In the early 1930's DeMolay founder Frank S. Land had been thinking of an honor he could bestow on DeMolays and Senior DeMolays for outstanding service to the Order. He wanted to honor them now, instead of waiting for them to be nominated for the Legion of Honor in years to come. He also wanted to honor Senior DeMolays who had been working with chapters even though they were not Masons, but had performed outstanding service to the Order.
In those days, DeMolay was recognized by only about 50% of the Grand Lodges, consequently many Senior DeMolays were active in chapters due to the lack of Masonic support. In November of 1936, "DAD" Land, assisted by Harold Bergstresser and John McKibben, proceeded to write a Ritual for the conferral of the Chevalier Degree. This became a reality in March, 1937 and "DAD" Land began to nominate DeMolays and Senior DeMolays for this distinguished honor.
Mother Chapter, of course, had the first investiture and it was held June 2, 1937 at the Little Theater in the Municipal Auditorium. Forty-one active DeMolays or Senior DeMolays of Mother Chapter were invested with the Degree on that date. John S. McKibben, Jr. was recognized as the first Chevalier, and the rest of the nominees were numbered accordingly.
Today, the rolls of the Chevalier Degree number approximately 27,000, many of whom are organized into Chevalier Courts. These Courts are encouraged to be active in their support of DeMolay and its ideals.
The Court of Chevaliers in New York State:
Central New York Court of Chevaliers
Hudson Valley Court of Chevaliers
Metropolitan Region Court of Chevaliers
Yahnundasis Court of Chevaliers
Western New York- Robert M Walker Court of Chevaliers