P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), one of the pioneer societies for women, was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Originally a small campus friendship society, P.E.O. soon blossomed to include women off campus.
P.E.O. came to New Mexico in 1909 with the formation of Chapter A in Carlsbad with seven members. Their charter was presented at Supreme Grand Chapter in Mount Pleasant, Iowa by Sophia McLean, Supreme Organizer and was described as a chapter in "far away New Mexico."