The Ladies' Society of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen was organized in Tucson, Arizona in April 1884.
The Ladies' Society was recognized as an auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen at its 2nd Biennial
Convention held in September 1890 in San Francisco. California Poppy Lodge No. 621 was established in 1930 in Sacramento,
In 1969, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, the Order of Railway Conductors
and Brakemen and the Switchmen's Union of North America merged to form the United Transportation Union. The Ladies' Society
voted against joining the UTU. The national organization dissolved in 1972.
The Grand International Auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was organized by women who assisted with preparations
for the 1887 BLE Convention. Division 1 was organized in Chicago, on October 16, 1887. Its purpose was to "serve the interests
and welfare of the Grand International Auxiliary and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers' members and their families throughout
the United States and Canada." In 1892, the Mrs. Margaret E. Crocker, Division No. 180 of the Grand International Auxiliary
to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was established in Sacramento, California. Today, there are many active divisions
of GIA in the United States and Canada.
Catherine Laidlaw (March 1, 1905 - December 12, 2002) was the President of the California Poppy Lodge No. 621 of the Ladies'
Society of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in 1960 and held the position of Secretary from 1963 until
it dissolved in 1972. She was a member of the Grand International Auxiliary to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Division
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