The P.E.O. Sisterhood was established on January 21, 1869 in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan University. The organization was established as philanthropic and educational society for women. Although comprised of only seven members at its founding, P.E.O. now has thousands of chapters and members throughout the United States.
The first Grand Forks Chapter, known as Chapter D, was established on April 7, 1913. Charter members of Chapter D included Ada Bek, Chrissie Budge, Lillian Budge, Mable French, Margaret Gillette, Eva Libby, Carrie Simpson, Leila Sturtevant and Gertrude Sturtevant. The President of Chapter D at its founding was Carrie Simpson.
Chapter D was a very active chapter in North Dakota. It hosted several state conventions, participated in many P.E.O. sponsored activities on both a local, state and national level, and provided several state chapter presidents. It also has been responsible for sponsoring several other P.E.O. chapters in the area. The Chapter has hosted many educational lectures and meetings for both its members and the greater community at large. Chapter D has also raised funds for several P.E.O. fund drives, including the Peace Scholarship Fund and the Educational Fund. In the aftermath of World War I, Chapter D adopted a French war orphan; during World War II, Chapter D and the entire P.E.O. organization was very active in raising funds and boosting morale for the war effort.