.
The Committee of Management, on January 17, 1935, approved a proposition submitted by the Grand Household of Ruth Day changing the celebration of Ruth Founder’s Day to the third Sunday in June each year.
Sister Mary Alice Parker died in Washington, DC, May 14, 1927 still in office of the Most Worthy Grand Superior, concluding a distinguished leadership of nineteen years. Funeral services were held in the Nineteen Street Baptist Church, Washington, DC, Thursday May 19, 1927. A monument of Most Worthy Grand Superior Mary Alice Parker was purchased in her memory. The monument is located at the Harmony Cemetery, Landover, Maryland.