125th Anniversary of the MSSDAR

MSSDAR

Gathered from the storied history of the Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution, this anniversary book is a compendium of facts and reflections. It has been compiled by the current state regent to celebrate MSSDAR’s 125 years of service to Montana and also to recognize the 125th anniversary of the Montana State Society Sons of the American Revolution. Both organizations are almost as old as Montana, having been organized in 1894 just five years after Montana achieved statehood.
This book is gratefully dedicated to all the Montana Daughters and to all the Montana Sons who have given of their time, their talents and their means “to perpetuate the memory and the spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence, to promote the development of an enlightened public opinion, and to foster patriotic citizenship.” This 125th anniversary book is possible only because of the contributions and efforts of so many over the years.

125

Years of Service to Montana

A compendium of patriotic dedication to America

gathered from the storied 125-year history of the

Montana State Society

Daughters of the American Revolution

and

Montana State Society

Sons of the American Revolution

April 2019

Copyright © 2019



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Letter from NSDAR President General Ann Turner Dillon .................... 1

Introduction and Acknowledgments........................................................... 2

About the Cover Photo ................................................................................ 6

Foreword by Ellen Baumler, PhD ................................................................... 7

Bitter Root Chapter, NSDAR ................................................................ 15

Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter, NSDAR ............................................ 58

Chief Ignace Chapter, NSDAR ........................................................... 91

Julia Hancock Chapter, NSDAR ............................................................. 107

Kuilix Chapter, NSDAR ..................................................................... 131

Milk River Chapter, NSDAR .............................................................. 140

Mount Hyalite Chapter, NSDAR ........................................................ 156

Oro Fino Chapter, NSDAR ................................................................. 180

Shining Mountain Chapter, NSDAR .................................................224

Silver Bow Chapter, NSDAR ................................................................. 250

Montana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution .................... 301

Preserving an Enduring Legacy .............................................................. 337

Continental Congress Proceedings: . . . a Legacy .................................. 397

Index ........................................................................................................ 428



Letter from

NSDAR President General

Ann Turner Dillon

1


INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Gathered from the storied history of the Montana State Society

Daughters of the American Revolution, this anniversary book is a

compendium of facts and reflections. It has been compiled by the current

state regent to celebrate MSSDAR’s 125 years of service to Montana and

also to recognize the 125 th anniversary of the Montana State Society Sons of

the American Revolution. Both organizations are almost as old as Montana,

having been organized in 1894 just five years after Montana achieved

statehood.

This book is gratefully dedicated to all the Montana Daughters and to

all the Montana Sons who have given of their time, their talents and their

means “to perpetuate the memory and the spirit of the men and women

who achieved American Independence, to promote the development of an

enlightened public opinion, and to foster patriotic citizenship.” This 125 th

anniversary book is possible only because of the contributions and efforts of

so many over the years.

In 1929, the State Historian began compiling the MSSDAR history. In

March 1939, a resolution adopted at the Kalispell DAR State Conference

called for the incoming State Vice Regent to revise, type and bind this work

as a Golden Jubilee Project, called Volume One. Since then, MSSDAR

books have been prepared and placed in the MSSDAR Archives, now at the

Cascade County Historical Society in Great Falls. These include Volume

Two: 1941-1960, Volume Three: 1960-1970, Volume Four: 1970- 1980 and

Volume Five: 1894-1994 Centennial History of MSSDAR with special

emphasis on years 1980-1994. Volume Six: 1994-2016 is now being written

by a team of honorary state regents led by Honorary State Regent JoAnn

Marie Jordan Piazzola of Silver Bow Chapter.


This small book is designed to be a celebration of our amazing 125-year

history of service and accomplishments! It also will serve as a readily

accessible reference source for Montana Daughters, Sons and genealogists

as it tells of our chapters, state officers, significant events and some of the

rich history between the DAR and SAR. Made possible by current computer

and self-publishing technology, this book will be available online for

purchase.

Earlier histories were typed on onionskin with carbon paper or

published with less than a handful of copies. This anniversary book certainly

is not intended to duplicate the thousands of pages in the MSSDAR

archives and historical records for which we are so grateful. Instead, we

hope this book informs current members about our memorable history and

perhaps inspires some to celebrate and share our history in unique new

ways, to delve into historic records and learn more, or to join DAR or SAR.

Membership in both organizations is open to all who are descendants of a

Patriot who supported the effort for independence. For more information

see state and national sites. For Montana: www.montanadar.org and

https://www.mtssar.org. For National Societies: www.dar.org and

www.sar.org

Echoes of our ancestors resonate within us. Their voices, beliefs,

cultures, choices, experiences, and traditions still influence who we are

today. We carry their physical traits in our DNA, and display some of their

talents and occupational inclinations. The choices our ancestors made,

including their decisions to migrate and where to settle, often are reflected

in our religion, associations and cultural heritage—and continue to

influence new generations.

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As prior generations gradually fade from view, our compilation

illuminates pale echoes of the past and brings our ancestors back to life for

future generations. Our NSDAR motto to love “God, Home and Country” is

the same foundational principle of civilized society today as it has been for

thousands of years. Our Mission to service through dedication to preserving

American history, securing America’s future through better education, and

promoting patriotism is as relevant now as it was 125 years ago.

We greatly appreciate the outstanding work of the four special

Daughters who compiled and prepared for binding the historic material in

our State Archives. Edith Lucy Carpenter (Mrs. Lewis D.) Smith, State Vice

Regent 1939-1941, compiled records for the Golden Jubilee project and

Amy Hales (Mrs. Irving L.) Dehnert, State Regent 1956-1958, compiled the

State History Volume Two: 1941- 1960, Volume Three: 1960-1970 and

Volume Four: 1970-198. Iris Martha McKinney (Mrs. Philip Howard)

Gray, State Regent 1990-1992, compiled the 1894-1994 Centennial History

and Iverna Lincoln (Mrs. Alvin J., Jr.) Huntsman, State Regent 2002-2004

and 2006-2008 and Past VPG, compiled the 1995-2008 supplement to the

Centennial History.

Special thanks, too, for their love of history and for the many

contributions to this book and to our 125 th Anniversary made by Jennifer

Lee Klossner Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent. We

highly commend the assistance provided by Janice Sue Hand, MSSDAR

Chaplain and compiler of Montana’s DAR Markers: Honoring Where History

Was Made, a companion to this book. Thanks also to MSSDAR Vice

Regent Leigh Haislip Spencer for her support and archives assistance.

We greatly appreciate MTSSAR Vice President Steve Armstrong,

President of Glacier Chapter SAR, for researching and compiling the Brief


History of the SAR Chapter in this book. Our two state societies are

meeting together for several events commemorating our 125 th anniversaries

in the state capital city, reflecting the entwined histories of patriotic

commemorative events, support, common purpose and service shared by our

lineage organizations, including numerous DAR HODARs and SAR

WOSARs across Montana. Both Steve and this officer are grateful to the

many current and former DAR chapter regents and SAR presidents,

historians, other DAR and SAR officers, former officers and members too

numerous to name who contributed many significant bits and pieces of

knowledge to this effort. Thank you all.

It has been this officer’s honor and learning experience to compile the

available information. May our members and all in our communities who

read these words be blessed and inspired by them.

Jane Lee Hamman

Montana State Regent 2016-2019

"LEARN from the Past ~ CELEBRATE America! ~ HOPE for the Future"

This book is not an official NSDAR publication and the content contained

herein does not necessarily represent the position of the NSDAR. The

President General is the official spokesperson on issues that have not been

addressed as policy of NSDAR.

5


ABOUT THE COVER PHOTO

Mary DeVeny (Mrs. Edmund A., Rev. Dr.) Wasson was appointed the

first Montana State Regent May 9, 1894, by the National Society DAR

National Board of Management to organize the Daughters in Montana. She

served until 1899. By 1900 she and her family left to live in Newark, New

Jersey, but she remained a member of Silver Bow Chapter for 56 years, until

her death at age 93 in New York City on June 3, 1953. After years of

sleuthing, Montana Daughters finally found that she had been laid to rest

beside her husband, both unmarked in a plot with an eight-foot high Celtic

Cross, in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York City. The cover photo

was taken April 25, 1977, when six Montana Daughters, assisted by her

son, the New York City Chapter Regent and three other New York

Daughters, commemorated her service with a bronze plaque mounted on a

granite base on her grave.

Standing left to right: Miss Marjorie Stevenson, Past Vice President General, Shining

Mountain Chapter, NSDAR; Miss Lorene Burks, Montana State Regent, Black Eagle

Chapter, NSDAR; Mr. R. Gordon Wasson, Danbury, Connecticut, only surviving son;

Virginia E. (Mrs. Thomas) Tabor, Past Regent Shining Mountain Chapter, NSDAR;

Florence May Thompson (Mrs. Thomas) Murray, State Secretary, Black Eagle Chapter,

NSDAR; Seated: Lucile Quickenden (Mrs. Henry) McVey, Regent Julia Hancock

Chapter, NSDAR; Catherine Rice (Mrs. Jess Tilford) Schwidde, Regent Shining

Mountain Chapter. The plaque reads:

MARY DEVENY WASSON (Mrs. Edmund A.)

FIRST STATE REGENT

MONTANA SOCIETY NSDAR

1894 – 1899

PLACED BY

MONTANA STATE SOCIETY NSDAR

APRIL 25, 1977


FOREWORD

Montana has a long history of interest in, and love for, the heritage of

its people, its places, and the freedom inherited from our forebears. There

is no better example than that of the Montana State Society Daughters of

the American Revolution (MSSDAR) and the Montana Society Sons of the

American Revolution (MTSSAR) as this volume will attest. The Montana

pioneers who helped shape the current ten chapters of the DAR and the

five chapters of the SAR left a legacy that perpetuates and lives in the

current members. They tirelessly devote their time and energy to the

service of their respective communities, the state, and the nation, and to the

practice of the principles and passions of the founding members.

Although the Daughters and the Sons formed separately, they serve a

common purpose: “to perpetuate the memory of those who, by their

services or sacrifices during the American Revolution, achieved the

Independence of the American People.” Any person is eligible for

membership if his or her ancestors engaged in patriotic activity, served in

the military, provided supplies or services, or offered encouragement of

patriotic activities during the nation’s critical formative period.

When the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

(NSSAR) formed in 1889 and voted in 1890 to exclude women, undaunted

and determined women refused to be unrecognized and founded their own

National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR).

Women set about improving their communities by advocating patriotism,

the preservation of landmarks, and education. Nationally the DAR

pioneered historic preservation—a term not even coined until the twentieth

century—by locating Revolutionary War graves and preserving

important

7


historic sites. They erected plaques and monuments, planted trees, and

instituted programs and scholarships to further education.

Montanans were immediately drawn to this new movement and the

idea of honoring their ancestors’ service even though the state contains no

revolutionary historic ground. Founders believed, however, it was possible

“to erect monuments of loyalty in the hearts of Montana’s sons and

daughters.” In 1894, Cephas C. Bateman, U.S. Army chaplain at Fort

Assinniboine, called a meeting at the Montana Historical Society’s library,

which then was located in the state capitol at the Lewis and Clark County

courthouse. Chaplain Bateman and other Army personnel stationed at

Montana posts were already members of the national NSSAR and, given

Montana’s diverse population, they felt sure Montana had many

Revolutionary War descendants. Two regional parallel groups of Sons

subsequently formed, one headquartered in Great Falls and one in Helena.

Membership in the Montana Society of the Sons of the American

Revolution (MTSSAR), as in other states, was non-political and nonsectarian,

“but thoroughly American.” This was especially significant in

nineteenth-century Montana, where the Civil War was still close to the

hearts of settlers, and disparate loyalties sometimes colored politics and

community life. The new organization offered a way for citizens to come

together to foster national patriotism. Members were republicans,

democrats, northerners, and southerners, but those who came together did

so to pursue a common passion for their heritage. Recognizing the

importance of patriotism, their objective was to promote love for one’s

county, preserve its landmarks, and educate youth to that end. Many

prominent Montana men applied for membership including Harvardeducated

attorney Cornelius Hedges, who was instrumental in the creation

of Yellowstone Park; Chief Justice Henry Blake, a Civil War veteran of the

Union Army; Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court Decius

Wade,


known as the Father of Montana Jurisprudence; Robert H. Howey,

territorial superintendent of public schools, educator, and probate judge;

and Anthony H. Barret, a southern democrat and harness-maker from

Kentucky who rose to state office.

In 1897, the two parallel men’s groups merged and while the Montana

Sons settled into its new, larger organization, Montana’s women were also

busy. That same year, Butte women organized the Silver Bow Chapter of

the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution

(NSDAR). Mrs. Anthony H. Barret, whose husband’s ancestor was also a

patriot, was one of those founders. Her life especially exemplifies the

dedication, diversity, and spirit of the Montana Daughters.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Brooke Barret served as the Silver Bow Chapter’s

first vice regent in 1897 and 1898. Her story offers insight into the family

conflicts common among some of Montana’s pioneer settlers. The means

by which she reconciled these obstacles is representative of the fortitude of

many of the women who tirelessly advocated and anonymously worked to

unify and better their communities through the DAR.

Lizzie’s maternal grandfather, Benjamin Coddington, was a

Revolutionary War veteran who served in the New Jersey militia. He was

permanently disabled when he took three musket balls in the leg during a

skirmish at Woodbridge, New Jersey. Her father, Dr. Thomas F. Brooke,

was an Army surgeon in the War of 1812, and a prominent slave-owning

physician in Morgantown, Virginia (now West Virginia). He and his wife,

Mary Coddington Brooke, had ten children. Dr. Brooke died in 1836 when

Lizzie, the youngest born in 1835, was a toddler. In his will Dr. Brooke

discussed the disposition of his slaves and directed his wife to grant

freedom to some of them.

9


Mary Brooke subsequently saw to the education of all her minor

children and in 1854 moved some of the family west to join her son, Dr.

Benjamin C. Brooke, who had set up medical practice in Kansas.

Eventually the family moved to Denver, crossing the plains under primitive

conditions, then moved on to Virginia City, Montana, in 1864, and finally

to Helena in 1866. Lizzie came to Montana to join her mother, and

reputedly was one of very few women to make the arduous journey to

Montana from the East Coast.

Lizzie’s brother Edgar was a prominent, longtime Whitehall rancher;

her brother Ben was a very well-respected Helena physician. Ben was an

ardent, life-long secessionist devoted to the lost cause of the South. Civil

War loyalties were often at the forefront in territorial Montana. However,

Ben’s election in 1867 as coroner of strongly Unionist Edgerton County

(soon renamed Lewis and Clark County) speaks to his solid reputation.

Helena, like Butte and other post-Civil War communities, had Methodist

North and South churches. The Brooke family was prominent among the

Methodist South congregation. Ben had a hot temper and was involved in

several serious, public disputes that landed him in court. This could not

have been easy for the extended Brooke family. In addition, Dr. Brooke

could do nothing when two of his young daughters and a son of Edgar’s

died from diphtheria, underscoring the heartrending limitations and

hardships of nineteenth-century Montana.

Lizzie taught school and made her home in Helena with her mother

and sister Rachel. Her world came to a crashing end when Rachel died at

age forty-nine in 1877 and her mother died in 1878. In 1880 at forty-five,

Lizzie married Butte businessman Anthony H. Barret and moved to Butte

where her husband had settled. The couple, who had no children of their

own, adopted two of Anthony’s distant Kentucky relatives, Marie and


Florence Peyton. The Barrets suffered the tragic loss of thirteen-year-old

Florence in 1889.

Lizzie was a charming and gracious hostess and frequently opened her

home to visitors. She was at the forefront of local DAR activity in Butte

and was a founder and charter member of the Silver Bow Chapter.

Meanwhile, her husband applied for membership in NSSAR, granted in

1898, as did her brother Edgar, granted in 1900.

Anthony H. Barret was a self-made man and southern supporter whose

brother William, a Confederate soldier, was killed at the Battle of

Mansfield. Anthony came to Montana in 1865. He was appointed private

secretary to Thomas Francis Meagher, was assistant territorial auditor

under John Ming, and was clerk of the lower house of the territorial

legislature from 1865 to 1877. Anthony eventually went into the harness

and saddle making busing with Christian Jacky in Butte. They founded the

hugely successful Barret and Jacky Company, headquartered at Butte with

stores in Anaconda and Philipsburg. Anthony also had mining interests and

investments and was a 33rd Degree Mason. When he was elected State

Treasurer in 1900, the Barrets moved to Helena.

Once in Helena, Lizzie went to work organizing the Oro Fino Chapter

of the NSDAR, founded on January 19, 1903. Despite seriously failing

health, she served as the chapter’s first regent. Her work, however, came to

an untimely end with her death in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 17, 1903,

where she had gone to undergo treatment. Her funeral, held from the

family home in Helena at 608 North Ewing, was largely attended. The

State Capitol closed so that officials could attend. Pallbearers included

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Theodore Brantly and Governor J. K.

Toole.

11


Elizabeth Barret epitomizes the roots planted here in Montana by

pioneer families. Lizzie revered those who fought so hard for liberty, and

thus strove to perpetuate their family legacies and unity regardless of

political leanings or biases. Her obituary, July 19, 1903, ran in newspapers

across the state memorializing her as a “splendid type of the western and

southern woman… a good angel in many houses of sorrow and want [who]

never refused to lend a helping hand.” As a member of the Society of the

Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers and a proud founding officer of

two DAR Chapters, her spirit lives on in the current Montana Daughters.

Montana’s other two early chapters, Livingston’s Yellowstone Park and

Hamilton’s Ravalli, disbanded leaving Silver Bow and Oro Fino the

oldest active chapters in the state. Lizzie Barret was a charter member of

both. Although a Revolutionary War descendant, she came from strong,

aristocratic Confederate roots. Her life is a stellar example of the

importance of emphasizing the things that we are all for, rather than those

things which we are against.

Americans individually and the freedoms they cherish have always

been the aims of the DAR and SAR and its Montana members. Cherishing,

maintaining and extending those institutions of American Freedom are just

as relevant in today’s tumultuous climate. Promoting institutions for the

diffusion of knowledge is one way to accomplish these objectives, as

Montana Sons and Daughters realized from the beginning. To that end,

Butte’s DAR and SAR together initiated the first Montana celebration of

Flag Day on June 14, 1898, and in 1900 were instrumental in introducing

the Pledge of Allegiance into the Montana public school system.

Montana Daughters have always been active at the national level and

in 1903 they provided the spade that broke ground for the Continental

Memorial Hall, the national headquarters of the DAR, completed in 1910.


State Regent Jennie Tallant and Vice Regent Mrs. Walter H. Reed

presented this gift in the name of Montana. Made of copper from the

Anaconda mine, its handle inlaid with Montana gold and silver and studded

with Montana sapphires, the spade is displayed in the National DAR

Americana Room as a memento of the Daughters of the Treasure State.

Today, the NSDAR includes more than 185,000 members in about

3,000 chapters in all 50 states and 14 countries overseas. Montana is one of

six states in the Northwestern Division participating in the far-reaching

work of 42 national standing and special service committees. The State

Society has ten chapters with approximately 550 members. Historically,

the DAR has erected plaques, planted trees, erected war memorials, and

preserved historic sites. These activities continue to enrich communities

across the nation.

Montana Daughters have accomplished much of which they can be

proud. They have preserved historic sites including the blockhouses of

Forts Logan and Benton and the Pioneer Cabin in Helena. They placed the

first thirteen Montana-made copper markers on important historic sites.

They instituted Native American and Good Citizen scholarship programs,

conducted essay contests that encourage student research, encouraged and

welcomed naturalized American citizens, participated in patriotic

remembrance days, provided support at VA clinics and centers, and

provided patriotic education boxes to reservation schools—and again

recently during the Hamman regency to the 240 smallest schools in the

state. Their work, of course, is never done.

The Montana Daughters today partner with the five chapters of the

Montana Sons in Celebrating their 125 th Anniversaries in our state and,

13


following the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the

U.S. Constitution, especially following the dictum, “Liberty cannot be

preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” Patriotism, like

true religion, can better be achieved by inspiring rather than inciting, and

by uniting rather than dividing. Like Elizabeth Barret and her husband

Anthony Barret, and the many women and men who tirelessly served their

communities for 125 years toward that end, the Montana Daughters and

Sons are moving forward in service today to continue fulfilling this

important legacy.

~Ellen Baumler, PhD


BITTER ROOT CHAPTER, NSDAR

Missoula 7005MT

Organized May 17, 1919 ~ Miss Finetta W. Ewing, Organizing Regent

Bitter Root Chapter is celebrating its Centennial in 2019! Excerpts from

“Bitter Root Chapter: The First 100 Years,” compiled and written by Andrea

Phillip in preparation for their anniversary, are printed below.

In 1911 and 1912, in Missoula, Mrs. Mabel K. Hall and Mrs. George P.

Smith started a movement to form a chapter of the Daughters of the

American Revolution. By 1919, there were enough women who could prove

descent from a war patriot of the American Revolution to start a chapter.

Bitter Root Chapter was officially organized on May 17, 1919, and

confirmed by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution on

June 25, 1919.

The chapter signed an earlier organization report dated April 19, 1919,

but it was not accepted and was returned because one organizing member

was transferring from another chapter and her transfer had not yet been

finalized. The accepted, second organizational report was signed by twelve

women: 1) Eva Coleman (Mrs. C.A.) Bolton, 2) Eliza Schall (Mrs. John)

15


Buckhouse, 3) Miss Grace Buford, 4) Miss Finetta W. Ewing, 5) Leonora

Jenks (Mrs. W.P) Forbes, 6) Lucinda Craig (Mrs. A.J.) Henry, 7) Ethel

Grey (Mrs. John M.) Keith, 8) Lenna Henry (Mrs. David C.) Leaming, 9)

Dorothy Polleys (Mrs. Fred R.) Mason, 10) Francis Spalding (Mrs. Ray

H.) Nelson, 11) Sophine DeMoss (Mrs. John M.) Swango, and 12) Grace

Curtin (Mrs. John A.) Urbanowicz. Two members, whose membership

was confirmed April 12, 1919, also are organizing members: Miss Florence

Irving, soon to be Mrs. R.A. Shannon, and Harriet Griffing (Mrs. J.P.)

Irving. The chapter charter was held open for one year and the following

also are considered “Charter Members”: Elizabeth Treleven (Mrs. Lyman

R.) Barnett, Miss Harriet Bates, Mildred Goodrich (Mrs. John A.)

Griswold, Emma Ellis (Mrs. George J.) Lennestrend, Ruth Hunter (Mrs.

Theodore) Lentz, Emily Reeves (Mrs. A.W.) McKeown, Josephine

DeMoss (Mrs. T.M.) Pierce, Cynthia Crossman (Mrs. Benjamin F.)

Plummer, Mabel Brayton (Mrs. Clarence) Preston, Francis Bates (Mrs.

C.H.) Putney, Tella Lennestrend (Mrs. T.V.) Rowe, Helen Angell (Mrs.

George P.) Smith, Mrs. H. H. Parsons, Grace Stanton (Mrs. W.B.)

Walker, Della Taylor (Mrs. L.L.) Wright, Miss Mable Fox, Miss Blanche

Hyde, Miss Harriet Taylor and Miss Harriet Bates.

Organizing Regent Finetta Ewing was known for starting the chapter,

finding and assisting prospective members, and serving as the first Chapter

Regent from 1919-1921. She was a professional teacher who moved to

California when she retired and died in 1936. Her sister was Lucinda Craig

Henry. Other elected officers were Florence Irving Shannon, Vice Regent;

Eliza Buckhouse, Secretary; Leonora Forbes, Treasurer; Sophine Swango,

Registrar; and Francis Nelson, Historian.

The chapter selected the name Bitter Root for three reasons: 1) Every

spring the Bitter Root Valley is covered with blossoms of the pink flower,

2) The Bitter Root Range of the Rocky Mountains stands as guardian to


the west, while the Bitter Root River slips through en route to the Pacific

Ocean, and 3) Bitterroot is the Montana state flower, which was first

described and recorded botanically by Captain Meriwether Lewis during

the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Its genus, Lewisa rediviva, derives from

Lewis’s name. Although Bitterroot now is generally written as one word,

the chapter retains the original two-word spelling.

Other early Bitter Root Chapter Regents were Elizabeth Treleven

Barnett (1921-1923), Harriet Griffing Irving (1923-1924), Ethel Grey

Keith (1924-1925), Mildred Goodrich Griswold (1925-1927), Albertina

“Tina” Brown Parker (1927-1929), and Mrs. John Ordenbrook (1929-

1930).

Minutes from the 1920s include descriptions of musical recitals, fun

programs, tea party socials and beautiful table settings. After World War I

had ended, the chapter adopted a French war orphan, with many gifts and

letters exchanged. During those years, the chapter gave $25 to a child

feeding program, American Creeds were distributed to schools and support

was given to veterans and the Angel-Ellis Fund to provide money and

service for adult female immigrants detained at either Ellis Island on the

East Coast or Angel Island on the West Coast. DAR members pioneered a

new way of thinking about and treating adult female immigrants, which

was later adopted by the U.S. Government. By 1925, the chapter had a

resident membership of 41 members and 10 nonresident members.

While Ethel Grey Keith was regent, in October 1925 a historical

marker was placed by the members at Traveler’s Rest in Lolo, Montana,

commemorating Captains Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery.

The marker has quite a story, and before reading it, there are a few things

about the Gibsons to keep in mind. Mr. A.J. Gibson, architect, retired in

17


1909 to travel with his wife Maud in one of the first automobiles in

Missoula. The Gibsons were the first Montanans to drive across both the

Canadian and Mexican borders. They drove cross-country to New York

and Washington D.C. The following story is quoted from “Memorials and

Memories”, a program given May 11, 1957 by Tina Brown Parker, who

served as Bitter Root Chapter Regent 1927-1929:

Early in the 1920s the Anaconda Company presented the DAR

chapters in Montana with twelve handsome copper plaques

commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition into and through

Montana in 1804-1805. Each plate weighed fifty-five pounds and

all were beautifully executed in raised lettering upon the copper

shield. Each carried the golden wheel, the symbol of our Society,

and gave an accurate detailed description, based upon the writing

of the explorers, of that particular spot along their course that the

plate designated and commemorated.

Mrs. A.J. (Maud Lockley) Gibson was appointed chairman of the

Committee for the Preservation of Historic Sites, and to her group

went the responsibility of finding a suitable plot on which to place the

marker the Company had presented Bitter Root Chapter, at its

destination at Traveler’s Rest on Lolo Creek, where the expedition had

camped on its westward journey and again upon its return trip.

From the beginning bad luck dogged the undertaking. Aided by her

husband, Mr. A.J. Gibson, Mrs. Gibson was successful in her

search for a suitable stone on which to mount the marker, locating

one of the right size and shape at Elk Park, that vast region south

and east of Butte where Nature, in one of her more convulsive

moments, had tossed, in tremendous heaps, millions and millions of

stones in some gigantic, ancient upheaval.


The cost of getting the boulder selected to a loading platform was

thirty dollars and the freight to Missoula was forty dollars. The

boulder was then transported to Lolo, and, being a heavy and

cumbersome thing, the workmen had difficulty handling it, and in the

unloading, the boulder was dropped. Evidently there was a flaw in

its inner structure and, in landing, it split apart in such a manner as

to preclude either piece being used for the purpose intended.

Although the cost had been one hundred and twenty dollars to the

moment, Bitter Root Chapter, upon recovering from the shock, wholeheartedly

endorsed the finding of a second stone. The chapter’s

endorsement came for two reasons: that the arduous efforts of the

Gibsons, so freely given, might not end in futility, and for the desire

to make use of this most handsome and historic marker.

Another large piece of granite was found, and brought, successfully this

time, to its resting place at the old intersection of the Lolo road with the

main thoroughfare running through the valley. The point finally

chosen was not upon the actual camping site of Lewis and Clark, for

that piece of land had long been in a farmer’s field, and the farmer

was adverse to having his land made accessible to the public, for fear

of annoyance to his cattle. The confluence of the roads was then selected,

being land over which the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

must have passed, as being a suitable and prominent display place.

19


On October 8-9, 1925, Bitter Root Chapter hosted the first Missoula

Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution State

Conference, dedicating the stone marker the second day. MSSDAR

Regent Mary Adella Kelley (Mrs. Verne D.) Caldwell and NSDAR Vice

President General Anne Margaret Long were present. The marker was

named “Traveler’s Rest,” the name the explorers Lewis and Clark gave a

nearby creek, and the plaque on the marker names every member of the

expedition, including Sacajawea’s baby Baptiste. Excerpts from Tina

Brown’s “Memorials and Memories” continue:

Had the Bitter Root Chapter Committee for the Preservation of

Historic Spots had the gift of prescience, it surely would have

hesitated in selecting that particular triangle of ground, and of

paying an additional one hundred and fifty dollars for the second

stone and its placement, and twenty-six dollars and fifty cents for

the permanent spot on which it rested, just for the privilege of

bringing down on the committee’s defenseless head a lot of

unpleasantness, and very shabby treatment by the general public of

the gift the Anaconda Company had generously given to perpetuate

the remarkable exploit of Captains Lewis and Clark….there was no

cooperation…from the Lolo community….All the efforts made by the

Bitter Root Chapter Committee for the Preservation of Historic

Spots to placate the Lolo community were unavailed.

To add to troubled waters, the Missoula County Commissioners

granted permission for the erection of a store building on the right of

way of the Lolo road, at the spot already occupied by the stone

marker, and sanctioned the removal of the stone marker to a place

immediately adjacent to the building, so unreasonably close as to be

almost against it in an effort to keep the monument out of the

roadbed itself. Therefore, the stone became the deliberate repository


of all the refuse and litter usually to be found outside the doors of a

small country store….

Now that the Bitterroot Valley Road has been made Federal

Highway #93, and the location of the intersection with the Lolo

road has been placed farther south, and, in fact, nearer the camp site

of Traveler’s Rest than it formerly was, it was considered that the

chapter could consult the Highway Commission, now in charge, and

persuade it to move the marker to the present intersection, which

has a broad Y shaped entry quite suitable for the purpose. Our plea

was that this point was a more proper setting, as it is the entrance to

the Lolo canyon through which the expedition passed, and, further, the

Committee for the Preservation of Historic Spots chose the confluence

as being the most historic spot available. Also, being on the right-ofway,

the monument would be protected from vandalism.

This venture into by-gone history left our treasury not only empty, but

there was a deficit of one hundred and twenty dollars. Maud Lockley

Gibson and Ethel Grey Keith each personally loaned the chapter

sixty dollars to cover the indebtedness. To add to our financial

embarrassment, the NSDAR at this time made a call upon us to

help purchase the Montana Box within the new Constitution Hall,

and also asked for a donation to the bells of Valley Forge. It was

some time before we were able to repay our two civic-minded

members for their aid.

This was probably the last important task Mrs. Gibson had in

connection with the Chapter, for…both she and Mr. A.J. Gibson

were killed instantly when their automobile was struck by a train

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passing through Orchard Homes...on New Year’s Eve, December

31, 1927, when a heavy snowstorm made visibility extremely

poor….The Missoulian newspaper reported at the time that the

car windows were frosted and that Mr. Gibson was partially deaf,

which may have prevented him from hearing the oncoming

train….Mrs. Gibson’s dues, being still in the hands of our

treasurer, were used with Chapter funds in a memorial to her.

With the consent of the heirs, a rare and out-of-print dictionary in

the Salish Indian language…was purchased. Her brother in

Oregon, who had previously lived in Butte while editor of the

Intermountain Mining News, sent a book concerning the west, of

which he was the author. Both books were placed in the Missoula

Public Library as a memorial to Mrs. Gibson. Her antique candle

molds were sent to Constitution Hall and Mrs. Keith later

reported that she had seen them displayed in the museum there.

On February 22, 1928, U.S. Senator J.M. Dixon and Mrs. Dixon

hosted the chapter, which had fifty members, at their home. At the March

22-23, 1929, MSSDAR State Conference, the chapters were instructed to

change a component of the DAR Ritual. Mrs. Tina Brown Parker wrote

an interesting account of the instruction’s affect in her “Memorials and

Memories” featuring organizing member Leonora Jenks Forbes.

…At the State Conference in Anaconda, the State Regent read a

letter from the President General that stated several of the

National Society…officers, when visiting the various chapters

through the states, noticed that some in prayer said, “Forgive us

our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”, while

others repeated, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”.

She wished all chapters to note that the National Society preferred


the wording, “Forgive us our debts, etc.” At our next chapter meeting,

Mrs. Forbes’s attention was called to this request, she being

Chaplain and the chapter being in the habit of using the “Trespass

interpretation. Mrs. Forbes was reluctant to change, saying that her

mother had taught her to say, “Forgive us our trespasses”, that her

church said it that way, and that she felt it was the proper way to say

the prayer Not that it mattered which way the prayer was said, since

there were some among us who said it one way, and some who said it

the other way. It was just the idea of the National Society telling us

how to say our prayers.

At meetings immediately following a few forgetful members used the

old order; others, remembering used the debt and debtor

interpretation, while still others, stubborn souls, kept silent in

protest. Above all others could be heard the clear voice of Mrs.

Forbes intoning, ‘forgive us our DEBTS as we forgive our

DEBTORS.’ As time went by, however, we were all again

murmuring the old, familiar words.

At the year’s end, when the officers were giving their reports, Mrs.

Forbes was asked for hers. She arose. ‘Madam Regent,’ she stated, ‘I

have no report. I did have one assignment, that of changing the Lord’s

Prayer. Since I failed, thank goodness, in that attempt, I have

nothing to tell you.’

By the 1930s, Bitter Root Chapter had 63 very active members

involved in many local, MSSDAR and National Society DAR projects. The

Genealogical Records Committee was busy with early Missoula marriages.

Then in 1931, “Real Daughters,” women whose father or mother rendered

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material aid to the cause of American independence, were in the news. The

Missoula Sentinel, a newspaper later to become The Missoulian, published

an article on October 27, 1931, about Real Daughter Mrs. Mary Priscilla

Tillman, the daughter of Sergeant Flending Reynolds, who joined up to

fight in the American Revolutionary War when he was 16. Mrs. Tillman

was 93 at the time the article was published. In 1931, six other Real

Daughters were still living. One of Montana’s Real Daughter, Orpha

Zilpha Parke (Mrs. Richard) Bovee, daughter of Rueben Parke, had a DAR

Real Daughter marker placed for her in Glendive.

In 1931, Ethel Grey Keith was our first chapter member to become

Montana DAR State Regent! She was also a member of the Society of

Colonial Dames. That year she headed a delegation of Bitter Root chapter

members going to the state conference, over which she would preside, in

Lewistown, on March 26th and 27th. Tina Parker, then MSSDAR

Secretary, later gave a chapter program telling about that trip:

The Conference that year was at Lewistown, and the spring being an

early one in Missoula, the four of us who attended, Mrs. Keith, Mrs.

Morrow, Mrs. Walford and I, donned our spring bonnets and new

suits in honor of the occasion. We reached our destination in one of

those blizzards for which the plains of eastern Montana are noted,

with snow-whipped winds so high we could scarcely walk the

streets, and so cold we could not keep warm indoors.

The banquet was served in the hotel’s large dining room, which

had immense plate glass windows on the front and side, and guests

sat at the tables in evening gowns and overcoats. However,

nothing detracted from the enjoyment of the elaborate meal the

hostess chapter served, nor from the gaiety of the program that

followed. The likeness of the famous statue, Prairie Mother,


which, placed upright on the plate when served, looked so gay and

lifelike in her pink sunbonnet and voluminous skirts, the banqueters

were hesitant to devour her, and confined themselves to nibbling at her

ginghams instead.

In 1932 Mrs. Ethel Keith helped the members celebrate George

Washington’s 200th birthday at the chapter’s February 22, 1932 Colonial

Tea, hosted by Mrs. W.W. Dixon and Mrs. Frank Borg, with Mrs. Keith

and Mrs. H.H. Parsons presiding. Members wore colonial dress, sang

patriotic songs and danced the minuet. Mrs. Helen Fleming, dressed as

George Washington, and Miss Marjorie Crawford, dressed as Martha

Washington, led the dancing.

In 1935, former chapter regent Elizabeth Treleven (Mrs. Lyman R.)

Barnett (1921-1923) presented a gift from her daughter, Miss Grace

Barnett, of a cover plate for the yearbooks to the chapter. Grace originated

and sketched the plate’s design, which was described in the January 1936

DAR Magazine as the state flower, the bitterroot, in the foreground, with

the Bitterroot Mountains in the background. The article further states that,

“Both the flower and the mountains are linked in early Montana history,

and therefore are dear to the hearts of chapter members.”

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, members were busily

concerned with the gathering of clothing and its distribution to where it was

needed most. In 1938 the chapter donated a facsimile of the Shrine of the

United States Constitution to Missoula County High School and for years

gave a $10 gold piece to the chapter’s Outstanding History Student of the

year. First recipient of the award was high school student K. Ross Toole,

who won for his pioneer story “The Baron’s Cravat” and went on to

25


become a well-known and beloved University of Montana-Missoula

professor and author. At the state level, boxes and dollars were given by the

chapter to the orphan’s home in Twin Bridges and Florence Crittenton

Home in Helena; donations also went to the veterans at Fort Harrison in

Helena and the State Indexing Fund. On a national level, the chapter

donated to the NSDAR Library, Constitution Hall, and all three DAR

Schools. Bitter Root Chapter also was responsible for changing the name

of “Gibbons Pass” to “Lost Trail Pass.”

In 1939, Bleth “Polly” Wilson (Mrs. C.E.) Dobson was the second

chapter member elected to serve as State Regent. The chapter organized a

“Junior Member Chapter” that began with nine members aged 18 to 35

years and quickly grew to 12, including Virginia Caroline Reilly, an active

go-getter, who by 1940 at the age of 34 had done more than many do in a

lifetime. She earned a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago

in 1929, studied acting in Pasadena, California, and performed in its

community theater, danced and acted in various stage productions in New

York, co-starred with Jackie Cougan in a road production of the play

“What a Life,” worked in Chicago as a radio continuity editor for the

National Safety Council and as a writer for station WBEZ, taught in the

Chicago public schools, and directed the Tournament of Roses Festival in

1932.

In 1946 she would become the wife of Judge Emmet Glore, who was

the first Montana attorney to be appointed as a full-time aide to the

Montana Supreme Court. Virginia went on to work in education in

Missoula, teaching Latin at Hellgate High School until she retired in 1972.


Her family wrote the following limerick about her.

Virginia Reilly is graceful and tall,

She can cartwheel with never a fall.

In a costume gay

on our circus day

she performed to the joy of us all.

A fun, motivational, intelligent, and independent woman, she was

passionate about DAR. In 1940, Virginia helped lead the Junior Member

Chapter and worked tirelessly on the Genealogical Records Committee to

find new members. By 1943, Bitter Root Chapter was the largest DAR

chapter in the state, with 100 members and 21 in the junior chapter, which

had the distinction of purchasing the first “Berman Metal Detector” at a cost

of $350, to be placed by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army where it

was most needed. This was the first of ten such detectors to be given

nationally by our junior members.

In the 1940s, Bitter Root Chapter held fundraisers and bought war

bonds, actively supporting our country and troops during World War II.

Fundraising efforts for the chapter included a “DAR Cookbook” sold in

1941, which listed husbands’ favorite recipes and was dedicated “To Man.”

Hundreds of hours were donated by chapter members to the Red Cross and

the Veteran’s Hospital; all members contributed to the Blood Plasma Fund

and 90% of the members individually bought U.S. war bonds, in addition to

seven U.S. war bonds bought by the chapter. Many hours were devoted to

making and filling “Buddy Bags” for the troops going through Missoula on

trains. In 1943, garments were donated by the members for a “Victory

Exchange,” with Miss Sarah J. White in charge. Juliet Minson Gregory

worked many hours as a volunteer during both World War I and World

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War II, including as a U.S.O. (United Service Organizations) hostess

during World War II. She was one of the forty-four United States women

appointed by President Eisenhower to the National Defense Advisory

Committee on Women in the Service.

In 1947, Juliet Minson (Mrs. H.W., Sr.) Gregory ran for Missoula

Mayor on the republican ticket, campaigning under the slogan “Choose

Between a Full-time and Half-time Mayor!” She stated, “I am running for

Mayor of Missoula on a firm, fearless platform with a plan.” Mrs. Gregory

won the election against democrat nominee Edward Dussault on April 7,

1947, by 30 votes (2520 to 2490). As Missoula’s first, and to date only,

woman mayor, she served a single two-year term, 1947-1949. She was

Woman of the Year in Politics for 1948. One of the first items on her

agenda was controversial action to install parking meters in Missoula’s

downtown. Two downtown business men filed suit against the city and

Mayor Gregory; District Court ruled against the city and it appealed.

Eventually, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mayor Gregory

and the city, stating in March 1948, “There are many cases sustaining the

validity of the use of parking meters as an aid in regulating motor vehicle

traffic, which has become so serious a problem in the cities of the country.”

Mayor Gregory worked to provide funding for police and fire

department budgets, to pave Higgins Avenue, and to help pave the way for

women to become more involved in local politics. In the 1950s Mrs.

Gregory, who earned a B.A. in sociology and anthropology in 1955, taught

second grade at Lowell School in Missoula until she retired in 1962. From

1956-1957 Mrs. Gregory served as the Bitter Root Chapter Regent. She

was very active in many clubs and organizations, some political. However,

she never failed to remind the membership during meetings that DAR

protocol was to keep one’s personal politics out of chapter discussions and

business.


In 1951-1953 Janet Hobb (Mrs. Clarence) Shively was Bitter Root

Chapter Regent and led the chapter in participating in the first Constitution

Citizenship Day on September 17, 1952. The DAR School Committee was

busy sending supplies to schools, packing four boxes for approved schools

on October 25, 1953. Virginia Caroline Reilly (Mrs. Emmet) Glore wrote a

skit depicting conditions of Crossnore School that she, Lucille Stewart

(Mrs. Lee) Bass and other members presented to the chapter on November

21, 1954, to the acclaim of members, after which boxes of clothes and

school supplies were packed and sent to Crossnore.

By 1957, Bitter Root Chapter membership was over 80 members and

218 women had been members since 1919 at one time or another. One of

Bitter Root Chapter’s very active members was honored in 1957. As an

organizing member in 1919, she was known as Miss Florence Irving, but

she married shortly thereafter and became Florence Irving (Mrs. R.A.)

Shannon. She was honored for her 38 active years in the chapter, for which

she “participated in no small measure in its young life, helped it grow to its

present maturity and stature, and earned in its services the respect and

admiration of its membership” (Memorials and Memories). She served as

first Vice Regent under Regent Ewing in 1919, was noted for her many

terms as chapter secretary, particularly in the 1920s, and later served as

chapter regent in 1961-1963. Mrs. Shannon, Bitter Root Chapter’s last

living organizing member, passed away March 25, 1985, and members

went as a group to her funeral, where Ruth Wigfield (Mrs. Milton “Mitch”)

Phillip shared Mrs. Shannon’s many years of DAR service.

From 1959 to 1961 Miss Katherine Wheeler Craighead was Bitter Root

Chapter Regent. A history teacher at Hellgate High School and secretary

for the Delta Gamma Missoula Alumnae Chapter, her father, Dr. Edwin B.

Craighead, was President of Tulane University in 1904, then President of

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the University of Montana in 1912. Craighead Hall is named after him.

Miss Craighead held chapter meetings in the Craighead family home at 605

South 2nd Street West, which is now listed in the McCormick

Neighborhood Historic District and on the National Register of Historic

Places, one of the houses on that street designated as the “Three Sisters.”

Miss Craighead served refreshments in the beautifully furnished library full

of excellent books on shelves that ran from floor to ceiling around the

room and members admired her broad knowledge that stemmed from her

voracious reading. A very well-informed, reflective woman with firm

convictions about the rights of the individual within a democratic republic,

Miss Craighead could and would gamely debate an issue in her calm,

steady voice with Juliet Minson Gregory and/or Virginia Caroline Reilly

Glore, following DAR protocol, of course, and stressing members’ need

for interesting, accurately informative programs at chapter meetings.

In the 1960s, chapter members were busy working to assist local

schools obtain additional teaching materials and books; promoting

conservation and anti-litter programs; conducting fundraisers such as white

elephant auctions, Christmas cookie and bake sales to provide paper,

fountain pens, carbon copy paper, ditto machine supplies, and binders.

Clay was dug from the East Missoula clay pits and delivered in four-pound

bags to ten Missoula School District #1 grade schools. With the chapter

Conservation Committee’s encouragement, members planted a tree each

year from 1963- 1969, and donated small trees, shrubs and plants to area

schools.

From 1967-1969, Mary Rodes (Mrs. C.W.) Leaphart was Bitter Root

Chapter Regent. Beautiful, independent, self-assured and stately, Mrs.

Leaphart was also a very kind, courteous and soft-spoken woman to whom

hospitality was second nature. Raised in Kentucky in the late 1800s to be a

“southern belle,” she married C.W. Leaphart and they lived briefly in

Missoula, leaving to homestead for four years on a thousand acres outside


Arvada, Wyoming, and returning to live north up Rattlesnake Creek

outside of Missoula on ten acres they called Mount Jumbo Fruit Farm,

growing and harvesting apple, cherry, pear and plum trees. C.W. Leaphart

was dean of the University of Montana Law School for 40 years; they had

three children, Mary and twins Bill and Betty.

Regent Mary Leaphart revived throughout the 1970s the very popular

Good Citizen Teas she remembered fondly from years past. The chapter

Good Citizen Committee and other members worked with high schools in

the chapter’s “area” and then traveled to each high school to personally

award the school’s Good Citizen at a formal evening ceremony or during

the day at a school assembly. The chapter’s area included Missoula and

the high schools out of the five valleys leaving Missoula in each direction:

Frenchtown, Alberton, St. Regis, Seeley Lake, Drummond, Arlee, Ronan,

Polson, Florence, Stevensville, Corvallis, Hamilton, Darby and three high

schools in Missoula, Hellgate, Sentinel, and Loyola-Sacred Heart. After all

the Good Citizen Awards were presented to students, the chapter held the

Good Citizen Tea in a member’s home for all award winners and their

parents at early (noon) high tea, announcing all winners and awards.

Members hosted, attired in formals, hats and gloves, visiting with students

and their families, serving tea with lemon or milk, coffee with sugar and

cream, scrumptious mini delights, fancy cookies, tiny tea sandwiches and

homemade cream mints.

Helen Tyler (Mrs. Bruce H.) Johnson was Chapter Regent from 1969-

1971, with her mother, Beatrice “Bea” Carter Tyler, at her side during

meetings. In addition to having an ancestor who fought in the American

Revolution, Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Tyler were descendants of the

prominent kama’aina Lane Hawaiian family, which began with the

marriage of an Irish sea captain with the name of Lane and a member of

31


the royal Hawaiian family. Ancestors in the Lane line were double

revolutionists, as they smuggled in arms for the failed Hawaiian

Revolution (against the United States). Helen Tyler grew up in Honolulu

and married Bruce Johnson in 1943 in San Diego, while he was in the

Army Air Corps during World War II, moving to Missoula in 1943, where

Helen became active in DAR. She worked for Mountain Bell and was the

first woman to enter into their men’s career system, working through their

apprentice, journeyman, and master programs. She, like Juliet Gregory

before her, wasn’t going to let being a woman keep her from the work

she wanted to do. She retired in 1982, then joined the Peace Corps, serving

from 1985- 1989. While in North Yemen, she took refuge in the American

Embassy, as Muammar al-Qaddafi was hiding nearby after U.S. warplanes

bombed his residence in Tripoli, Libya. Vice President George Bush’s

wife, Barbara Bush, kindly called each of Helen’s children to tell them

that their mother was safe.

In the 1970s the practice of chapter members dressing up branched out

from the formals of the Good Citizens Tea to meetings at least once a year

where members came dressed as an ancestor or favorite historical figure,

then acted as that person for the program part of the meeting, answering

member questions “in character” or giving a brief presentation on the

person they were representing. These were very fun and enjoyable

programs.

Ruth Wigfield (Mrs. Milton “Mitch”) Phillip served as Chapter Regent

from 1971- 1973. When asked by her daughter Andrea Phillip how she

became active in the chapter, Ruth replied, “Mrs. Johnson was the chapter

treasurer and was looking for someone to take over the office. Nobody

spoke up wanting to do it, so I said I would do it and I’ve been busy ever

since.” A professional genealogist, Ruth published articles on her family

lines and submitted them to the DAR National Library and the New York

Public Library. She encouraged members to dress in costume or masks for


the October meeting and led members in singing carols and directed

members in playing holiday songs with bells. Each December she loved

being the auctioneer at the chapter’s silent auction and she organized

and hosted Bridge Marathons in her home as chapter fundraisers several

times. Mrs. Phillip loved to have company and often hosted meetings in her

home, usually serving cream puffs, her husband’s favorite. Mrs. Phillip

loved to have fun and wanted everybody included to enjoy themselves too.

While attending a State Conference in 1974, she noticed that, while the

regents had a scheduled breakfast to attend, the rest of the attendees were

left on their own. She began getting these ladies together with her for

breakfast, to visit and have fun. Ruth had a theory formed from her

genealogical research that she liked to share: most people with ancestors

who migrated to America during colonial times very likely had at least one

American Indian ancestor. Thus, the name “Indian Breakfast” was born

and stuck for this breakfast group at MSSDAR State Conferences. Mrs.

Phillip was very proud of all her ancestors, but particularly favored those

of American Indian and/or Scottish descent. She enjoyed being the

Montana State Society American Indian Chairman perhaps more than any

other DAR office she held. It was a goal of hers to find a different ancestor

for each of her four children to use to join either DAR or SAR. She made

that goal eventually. While she and her daughter Andrea both joined DAR

on the same ancestor, her other two daughters, Rochelle and Gloria, and

her son Douglas each went into DAR or SAR on their own different

ancestor. She loved to meet and help members and prospective members

with their search for ancestors and the stories that went with them.

In 1977-1979 Virginia Caroline Reilly (Mrs. Emmet) Glore, an active

member for many years, finally graciously consented to be Bitter Root

Chapter Regent, after declining to be nominated for the position for many

33


years. She tackled her regency with her usual zest. Several interesting

historical programs were given. Juliet Gregory spoke of her memories of

being Missoula City Mayor and her place as a woman in politics. Mrs. Earl

McConnell spoke of her years of being a teacher in Missoula County,

telling of changes she had seen and how school districts had been redrawn

over forty years. She informed the chapter of how the neighborhood grade

schools, which had students attending from first through eighth grade, were

to be changed according to a new “middle school” concept. Ruth Wigfield

Phillip gave a presentation on “Researching Your Indian Roots” based on

her own personal research journey.

It was the custom of the chapter to hold a fall meeting every year in the

bitterroot valley in Stevensville at the Bass Mansion where Barbara Bass

(Mrs. George) Chilcott told members the story of how her grandfather

Dudley Bass came to the bitterroot valley in 1864 with his brother William.

The Bass Brothers started the Pine Grove Fruit Farm with 320 acres and

later expanded their land to 1000 acres. They began shipping produce to

New York and Canada; they built a sawmill and a grist mill and also raised

hay, grain and unique livestock, such as Durham cattle and Norman-

Percheron horses. Bass Peak, Bass Canyon, Bass Creek and Bass Crossing

are all named for the Bass Brothers. The brothers married sisters Etta and

Virginia Emmett from Vermont, with Dudley marrying Etta. Virginia

Emmett Bass was known as the first white woman to see the bitterroot

valley. Mrs. Chilcott’s mother and long-time chapter member, Lucille

Stewart (Mrs. Lee) Bass, added information on the Bass Mansion, designed

by architect A.J. Gibson in 1910 and listed on the National Registrar of

Historic Places. Although the mansion had been sold in 1959, the Bass

family was allowed access by the new owners, and Barbara and Lucille

Bass concluded the program by showing members their collection of

antique family dresses. Mrs. Chilcott had worn her grandmother’s, Mrs.


Helen (Hall) Stewart’s, wedding gown for her own wedding to George

Chilcott in 1947 in the Bass Mansion.

Barbara Bass Chilcott was Bitter Root Chapter Regent in 1970-1981,

holding several meetings at her home in Stevensville on Barbara Lane.

Members were greeted by a huge pet sheep tending the lawn. Chapter

programs featured national and international events; the chapter raised

funds to add to the Good Citizen Award Scholarship and provide supplies

for local schools. Regent Chilcott loved to play bridge and another Bridge

Marathon fundraiser was held, which Ruth Wigfield Phillip organized.

Regent Chilcott and her husband had four sons, 14 grandchildren and 15

foster children. The couple started the Chilcott Memorial Scholarship Fund

in Stevensville at the Rocky Mountain Bank to assist young people.

In the 1980s we became liberated from prior meeting protocol! While

many members continued to attend meetings in dresses, it was no longer a

requirement and members started wearing “nice pant suits” to meetings.

The formals slowly disappeared, except for State Conferences and some

special chapter events, such as awarding the ROTC Medal at the University

of Montana, which at the time was an awards ceremony/formal ball

combination. High tea went the way of the lost. Good Citizens Award Tea

was moved to the Missoula Public Library with tea, coffee, punch and cake

being served. However, members still dressed up in costume or special

clothes for fun! Regent Helen (Mrs. Lloyd) Eickert hosted an event to

honor members Virginia Caroline Reilly Glore, organizing member

Florence Irving Shannon, and Ruth Laing with 50-year membership

certificates and members came to the event wearing special hats, of which

each wearer told their hat’s unique story. Afterwards, all hats were doffed

simultaneously, with a curtsey, in honor of these three outstanding chapter

members.

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In 1983-1985 Ms. Andrea Phillip (Mrs. Douglas Frandsen) served as

Bitter Root Chapter Regent. In the seventies, Andrea and Myrna Sparkman

(Mrs. Anthony) Terzo were the only two junior members. They brought

their little ones to meetings, learned about DAR protocol, and took

committees and offices as asked. During her regency, Ms. Phillip was still

a junior member. It was a daunting task to learn to apply Robert’s Rules of

Order, which were strictly to be held during meetings, with so many

outstanding, well known, and formidable chapter members, while

attempting to follow member protocol. With the chapter’s consent, Regent

Andrea Phillip set a chapter goal to foster a growing chapter membership.

Fortunately, the chapter had a fantastic foursome of energetic genealogist

members willing to go above and beyond to help others join the DAR,

Bitter Root Chapter in particular. They were: Blanche Harper Tate,

Caroline “Carol” Church (Mrs. Larry) Israel, Virginia Reilly Glore, and her

mother Ruth Wigfield Phillip, all of whom worked together closely and

often, for many meetings and hours, to grow the chapter membership! Mrs.

Tate was the “runner” to get needed signatures, driving often to obtain

them personally. Regent Andrea Phillip continued a custom from prior

years and made Regent’s Calls with her mother, visiting prospective

members and chapter members in their homes or inviting them over to

theirs to become more acquainted.

The chapter celebrated its 65th birthday in 1984 with a lovely birthday

cake presented by Blanche Tate and Carol Israel with several new

members and prospective members attending. The chapter meetings were

quite lively. After the President General’s Message or a National Defender

article was read, it was up for discussion, and discussed it certainly was, to

the interest and edification of all present. In 1984, the Bitter Root Chapter

Good Citizen Award winner, Tracy Morin of Arlee, was awarded Montana

State Good Citizen at State Conference, breaking a long wait for a chapter


winner since Sue Kathleen Higham from Missoula in 1966. The chapter

also had a record number of schools contacted in the Five Valleys area for

the American History Month Essay Contest. Meanwhile, things didn’t

always go as planned for Regent Andrea Phillip; at the April 25, 1984,

meeting, Ruth Phillip announced that her daughter was unable to be present

to chair the meeting due to “the conflict of giving birth.” Andrea Phillip to

date is the only Bitter Root Chapter Regent who was unable to preside over

a meeting due to such a conflict.

In 1985, another bridge marathon financed a 100% contribution for

Liberty Love. Chapter members Blanche Tate and Carol Israel were

working at the time to preserve records on Missoula and area marriages,

and bible records. They also found, after a long Missoula County

Courthouse hunt, the previous marriage records work done by the 1930s

Genealogical Records Committee of the chapter, which they restored and

expanded. Mrs. Tate and Mrs. Israel were honored by the Missoula Public

Library as outstanding volunteers for their hours of devoted work; they

were honored similarly by the NSDAR as well and their genealogical

research and writings found a home in our National Library in Washington

D.C. as two donated bound volumes.

Myrna Sparkman (Mrs. Anthony) Terzo was Bitter Root Chapter Regent

from 1985-1987 and her sister, Mary Sparkman (Mrs. Charles) Chesbro,

joined the chapter. It was a wonderful time of fun meetings with the

membership focusing on sponsoring school activities such as the American

History Essay Contest and the Good Citizen throughout the valleys, with

both students and teachers receiving awards, and Juliet Minson Gregory

being awarded a Community Service Medal by the mayor of Missoula for

her many years of community service.

37


Louanna (Mrs. Thomas A.) Butler served as chapter regent from 1987-

1990, being the first member to serve as regent for three consecutive years.

She was and still is well known during election time as the best longtime

election official in Missoula. Mrs. Butler’s three-year regency was very

busy, as not only did she co-chair and serve as chapter host for the 85th

State Conference in 1988, Montana was getting ready for State Centennial

celebrations, and our chapter was participating. Together with the local

Sons and Daughters of the American Pioneers, Bitter Root Chapter made a

Centennial Float for the Missoula Centennial Parade. The chapter was very

fortunate to have chapter members’ husbands willing to help them,

especially Dennis Tate, Thomas Butler and John Robinson, who worked

many hours. State Regent Shirley Hand Groff, who drove the vehicle

pulling the float, recounts in her “Regent’s Summary” (1988-1990):

She (Louanna) spent her first year making her official visits to the

state’s chapters and planning a Montana Centennial Float as her

regent’s project. This float was…entered in the summer of 1989 in the

patriotic and Montana Centennial parades in Butte, Missoula,

Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman, Kalispell, and Dillon. The float,

which was designed by Bitter Root Daughter Mary (Mrs. Charles)

Chesbro, won third place in Missoula, second place in Helena and

Dillon, and the sweepstakes competition in Kalispell. Mrs. Groff

personally publicized the events with letters to the local

newspapers, and she received three nights of news coverage on

the Helena television channel.” (Montana State Society

Daughters of the American Revolution Centennial History,

compiled by State Regent (1990-1992) Iris McKinney Gray,

Volume 5, 1894-1994, page 27.)


The late 1980s into the 1990s was a time of chapter financial shortage.

Mary Sparkman Chesbro was the Lolo postmaster, a job she performed for

21 years; and, therefore, was in a knowledgeable position to save the chapter

financially through envelope cancellation fund raising efforts, a very

effective way to raise money. She would come up with a cancellation plan,

get it approved by the United State Postal Service, carry it out from start to

finish, and we chapter members would then sell those subsequent special

envelope cancellations. In 1987 she started an envelope cancellation project

for the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. The September 17, 1987,

cancellation of the envelope was “Montana Society DAR 85th Annual State

Conference Salutes the U.S. Constitution.” These were sold by members

locally and at the MSSDAR State Conference. They also were sold at local

post offices. In 1989 she started another special envelope cancellation

project for our Montana State Centennial Celebration raising funds by

featuring Missoula, nearby cities and St. Mary’s Mission. The cancellation

was pictorial and designed by Doug Robinson, a local artist, enabling

Montana communities and places to further participate in the Montana

Centennial. The student winning with the best design of all the stamps was

Jeremy Presta, who was awarded a $100 savings bond, donated jointly by

Bitter Root Chapter and the U.S. Postal Service. Participating libraries

received a set of the stamps, a Montana flag, and a United States flag.

Participating schools received a 4 by 6 inch Montana Centennial Flag and

stand. The envelopes were cancelled on November 8, 1989. Chapter

members dressed up in 1889 dress and went to a post office or public

building in each town and sold the envelopes.

In 1990, Ms. Andrea Phillip became both the 1990 MSSDAR

Outstanding Junior and the 1990 Northwestern Division Winner, to her

39


work as the School Librarian at Washington Middle School. After the call,

her students reprimanded her for getting so excited in the library.

From 1990-1992 Marjorie “Marge” Shuyler (Mrs. John) Robinson was

Bitter Root Chapter Regent, giving a facelift to our ceremonies celebrating

new U.S. citizens at the Missoula Federal Court. She organized bakers,

sandwich and coffee makers to put together treats after the ceremony, with

members welcoming and visiting with potential new citizens, giving flags

and congratulations during the ceremony, and serving afterwards. Mrs.

Robinson worked on the chapter’s naturalization ceremonies for many

years and they are still going strong. Ever a historian at heart, Marge held

informative meetings, including one at St. Mary’s Mission to celebrate the

NSDAR Centennial, a Christmas dinner at the Marcus Daly Mansion, and

many on the U.S. Constitution. During Desert Storm, the chapter made

and provided yellow ribbons one by five feet in size, to hang on public and

private flag poles under the American Flag in honor of the armed forces

serving in the Persian Gulf conflict.

In 1992, Louanna Butler was the third Bitter Root Chapter member

to become Montana State Regent! A highlight of her regency is having

two National Society DAR winners: Lu Ellis, 1992 winner of the

NSDAR Volunteer Award for service at the Miles City Veterans

Hospital, and Maureen McNellis, Oro Fino Chapter 1993 Good Citizen,

also was awarded the 1993 NSDAR Outstanding Good Citizen Award

in Washington D.C. Maureen went on to medical school and is now a

physician in Helena.

State Regent Butler’s Project was to provide a central location for

members to do genealogical research. She was distressed that MSSDAR

members did not have a central Montana depository for records on

ancestors with which to conduct research. Blanche Tate found that most of


the research resources, including a set of NSDAR ancestor indexes, were in

the Paris Gibson Library in Great Falls, which later housed a genealogical

society, an archival area and our MSSDAR repository. The State Historical

Society gave their collection of NSDAR ancestor indexes to the Helena

Genealogical Society, located in the Lewis and Clark Library. The chapter

at Anaconda also had a complete set of the NSDAR ancestor indexes, which

went to the Anaconda Public Library when the Anaconda chapter

disbanded. Mrs. Tate found that Butte also had a large library of

genealogical resources.

Although State Regent Butler was unable to provide a central Montana

location for members to do genealogical research, her state regency, with

the aid of Mrs. Tate, established at that time where the NSDAR

genealogical resources were. Also, at the Oct. 1993 National Board of

Management meeting in Washington, D.C., State Regent Butler finalized

plans for the Northwest States Breakfast, which Montana co-hosted with

Alaska at the 103rd Continental Congress in 1994. State Regent Butler

presided at the 91st State Conference on March 17-19, 1994, when

MSSDAR celebrated its Centennial Birthday.

From 1992-1994, Bitter Root super fundraiser Mary Sparkman Chesbro

served as Chapter Regent, continuing her chapter fundraising efforts

including hosting rummage sales at her house. Mary started the chapter

doing joint projects with other service groups, such as the Boy Scouts of

America. Genealogist members Blanche Harper Tate and Carol Church

Israel compiled Revolutionary War records on microfiche to donate to the

Montana Family History Center in Missoula.

The 1939 Marian Anderson incident was brought again to the Bitter

Root Chapter’s attention in 1993. This incident had been a source of contro-

41


versy for the DAR, off and on through the years, since it happened. Abigail

Van Buren, through her popular column “Dear Abby”, was lambasting the

DAR over it. Abigail Van Buren held a false assumption as truth, which

she published in her column, that the National Society Daughters of the

American Revolution in 1939 had refused to allow a famous singer, Marian

Anderson, to perform in Constitution Hall because of her race. In response

to the “Dear Abby” columns, NSDAR President General Mrs. Donald

Shattuck Blair sent out in April 1993 an official “Statement Issued by the

President General” to all chapters and the statement also was published in

the April 1993 issue of the DAR Magazine. She clearly stated that

bookings for Constitution Hall were done months in advance and bookings

for April 1939 were printed and released to the public prior to the booking

request for Miss Anderson.

Miss Marian Anderson sang at Constitution Hall in 1953, 1954, 1955,

1956, 1960, and in 1964 began her farewell tour with a concert there.

Constitution Hall was dedicated in 1929 and home to the National

Symphonic Symphony until the 1960s. Miss Marian Anderson’s agent, Sol

Hurok, requested to use Constitution Hall for Miss Anderson for Easter

Sunday, April 9, 1939, and was told it was already booked by the

Symphony. Mr. Hurok did not request an alternate date. The President

General went on to state, “The National Society does not practice

discrimination and its members represent a number of different races.” In

1931, the famous American tenor and composer Roland Hayes, who was

African American, had performed in Constitution Hall. The Hampton

Choir had also performed there and many other artists of various races. In

any case, a false assumption of racism by the Daughters of the American

Revolution took its ugly root in ignorant minds. In the Morning News

Tribune Thursday, April 22, 1993, in “All Letter to Editor,” a letter from

Joy Wiseman of Tacoma was published commenting on the paper’s


column April 9 by Ellen Goodman stating that the DAR barred Marion

Anderson from performing at the NSDAR Constitution Hall. Joy Wiseman

responded that Constitution Hall was requested for Marian Anderson for the

same day it was already booked for the National Symphony, writing further,

"Since its dedication in 1929, Constitution Hall has been used by all races.”

However, for her New Year’s Eve “Dear Abby” column, Dec. 31, 1993,

Abigail Van Buren, in looking back over the year stated, “Marian Anderson,

first black to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, after having been spurned by the

DAR, died at 96.” Next Abigail Van Buren published in her Feb. 7, 1994

“Dear Abby” column a letter signed as Raleigh, N.C., which refuted the

racism allegation, explaining the prior booking and that Constitution Hall

did not practice segregation. Abigail Van Buren did not respond to this

letter in the same day’s column, but responded by printing another letter in

her “Dear Abby” column on March 14, 1994. Abigail Van Buren published

the letter signed Newton S. Friedman, Attorney at Law in Duluth,

Minnesota. Mr. Friedman wrote that the letter from Raleigh, N.C. was

“racism.” Abigail Van Buren shot back her response to Mr. Friedman

directly after his letter. It is, “Dear Mr. Friedman: Evidence received.

Evidence believed. Thank you.” On Friday, May 6, 1999, The Missoulian

published that day’s “Dear Abby” column under the heading, “Let’s look

ahead to harmony, says DAR.” Abigail Van Buren had published the letter,

“Dear Abby, no more brickbats for the DAR. Just give this tiny point of

light a chance to flourish and burn brightly for others to see and emulate,”

signed by Virginia L. Rau, Regent, White Alloe Chapter of the DAR,

Kansas City, Missouri. Abigail Van Buren responded, “Dear Virginia L.

Rau: Consider it done.” After stirring up charges of racism for the DAR, it

may have seemed very well to Abigail Van Buren to just drop the matter

43


without a recant or apology. Perhaps the publicity rendered by using the

1939 Marian Anderson incident for charging racism, without first checking

the facts, or in total disregard for the facts, made and still makes, the false

accusation, or libel, of others worth it to some.

The result for Bitter Root Chapter, after these columns were published,

was to make it much harder to find schools willing to help students enter

the DAR Good Citizen Contest or compete in the American History Essay

Contest. The whole affair affected public perceptions of the Daughters of

the American Revolution very negatively each time it was raised, from

1939 on, even though the allegations were and remain completely false.

Abigail Van Buren, now dead, never did recant or apologize.

Norma (Mrs. Grant) Baker was Chapter Regent from 1994-1996. She

had a commanding presence and very firm convictions. She proposed that

members return to a “dresses only” dress code for chapter and state DAR

events, but was met by stunned silence and no motion forthcoming from

the floor. That settled the issue and members celebrated remaining

liberated!

Kansie (Mrs. Vernon) Starcher, a veteran, served as Chapter Regent

from 1996-1998. She donated money on the chapter’s behalf to the

Veteran’s Memorial in Washington D.C. and to the Veteran’s Hospital

and Administration Center Fort Harrison in Helena. Since 1991 she served

on the Veterans Affairs Service Advisory Council as a Deputy

Representative for Veterans Hospital and Administration Center Fort

Harrison in Helena. She hosted several rummage sale fundraisers and

worked to update the Bitter Root Chapter Scrapbook appearance with a

tooled leather cover, embossed with a tinted bitterroot flower on the front,

which could be reused for each new regent’s term. During 1998, Regent

Starcher was quite ill, having cancer, and Ms. Andrea Phillip became


Chapter Regent for a second time from 1998-2000. During Ms. Phillip’s

first term as chapter regent she had been given several boxes of chapter

effects, including minutes, programs, scrapbooks, and other regalia, from

terms prior, some quite historic, but by now the boxes had multiplied

covering a six x seven foot space stacked four feet high. With the chapter’s

consent, she went through the boxes to tidy up and organize the contents,

contacted the Mike and Maureen Mansfield University of Montana Library

to make arrangements to place their contents safely into the library

archives, and delivered them where they remain to this date.

From 2000-2002 Ms. Carol A. White was our chapter regent.

Throughout the 2000s our chapter was busy donating flags and supporting

memorials. The chapter donated flags to the Missoula Public Library when

their meeting room flags were stolen. The chapter donated flags for the

Vietnam War Memorial at the Missoula Memorial Rose (Park) Garden and

for the veterans’ “Avenue of Flags” at Missoula Cemetery. The chapter

donated small flags and flag brochures to Missoula County Public Schools

for student use. The chapter also lost its Bitter Root Chapter flag at a state

conference, sometime between 2000 and 2004. Chapter member Marge

Shuyler Robinson replaced it. Helen Tyler (Mrs. Bruce H.) Johnson’s son,

Bruce H. Johnson Jr., helped lead an 18-man committee to place a

Montana State Korean War Veteran’s Memorial in Missoula at the

Memorial Rose (Park) Garden. He is an artist and donated the original

design and artwork for the memorial, which features a map of Korea and a

soldier looking down at the helmet of a fallen comrade. The chapter

donated $500 toward this memorial.

In 2004, Jolanda (Mrs. Nicholes Puccinelli) Hritsco was awarded

MSSDAR Outstanding Junior. Mary Sparkman Chesbro ran another

exciting envelope cancellation fund raiser with Lewis and Clark featured

45


in Commemoration of the 200th anniversary of their travels with the Corps

of Discovery, with five envelopes canceled Sept. 13, 2005, available:

1)“Corps of Discovery at Traveler’s Rest” by Edgar Samuel Paxson, 1913,

at Missoula Museum of the Arts, 2) “Captain Meriwether Crossing the

Clark Fork” by Edgar Samuel Paxson, at Missoula Museum of the Arts, 3)

“Lewis and Clark in the Bitterroots” by John F. Clymer, at Clymer

Museum of Art, Ellensburg, Washington, 4) “Lewis and Clark at Ross’

Hole” by C.M. Russell, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana, and

5) “Journey of Lewis and Clark”. Andrea Phillip and Marjorie Robinson

presented a program based on the book Spirits of America: The Social

History of Alcohol by Eric Burns, members read aloud colonist parts of

daily doings from a Reader’s Theater written by Andrea Phillip, and homebrewed

spruce ale, similar to that drank by the colonists and made by

Andrea’s son Matthew Frandsen, was served. Louanna Butler was elected

to serve as Chapter Regent for a second time, from 2004-2006, and carried

on with chapter fundraising projects and chapter membership building.

Kim Tyler (Mrs. Larry) Ashwell was Chapter Regent from 2006 to

2008 when 80% of the membership subscribed to the DAR magazine. Her

regency focused on the Good Citizen Award with 16 participants writing

essays for the award from Missoula County. Essay judges included

Missoula Mayor John Engen, Mr. Chris Warden from the Washington

Corporation and Dr. George Price from the University of Montana; Good

Citizen Award Ceremonies were held in the meeting room of the Missoula

Public Library. Regent Ashwell also provided services for veterans at the

Veterans Hospital and Administration Center Fort Harrison in Helena

delivering monthly cookies, stamps, and hand crocheted lap robes that

were made by Bonnie Huber, Helen DoBell and Kim. Mrs. Helen DoBell

and Mrs. Helen Tyler Johnson became 50-year members and Mrs. Jolanda

Hritsco was actively organizing Children of the Revolution activities, with


her two children participating. An outstanding program during this regency

was held at the Military Museum at Fort Missoula on soldier graves. Kim

Ashwell volunteered 25 hours a week at the Montana State Veterans Center

for seven and a half years doing administrative work and assisting with

tasks, retiring 2017.

In 2007 the Bitter Root Chapter’s Lewis and Clark huge stone boulder

and marker at Traveler’s Rest were destined to move again. The actual site

of where the Corps of Discovery rested was finally determined through

ground testing for mercury, an ingredient of Dr. Rush’s Pills, with which

Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark dosed ill Corps members.

The new spot was about three-quarters of a mile west on Highway 12 from

where Highway 12 intersects Highway 93, guaranteeing the marker’s site

as one of the few in the United States with physical confirmation of being

where the Corps of Discovery expedition had actually been. The new area

was to become Traveler’s Rest State Park.

But, how would the chapter move the marker? The stone marker was

every bit as large and heavy in 2002 as it was when first placed 82 years

prior in 1925. The chapter looked for someone to do the job; a bid came in

at $2000. Member LeEtta Holden (Mrs. Monty) Petersen volunteered that

her husband had a truck that could move the marker once it was lifted onto

it; Blanche Harper Tate’s daughter, Lisa Tate, knew the family of DG

Crane Company, owned by Harold Davis, and they provided the crane to

lift the stone marker. Mike Davis, Harold’s son, worked the crane to lift the

marker; Scott Petersen, chapter member LeEtta Petersen’s son, drove the

truck that moved the marker; and the stone marker was moved without

mishap. No one charged for their labor or equipment. Mary Sparkman

Chesbro got the Boy Scouts of Lolo to replant the area the marker had been

moved from with donated seeds and plants. The chapter gave Mike Davis

47


and Scott Petersen each a $50 gift certificate in thanks for their work. The

stone marker was moved safely and successfully for the third time for

$100. This cost was $196.50 less than the total cost of the first placing of

the marker eighty-two years earlier.

During this time, Mary Chesbro was proposing starting a Trivia

Tournament as another fundraising project, or reviving bridge tournaments

similar to the Bridge Marathon fundraisers that Ruth Wigfield Phillip ran.

Mrs. Chesbro was full of great ideas of things to do with and for DAR and

was always part of any committee where favors were made or craft use was

needed. Her son, Jon Chesbro, was also helpful and made the flag stands

used in the Missoula Public Library meeting room for his Eagle Scout

Project. In 2007, Mrs. Chesbro was Montana State Vice Regent, and would

have most likely become our fourth Bitter Root Chapter member to be

Montana State Regent, but, tragically, she passed away from cancer. Bitter

Root Chapter provided a special pictorial cancellation service at the

Missoula Public Library in our dear Mary’s honor. She is sorely missed.

From 2008-2010 Bonnie (Mrs. Frank) Huber was our chapter regent.

After completing her term as Bitter Root Chapter Regent, she organized the

Kuilix Chapter in St. Ignatius becoming the first Bitter Root Chapter

member to serve as Organizing Regent of a different MSSDAR chapter.

In 2012 Linda Nyquist (Mrs. Byron) Robinson became our first chapter

regent to serve two terms back-to-back for four consecutive years, until

2016. Her focus was on re-establishing communication and retaining and

obtaining new members. The chapter maintained a calling tree, which kept

members in touch with one another, giving meeting and other information

to all members. Regent Robinson and members located new, interesting

meeting places outside members’ homes. During her regency, Bitter Root

Chapter’s by-laws were rewritten.


In 2016 Blanche L. Harper (Mrs. Dennis Armfield) Tate became our

chapter regent and continues in that capacity to date. When she completes

her regency in 2020, she will be the second chapter regent to serve two

terms for four consecutive years. During the autumn of 2017, she initiated

a fundraiser called the “Mercantile Project.” Central to this project was the

artwork of member Nancy Jen Mathews (Mrs. Eugene David) Schmitz who

had done a wonderful painting of the Missoula Mercantile in days gone by.

The project, to make mounted blocks and stationery cards of the painting

for sale, raised over $1600. On Feb. 11, 2017, Miss Gloria Phillip, chapter

Native American Committee Chair, presented an acclaimed program called

“Chief Looking Glass and the Nez Perce Flight,” based on her historical

research resulting in new information with a fresh view. The program was

so insightful and informative that the members clamored for copies of it,

but it was still a work in progress. The Bitter Root Chapter’s by-laws were

rewritten once more and, in the spring of 2018, the chapter hosted the 115th

MSSDAR State Conference, State Regent Jane Lee Hamman presiding.

The autumn of 2018 found the chapter discussing the Traveler’s Rest

Marker again, not to move it, thankfully, but on how best to clean it. On

August 16, 2018, Bitter Root Chapter hosted a naturalization ceremony at

the Missoula Federal Court, welcoming 33 new citizens!

Their work with libraries and genealogical records has never stopped for

Carol Church Israel and Blanche Harper Tate. They have been indexing

vital records from The Missoulian newspaper for the Missoula Public

Library for 40 years, being awarded Missoula Public Library Volunteer of

the Year award several times, and both serving many times on the chapter

Lineage Research Committee and Genealogical Records Committee. Their

work with bible records is also ongoing; they photo copy available records

or type them onto acid free paper. Once they get some accumulated, they

49


send them to the NSDAR Genealogical Records committee. Mrs. Israel has

worked for over 37 years teaching people how to research their ancestors;

willing to help anyone, she tells a story about helping a prospective

member who couldn’t understand why a copy of her marriage certificate

was required. “You have to have a marriage record,” Mrs. Israel said.

“Everyone knows it,” the prospective member replied, meaning that she

was married and to whom. Mrs. Israel then said, “But they don’t in D.C.”

The prospective member got the needed certificate copy and her papers

were moving along.

Each year in May we have held and continue to hold a chapter

memorial in tribute to those members who have passed away during the

preceding twelve months for whom we were unable to honor with an

individual memorial held during a chapter meeting closer to the time of

their passing. Miss Gloria Phillip held the office of chapter chaplain for

four terms from 1998-2000, 2012-2014, 2014-2016, 2016-2018, and filled

in as chapter chaplain intermittently. She did her best to honor the departed

members, weaving into her services biblical texts pertinent to the departed

member, talking about the member in light of the text. This made her

services as chaplain stand out. Other outstanding Bitter Root Chapter

chaplains lauded within the chapter minutes are Marjorie Robinson and

Katherine Craighead.

Many other activities have been worked on and provided with hours

and dollars throughout Bitter Root Chapter’s lifetime and continue today.

Over the years, our chapter has consistently helped and supported potential

new citizens through the naturalization process and hosted the Bitter Root

Chapter Naturalization Ceremony in Missoula. Award programs still

include the Good Citizen Award for high school seniors, the Outstanding

ROTC Cadet Award at the University of Montana, which entails presenting

awards to four top cadets of the Army and Air Force, the Outstanding


History Teacher Award, and the middle school American History Essay

Contest awards. Bitter Root Chapter is the first chapter to complete a

survey of Montana’s pre-1890 cemeteries. The DAR Marker at Traveler’s

Rest State Park has provided our chapter with a weighty project, whether it

was placing it initially, moving it, or keeping it in good repair. Bitter Root

chapter members have many opportunities to be busy with wonderful DAR

activities, projects, committees, conferences and fun. In September 2018

the chapter listed 74 members and continues to look for new DAR

members. Several of our members are excellent genealogists, and they are

very willing and able to help anyone interested in tracing her ancestors and

joining Bitter Root Chapter.

It seems fitting for the 100th year of the Bitter Root Chapter,

NSDAR to list the full roster of Bitter Root Chapter officers for 2019.

They are:

Regent: Blanche Harper (Mrs. Dennis Armfield) Tate

Vice Regent: Janet Hockert (Mrs. James) Loran

Chaplain: Barbara Abrams Fowler

Recording Secretary: Elizabeth C. Tomlinson

Corresponding Secretary: LeEtta Holden (Mrs. C. Monty) Petersen

Treasurer: Linda Nyquist (Mrs. Byron Scott) Robinson

Registrar: Nancy Mathews (Mrs. Eugene David) Schmitz

Historian: Betty Atchison (Mrs. Thomas O.) Hilmo

Librarian: Angela “Angie” Bigelow (Mrs. Michael) Breidenbach

Through the years there are many examples of members holding

chapter offices, sometimes in conjunction with state offices, while also

manning chapter and/or state committees, and other DAR tasks. The

unifying remark made about many of our chapter regents is that they were

seen to “hold the chapter together.” This is a reflection perhaps on the

51


enormous task of being a chapter regent and how very much work is

required of one. It is a well-deserved appreciation of their hard work and

dedication. However, the membership also holds the chapter together. It

is the many dedicated, hard-working, office fulfilling, fundraising,

committee working, award giving, and untold more members who

deserve our appreciation and thanks too. Without them, all of these many

DAR women over the years, our chapter would not have made it to its

hundredth year. We are very thankful for all of them, we are still here,

and we wish those who follow us the best for the future.

In our 100-year history, we have endorsed and supported the

following three State Regents.

Ethel Potts Grey (Mrs. Rev. Richard A. Roderick) Keith

State Regent 1930-1931

Member #2991; Revolutionary Ancestor: Thomas Potts

Ethel was born January 23, 1871, in

Camden, New Jersey, to Samuel H. and Julia

Grey. Samuel served as the Attorney General

in New Jersey from 1897-1902. While she

was single, Ethel traveled with family and

friends to Europe and across the east coast. In

1906, she married Rev. Richard Roderick and

they had one son, Austin. She later married

John Martin Keith, who served as mayor of

Missoula and was president of the Missoula

Trust and Savings bank, which merged with

the First National bank in 1927.


Ethel Grey was originally a member of a DAR chapter in New Jersey.

She was a charter member of the Bitter Root Chapter in Missoula, serving

as vice regent and then Chapter Regent from 1924-1925, when she and the

chapter hosted the State Conference for the first time in that city. While the

chapter was placing the Travelers Rest monument at Lolo, the original piece

of granite broke. Since the chapter had used all of its funds to purchase and

transport the monument, Mrs. Keith and Mrs. A.J. Gibson each loaned the

chapter $60 for a replacement rock.

Prominent in local civic and social circles, Ethel also was a leader in the

work of the Church of the Holy Spirit. She died April 18, 1945, in Seattle,

Washington. She is buried in Missoula Cemetery. The grave does not have

a DAR marker. An obituary in The Independent Record, April 21, 1945,

page 2, says:

Last Rites Held in Missoula For Mrs. Keith, Widow of Former

Mayor Dies in Seattle Home; Missoula, April 21 – Funeral services

were to be held today for Mrs. Ethel G. Keith, who died Wednesday

in Seattle. The Rev. T. W. Bennett of the Episcopal Church was to

officiate at a local chapel. The body was cremated in Seattle. Mrs.

Keith had resided here (in Missoula) from 1911 until in 1942, she

went to the coast to live. Her first husband was R. A. Roderick. In

1918, she married the late J. M. Keith. He was a leading banker and

served as mayor of Missoula for three terms. Mr. Keith died here in

1929. Mrs. Keith was a former president of the Missoula Woman’s

club and was a leader in the Daughters of the American Revolution. A

son, Austin Roderick of Missoula, survives.

53


Bleth “Polly” Maurine Wilson (Mrs. Charles E.) Dobson

State Regent 1939-1941

Member #222078; Revolutionary Ancestors: Joseph Attwood,

Philip Roush

Bleth Maurine Wilson was born

September 12, 1892, in Iowa to

Corydon and Mary Ella Wilson She

married Charles Dobson in 1914 and

they had three children.

Polly Wilson Dobson served as

Bitter Root Chapter Regent from

1933 to 1935. She led chapter

members to do a great deal of Red

Cross Relief work during her term

and served as hostess for the 1935

State Conference in Missoula. She

served as the MSSDAR State Treasurer and then was elected State

Regent in 1939 for her two-year regency.

Her DAR membership went inactive Feb. 1, 1960, and she died

August 21, 1965, in Portland, Oregon. She is buried in the Finley-Sunset

Hills Memorial Park there. An obituary in The Missoulian August 15,

1965, page 13 states:

Resident Accorded Rites. Funeral services for Mrs. Bleth W. Dobson,

a former Missoula resident, were conducted Saturday in Portland, Ore.

Mrs. Dobson, who had lived in Missoula for 45 years, died Thursday

in a convalescent home in Portland. Surviving are the widower, C.E.

Dobson of Portland, and three sons, Dr. Donald Dobson of Portland,


Col. C. E. Dobson Quantico, Va., and Wilson J. Dobson of North

Palm Beach, Fla.

An obituary in The Missoulian newspaper August 17, 1965, page 11, states:

Mrs. C.E. Dobson Final rites were conducted Saturday in Portland,

Ore., for Mrs. C.E. (Bleth W.) Dobson, Missoula resident 45 years

who died Thursday after a long illness. Mrs. Dobson was the 1958

winner of the Matrix Table award, a founder of the Missoula Navy

Mothers Club and active in the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church,

Daughters of the American Revolution and philanthropic

organizations.

Her widower, who lives at 1370 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., in Portland,

was in the insurance and loan business in Missoula. Three sons also

survive. The family asked contributions to the Damon Runyon Cancer

Fund as a memorial.

55


Louanna Flynn (Mrs. Thomas A.) Butler

State Regent 1992-1994

Member #545998; Revolutionary Ancestor: Michael Kistler

Louanna Flynn was born January

28, 1941, in Elkhart, Indiana, to

Norman and Doris (Swihart)

Flynn. She graduated from Helena

High School in Montana and

then Eastern Montana College at

Billings in 1963 with a B.S. in

Education. She married Thomas

A. Butler June 5, 1963, in Helena

and they had two children:

Ronald N. and Holly J. Today

Louanna enjoys four grandchildren: Josh, Jake, Hannah and

Madison.

Louanna taught school in Helena, Moscow, Idaho, and Anchorage,

Alaska. She joined Beaverhead Chapter, NSDAR in Dillon, Montana,

transferring in 1968 to Oro Fino Chapter in Helena, appearing in the 1975

edition of Outstanding Young Women of America, being nominated by the

Oro Fino Chapter. Louanna transferred to Colonel John Mitchell Chapter,

NSDAR in Anchorage where she served as Chapter Regent, State

Secretary and State Treasurer. Finally, she transferred to the Bitter Root

Chapter in Missoula, Montana, where she served as Chapter Regent twice

in 1987-1990 and 2004-2006. During her second term, the chapter held the


most spectacular cachet envelope sale raising money to move the DAR

Lewis and Clark Trail marker from Highway 93 South to the grounds of

the Traveler’s Rest grounds.

Louanna served the Montana State Society DAR as Librarian,

Historian, Vice Regent and then State Regent, as well as State Chair of

Americanism and DAR Manual for Citizenship, American History,

Program, and on the NSDAR Speakers Staff. During her regency, she was

honored to have the National Outstanding Good Citizen from Oro Fino

Chapter and the National Outstanding Veteran Volunteer, Lulu Ellis, from

Powder River Chapter. She hosted the 85th State Conference at Missoula

in 1988 with President General Ann Duffie (Mrs. Raymond F.) Fleck in

attendance and provided leadership on the Host Committee for the 115th

State Conference at Missoula.

SOURCES:

• Bitter Root Chapter: The First 100 Years, compiled and written by

Andrea Phillip using more than 25 listed sources, plus first-person

interviews and

accounts by Bitter Root Chapter NSDAR members Andrea Phillip, Blanche

Tate, Caroline ‘Carol” Israel, Louanna Butler, Gloria Phillip, LeEtta Petersen,

Kim Ashwell and Linda Robinson, edited by Andrea Phillip and Gloria Phillip

with excerpts by Jane Lee Hamman for purposes of this 125th Anniversary

compilation.

• Memorials and Memories by Albertina “Tina” Brown Parker, May 11, 1957,

Bitter Root Chapter NSDAR Archives, Mike and Maureen Mansfield

Library, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana.

• Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution Centennial History

Volume Five 1894-1994, compiled by State Regent (1990-1992) Iris McKinney

Gray, page 27

• The Independent Record, April 21, 1945, page 2

• eMembership database NSDAR

• The Missoulian August 15, 1965, page 13

• The Missoulian August 17, 1965, page 11

• Jennifer L. Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent, helped

research photos and information on Montana State Regents

57



BLACK EAGLE-ASSINNIBOINE CHAPTER,

NSDAR

Great Falls 7003MT

Organized December 11, 1919 ~ Millennie Drake Miller

(Mrs. George Wilder) Rogers, Organizing Regent

The Missouri River rushes over the falls near the city of Great Falls,

carving its route through granite bluffs and pine hills before dropping over

500 feet in less than ten miles. In his notes of the Lewis and Clark

Expedition, Captain Lewis wrote his “ears were saluted with the agreeable

sound of falling water” toward which he directed his steps and thus

discovered the Great Falls of the Missouri, from which the city would later

take its name. One of the falls was named Black Eagle Falls by Lewis and

Clark, for the immature (and black) golden eagle roosted in the top of an old

cottonwood tree. It is from this documented siting that the Chapter took its

name. The chapter is delighted to have the story of its founding in

Millennie’s own hand.


How the Organization of the Black Eagle Chapter DAR of

Great Falls, Mont. Came to Be

In 1913, Mrs. Morley of Helena, Mont, who was at the time State

Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, wrote me in regard

to taking up the work of organizing a DAR Chapter in Great Falls. I

wrote her I would try and do the best I could, but that it didn’t look very

encouraging to me. She had the application blanks sent me from

Washington and I had inserted in the daily Tribune this notice:

‘Plan to organize a local Chapter of DAR.’ This was in the spring of 1914,

a few responded and Mrs. David Craig’s papers were passed on at that

time. As the war came on, nothing more was done about it and the work

was sort of dropped.

In March 1918, Mrs. C. A. Blackburn of Butte, Mont., State Regent,

wrote me in regard to taking up the work again and on April 23, 1918,

I rec’d the notice that my appointment as “organizing Regent” for

Great Falls, Mont. had been officially confirmed by the national board.

On July 7, 1918, I called the first meeting in the board room of the city

library with eight present. There was some enthusiasm, but not much. I

helped a number with their papers, but on account of the war activities,

no more meetings were held until May 12, 1919, when we had a

meeting in the club room of the YWCA at which time ten were present.

It was decided that day that perhaps it would be better to hold meetings

once every month as it might help to arouse more interest and then too it

would give me a better chance to keep in touch with all desiring the

organization of the chapter.

59


We decided on Flag Day for our next meeting. On June 14 we met with

Mrs. G. W. McKnown with fifteen present, had a short business meeting

in regard to the application blanks and the work, after which Mrs. N. F.

Guy read a short paper on the American Flag ending with all giving the

flag salute. Our hostess served a light lunch and we all enjoyed a social

hour.

On July 25 we met at the home of the Organizing Regent with eight

present. At this meeting we discussed the name for this

chapter. After some discussion the names of Black Eagle, Rainbow,

Great Falls were decided on to choose from, and Mrs. Rogers was asked

to forward these names to the Treasurer General for her decision. It was

our desire to organize before the State Conference held in Billings,

Mont. in October but as some of our transfers weren’t in, we found it

would be impossible as we didn’t have the required twelve papers. No

more meetings were held until Nov 20, 1919, when we met at the home

of Mrs. Montgomery with 14 present. The Regent asked for all papers and

transfers to be in her possession as we would organize Dec . 11, 1919.

Our organization was

formed at a luncheon given

in the Peacock Room of the

Park Hotel (Lobby at left)

Thursday Dec 11 at one

o’clock. Mrs. C. A.

Blackburn of Butte, Mont,

State Regent was present

and performed the office of

organizer. The organizing


members were Mrs. G. W. Rodgers, Mrs. Templeton, Mrs.

Montgomery, Mrs. Devine, Mrs. George McCole, Mrs. W. F. Guy,

Mrs. David Craig, Mrs. G. W. McKnown, Mrs. John Roe, Mrs. M. E.

Idle, Mrs. J. H. Abrams, Jr., Mrs. Collins. The officers appointed to

hold office one year were Mrs. G. W. Rogers “Regent”, Mrs. H. A.

Templeton (Vice Regent), Mrs. Montgomery (Secy), Mrs. J. A. Devine

(Treas), Mrs. W. F. Guy (Historian).

~Millennie Miller Rogers, Regent

Charter members included Mrs. Gladys Alvina Bailey Abrams, Mrs.

M. LaVeta Weber Collins, Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Merrill Craig, Mrs. Mary

A. Devine, Mrs. Louise Price (Walton) Guy, Mrs. Natalie Newell Moody

Idle, Mrs. Leota Lillian Dockery McCole, Mrs. Maud LaPettee Dugan

McKoun, Mrs. Belle Baker Montgomery, Organizing Regent Mrs.

Millennie D. Miller Rogers, Mrs. Clara Merrill Hall Roe, Mrs. Ruth

Roberts Templeton, Mrs. Josephine Ehrlich Madden, and her mother,

Mrs. Rosa Lobdell Ehrlich. Mrs. Louise Harris Crouch, Miss Clara Louise

Bryant, Mrs. Edna Scott McGee and her mother Mrs. Ella Bingham Scott,

Mrs. Alice Brooks Robinson, Miss Mary E. Stone, Mrs. Annie Sheldon

Pierson, Mrs. Sarah Ella Bentley Davies, Mrs. Florence Leonard DeForest

and her daughter, Miss Jessie Louise Leonard, Mrs. Laura Louise Munroe

Chase, Mrs. Clara O’Banion Nelson, Miss Eva Lois Waters and Mrs.

Sarah Stephens Young.

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Charter No.

1449 was signed by Montana State Society DAR Regent Phebe Comfort

Anderson and NSDAR President General Anne Rogers Minor on February

9, 1921. The original charter is in the chapter’s archives in Great Falls.

61


The Park Hotel still stands as the Downtowner Apartments, though we have

yet to locate the former Peacock Room. Little of the building’s former

elegance remains.

Millennie Drake Miller Rogers was born in

Winona County Minnesota, on April 10, 1871.

Her mother, Emily Search Miller, was a member

of Winona Chapter, NSDAR and Millennie was

admitted to that chapter in 1901. Her patriot

ancestors were Pvt. James Search, N.J., Abraham

Miller, PA, Capt. Samuel Wall, R.I., and Capt.

John Rouse, N.Y. As husband and wife, Mr. and

Mrs. George Wilder Rogers lived in Great Falls

where he was associated with the Great Falls Tribune, and she was a

milliner at Verges Clothing Store. They made their home at the Jensen

Apartments #201 on 4th Avenue North. The apartments stand today in the

Great Falls registered historic district. Mrs. Rogers attended the nearby

Episcopal Church of the Incarnation where she served as president of the

women’s auxiliary.

Millennie and George had one child, Anabel Josephine, also a member

of Black Eagle Chapter. Anabel married Kenneth Ward MacPherson

(Ward was his mother’s maiden name) and it is known they had two sons,

Bruce, who died of leukemia at age 4, and Gordon Ward MacPherson. In

2017, with the help of the DAR Chapter in Portland, Oregon, former

Chapter Regent Leigh Haislip Spencer (2014-2016) located Millennie’s

living next of kin, her great grandson, and daughter Anabel's grandson,

Michael B. MacPherson of Portland. The son of Gordon Ward MacPherson

(born in 1933 and presumed drowned in a Willamette River

kayaking accident in 1991), Mr. MacPherson granted permission to place

the DAR Insignia on his great-grandmother’s grave. He remembered


grandmother Anabel’s interest in genealogy. Anabel attended Great Falls

schools and the University of Montana, and received a bachelor’s degree

from the University of Washington. She served as the Grant-Kohrs Ranch

national historic site librarian at Deer Lodge. The chapter still uses the gavel

presented to it by Mr. MacPherson’s great-grandmother and our Organizing

Regent Millennie Drake Miller Rogers in 1919.

In addition to serving as Organizing Regent, Mrs. Rogers served as

Black Eagle Chapter Registrar and MSSDAR State Registrar (1930-1932).

She remained a member of Black Eagle Chapter after moving to Deer

Lodge to live with her daughter, Anabel MacPherson, upon the death of Mr.

Rogers in 1932. Mrs. Rogers continued to attend almost all of the December

chapter birthday events. She died at the age of 82 in Deer Lodge, Powell

County Montana, on May 13, 1953, and was buried in the Hillcrest

Cemetery there.

In honor of the December 2019 centennial celebration of the Black

Eagle Chapter and during the administration of Chapter Regent Char Ross

(2018-2020), the NSDAR Insignia was placed on Mrs. Roger’s gravestone

in the summer of 2018.

The chapter’s first years featured many social functions including

patriotic teas and luncheons for members and card parties for prospective

members. Chapter events were held at the Great Falls City Library, the

YWCA, the Park and Rainbow Hotels, the Meadow Lark Country Club,

the Horizon Club at the Municipal Airport (now the Great Falls

International Airport), and the DeMolay Memorial at 801 2nd Ave

North (built in 1949 by the DeMolay family to remember the 15 family

members from Great Falls who died in WWII, it is now known as the

Community Recreation Center).

63


Early on, the chapter moved its meetings from Thursday to the

second Saturday of each month September-June for the convenience of

many school teachers joining the chapter at that time. The June meeting

was dropped in 1957.

A real granddaughter of the

American Revolution, Charlotte Stull

Bonesteel, joined the chapter in 1924.

Her patriot grandfather, Edwin Corwin,

joined the Continental Army when he

was 17 years old, taken prisoner by the

Indians a short time later, and held for

twenty-two months in chains before

being exchanged in Montreal, Canada.

Although her membership lapsed for a

period of time, Mrs. Bonesteel

reinstated and attended many chapter

luncheons where she was the honored

guest in the years before her death. She died on March 20, 1946, at age

95. Her remains rest at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Association in Great

Falls. Chapter Regent Benna McGeorge replaced the flowers next to Mrs.

Bonesteel’s marker in 2010. During the administration of Chapter Regent

Eva Wright Burroughs (2010-2012), chapter members began visiting to

remember her grandfather’s patriotic service on Memorial Day. Although

Mrs. Bonesteel does not have the DAR Insignia, her original marker

includes “D.A.R” between the dates of her birth and death.

On May 30, 1928, with Chapter Regent Mrs. O. B. Nelson presiding,

the chapter dedicated a marker at Giant Springs, commemorating the June

18, 1805, discovery of the giant springs by Lewis and Clark. The fine

Montana granite boulder was a gift of the president of the Great


Northern Railroad. The Montana

Power Company made and

installed the base. The bronze

tablet was given by the Anaconda

Copper Mining Company. The

Great Falls National Bank

provided the programs and

engraved invitations. Giant Springs

is now a state park, and the boulder

with the DAR marker is just up the

hill to the right beyond the old stone steps.

In the 1930s, the chapter held plate luncheons for 25¢ at the homes of

members, lighted candles for each Past Chapter Regent at the birthday

meeting, sent Christmas boxes to Fort Harrison, discussed immigration,

communism and socialism and, in 1934, began reading the President

General’s message at each meeting. In 1937, the chapter celebrated the

sesquicentennial of the signing of the United States Constitution. In the

magnificent Palm Room of the Rainbow Hotel (now the Rainbow

Retirement Apartments), the chapter celebrated its 20 th anniversary with a

luncheon in 1939 and its Silver Jubilee in 1944.

At the request of Montana Governor Sam Ford in 1944, Chapter Regent

Mrs. L. S. Siniff arranged the purchase and Highland Cemetery Memorial

Day dedication of a Montana state flag that was to fly at Hickam Field in

memory of the men who gave their lives on December 7, 1941, at Pearl

Harbor and Hickam Field. After being displayed in the window of the Paris

of Montana Store in Great Falls, the United States Air Force flew the flag

and its color guard to Hickam Field on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where it

65


was placed with flags of other states in the Memorial Gymnasium there.

Four men from Montana were remembered: Yeoman First Class Lloyd

Maxton Daniel of Livingston, Electricians Mate 3 rd Class Jerold Fraser

Dullum of East Helena, and Ship Fitter 2 nd Class Harold H. Scilley of

Fromberg, who were aboard the U.S.S. Arizona (still listed today as

active on the Navy’s list as her captain and crew remain aboard), and

Corporal Donald L. Meagher of Fort Benton, who was killed when his

bomber plane was demolished.

The chapter has indexed cemeteries in Cascade County, and

purchased books for the original genealogy section of the Public Library

and library subscriptions to the DAR Magazine (first purchased in 1919).

The chapter has sponsored two Children of the American Revolution

Societies, the defunct Rainbow Society organized in 1922 by Mary Beal

Wahoske, and the Colonel John Starke Society, organized by Chapter

Regent Mrs. Ray Maberry in 1944 and named for her patriot ancestor.

The Colonel John Starke C.A.R. Society was relocated to Helena under

the Oro Fino Chapter NSDAR in 2015.

Annual December Chapter Birthday meetings and the elegant George

Washington tea in February continue today, with the chapter’s DAR

Good Citizens winners now recognized at the tea. In the early years, the

Good Citizen contest winners received a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. Today,

the essay contest winner receives a $250 cash award, funded by the

Murray- Fleming Good Citizens Scholarship, founded by Past Chapter

Regent Lucille Murray (1992-1994) in memory of her sister, Past Chapter

Regent Dora Fleming (1987-1989), and renamed by the chapter upon the

death of Mrs. Murray in 2013.


Assinniboine Chapter History and Merger

Organized September 28, 1931, by Hazelle Roberts (Mrs. R.V.) Love,

Organizing Regent, the chapter at Havre, Montana, was named for old Fort

Assinniboine, which in 1879 was the second largest military Post in the

United States. The Assinniboine Chapter was confirmed by the National

Society on October 21, 1931, but never purchased its Charter. Assinniboine

is an Indian name meaning “Mountain Sioux” although some say it also

could be translated “people who cook with stones.”

By Act of Congress on June 18, 1878, there was $100,000 appropriated

for this post and Lt. Col. J.R. Brooke selected the site on Beaver Creek

where eventually 102 buildings were erected, mostly of brick purchased in

the east and transported by steamboat up the Missouri to Coal Banks or

sent by rail to Corrine, Utah, and transported by long wagon trains overland

to the new post. At one time General Pershing served as a lieutenant at the

Fort. Over half a mile long, there were Officers Quarters, Enlisted Men

Quarters, parade ground, Post Traders Store, a Hotel and Restaurant,

extensive gardens along the creek, a library, school and chapel, tennis

courts, theatre, and picnic area in the Bears Paw Mountains. On December

9, 1911, the last of the post was relinquished by the War Department to the

Interior Department. On November 2, 1958, the Assinniboine Chapter

placed a plaque on a 7800-pound granite block from the original Fort water

tower with a graceful curved wall and cantilevered seat designed and built

by Max P. Kuhr, architect, and Woodrow McLain, stonemason. General

Sam H. Mitchell accepted the marker during the dedication ceremony when

former Chapter Regent Marian Broadwater (Mrs. Max Paul) Kuhr, who was

born at Fort Assinniboine August 17, 1891, and served as Chairman of the

Marker Committee, told the story of the fort.

67


This chapter supported one State Regent, Ruth Colegrove Middleton

who served from 1946-1948, raising $1208 for the Blood Plasma Fund.

From its inception, Assinniboine Chapter supported history education in

all the schools at all levels, awarding outstanding scholars with medals,

and annually sponsoring an essay contest on the U.S. Constitution at

Northern Montana College in Havre. Members organized American

Citizens Clubs for elementary school youth, outperforming all other

Montana chapters. From 1936 to 1970, the chapter honored 102 high

school seniors as DAR Good Citizens from Havre, Chinook, Malta,

Poplar and Shelby. In the early 1970s the chapter received

commendation from the National Society for distributing hundreds of

copies of the DAR Manual for Citizenship throughout their communities.

Due to declining membership and the long distances Daughters had

to travel to participate, the Assinniboine Chapter merged with Black

Eagle Chapter June 12, 1991, to become the Black Eagle-Assinniboine

Chapter, NSDAR. The Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter marked the

1990s with gifts to Fort Harrison and canceled stamps to the Veterans

National Stamp and Coin Club in Tucson, Arizona. This program

provides therapy for wounded, hospitalized and disabled veterans. During

the administration of Chapter Regent Mary-Wynne Atkinson, the merged

chapter celebrated its 79 th birthday in 1998 with a luncheon at Dante’s

Restaurant.

In May 2006, during the

Regency of Anna Weaver, a

flowering crabapple tree was

planted and a plaque placed

by the chapter at the new

Montana Veterans Memorial


on 25 th Street North. Today, the tree provides shade to visitors paying

respects to veterans and attending Memorial Day ceremonies there.

On June 12, 2010, during the administration of Chapter Regent Benna

Nichols McGeorge, the MSSDAR dedicated a DAR Insignia marker to Real

Daughter Mrs. Caroline Reed Stone in the Shelby Cemetery in Shelby,

Montana. Close to one hundred people gathered to recognize this Real

Daughter whose father, Private Ebenezer

Reed, was a proven Revolutionary War

patriot. Mrs. Stone was born on February 17,

1826. Mrs. Stone’s application was received

in Washington, D.C. on November 8, 1898,

and she was admitted to the Olean Chapter,

NSDAR in Olean, New York, on December 1

that year. Mrs. Stone passed away at the age

of 97 on January 21, 1923, in Shelby, MT, of

“general debility complicated by influenza” as

noted on her death certificate. Mrs. Stone’s

family wished a DAR Insignia to be placed on

her grave.

The Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter, with

the Montana State Society, hosted the ceremony with eight of Mrs. Stone’s

descendants in attendance. Mrs. Stone is one of two Real Daughters buried

in Montana. Her national number was 2620.

The Black Eagle Chapter (which would become Black Eagle-

Assinniboine in 1991) hosted the Montana State DAR conference in 1923,

1933, 1948, 1960, 1968, 1977, 1986, 1992, 2000, and 2014, the last held at

the Holiday Inn in Great Falls during the administration of Chapter

Regent Linda Hochberger Long.

69


The Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter Regents are listed below.

1921-1922 Millennie Drake Miller (Mrs. George W.) Rogers

1922-1924 Cora Leavitt (Mrs. H. B.) Lake

1924-1925 Louise Price Walton (Mrs. William F.) Guy

1925-1926 India May Bresee (Mrs. A. M.) Hart

1926-1929 Clara O’Banion (Mrs. Otto B.) Nelson

1929-1930 Louise Harris (Mrs. Dr. Lemuel W.) Crouch

1930-1931 Jean Mary V. (Mrs. Eugene H.) Berry

1931-1932 Eloise Ayres (Mrs. Fay Laughlin) Graybill

1932-1933 Bessie Lyon (Mrs. H. C.) Lander

1933-1935 Mildred Rice (Mrs. Ira J.) Buergey

1935-1937 Elinor Hallowell (Mrs. C. E.) Hoppin

1937-1939 Atta Hutchinson (Mrs. Leo C.) Graybill

1939-1941 Elizabeth Redding (Mrs. Louis E.) Siniff

1941-1943 Ethel Lambie (Mrs. Douglas N.) Wilson

1943-1945 Helen Carey Starke (Mrs. J. R.) Mayberry

1945-1946 Mary Clopton Pierce (Mrs. Rufus A.) Wolfe

1946-1947 Ruth Virginia Allen (Mrs. Palmer H.) Cushman

1947-1948 Mary Emeline (Mrs. Foster S.) Wolfe

1948-1949 Grace Dutton Collins

1949-1950 Helen Pitney (Mrs. Angus) Hunt

1950-1951 Fernn Chittenden (Mrs. Clarke D.) Hileman

1951-1952 Doris Frost (Mrs. Joseph C.) Cummings

1952-1954 Alice Irene Wollen (Mrs. Theodore X.) Cox

1954-1955 Ella Nelson

1955-1957 Alice A. (Mrs. Michael F.) Deevy

1957-1959 Leslie Hatcher

1959-1961 Elsie Menzie (Mrs. John A. Sr.) Wiprud

1961-1963 Stella Bowman (Mrs. Charles L. ) Urquhart

1963-1965 Josie Gilchrist (Mrs. Errol L.) Thomason

1965-1967 Bessie B. Fuller (Mrs. Ludovoco M.) Willis

1967-1969 Frances Willey (Mrs. William H.) Thomas


1969-1971 Nora (Mrs. Jack Jr.) Wiprud

1971-1973 Eliza Lorene Burks

1973-1975 Martha Frost (Mrs. Leland C.) Garner

1975-1976 Jaqueline (Mrs. Willard H.) Ridge

1976-1977 Florence Thompson (Mrs. Thomas) Murray

1977-1979 Helen Karst (Mrs. William B.) Ellis

1979-1981 Helen Burton (Mrs. Donald A.) Roberts

1981-1983 Helen Alm (Mrs. Floyd M.) Edmonds

1983-1985 Alnetta Mae Wolverton (Mrs. William F.) Paskvan

1985-1987 Evelyn Wolverton (Mrs. Frank C.) McKenna

1987-1989 Dora Clark Smith (Mrs. Vernon W.) Fleming

1989-1992 Thelma Leasure (Mrs. Arthur P.) Marshall

1992-1994 Lucille Clark (Mrs. William R.) Murray

1994-1996 Doris Maxine McCoy (Mrs. Arthur M.) Habel

1996-1998 Darlene Stone (Mrs. John W.) Fassler

1998-2000 Mary-Wynne Atkinson

2000-2002 Philomena Hadley (Mrs. Frank L.) Warehime

2002-2004 Darlene Stone (Mrs. John W.) Fassler

2004-2006 Lucy Wilson (Mrs. Vance G.) Pettapiece

2006-2008 Anna Beckman (Mrs. Benjamin L.) Weaver

2008-2010 Benna K. Nichols (Mrs. R.W.) McGeorge

2010-2012 Eva Wright (Mrs. Jack) Burroughs

2012-2014 Linda Dolores Hochberger Long

2014-2016 Leigh Haislip (Mrs. Gerald D., M.D.) Spencer

2016-2018 Vicki Lynn Coons (Mrs. Bruce) Selin

2018-present Char Ellen Wurtzbacher (Mrs. John) Ross

Today, Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter remains active in promoting

historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Under the administration of

Chapter Regent Vicki Coons Selin, the chapter adopted a community

classroom at Whittier Elementary. It participates annually in naturalization

71


ceremonies to welcome new citizens, recognizes student good citizens and

outstanding local teachers, promotes DAR scholarships, American history,

and cares for active duty military and veterans. Each year, the chapter

participates in a wreath laying at Memorial Day services at the historic

Highland Cemetery and the Veterans Memorial. During the current

administration of Char Ross, and in preparation for the 2019 chapter

centennial, the DAR logo sign was placed at the city’s east entrance and a

new chapter flag recognizing the 1991 Assinniboine Chapter merger with

Black Eagle Chapter was purchased.

At publication, the chapter has four members with DAR membership

over more than 50 years: Benna Nichols McGeorge and Eugenia Schlatter

(admitted 1954), Gretchen Thompson (admitted 1961), and Martha

Heinrichs (admitted 1966). Eugenia Schlatter, the only remaining member

of Assinniboine Chapter, holds the lowest DAR national number in the

chapter; and there are two members aged 90 years and beyond: Blanche

Engellent and Lucy Pettapiece, Past Chapter Regent and former mayor of

Cascade, Montana.

Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter records are archived at the Cascade

County Historical Society History Museum, 422 2 nd Street South, Great

Falls, where the MSSDAR records also are maintained. The Black Eagle-

Assinniboine Chapter is moving forward today as it begins a second century

of service to God, home and country in Great Falls, Montana.

Six State Regents have been endorsed and supported by the original

Black Eagle and the merged Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter.


Mary Beale Brainerd (Mrs. Henry Robert) Wahoske

State Regent 1926-1927

Member #77640; Revolutionary Ancestor: Josiah Brainerd

Mary was born June 9, 1886, in

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Erastus and

Mary Bella Brainerd. After graduating

from the Seattle Public Library Training

School, she worked at the New York State

Library and spent a year of travel and

special study in Europe, marrying Henry

Wahoske in 1916. They had two children,

James Beale and Robert Brainerd

Wahoske. Henry worked for the railroad

and the family moved throughout

Washington, Oregon, and Montana during their marriage.

Mary joined Daughters of the American Revolution in the Portland

Chapter (7020OR), Oregon, and later transferred to the Black Eagle Chapter

where she was an active member and served as Chapter Vice Regent.

During her residence in Montana, she also served as State Librarian, State

Vice Regent and State Regent, 1926-1927. Two chapters were organized

during her administration. She also served as National DAR Vice-Chairman

of Constitution Hall and State Director of the Children of the American

Revolution. Later, she returned her membership to the Portland Chapter in

Oregon. Mrs. Wahoske’s personal DAR scrapbook remains with the Black

Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter archives at the Cascade County Historical

Society in Great Falls today, perhaps a gift from her family. The chapter

has gifted items from her time in Portland to the Portland Chapter.

73


.

Mary died October 7, 1957, in Portland,

Oregon. Her remains rest at the Wright

Crematory and Columbarium in Seattle,

Washington; she does not have a DAR Insignia

on her marker at the time of printing. Her

obituary appeared in the Great Falls Tribune

newspaper, October 13, 1957, page 8.

Mrs. Wahoske, Former Falls Woman, Dies; Death of Mrs. H. R.

Wahoske, 71, resident of Great Falls about 11 years before leaving

here about 24 years ago, was reported Saturday. Mrs. Wahoske died

Monday in Portland. She was a leading worker in the Daughters

of the American Revolution in Washington and Montana. She had

lived in Seattle 30 years and moved to Portland 31 years ago after her

stay in Great Falls. She was a daughter of Erastus Brainerd,

editor- in-chief of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for 50 years.

Surviving are her husband, Henry, two sons, James H. of

Portland and Robert B. of Milan, Italy. The funeral was

Wednesday at Portland. The family had lived on Fifth Avenue

north in Great Falls.


Alma Atta Hutchinson (Mrs. Leo) Graybill

State Regent 1944-1946

NSDAR Vice President General 1947- 1950

Member #241724; Revolutionary Ancestor: Jesse Connell

Alma Atta Hutchinson was born in East

Helena, Montana, on April 18, 1896, the daughter

of William Oscar and Mary Allie Hutchinson. Her

father was a pioneer druggist and merchant who

settled in Helena in 1882. She graduated from

Helena High school in 1914, attended the

University of Montana, and graduated from Drake

University in Des Moines, Iowa, Phi Beta Kappa

in 1919, the same year the Black Eagle Chapter

DAR was organized. She taught in Montana and Iowa schools until

marrying Leo Carlisle Graybill on July 29, 1922. Mr. and Mrs. Graybill

lived in Belt, where Mr. Graybill practiced law, until they moved to Great

Falls in 1925. They had two children, Leo, Jr. and Helen Gene. Atta was

active in numerous civic organizations and community services during her

years in Great Falls. Her favorite work was with libraries. She served on

the Great Falls Library Board of Trustees during the terms of eight

mayors between 1941 and 1963. The board honored her for “dedicated

and impartial attention to the problems of the Great Falls Public Library”

when she retired from the board in 1963 and again during Library Week

in April 1965.

Mrs. Graybill was a member of the Montana State Library

Commission from 1952 to 1955 and served as legislative chairman of

the Montana Library Association and the Pacific Northwest Library

75


Association. She worked toward the construction the new public library in

1967 and attended the mortgage burning and the 20 th anniversary celebration

of the library in 1987. Mrs. Graybill also served on the Great Falls Library

Foundation. She was president of the American Association of University

Women in Great Falls and was a trustee of Rocky Mountain College in

Billings, and a member of the YWCA board of directors, continuing her

interest in YWCA activities until her death. She was a member of the

Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile, the Democratic Women’s Club and the

Meadow Lark Country Club.

Mrs. Graybill’s interest in books and current affairs led her to

membership in the 20 th Century Club, the Pan American Society, and the

Rainbow Study Group, all well-established women’s study groups which

flourished in Great Falls at that time. Mr. and Mrs. Graybill traveled

extensively in the United States and abroad in connection with politics and

the Lions Club of which Graybill was as an international director.

Miss Atta Hutchinson was admitted to membership in the Black Eagle

Chapter, NSDAR on April 14, 1928, just nine years after it was organized.

At the time of Mrs. Graybill’s admission, Clara Nelson was serving as

Chapter Regent, and Organizing Regent Mrs. Rogers was serving as

Chapter Registrar. Mrs. Rogers signed Miss Hutchinson’s application.

Her patriot ancestor was Jesse Connell, born in 1747 in South Carolina

and served in Captain James Company under Colonel Roebuck’s command

in District 96 Spartanburg and Cherokee County, South Carolina. He died in

1826 in Kentucky.

Mrs. Graybill served the Black Eagle Chapter as Chapter Regent from

1937 to 1939 and as Montana State Society Registrar, Vice Regent and

State Regent. She served as State Chair of Correct Use of the Flag, Junior

American Citizens. During her term as MSSDAR State Regent, the 1945


NSDAR Continental Congress was canceled because of WW II; she

attended Continental Congress in New York City and Atlantic City and took

part in the first group tour of approved DAR schools. Her regency was

identified primarily with the Daughters’ extensive wartime activities. The

State Society had 100% membership in the American Red Cross, with

26,497 volunteer hours reported.

Elected NSDAR Vice President General, Atta served from 1947-1950,

attending meetings of Continental Congress and October Board meetings.

At the time of her VPG service, only three Montana Daughters had been

elected as National VPG. Under the direction of Chapter Regent Mrs. M.

C. McKenna, the 83rd State Conference in Great Falls in 1986 was

dedicated to Mrs. Graybill.

Past Vice President General and Honorary Montana State DAR Past

Vice Regent Atta Hutchinson Graybill, widow of longtime Great Falls

attorney and Democratic legislator Leo C. Graybill, passed away after a

short illness on January 6, 1988, at the age of 91. Her funeral was held at

the First Presbyterian Church in Great Falls where she had been a longtime

member and served as a deacon and guild president. She is survived by a

daughter, Helen Graybill Millhouse of Flint, Michigan, grandsons Turner

and Ben Graybill, and great grandchildren. On September 10, 2016, Chapter

Regent Leigh Haislip Spencer and the Black Eagle-Assinniboine Chapter,

with State Regent Jane Lee Hamman and DAR members from around the

state, remembered Mrs. Graybill by placing the NSDAR Insignia on her

final resting place at Highland Memorial Cemetery in Great Falls. Mrs.

Graybill’s grandson, Turner, and his wife the Reverend Jessica Crist

attended the ceremony and the tea reception which followed at Hillcrest

Lawn Memorial Association.

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In an obituary in the Great Falls Tribune, January 8, 1988, page 10:

Avid library supporter, Atta Graybill, died at 91; Atta

Hutchinson Graybill, 91, widow of longtime Great Falls attorney

and Democratic legislator Leo C. Graybill, died Wednesday after a

short illness. She lived at 505 3 rd Ave. N. Her funeral will be at

11 a.m. Monday in the First Presbyterian Church of which she

had been a long-time member, serving as a deacon and guild

president. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery…. She and her

husband traveled extensively in the United States and abroad in

connection with politics, DAR and the Lions Club of which

Graybill was an international director. Graybill died in 1973.

Survivors include a son, Great Falls attorney Leo Graybill Jr.; a

daughter, Helen Graybill Millhouse of Flint, Mich.; six

grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Anne

Hutchinson Sanders of Billings.


Ruth Colegrove (Mrs. Alexander G.) Middleton

State Regent 1946-1948

Member #283803; Revolutionary Ancestor: Jonathan Colegrove

Ruth Colegrove was born November 22,

1891, in Michigan to Herman and Gehtie

Colegrove She was a teacher. She married

Alexander George Middleton, a native of

Scotland, and they had two sons, Douglas

A. who died in infancy, and Stuart Allan.

Mrs. Middleton was a member of the

Assinniboine Chapter holding every office.

She also served as State Historian, State

Treasurer, State Vice Regent and was State

Regent from 1946-1948.

During her term Absaroka Chapter in Hardin was organized, Daughters

raised more than $600 to purchase a floor plate for the Valley Forge

Memorial Bell Tower, the grave of Real Daughter Orpha Zilpha Parke

Bovee at Glendive in Dawson County Cemetery was marked, 12 Montana

members including State Regent Middleton attended the 56th Continental

Congress in Washington, D.C. at which Daughter Mrs. Leo C. Graybill

was elected Vice President General of the National Society. Ruth focused

her term on the DAR youth services and Montana was placed on the honor

roll at Tamassee DAR School; the Junior American Citizen’s Club work

expanded so significantly that Montana received a National award.

Ruth died August 29, 1957, in Havre. She is buried in Chinook County,

but a grave stone has not been found. Her husband is buried in the Kuper

Memorial Cemetery. An obituary was in the Great Falls Tribune, August

31, 1957, page 7.

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Mrs. Ruth Middleton, Havre – Mrs. Ruth Middleton, 65, who

had received much recognition for her work in the Order of Eastern

Star and the Daughters of the American Revolution, died of a

heart attack Thursday night at a local hospital. Funeral services

will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian church here.

Burial will be in Chinook. Mrs. Middleton was born Nov. 22,

1891, at Morenci, Mich. She moved to Harlem with her parents

and attended grade school there. She returned to Morenci to attend

high school and also attended Michigan State Normal College,

Ypsilanti. She did graduate work at the University of Nebraska

and taught in Lincoln, Neb., and Great Falls. She was married

Oct. 18, 1916, at Chinook to Alexander G. Middleton. They

moved to Havre about 20 years ago from Chinook.

Survivors include her husband; a son, Stuart, Havre; two

brothers, Roy Colegrove, Harlem, and Clyde Colegrove,

California, and a sister, Mrs. Luella Butler, Detroit, Mich. Mrs.

Middleton was worthy grand matron of the Grand Chapter of the

Montana Order of Eastern Star in 1931-32 and was honored last

week in Helena at the OES grand chapter session which was

dedicated to her. She was past regent of the Assiniboine chapter of

the Daughters of the American Revolution at Havre, past state

regent, former state parliamentarian and a member of the national

DAR conservation committee. She also was active in the music

department of the Havre Woman’s Club, the Presbyterian Church,

the American Assn. of University Women and the Daughters of

American Colonists. A memorial fund in her memory has been

established and will go the Estral Project, an Eastern Star

scholarship fund for young men and women who want to go into

religious training.


Alice Irene Wollen (Mrs. Theodore X.) Cox

State Regent 1964-1966

Member #385993; Revolutionary Ancestor: John Locke

Alice Irene Wollen was born June

26, 1909, in Irwin, Iowa to Royal and

Theresa Wollen and raised in Lake

City, Iowa. She married Theodore

Cox in 1928 and they had three

children together.

Mrs. Cox joined the Black Eagle

Chapter in June 1949 and became an

active member. During her chapter

regency from 1952-1954, the chapter

made contributions to Kate Duncan

Smith and Tamassee DAR schools

and to Fort Henry Harrison. Members

continued to send books of genealogical records to the NSDAR Library and

presented welcome cards and U.S. Flags to two classes of new naturalized

citizens annually. Six Good Citizen medals were presented each year in the

Junior High Schools, seven Girl Homemaker Achievement certificates and

a Good Citizen Pilgrim award also were presented. During her service as

MSSDAR State Regent she and 12 other Montana Daughters attended the

73 rd Continental Congress and the annual Montana Sunday was observed at

Valley Forge.

Mrs. Cox died on November 23, 2005, in Missoula. She is buried at the

Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Mausoleum in Great Falls. On September 10,

2016, the chapter held a ceremony remembering Mrs. Cox with the

placement of the NSDAR Insignia on her final resting place at Hillcrest

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Lawn Memorial Association. A tea reception was held there and

scrapbooks from Mrs. Cox’s DAR years were on display. State Regent

Jane Lee Hamman, other MSSDAR State officers and several NSDAR

Chapter Regents joined the chapter members for the event. Mrs. Cox’s

daughter, Carmelita, and her husband James Bullock, traveled from their

home in Missoula to attend the ceremony in remembrance of her mother.

Her obituary in the Great Falls Tribune, Nov. 26, 2005, page 10, said:

Alice Irene Cox; Missoula – Alice Irene Cox, 96, of Missoula, a former

Great Falls resident, died of natural causes Wednesday at a Missoula

care facility. Cremation has taken place and burial will be in Hillcrest

Lawn Mausoleum under the direction of Chapel of Chimes Funeral

Home in Great Falls. Private family services will take place at a

later date. Montana Cremation and Memorial Society in Missoula is

handling arrangements. Survivors include a son Dr. Theodore Cox

and his wife, Patty Jean of Beula Vista, Ark.; grandchildren Jan Cox

Adams and her husband, Duane, of Layton, Utah, and Jody Cox Eggers

of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; daughter Carmelita and her husband,

James C. Bullock, of Missoula; grandchildren Marcia McNamee Hafner

and her husband, Gregg, of Billings and Alicia Jane Bullock and her

husband Frank Muth of Missoula; daughter Patricia and her husband,

Dr. Rudy Strnot of Lincoln, Neb.; grandchildren Theodore Strnot and

his wife Lori, and Thomas Strnot of Lincoln, Neb.; great-grandchildren

include Bartlett and Brian Hafner, Franklin, Theodore and Harrison

Muth, twins Thomas and Carmen Oyarzin, Jennifer Eggers Johnson and

Kari Eggers; and a great-great-granddaughter, Ashley Johnson.


Alice was born June 26, 1909, in Irwin, Iowa, to Royal and Theresa

(Quinn) Wollen. Alice was raised in Lake City, Iowa, graduating as

valedictorian and attended college at Morningside College in Sioux City,

Iowa. She taught in a country school before marrying Theodore X. Cox,

manager of the Western Union Telegraph office at Fort Dodge,

Iowa, on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1928, in the Methodist Church.

The couple traveled in the West by train with the Western Union

Company and lived in various towns in Indiana, Idaho, Montana

(including Missoula), ending in Great Falls, where Ted was Western

Union Telegraph Co. district manager from 1945 until his

retirement. Alice and Ted traveled in Europe, the Mediterranean

countries and especially enjoyed several trips to Hawaii in their years

together. They were married for 67 years, until Ted’s death in 1995.

Alice and Ted raised three children, Theodore X. Jr., Carmelita Jane

and Patricia Ann. Alice loved to play bridge and was an expert. She

really enjoyed dancing at the Masonic and Elks Club formal dances.

She was a leader in Scouts, Campfire Girls, 4-H, Methodist youth

groups, Rainbow Girls, and Job’s Daughters. Alice chaperoned band

trips and dances, judged speech meets and took an active part in her

children’s lives. She was always there for them. Alice was a real

homemaker. She sewed her children’s clothes, knitted sweaters and

afghans, crocheted beautiful pieces, canned all kinds of their garden

produced and baked wonderful angel food cakes and desserts.

Alice was also a civic leader. She was very active in the Methodist

Church, Eastern Star (Olive Chapter) and Elks ladies. Alice held all

offices, including president of the PTA, the Toastmistress Club, the Great

Falls Senior Citizens and the Deaconess Hospital Auxiliary. She was

Regent of the Black Eagle Chapter of the Daughters of the American

83


Revolution, state treasurer and Montana State Regent of the DAR.

Alice moved to the Missoula Manor in 1996 and has spent the last

three years at the Bee Hive Homes. We wish to thank the staff of the

Missoula Manor and the Bee Hive Homes for their thoughtfulness and

friendship. It was appreciated.

Eliza Lorene Burks

State Regent 1976-1978

Member #513868; Revolutionary Ancestor: John Garnett

Lorene was born January 10, 1899,

in Literal, Missouri, to Frederick and

Olive Burks. She grew up in Great Falls

and attended the First Presbyterian

church, served as a deputy sheriff and

deputy U. S. Marshall, and was active in

Soroptimist International. She was a

newspaper reporter and editor and

served as the Cascade County auditor.

She never married.

Miss Burks joined the Black Eagle

Chapter, NSDAR in February 1966.

She served as Chapter Treasurer and then as Chapter Regent, when she

held a ceremony at Malmstrom Air Force Base and presented certificates to

the next of kin remembering 33 servicemen from four counties in the area

who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. She also compiled and organized


publication of a book on the history of the Montana State Society from

1894 through 1977, including the location and history of markers. Miss

Burks worked tirelessly to solicit photographs from the public of the Black

Eagle island and the famous cottonwood tree (from which the chapter took

its name) prior to 1908 when in disappeared in the flood. It was her hope

to mark a nearby spot by placing a DAR plaque there. It appears that no

photograph was found, and the project was never completed.

Miss Burks served as State Treasurer (1969-1971), State Vice Regent

(1974-1976) and State Regent from 1976-1978. In 1977, after a ten-year

search by the State Society, her most significant achievement was marking

the grave of Montana’s first State Regent Mary DeVeny Wasson at

Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York. Mrs. Wasson’s husband, the

Reverend Edmund Wasson, had once served as rector of the Great Falls

Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.

Lorene died March 18, 1993, in Great Falls and is buried in the

Highland Cemetery. At the time of printing, her stone is not marked with

the NSDAR Insignia. An obituary appeared in the Great Falls Tribune,

March 21, 1993, page 10.

Ex-county auditor, Burks, dies at 94; E. Lorene Burks, 94, longtime

Cascade County auditor and Great Falls Centennial Queen in

1984, died Thursday in a local nursing home. Her funeral will be

11:15 a.m. Tuesday at O’Connor Funeral Home. Burial will be in

highland Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Soroptimist Village.

Born Jan. 10, 1899, near Liberal, Mo., she came to Montana with

her family in 1902 and grew up in the Boston Heights area of Great

Falls. She graduated from Great Falls High School in1916 and

85


began a long and varied career as a reporter for the Tribune. In

a byline story on Sept. 2, 1919, she described her thrill at being a

passenger in an airplane which did loops at 2,500 feet and she had

“only a seatbelt fastened by a safety pin between me and eternity.”

She and a partner bought the Big Horn Sun at Hardin in 1921 and

operated it for a year until selling it to the Hardin Tribune. Then

she became associate editor of the Forsyth Times Journal. In 1924

she returned to the Great Falls Tribune. Shortly before the 1929

stock market crash, she and a cousin purchased a ready-to-wear

business in Modesto, Calif. Businesses were failing when they sold

the store to a man who later went out of business. Then she went

back to newspapering as a reporter on the Wenatchee, (Wash.)

World. She returned to Great Falls in 1934 to become a deputy

U.S. Marshall, a post she held for four years. After a stint on the

state auditor’s staff in Helena, she came back to Great Falls to be a

deputy sheriff. In 1943 she won the election race for Cascade

County auditor as a Democrat, and was re-elected until retiring in

1965. She was active in Soroptimists and was instrumental in the

founding of Soroptimist Village. She also belonged to the Daughters

of the American Revolution, Great Falls Flower Growers, and First

Presbyterian Church. A wealth of history herself, she belonged to

the Cascade County Historical Society and wrote articles and radio

scripts on history topics. In 1984 she was honored as queen of

Great Falls Centennial celebration. Survivors include several

nieces and nephews, Mabel Basta, Earl Hooker and Howard

Hooker of Great Falls, Ruth Hood of Hoquiam, Wash., Vern

Hooker of Denver, Colo., Vern Burks of Black Eagle and Wayne

Berholm of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.


Darlene Stone (Mrs. John W.) Fassler

State Regent 2000-2002

Member #744481; Revolutionary Ancestors: Zebulon Button,

Orsamus Holmes, Joseph Cheney, John Hubbard, Benjamin Cheney,

Lemuel Wooster, Samuel Beard, and Moses Wheeler

Darlene Stone was born February

25,1936, in Ruth, Nevada, to Eula Gass

and Albert A. Stone. She graduated

from White Pine County High School

in 1954 and worked as a telephone

switchboard operator. Two years later,

she married John W. Fassler in Seattle,

and together they raised five boys. The

family lived in Great Falls and moved

around the West, settling for good in

Great Falls in 1975.

Mrs. Fassler was active in community theater and pottery clubs and as

an avid genealogist she traced her roots to the Mayflower. A member of the

Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers, she served as secretary-treasurer

for 23 years. Excited that her great-great-great grandfather was Sergeant

Patrick McLene Gass of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, she researched

and followed the entire trail and volunteered regularly at the Lewis and

Clark Interpretive Center. She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic

church and Corpus Christi Parish.

Darlene was admitted to The National Society Daughters of the

American Revolution in 1991. She served as Chapter National Defense

87


Chair, Chapter Registrar, and two terms as Chapter Regent (1996-1998

and 2002-2004). Darlene gave extraordinary service to the Montana State

Society, serving as a member of the DAR Speakers Staff and State Chair

of the DAR Genealogy Preservation, DAR Scholarship, Program, and

American Indians committees. She served three terms as State Chair of

American History and Community Service Awards, as well as State Vice

Regent (1998-2000). An avid supporter of the military, in 2010 she sent

115 helmet caps to be used by soldiers with head injuries to hospitals in

Afghanistan and Germany, dental tools for cleaning guns, 43 neck

coolers, and wool to the front lines. She knitted hats for military service

men and women for many years.

Mrs. Fassler is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Great Falls, and had

planned ahead to have her marker engraved with the DAR Insignia. Her

husband of 58 years, John, passed away three months later. An obituary

in the Great Falls Tribune on December 30, 2014, states:

Darlene Stone Fassler, 78, of Great Falls passed away on

December 25, 2014 at Peace Hospice after a courageous battle with

cancer. Darlene was born February 25, 1936 in Ruth, Nevada and

graduated from White Pine County High School class of 1954, after

graduation she became a telephone switchboard operator. On October

20, 1956 she married John Fassler in Seattle, Washington.

Together they raised 5 boys. The Fassler family started in Great

Falls. They also lived in Glasgow, Walla Walla, WA, Murray, UT,

Lancaster, CA, and Helena, settling for good in Great Falls in

1975.

She was active in community theatre, pottery clubs, Sons and

Daughters of Montana Pioneers, Daughters of the American

Revolution, and volunteered at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive


Center. She was an avid genealogist and was able to trace her roots

back to the Mayflower era. Her great-great-great- grandfather was

Patrick Gass who was a sergeant on the Lewis and Clark expedition

and she took great pride in this. Mother was a member of Corpus Christi

Parish and St. Joseph's prior to that. She celebrated her relationship

with Christ every day.

Darlene's greatest joy in life was her grandchildren and great

grandchildren. They were the light of her life. Throughout her life she

displayed grace, dignity, and love for her savior Jesus Christ. She is

survived by her husband of 58 years, John; children John H., Brian,

Kevin, and Mike; siblings Sharyn and Doug; along with numerous

grand and great grandchildren. Darlene was preceded in death by her

parents Eula and Albert and son Patrick. A vigil service will be held

on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Corpus Christi

Catholic Church. A funeral liturgy will be held on Wednesday,

December 31, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Schnider Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Memorials may

be made in her honor to St. Vincent De Paul Society, PO Box 1562,

Great Falls, MT 59403.

SOURCES:

• State History Daughters of the American Revolution in Montana revised and

prepared for binding by Mrs. Lewis D. Smith, State Vice Regent 1939-1941,

Montana State Regents section, various unnumbered pages

• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution Volume II

1941-1960, compiled by Mrs. Irving L. Dehnert, State Regent 1956-1958,

Vice Presidents General and Montana State Regents sections

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1970-

1980, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert Honorary State Regent, pp.12-14

• State Centennial History Montana State Society Daughters of the American

Revolution Volume Five, March 1994, compiled by Iris McKinney Gray, State

Regent 1990-1992, pages 95-96

89


• eMembership database NSDAR

• Great Falls Tribune, August 31, 1957, page 7

• Great Falls Tribune, October 13, 1957, page 8

• Great Falls Tribune, January 8, 1988, page 10

• Great Falls Tribune, November 26, 2005, page 10

• Great Falls Tribune, March 21, 1993, page 10

• Great Falls Tribune, December 30, 2014

• Jennifer L. Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent, helped

research photos and information on Montana State Regents

• Compiled by Leigh Haislip Spencer, Black Eagle-Assinniboine Past Chapter

Regent, and State Regent Jane Lee Hamman


CHIEF IGNACE CHAPTER, NSDAR

Kalispell 7007MT

Organized February 15, 1917 ~ Susie Wallace (Mrs. Frank H.) Johnson,

Organizing Regent

Chief Ignace was named in honor of three Christian Iroquois named

Ignace. Two of these, Petit Ignace and Baptiste or “Young Ignace,” were

father and son who had been adopted by the Kootenai Indians who lived at

the head of Flathead Lake. The third, Big Ignace or “LaMousse,” was born

on March 27, 1832, according to Father DeSmet. Chief Ignace heard of

the “Black Book,” or Bible, from other Indians who had met Lewis and

Clark on their expedition. He was curious to learn more and sent some of

his Indian braves to travel to the White man’s land and bring back men to

teach them about the “Black Book.” This group of Indians, to the best of

our knowledge, passed through hostile Indian territory and through hostile

white settlement. They were lost in returning and never heard from again.

Chief Ignace then sent a second group of Indians, this time including his

sons, and also deciding to join the group himself. After undergoing great

hardships, the second group made the trip to St. Louis to solicit the coming

of the “Black Robes” and returned safely. When no priest appeared, Old

Ignace (Ignatius Francis or Ignace LaMousse) returned to the Jesuit

Mission near St. Louis, where he had worked for years before migrating

91


westward, and urged that missionaries be sent to Northwest Montana. His

zeal so moved the bishop that he wrote the Jesuit Father in Rome begging

“these souls not be abandoned.” Finally, the first mass was celebrated in

the open air near Flathead Lake by Father DeSmet, who preached in

English and French. The Jesuits established Missions at St. Mary’s near

Stevensville in 1841 and at St. Ignatius south of Flathead Lake in 1854.

The French word for Ignace is “aneas” or “aeneas.” Today the

Flathead Indian Reservation located in western Montana on the Flathead

River is home to the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d' Oreilles

tribes.

In February 1917, the newly formed Chapter of the Daughters of the

American Revolution decided to name their chapter in honor of Chief

Ignace (pronounced E-nace, rhymes with furnace) for his dedication in

gaining knowledge of the Bible, as well as for his honesty. With 19

charter members, NSDAR Charter #1331 was issued to the chapter six

months later on October 1, 1917. The Chapter is designated as a DAR

Centennial Chapter.

Charter members were Susie Wallace (Mrs. Frank H.) Johnson* (first

Chapter Regent), Gertrude Case (Mrs. Ellis S.) Dickey*, Lou Ida Hunt

(Mrs. Charles K.) Dickey*, Sarah Thompson (Mrs. Westley E.)

Osborne*, Minnie Kelly (Mrs. George D.) Hahn, Nellie Jayne (Mrs.

Charles W.) Ames, Nina Ames (Mrs. Donald G.) Keyser, Edith May

Saunders (Mrs. Joseph D.) Warner, Blanche Ames (Mrs. Lewis)

Switzer*, Aileen Bennett (Mrs. A.M.) Moore, Blanche McNeely (Mrs.

J.W.) Walker, Della McNeely (later Mrs. Ollie Rubie) Ruby, Minnie

Vose (Mrs. Clyde) Robertson, Nira Bell Brink (later Mrs. Richard)

Faulkner, Susan Harrod (Mrs. George W.) Dryer, Evelyn Warner ( Mrs.

Thomas W.) Elliot*, Nell Gill (Mrs. Terrence H.) MacDonald, Mary

Long (Mrs. James A.) Coram*, Lela Eddy (Mrs. R.P.) McLaughlin

(*served as Chapter Regent).


Susie Wallace was born on November 17, 1884, in Exeter, Fillmore

County, Nebraska. She graduated from high school in Lincoln, Nebraska,

and attended the University of Nebraska for two years. On June 20, 1906,

she married Frank H. Johnson, and they had three sons. She was Organizing

Regent of Chief Ignace Chapter and served as Chapter Regent in 1917-1918

(Member #87211). She died in Oregon on June 18, 1965. Her patriot was

Seth Peabody from Topsfield, Massachusetts, and she was a member of the

Multnomah Chapter in Portland, Oregon, at the time of her death.

Minutes of the first Chief Ignace (Aeneas) Chapter organizing

meeting on February 15, 1917, state in part:

A meeting of the members of the Daughters of the American

Revolution having been called by the Organizing Regent for the

purpose of organizing a Chapter in this city, such meeting was held at

the home of (Charter member) Mrs. Blanche Switzer on February

15 th with some fifteen members of the society being present. Mrs.

Switzer acted as chairman and the following appointments to the

various offices were made:

Regent:

Mrs. Susie Johnson

Vice-Regent: Mrs. Gertrude Dickey

Rec. Sec.: Nira Brink

Treasurer: Mrs. Lou Ida Dickey

Registrar: Mrs. Blanche Switzer

Historian: Mrs. Blanche D. Walker

A motion was made and seconded that Chief Ignace (Aeneas) be

adopted as the name of the Chapter and motion duly carried.

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Mrs. Johnson, the duly appointed Regent, then took the chair and

entered upon her duties as such officer.

Following a discussion on the organization of a Red Cross Chapter in this

city, a motion was made and seconded that a delegate be appointed to

represent the D.A.R. at the Community Counsel to consider taking up

the Red Cross work. Motion carried. The Regent later appointed Mrs.

Blanche Switzer as such a delegate.

A By-Laws Committee was next appointed consisting of Mrs. Switzer,

Mrs. Walker, and Mrs. Lou Dickey.

Motion was made and seconded for adjournment with the next

meeting to be held at rs. Switzer’s home on Feb. 26. Motion carried.

~Nira Brink, Rec. Sec.

Early Chapter Activities

1920-1939: Organized during the Great War (World War I), this

chapter helped raise money to restore the French village of Tilloloy,

bought Liberty Bonds, assisted the American Red Cross, and gave aid to

victims of the great influenza epidemic. The chapter helped a tubercular

war veteran and later took an active part in educating the community

about the prevention and control of tuberculosis. The Daughters also

helped two students continue their education, one at the University of

Montana in Missoula, and the other at a nursing school in Billings. The

chapter honored its obligations to the National Society by fulfilling its

quota for the Montana Box in Constitution Hall and the Montana Bell at

Valley Forge.

1940-1959: During World War II, Chief Ignace Chapter received

special recognition from the American Red Cross for its relief efforts,

giving its quota to the Blood Plasma Fund. Members manned the


community War Bond booth, made surgical dressings, and purchased War

Bonds in the chapter’s name. One regent reported that during the war years

“a special effort was made to keep contact and interest of [the chapter’s] 34

members, many of whom lived in adjoining towns up to 40 miles away.”

During 1947-1949, the chapter won the state prize for Junior American

Citizens Clubs and reported 350 active members in 1958-1960. The

Daughters preserved local history by gathering and publishing biographies

of Flathead County pioneers and in the late 1950s supported a museum for

historical relics of the area (more information to follow).

1960-1979: During the 1960s, the chapter sponsored four DAR State

Scholarship Loan recipients, one who was Miss Kathy Fine, a runner-up in

the Miss America Pageant. The Chapter’s Bicentennial Project included

presenting Montana state flags to all of the public and private schools in

Kalispell, as well as the high schools in Columbia Falls and Whitefish, and

the Flathead Valley Community College. A Bicentennial Tea was held on

May 11, 1976, for the interested public and all school Superintendents at

which time these flags were presented. A collection of old artifacts of

members also was displayed. The chapter was very active in assisting

veterans, including donating 15 pairs of pillow cases to the U.S.S. Hope in

1968-1970.

In April 1979, the chapter honored 50+-year member Florence Green

with a tree planting in her memory at the Montana Veterans Home where

she died in 1974. Miss Green was a World War I army nurse who served in

France and had been a chapter member since 1921. The mountain ash

presented by the chapter was given by the Montana Forestry Department

and was planted by the youth corps.

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1980-1999: During the early 1980s, the chapter honored two new 50-

year members. As the Constitution Week chairman served in the Montana

legislature, this activity received extensive media coverage in Kalispell.

The chapter continued its support of veterans by making annual donations

of gifts and money to the Montana State Soldiers Home in Columbia

Falls. Members hosted a DAR display in the county library every summer

to educate the community about DAR. In the 1990s, conservation and

preservation were important to the chapter. Recycling was encouraged

with the building of a 12-inch diameter ball of aluminum and one

member saving 1,000 pounds of newspapers; preservation was achieved

with the Genealogical Records Committee gathering 389 pages of

genealogical material.

2000-Present: Chief Ignace Chapter participates at Naturalization

Ceremonies held in Glacier National Park where Daughters provide

refreshments and distribute copies of the U.S. Constitution and voter

registration cards; cookies are provided to the Kalispell Veterans

Administration Clinic monthly; a two-mile section of the highway is

cleaned annually; the DAR Good Citizen Award is presented to an

outstanding local high school senior annually; and members collect and

send comfort items to veterans at home and abroad.


Current and Ongoing Projects and Activities

Highway Cleanup

Chief Ignace Chapter has

been cleaning highways for

almost 60 years, beginning in

the 1960s, as documented in

meeting minutes and chapter

history documents. The

chapter officially applied to

the Montana Department of

Transportation for the Adopt-

A-Highway program in

October 2004 for the two-mile

stretch of highway just outside

of the West Glacier entrance

to Glacier National Park. The

photo above was taken in 2018 at the Litter Control highway sign

acknowledging the DAR cleanup role for 2 miles with left to right row 1

Sandy Taylor, Carol White, Elizabeth Anderson, Catherine Webber; row 2

Jeanne Hogan, Barb Alsbury and Patricia Gillies.

Thirteen-Star Flag

Thirteen-star flags originated during the Revolutionary War with each

star representing one of the original 13 colonies. During the 50-year, 100-

year, and 150-year Independence celebrations, many 13-star flags were

made in honor of the Revolutionary War patriots and their fight for

independence. The Chief Ignace Chapter was given a 13-star flag that had

been in the possession of the late Richard Wicks Bennett in 1896. It was

one of his prized possessions, and he gave it to his daughter, Miss Leila

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Bennett, a member of the Chief Ignace Chapter, who presented it to the

chapter in 1955. According to Jeff R. Bridgman, a leading Antique

American Flag expert, this flag is dated to 1890-1895. The last time there

was mention of the flag was in the local Kalispell newspaper in 1975 as

being on loan to the Kalispell Library, over 40 years ago! But after visiting

the library, it was discovered that they no longer had it – “we gave to the

museum.”

The flag was located at the Central School Museum where it had been

since 2003 when it was donated to the museum by the library. The chapter

has reacquired the flag and members are working with experts to bring the

flag up to today's standards for preservation.

Museum

The Chief Ignace Chapter has had some interesting items come into

their possession over the years. The idea for a museum began in 1955

when a Revolutionary War lap-desk was offered to the Chapter. Along

with several other donations, it was decided that we needed a museum, so

a Museum Committee was established.

The north entry lobby of Conrad Bank Building in Kalispell was an

ideal place for the museum, and permission was granted by James

Edmiston of the Edmiston-Bell Company. On display were the following


The 13-star flag described above that had been in the possession of

the late Richard Wicks Bennett in 1896 and was determined to originate

from 1890-1895 by a leading expert on antique American flags.

1. An historic desk originally belonging to Sgt. Uzel Knapp, who was

George Washington’s last bodyguard, was donated by Howard

Knapp after having been handed down through the generations.

The desk was handmade of solid walnut, trimmed with brass and

contained the original velvet lining with compartments for ink,

quill, sand for blotting and stationery.

2. Mrs. Fred May, a former Chapter Regent of the Chief Ignace

Chapter, donated an old map which was surveyed and originally

made up by Al Jacqueth, one of the Flathead pioneers. Original

Indian trails through the north Flathead Valley are indicated in red

on the map.

3. A colonial spinning wheel, given on permanent loan by Mr. and

Mrs. W. B. Sutton, originally belonged to “Grandma Mallet” of

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Andrew Jackson

administration. The spinning wheel was handmade of chestnut

wood from the original chestnut trees brought to the colonies from

England. This wood is no longer available since all of the trees of

this type were killed by a blight. This wheel was used to spin wool

for clothing for the family’s 12 children.

In September 1959, the Conrad Bank Building was gutted by fire.

While the building was still smoldering, Chief Ignace Chapter member Mrs.

Frank Richard, her husband, and James Edmiston waded through the water

in search of the museum items. Everything was recovered although some

sustained damage. It was originally planned for the museum to be

revived at another location, but this did not happen. All of the items, except

the flag, were returned to the original owners.

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Chief Ignace Chapter has endorsed and supported three MSSDAR

State Regents in its history.

Lucy Beatrice Morgan Logan (Mrs. Fred E.) May

State Regent 1952-1954

Member #271632; Revolutionary Ancestor: Joseph Morgan, Sr.

Lucy Beatrice Morgan was born

September 9, 1887, in Smith Center,

Kansas, to Frank and Frances Morgan

She attended grade and high school in

Smith Center, graduating in 1906. She

first married Frank Logan in 1908 and

they had one daughter who died in 1910

in Sheridan, Wyoming. Mrs. Logan

attended Teacher’s Institutes in Kansas,

Wyoming and Colorado and taught school

for ten years.

After the death of Frank in August 1928,

she married Fred May on July 3, 1930. A

member of the Presbyterian Church from childhood, she transferred to the

Big Fork Methodist Church in 1935 since there was no Presbyterian

Church in her community and served as President of the Methodist Ladies’

Aid Society from 1935-1941 and President of the Methodist WSCS 1944-

1948. Lucy also was President, East Lake Shore Garden Club 1939-1941;

President, Tuesday Study Club, Kalispell, 1940-1942; Supervisor, Red

Cross Surgical Dressings group in Big Fork during World War II; Board


of Directors member of the Flathead Chapter American Red Cross;

member of the Daughters of the American Colonists, the Society of

Mayflower Descendants, Colonial Dames of the XVII Century and

Organizing President of The Huguenot Society of Montana.

Joining the Daughters of the American Revolution October 21, 1931,

she was a Charter member of Sarah Steward Chapter in Smith Center,

Kansas, serving as Chapter Historian 1931-1933 and Vice Regent 1933-

1935. She transferred membership to Chief Ignace in 1937 serving as

Chapter Registrar 1940-1943, Vice Regent 1943-1945 and Chapter Regent

1945-1947.

Lucy served the MSSDAR as State Chair of Magazine, Membership,

New Chapters and the State C.A.R. She was State Registrar, Vice Regent

and then elected State Regent in 1952, attending Continental Congress in

1952, where she served on the Floor Committee for the Building Fund, and

in 1953. During her regency, she presided over the State Conference in

Butte at the time of their Golden Anniversary and in Havre when President

General Gertrude Caraway made her official visit. She prepared a booklet

“Pioneer Trails” giving the location and date of DAR markers placed by

MSSDAR and the Chapters from 1909 to 1954 and presented a copy to

each chapter. State Bylaws were revised.

As Honorary State Regent Lucy served as State Parliamentarian, State

Student Loan Chair 1960-1962, State Chair of New Chapters from 1959-

1964 and State Chair of Public Relations 1966-1968. She was a member of

the National Officers’ Club and National Vice Chair of Membership in the

Pacific Coast Division. Lucy died April 2, 1975, in Smith Center, Kansas.

She is buried in the Fairview Cemetery there and her stone has a DAR

marker. No obituary has been found.

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Faith Maureen Bovee (Mrs. Fred R.) Uhde

State Regent 1974-1976

Member #494693; Revolutionary Ancestor: Nicholas Bovee

Faith Maureen Bovee was born

October 15, 1896, in Calhoun County

Illinois to John and Laura Bovee. She

grew up in St. Louis, attending schools

there, moving as a teenager when the

family moved to Montana. She got a

degree from Montana State Normal

School in Dillon and taught school for

several years. She married Fred R. Uhde

in 1916 and they had six children. For

almost 30 years, she was a postmaster in Rollins, Montana.

Mrs. Uhde was an active member of the Chief Ignace Chapter,

joining April 13, 1963, and serving as Chapter Regent 1968-1970. During

her regency 15 pairs of pillow cases were given to the U.S.S. Hope and a

donation was made toward Independence Park National Rose Garden in

Philadelphia. The chapter celebrated its 52 nd anniversary and the 132 nd

anniversary of Chief Ignace from whom the chapter took its name. She

served as State Chair of public relations and was elected State Vice

Regent (1972) and State Regent in 1974. Her regency was notable in

successfully supporting election of Marjorie A. Stevenson as a Vice

President General of NSDAR. She was described by her chapter as “truly

the salt of the earth to all her family and friends.”

Faith also was a member and State President of the Colonial Dames

of the 17 th Century. She died April 4, 1988, in Kalispell. She is buried


at the C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery, Kalispell, Montana, and her

stone has a DAR marker. An obituary appeared in The Missoulian, April

7, 1988, page 12.

Faith Uhde, Kalispell – Faith Uhde, 91, of Kalispell, died of

natural causes Monday, April 4, at the Immanuel Lutheran Home.

She was born Oct. 15, 1896, in Bellevue, Ill., to John and Laura

Bovee. Reared in St. Louis, she moved with her family to Polson in

912. After earning a teacher’s certificate at Dillon Normal College, she

taught school at Boorman and Rollins. On June 8, 1916, she married

Fred Uhde in Butte. The couple made their home in Rollins. Mrs.

Uhde was employed as the postmaster at Rollins for 30 years. She

served as the first president of the Rollins PTA and belonged to the

Rollins Women’s Club, National Association of Retired Federal

Employees and Christian Church. She also held a number of offices in

the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was preceded in

death by her husband in 1972 and had moved to Kalispell in 1984.

Survivors include two sons, Richard, Kalispell, and James, Rollins:

two daughters, Mary Friesen, Long Beach, Calif., and Carol Weaver,

Kalispell; a sister, Mary Roberts, San Mateo, Calif.; a brother,

Burdette Bovee, La Habra, Calif.; 17 grandchildren, 22 greatgrandchildren

and two great-great-grandchildren. Visitation will be

noon to 8 p.m. Friday at Weatherford Funeral Home. Funeral

Services will be 2

p.m. Saturday at the funeral home chapel with the Rev. J. Torrance

Harvey, pastor of Lakeside Community Chapel, officiating. Burial

will follow at Conrad Memorial Cemetery. The family suggests

memorials to the Immanuel Lutheran Home (where she died).

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Catherine Jo Teed (Mrs. Walter James “Jim”) Lane

State Regent 2014-2016

Member #799302; Revolutionary Ancestors: Martinus Askert,

John Cropsey, Adam Eckert, Michael Fuller, Silas Hamilton,

Abraham Heermance, Andrew Hill, Jacob Neff, Daniel North,

John Rugan, William Stewart

Cathy was born August 20, 1943, at

Oneonta, Otsego County, New York,

attending grade school in Sidney New

York and high school in El Paso Texas,

graduating in the class of 1961. After a

divorce, she married Walter James “Jim”

Lane December 24, 1965, in El Paso.

Their children are Christine J. and Mark E.,

stepchildren Walter J. Jr, Gary S. and

Frances L. Lane.

Affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene since 1965, Cathy has

served as Sunday School teacher, Women’s Bible Study facilitator, Local

Missionary President and council member, Church Board member, and

Volunteer Missionary in Central and South America 1980 – 2002.

Cathy joined Chief Ignace Chapter, NSDAR October 10, 2000, and

actively served as Vice Regent 2002 – 2004, Treasurer 2004 – 2008,

Chapter Regent 2008 – 2012, Registrar 2012 – 2014, Chaplain 2014 –

2016, and Chapter Regent 2016 – 2018.

She has served the Montana State Society DAR as State Historian

2010 – 2012, State Librarian 2012 – 2013, First Vice Regent 2013 –

2014, and State Regent: 2014 – 2016. Cathy has been State Chair of


Public Relations and Media 2014 – 2016; DAR Project Patriot 2012 – 2016,

Volunteer Genealogist 2015 – 2109 and DAR Project Patriot Co-Chair

2016 – 2019. Currently she is Northwestern Division Vice Chair of

National Defense 2016 – 2019.

Other Lineage Societies to which she belongs include General Society

of Mayflower Descendants, Dutch Colonial Society, Daughters of Union

Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865, Order of First Families of Vermont

1609-1791 and National Society of New England Women.

Regent’s Summary

Regent Lane was installed at the 123 rd Continental Congress June 29,

2014, in Washington DC. She spent much of the first year making her

official visits to the state’s chapters. Also time was spent that first year

helping Chief Ignace Chapter plan for the State Conference that would be

held in Kalispell. Regent Lane presided at the 112 th State Conference with

President General Lynn Forney Young attending.

Mrs. Lane helped our state move forward in communication as email

was becoming the main means of communication with our national

headquarters. Most of our paper work was now being done electronically,

and was new to many of us.

Regent Lane attended the 123 rd Continental Congress giving the

State’s report for Regent Joy Lynn as her father was ill and passed away

shortly after. Regent Lane also attended the 124 th and 125 th Continental

Congress giving the report for the Montana State Society.

SOURCES:

* State History Daughters of the American Revolution in Montana revised

and prepared for binding by Mrs. Lewis D. Smith, State Vice Regent 1939-1941,

Montana State Regents section, various unnumbered pages

105


• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution Volume II

1941-1960, compiled by Mrs. Irving L. Dehnert, State Regent 1956-1958,

Montana State Regents section

• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1960-1970,

compiled by Amy Hales (Mrs. Irving L.) Dehnert, Honorary State Regent,

page 19

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1970-

1980, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert, Honorary State Regent, page 3

• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution Volume Five

1894-1994, compiled by Iris McKinney Gray, State Regent 1990-1992, pages

59-60; 110-111

• eMembership database NSDAR

• The Missoulian, April 7, 1988, page 12

• Jennifer L. Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent, helped

research photos and information on Montana State Regents

• Catherine Teed Lane provided her Montana State Regent summary

• Compiled by Sandra “Sandy” Janelle Cain Taylor, Chief Ignace Chapter

Historian, and State Regent Jane Lee Hamman


JULIA HANCOCK CHAPTER, NSDAR

Lewistown 7008MT

Organized March 3, 1927 ~ Elizabeth Allen Brown (Mrs. Arthur John)

Rahn, Organizing Regent

Julia Hancock Chapter was organized March 3, 1927, in Lewistown,

Montana, at the home of Organizing Regent Elizabeth Brown Rahn, with

MSSDAR State Regent Mary Beale Wahoske attending and participating.

The new DAR chapter was named after Julia Hancock, the fiancé and later

wife of Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Organizing Regent Elizabeth Brown Rahn was a Charter member of the

New London, Missouri, Chapter. The Charter members of Julia Hancock

Chapter were:

Name

Elizabeth Brown Rahn

Fanny Ainsworth Dykins

Ethel Walton Abbott

Clara Main

Josephine Cook Mueller

Sarah Stout Briscoe

Abigail Coulter Gilmour

Revolutionary Ancestor

Sam’l Wylie

Nathan Ainsworth

Peter Morton

Philip Main

James Welles

Thos. Layne

Gresham Tuttle

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Miriam Fisher Scherf

Marjorie Cresap Stoddard

Rose Main Warden

Grace Attix Brown

Elizabeth Lake Koch

Hazel Allard Pierce

Pearl Ward Carter

Ida Beach Hedges

Edna Hightower Strain

Robert Wylie

Thos. Cresap

Philip Main

Sam’l Haven

John Biggs

Charles Bently

John S. Hill

David Hitchcock

Thos. S. Hinde

Some early projects of the chapter were Easter boxes to Fort Harrison in

Helena and Christmas boxes to Angel Island immigration station in

California. The DAR magazine was placed at the Lewistown library and

high school and members worked with the American Legion to provide

American flags to country schools. The chapter presented its first Good

Citizen’s Scholarship and worked with 12 other organizations to buy and

plant over 3000 trees around Lewistown on Arbor Day.

On September 17, 1931, chapter members erected a DAR marker at the

old Reed’s Fort, which the chapter had helped restore. Reed’s Fort Post

Office, established in 1881 (marker donated by Anaconda Copper Mining

Company), was the first post office in Central Montana.

Alonzo Reed and John Bowles established a trading post in 1874 on the

old historic Nez Perce trail and Carroll Trail and operated it until 1880. On

September 17, 1940, the chapter placed its third chapter marker at the Reed

and Bowles Stockade Trading Post on the Carroll Trail.

During World War II, chapter members contributed many hours of

service to the American Red Cross, the USO and purchasing war bonds.


Their prize-winning downtown window display generated 45 inches of

publicity on National Defense.

In 1974, the historic one-room Teigen Schoolhouse was moved to

Symmes Park in Lewistown next to the Central Montana Museum. It was

dedicated with a DAR marker July 3, 1976, as part of the Bicentennial

Celebration. Classes were taught by Julia Hancock Daughters inside the

one-room schoolhouse, upon teacher request to the chapter, so that children

could experience what it was like to attend such a school in pioneer days.

Sadly, when the museum was expanded, the building had to be moved, but

it did not survive. The DAR marker from the old Teigen Schoolhouse and a

display have been set up inside the Central Montana Museum on Main

Street in Lewistown, which proclaims:

In the heart of Montana amidst the Belt, Highwood, Judith,

Moccasin and Snowy Mountains, lies our home in a valley known as

the Judith Basin. This area, which we proudly refer to as ‘Central

Montana,’ stretches westward to Arrow Creek, north to the Missouri

River and south/east toward the Musselshell River.

The Homestead Act of 1862 and the Enlarged Homestead Act of

1909 greatly affected the settlement of Montana. Towns and

smaller communities sprang up all across the prairie and

Lewistown evolved from a small trading post to become the main

merchandise distributing center in Central Montana. In less than two

decades, the immense grassland of central and eastern Montana

was divided up into 320-acre tracts. Homesteading had the most

significant impact on the growth and character of Central Montana

and agriculture continues to be the driving force of the area’s

economy today.

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Julia Hancock Chapter projects in past ten years

Recognizing Veterans – Despite having three cemeteries, the chapter

decorates past regent’s graves with flags and banners, participates in

Memorial Day ceremonies, recognizes veterans on Memorial Day, and

serves cookies and coffee at Veteran’s Park during the city-wide Memorial

Day program. Chapter members provide hats, gloves, socks and

handkerchiefs to the Veteran’s Clinic for our veterans on Veteran’s Day and

continuing through February each year. Military packages are sent overseas

regularly. Attending the World War I memorial service November 11, 2018,

at Lewistown Veteran’s Park was a special event.

Central Montana Historical Association is in the process of restoring the

Reed and Bowles Stockade Trading Post. This is a very important historic

site for Montana as it was established prior to the settlement of Lewistown.

Julia Hancock Chapter is in the process of restoring the original 1940 DAR

marker. There has been an archeology dig at the site the past two summers

and Julia Hancock Chapter provided cookies and drinks for workers last

summer. Workers have made some significant finds and digging may go on

for several years as this becomes a community-wide project.

Travel – Members visited many rural schools delivering the State

Regent’s Patriotic Education Boxes and sharing information about DAR’s

Good Citizens scholarship, and its American History and Christopher

Columbus essay contests. The chapter had two Montana State DAR

winners: Nola Goss, Grass Range for her American History essay, and

Anders Pederson, Lewistown for DAR Good Citizen Award.

Daughters drove to Chinook to visit Chief Joseph Park and provided

information for the Montana DAR markers book. We attended dedications

in Shelby to honor First Real Daughter Carolyn Reed Stone, and also


visited Glendive and Great Falls. We attended the 100 th birthday party for

Edith Carlson and the Christmas party in Billings with Shining Mountain

Chapter.

The Julia Hancock Chapter celebrated 60 years in DAR for Dorothy

Treat Van Metre (Member #423265) and celebrated her 100th birthday.

She was honored on the chapter float in the 4 th of July parade. The chapter

held its annual ice cream socials and enjoyed Pampered Chef parties at the

home of Delores Ward. Members organized July picnics for junior high

school students and for high school DAR Good Citizen winners.

The following poem, written in 2002 for the State Conference in

Lewistown, is important to understanding the history of the chapter name.

Because of that, this poem is printed in every Julia Hancock handbook.

Julia Hancock Clark

by Ruth Wicke Farrar, Julia Hancock Chapter, NSDAR

We’d like to tell you a story

A romance in days long ago

Of two young folks ordained to make history

Sweet Julia Hancock and her beau

Miss Hancock was a southern belle

Julia was her given name, Sweet Julia

but her nickname “Judy” served her as well,

So, Judy was her title-- if her attention you must claim

William Clark was charmed by Judy

and he wanted to follow his heart

But Clark knew he must do his duty,

so he set his deep feelings apart.

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Thomas Jefferson had requested assistance,

The Northwest had not been charted before

so he needed explorers to cover the distance

Lewis and Clark accepted the chore.

The treacherous journey took two years

Before the charting record was done.

Judy’s picture to William was so dear

and it comforted him when he was alone.

Discoveries he named for Judy would be for Eternity

For Judy stood for Judith – or so he always thought.

so his monuments to Judith remain for all of us to see

as Judith-- for her recognition was what he sought.

Central Montana displays signs, monuments and more

to prove that William Clark indeed was here.

For a mountain range and river unidentified before

And now known as the Judith Mountains and Judith River.

Judith Gap is a small Montana town

Named for the Mountain pass

and again, William’s devotion is shown

for his beloved lass.

Lewis and Clark Trail was established

A proven route to the sea.

Now William could live his life as he wished


And he wanted to court his Bride-to-be

His sweetheart was really delighted

to see her sweet William again,

but she had some bad news-- though elated

the Judy was not short for Judith—Julia was her name.

Julia accepted his romance proposin’

and changed her last name to his

As the Julia Hancock Clark--she had chosen

was to be honored--from that day to this.

Meriwether Lewis Clark was their first child,

to this union four more children were born.

Julia was an exceptional mother--very loving and mild.

Living a secure and confident life – change left her torn.

But William was appointed as new position

Superintendent of Indian Affairs

Of the Louisiana Territory, but on one condition

To St. Louis they must move and live there.

A new home was built in St. Louis, Missouri.

Julia her beautiful mansion would share

not only with William and her family,

But for Sacajawea and her children she would care.

So, we wish to toast the memory of this woman.

In our hearts and minds will last

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for our respect and honor, she has won

As we think of our heroine—a symbol of the Past.

Our DAR Chapter would like to acknowledge

Our esteem for this woman of history

to be known as the Julia Hancock Chapter is a privilege

and we champion her dear name for posterity.

The Julia Hancock Chapter, NSDAR continues strong and proud of its

heritage and its mission of historic preservation, education and patriotism in

this unique Central Montana place. The chapter has endorsed and supported

five State Regents in its 92-year history, the first of whom also served as the

second Montana NSDAR Vice President General.


Elizabeth Allen Brown (Mrs. Arthur John) Rahn

State Regent 1937-1939

NSDAR Vice President General 1939-1942

Member #105637; Revolutionary Ancestors: Samuel Wylie,

Dr. Daniel Brown, Col Abraham Bird

Elizabeth Allen Brown was born

March 27, 1890, in New London,

Missouri, to George and Virginia

Brown. She graduated from State

Teachers College in Wayne, Nebraska,

and the University of Nebraska with a

B.S., later teaching in Lincoln city

schools, at the University of Nebraska

and at State Teachers College in

Wayne. She married Arthur John Rahn

June 23, 1920, and they had one child,

son Arthur John, Jr born July 6, 1922.

She was a Charter Member of New

London Chapter, Missouri, and a

member of Mount Hyalite Chapter in Bozeman before moving to

Lewistown where she was Organizing Regent of the Julia Hancock Chapter

and its first regent. During her term, the “Wild Flower Pledge” was adopted

and placed in all Lewistown schools, and copies of the DAR Manual for

Citizenship were distributed to the city library and the Superintendent of

Schools. The chapter worked with the local American Legion to give 100

American Flags to the county rural schools.

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Betty presented three books on Montana history to the National DAR

Library. She had an article on Aims of DAR published in the Lewistown

newspaper and Julia Hancock Chapter was recognized for having the most

publicity of any chapter in the state. At the close of her term, there was $75

in the treasury, which was a good beginning for a young chapter.

Elizabeth served the State Society as Historian, Treasurer, and Vice

Regent before being elected State Regent from 1937-1939. Her regency

included presenting the Montana State Flag, a gift of outgoing State Regent

Elfreda Williamson Woodside, at the October 1938 services at Valley

Forge. During her term, seven Junior American Citizens Clubs were

organized and one Junior Membership group was organized. Mrs. Rahn

presented four cash awards of $5 each to the chapter with the greatest gain

in membership, the most new Junior American Citizens Clubs organized,

and two for the best stories on Montana Pioneer History, with the winning

story published in the DAR’s national magazine. Elizabeth also served as

State Chair of National Old Trails Committee, Publicity, National Defense,

Good Citizenship Pilgrimage, National Magazine and Historical Research

Committees.

Elected Vice President General of the NSDAR at the 48 th Continental

Congress with the second highest vote total, Elizabeth gave the tribute to

six deceased State Regents at the Memorial Service in 1946 at Continental

Congress in Atlantic City. She was National Chair of Good Citizens

Pilgrim Clubs 1941-1944, member of the National Bylaws Committee

1941-1944, National Vice Chair Girl Home Makers Committee 1944-

1947, National Vice Chair Radio Committee 1947-1948, Vice Chair of the

President General’s Reception Committee 1944-1950, and Vice President

of the National Officers Club 1946-1949, among other positions. She

made a special scrapbook for President General Becker.


Elizabeth died May 9, 1961, in Lewistown. She is buried in the

Lewistown City Cemetery and her gravestone has a DAR marker. An

obituary from an unidentified Lewistown-area newspaper states:

Elizabeth Rahn Dies in Hospital. Elizabeth B. Rahn died

yesterday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hospital after a long illness.

She was born in New London, Mo. and received her education in

Missouri and at the University of Nebraska and the state normal

school at Wayne, Neb. She was married to Arthur Rahn June 23,

1920, in New London, Mo., and had lived in Lewistown for the

past 40 years.

Mrs. Rahn was a member of the Presbyterian Church and had

served as state president of the D.A.R. and was a past national

vice president of the D.A.R.

Survivors include her husband, Arthur, and one son, Jack, both of

Lewistown; four grandchildren, and two brothers Clifford Brown

of Seattle, Wash., and Ernest Brown, Muskogee, Okla.

Funeral services will be from the Creel Funeral Home Friday

at 2 p.m. with the Rev. G. Loren Jones of the Presbyterian

Church officiating. Interment will be in the city cemetery.

The casket will be open until 1 p.m. for friends but not at the funeral

service.

117


Marion Elizabeth Corbett (Mrs. James Hill) Morrow

State Regent 1950-1952

Member #286859; Revolutionary Ancestor: Joseph Root

Marion Elizabeth Corbett was born

December 5, 1880, in Berlin,

Wisconsin, to Samuel and Mary Jane

Corbett. She grew up in North Dakota,

graduating from Fargo College and

from Moorhead State Teachers College

in Moorhead, Minnesota. She married

James Hill Morrow June 12, 1906, and

they had one child, son James Hill

Morrow, Jr.

Very active in community groups as

well as war efforts, a partial list of

Marion’s volunteer service includes

State President Montana Federation of

Women’s Clubs, Department President Montana American Legion

Auxiliary, National Committeewoman and National Membership Chair of

National American Legion Auxiliary, State Director of the National Tax

Commission, Montana Representative to the New York World’s Fair,

Eastern Star, Montana TB Association Executive Board, American Cancer

Society Montana State Director, Chair of Montana Division U.S. Savings

Bonds Women’s Activities, Montana War Finance Committee. She was

chair of the Moore School Board for ten years and of the Fergus County

High School Board for six years.

Mrs. Morrow also was a very active member of the Julia Hancock

Chapter, serving as Chapter Regent 1944-1948. She gave strong leadership


to youth programs, national defense efforts and supporting both the State

and National Society.

She served the State Society DAR as Secretary, Vice Regent and then

State Regent from 1950-1952. She also served as State National Defense

Chair for seven years and National Vice Chairman for the National Defense

Committee. During her regency she increased membership, stressed

national defense and headed a campaign to raise funds for National Society

building projects.

Marion died November 25, 1964, in Lewistown. She is buried in the

Moore Cemetery in Moore, Montana. Her stone is not marked. Her

obituary written in The Billings Gazette, November 26, 1964, page 10 reads:

Mrs. Morrow, Moore, Dies; Lewistown – Mrs. Marion Morrow, 83,

long-time Moore resident, died in a Lewistown hospital

Wednesday. Funeral services will be at the Creel-Gurnett-Retz

Funeral Home at Lewiston at 2 p.m. Saturday. Burial will be in the

Moore Cemetery. Mrs. Morrow was born in Wisconsin, received

her education at Fargo, ND, and came to Moore in 1910. As president

of the Montana Federation of Woman’s Club, she launched the

organization of the Montana division of the American Cancer

Society at a state convention in Billings in 1936. Since then she was

a member of the Cancer Society board and its only life member.

Mrs. Morrow had served on the state board of the Montana

Tuberculosis Society since 1920. She served as state chairman of

women’s activities for the U.S. Treasury Dept. during the war and was

a member of the State WPA board during its existence. She was a

member of Red Cross, Farm Bureau and Home Demonstration county

boards and served on the

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Moore school board for 28 years. Mrs. Morrow was a member of

the Methodist church at Moore, Mr. Morrow preceded her in

death. Surviving are a son, James Morrow of Bozeman, two

grandchildren and a great-grandchild, and a sister in Iowa.

Madelyn Snapp (Mrs. Walter Edward) Mondale

(later Mrs. Victor G. Mohar)

State Regent 1968-1970

Member #375837; Revolutionary Ancestor: Adam Harnsberger

Madelyn Snapp was born April

24, 1909, in New York City to

Marvin and Irene Bear Snapp. She

graduated from George Washington

University in Washington, D.C. as a

registered medical technologist and

married Walter E. Mondale October

14, 1934, in D.C. They had three

children, Elinor Irene Gersman, Dr.

Jason E., and Richard Warfield. He

died in 1973; she later married Victor

G. Mohar.

She joined the Julia Hancock Chapter April 17, 1948, and served

actively, being elected Chapter Regent for 1962-1964. A highlight of her

term was establishing a “Pioneer Room” in the Central Montana Historical

Museum, providing over 200 pictures and biographies of early settlers. She


was a member of the Methodist church, a Director of the Central Montana

Museum and worked at the Carnegie Public Library.

As State Regent from 1968-1970, Madelyn was appointed by the

Governor to serve as a member of the Board of Women’s Highway Safety

Commission; she also reactivated the Veteran’s Hospital Committee and

two members were certified to the V.A.V.S. by the National Society. Mrs.

Mondale was promoter and chair of publication of the book, Guarding the

Carroll Trail, a history of Central Montana. She emphasized historical

preservation during her term and was named to Who’s Who of American

Women, Sixth Edition. She presided at the Northwestern States Breakfast at

Continental Congress and published a quarterly state DAR newsletter.

Living in Elkton, Virginia, Madelyn Snapp Mondale Mohar died

October 22, 2002. She is buried in the Lewistown City Cemetery. Her grave

does not have a DAR marker. An obituary from an unidentified Virginia

newspaper states:

Madelyn Snapp Mondale Mohar, 93, died Oct. 22, 2002, at her

home in Elkton, Va.

She was born April 24, 1909, in Elkton, the fourth of five children

born to the late Marvin and Irene Bear Snapp. She graduated from

Elkton High School in 1926, then moved to Washington, D.C.,

because of the depression. Madelyn married Walter Edward Mondale

from Montana in 1934 and moved to Massachusetts where three

children were born, Elinor, Jason and Richard. The family moved to

Montana in 1957, where Walter practiced law and served two terms

as mayor.

Several years after Walter died, in 1974 Madelyn married Victor

Mohar and retired to Daytona Beach, Fla. Victor died in 1994 and

she then returned to Elkton and had lived here since then.

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Mohar was active in civic matters during her life. She was

president of the PTA in Andover, Mass., and was responsible for

starting driver education and kindergartens in the Andover Public

School system. She was a founding member of the Priscilla Abbott

Chapter of the DAR in Andover and later became a state regent

for the DAR in Montana.

Since returning to Elkton, Mohar became an honorary member of

the Harrisonburg DAR Chapter, a member of the Elkton United

Methodist Church and the Elkton Coterie Club.

She is survived by a daughter, Elinor Mondale of Port Republic,

Va.; two sons, Jason Mondale and wife Lee Birmingham of

Marblehead, Mass., and Richard Mondale and wife Mary

Elizabeth Humphrey of Elkton; four grandchildren, Laura Brock

of Acton, Mass., Valerie Crawford of Bradenton, Fla., Karen

Mondale of Moss Beach, Calif., and Jennifer Mondale of London,

England; and two great-grandchildren, Dylan Jason Brock and

Hayley Brock. She was preceded in death by a great-grandson,

Aaron Jason Korotie.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27 at

the Elkton United Methodist Church. Burial will be private.

Services are entrusted to the Kyger Funeral Home in Elkton.

A second obituary, from an unidentified Lewistown-area Montana

newspaper, contains some additional and some conflicting information.

Madelyn (Mondale) Mohar - Madelyn (Mondale) Mohar, 93, of

Elkton, Va. Passed away Oct. 22, 2002, at her home of natural

causes. She was born April 24, 1909, in New York City, N.Y., the

daughter of Marvin and Irene Snapp. She received her education

in Elkton, graduating from Elkton High School in 1926.


In 1934, she was united in marriage to Walter E. Mondale in

Washington, D.C. They lived in Massachusetts where their three

children were born. In 1956 they moved to Lewistown. He

worked as an attorney and served two terms as mayor. She

worked at the public library and was active in the DAR and the

Daughters of the Nile. Following his death in 1974, she remained

in Lewistown.

She later married Victor Mohar and they retired and moved to

Florida. He died there in 1991 and she continued living in

Florida. In 1000 she moved to Elkton where she lived until the

time of her death. She was a member of the United Methodist

Church.

Survivors include two sons, Jason of Marblehead, Mass., and

Richard of Elkton; one daughter, Elinor Mondale of Porch

Republic, Va.; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and

several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, parents, two brothers,

two sisters and one great-grandson. Memorial graveside services

will be Friday, May 2 in the Lewistown City Cemetery at 10:30

a.m. Cloyd Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Ellen Ruth Hayward (Mrs. Ramon J.) Eatinger

State Regent 1986-1988

Member #397611: Revolutionary Ancestor: Nathaniel Rising

Ellen Ruth Hayward was born July

13, 1930, in Valentine, Nebraska, to

Walter and Inez Sanderson Hayward.

She attended the University of

Nebraska in Lincoln, earning a

teaching certificate and teaching one

year in Nebraska. She married Ramon

John Eatinger in Valentine, Nebraska,

September 17, 1950. They had four

children: Beth Ann, Mark Carl, Julie

Ruth, and Walter Ramon Eatinger.

Widowed at the age of 29, Ruth

raised her four children on her own,

farming and ranching, and working as an accountant. She raised horses in

Nebraska and South Dakota, moving in 1964 at the age of 35 to Montana

with her brother Gary Eatinger to buy a place near Big Sandy. They later

bought a place near Moore, and then she later bought her own place east

of Lewistown. There she raised and trained registered quarter horses.

Her mother was a member of DAR and Ruth joined Assinniboine

Chapter, NSDAR in 1950, where she served as Chapter Regent from 1968

to 1970, driving 50 miles each way to attend chapter meetings. During her

term, the chapter partnered through member Elinor Clark, who worked

with the Rocky Boy Indians, to provide needed books, magazines and

clothing. The DAR Manual for Citizenship and the DAR Magazine were

given to rural schools, the public library, Havre public schools and Indian


classes at the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap schools, where they were used

in history classes.

Ellen Ruth was Regent of Julia Hancock Chapter from 1982-1984.

During her term, the chapter donated $100 to the Fergus County High

School Academic Decathlon Team to help them participate in national

competition and donated $100 to a family who helped the chapter restore

Reed’s Fort Post Office without compensation for their significant work.

The Rose Main Warden Scholarship of $100 was awarded to a DAR

Good Citizen each year and a bell tower was installed on the Teigen

School.

Serving the Montana State Society, Ruth was Chair of Audit and

Budget from 1980-1986 and again from 1988-1989, Program Chair,

Junior American Citizens Chair and Vice Regent 1984-86 before being

installed at the April 13-18, 1986, 95 th National Continental Congress in

Washington, D.C. as Montana State Regent. Highlights of her regency

include an official appearance at the rededication of Shining

Mountain Chapter’s Veterans Memorial Lane in May 1986, cataloguing

state regent materials to file in the security cabinet later transferred to the

State Archives, having her daughter Mrs. Beth Henderson serve as her

Flag Page when she gave her State Regent report at Continental Congress,

and attending state conferences of the Montana State Society Children of

the American Revolution with her granddaughters.

She was tragically killed in an accident May 12, 1989. Buried in the

Lewistown City Cemetery, her stone has a DAR marker. An obituary in

The Billings Gazette, May 15, 1989, page 11 reads:

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Ruth M. Eatinger, Lewistown – Ruth M. Eatinger moved to a ranch

near Big Sandy in 1964 and near Lewistown in 1976. She was a

member of Daughters of American Revolution, Montana State Regent

1987-1988, Eastern Star American Quarterhorse Association,

Montana Quarterhorse Association and Women of the Moose. She was

secretary of International Snaffle Bit Association. Mrs. Eatinger, 58,

died Friday evening in Billings St. Vincent Hospital as the result of

injuries received in a pedestrian-vehicle accident in Lewistown Friday

afternoon. Born in Valentine, Neb., a daughter of Walter and Inez

Hayward, she attended Nebraska and South Dakota schools,

Nebraska School of Agriculture and University of Nebraska. She

taught in Cherry County, Nebr. On Sept. 17, 1950, she married

Ramon John Eatinger in Valentine; he died in 1960. She moved to

Valentine and in 1962 to a ranch near Carter, S.D. Survivors include

a son, Mark of Phoenix, Ariz.; two daughters, Mrs. Jim (Julie) Silvan

of Helena and Mrs. Jay (Beth) Henderson of Lewistown; her mother

of Lewistown; two brothers, Harry Hayward of Loveland, Colo., and

Gary Hayward of Seeley Lake; and eight grandchildren. Services

will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Emmanuel Baptist Church with burial in

Lewiston City Cemetery. Cloyd Funeral Home is in charge.


Doris W. Quigley (Mrs. Leslie Vernon) Pallett

State Regent 1996-1998

Member #542152; Revolutionary Ancestors: Patrick McGuire,

Othniel Preston

Born in Lewistown, Montana,

December 11, 1929, at St. Joseph

Hospital, daughter of Marie E. Rice

and Durward W. Quigley, Doris

attended grade school in Broadview and

the first three years of high school,

graduating from Harlowton High

School. She married Leslie Vernon

Pallett in 1948, and they had three

children, Barbara, Leslie, and David.

Celebrating 61 years of marriage before

his death, they have four grandchildren

and nine great grandchildren.

Daughter Barbara Bennetts and grand-daughters Bryn Bennetts Gerthoffer

and Andrea Pallett Martin also are members of Julia Hancock Chapter.

Son David and Doris’ nephew, Bill Short, joined the Montana SAR

Guardian Chapter in 2019, using her DAR lineage information on file.

Joining DAR on June 11, 1969, Doris served Julia Hancock Chapter in

nearly every position, including Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Regent and

Chapter Regent from 1974-1976. During her regency, the Country

Schoolhouse project started by Uva Seeley was restored and made ready for

the dedication on July 3, 1976. Continuing the traditional chapter Fourth of

July celebration at the fairgrounds, Regent Doris rode a side-saddle dressed

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as an early-time school teacher and won first place for the most authentic

costume. She currently is serving as Chapter Chaplain

She served the State Society as Historian 1982-1984 and 1992-1994;

MSSDAR Good Citizen Chair 1980-1982; State Chair of DAR Schools

2002-2010, Junior Membership Chair 2008-2010; and Literacy Promotion

Chair 2010-2016.

As State Vice Regent, Doris visited several chapters with her State

Regent during her term, attended two meetings in Washington, D.C. and

took the Northern School tour. The Executive Board met six times with

various DAR duties taken care of. In the first year of her regency, Doris

attended two meetings in Washington, D.C. and two meetings her second

year. During the second year of her regency, she was honored to carry the

Montana flag for the presentation of flags at the Women’s in Military

Memorial Celebration at Arlington National Cemetery. Doris and her

husband, Vern, also attended the Columbus Day celebration. She also went

on the Southern School tour in the spring.

During Doris’ term of office as MSSDAR Regent, state dues were

raised from $2.00 to $4.00 and State Conference dates were changed from

March to May because spring storms were making statewide travel difficult.

Bylaws updates were started and work was completed to incorporate the

Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution to meet

National criteria. Eagles on top of the chapter flag staffs were replaced with

the current spear, thanks to Shining Mountain member Marge Hansen. The

state newsletter was distributed four times each year, written, typed and

published by Doris. The Montana 95 th conference was held in Billings with

the President General Mrs. Charles K. Kemper attending. Julia Hancock and

Shining Mountain Chapters were co-hostesses. The First Chapter organized


in Montana, Silver Bow, and its 26 dedicated members held its 100 th

Anniversary and State Regent Pallett brought greetings.

The “Lucky Thirteen” was presented to the chapters as the State

Regent’s project. Each of the 13 chapters were visited during her first year

of office. This project brought in $1,776 that was used to help start the

Palm/Pallett Fund, which finances assistance toward travel and other

expenses that winners of DAR awards incur.

Doris served on the NSDAR Speakers Staff for 10 years and was

NSDAR Northwestern Division National Vice Chair of the DAR School

Committee 2005-2008. As Honorary State Regent, Doris was the speaker at

Lewistown Memorial Day services in 2000. She also is an associate

member of the John Edwards Chapter, Mexico.

An active member of the United Methodist Church, Doris worked for

many years as a secretary, finishing her career as private secretary to the

principal of Fergus County High School, retiring after 26 years in 1991.

Doris also is a member of the Mayflower Society and the Order of Eastern

Star, having served on the Rainbow Board, volunteered with the Girl

Scouts, and served on the Board of the National Association for the Blind in

the 1970s.

SOURCES:

• State History Daughters of the American Revolution in Montana revised and

prepared for binding by Mrs. Lewis D. Smith, State Vice Regent 1939-1941,

Vice President General and Montana State Regents section, unnumbered pages

• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution Volume II

1941-1960, compiled by Mrs. Irving L. Dehnert, State Regent 1956-1958, Vice

Presidents General and Montana State Regents sections

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1960-

1970, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert Honorary State Regent, pp.11, 20

129


• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1970-

1980, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert, Honorary State Regent, pp.17-18

• eMembership database NSDAR

• The Billings Gazette, November 26, 1964, page 10

• The Billings Gazette, May 15, 1989, page 11

• unidentified Lewistown-area Montana newspapers

• Jennifer L. Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent, helped

research photos and information on Montana State Regents

• Doris Quigley Pallett, Honorary State Regent, submitted her information

• Compiled by Julia Hancock Chapter Regent Kathleen “Kathy” Lou Pierce

Ahlgren and State Regent Jane Lee Hamman


KUILIX CHAPTER, NSDAR

ST. IGNATIUS 7018MT

Organized December 8, 2012 ~ Bonnie D. Easterly (Mrs. Frank A.) Huber,

Organizing Regent

Bonnie Easterly Huber contacted Peggy Bennett Salitros, then Montana

State Regent, to see if a new chapter of DAR could be formed in Western

Montana, the area being from Polson to Evaro and west to Thompson Falls

across parts of three beautiful, rugged northwestern counties. Since the

chapters available to ladies in the Mission Valley were in Missoula and

Kalispell, at least 40 miles away, the idea was happily accepted, and further

approval for the new chapter came from the Office of Organizing Secretary

General Jean Dixon Mann.

The first informal meeting was held on December 28, 2011, with

Organizing Regent Bonnie Huber presiding. As required by the NSDAR

Organizing Office, three essays for potential chapter names were selected by

the informal group of ladies and then sent to DAR Headquarters in

Washington, D.C. One essay was selected and the group had a chapter name

of Kuilix. Having a majority of the interested ladies present on October 27,

2012, the proposed Kuilix Chapter was presented to the Office

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of Organizing Secretary General. This was the first notice of intent for

official organization and recognition with twelve members.

On December 8, 2012, the organizing meeting for Kuilix Chapter

was held during which fifteen members signed the Report of

Organization. A telephone call, placed to the National Society

Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C. confirmed

the intention of organization. The National Board of Management

confirmed Kuilix Chapter as an official chapter on this date. The Charter

members present were Bonnie Huber, Regent; Hope Stockstad, Vice

Regent; Julia Borden, Registrar; Nancy Mehaffie, Treasurer; Amanda

Hodges, Recording Secretary; Carolyn Corey, Corresponding

Secretary; Carolyn Swalling, Historian; and members Ruth Baxter,

Susan Gardner, Caroline Myhre, Kathleen Normandeau, Donna Peck,

Janna Taylor, and Adele Walenciak.

Although several preliminary meetings had been held throughout

2012, the first official meeting of the Kuilix Chapter took place on

January 22, 2013. Officers were installed during a moving ceremony on

May 4, 2013, at Ninepipes Lodge in Charlo. Kuilix Daughters

welcomed many MSSDAR members, including State Regent Joy E.

Linn, most state officers, many Honorary State Regents, numerous

chapter regents and members, and other community guests. Victor

Charlo, grandson of Chief Charlo, blessed the installation in native

tongue. Members had decorated Ninepipes entrance and rooms with

historic relics of pioneer and Indian heritage and all the tables were

replete with red, white and blue centerpieces, napkins and programs. It

was a beautiful sunny day for a lovely, exciting installation.


Chapter Name

Kuilix, a Salish Pend d’Oreille woman, was born in the early 1800s,

probably in Northwest Montana, west of the Continental Divide. A

noted and powerful woman warrior, Kuilix fought to protect her

peoples’ land and resources from encroaching tribes. As noted by Julie

Cajune, a native historian,

In the midst of this turmoil, Kuilix chose the role of warrior.

While her war honors speak for themselves, so also her compassion

as a healer and caretaker distinguishes her as a remarkable human

being.

As such, she is

representative not only of our

area, the Flathead

Reservation, but also of us as

women, proud daughters of

Patriots who fought for our

freedom and the

establishment of our country.

Kuilix is pronounced “qwee

lix” with the accent on the

first syllable.

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Organizing Regent

Bonnie Easterly Huber was born in her home on the Marshlands, a

farming area between Snohomish and close to Everett, Washington, in

April 1925. She attended Whitworth College in Spokane and the

University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in English Literature. She

met her future husband, Frank A. Huber, while in school in Seattle.

Frank was from Massachusetts and New York, giving meaning to

“east meets west” and was stationed in the Seattle area while serving in

the U.S. Navy. They married in 1948 and had five children. Living a

career Navy life, they moved around the country until retiring in

Marysville, Washington. When Frank’s health began to fail, they moved

to the Mission Valley area to be in the fresh air and away from city life.

Bonnie has been in the Mission Valley area for about 25 years.

The spark that started Bonnie’s path to genealogy and the DAR was

simply a love of unfolding generations of memories and history from

her beloved mother, Elva Mower Easterly. Her memories lasted on

through stories to her six children, and the stories rang loud and clear to

youngest daughter Bonnie. Bonnie remembers her mother writing the

family genealogy down on whatever was handy—a brown bag or a

scrap of paper. She listened to her mother repeat the Parker side lineage,

and Elva’s desire of becoming a DAR member and pursuing the search

for a family patriot. One thing that really burned in Elva’s heart was to

find out what happened to her grandmother, Francis Anne Parker

Hostetter, who apparently passed away suddenly when her mother,

Hattie Hostetter Mower, was only three years old. Bonnie promised her

mother two things: one, to become a member of DAR, and two, to find

out what happened to her great-grandmother Francis Hostetter.

Bonnie started her studies of genealogy at the Seattle Public Library

in the 1960s. With help from Evelyn Kempkes, she searched and

documented many findings. One finding was that she was eligible for


DAR through her patriot Samuel Mower of Massachusetts. Bonnie was

ready to submit her paperwork for membership with the Marcus

Whitman Chapter DAR in Everett, Washington, but life, as life does,

turned her path yet again. It wasn’t until much later that Bonnie would

be able to fulfill the first of the promises to her mother.

Finally, Bonnie Huber joined the Daughters of the American

Revolution Bitter Root Chapter December 7, 2002. For the next decade she

served as Chapter Chaplain, Vice Regent and then Regent in 2008- 2010,

after which she again served as Bitter Root Chaplain. Traveling long

distances for all of these meetings developed her determination to organize

a new DAR chapter that would serve the Mission Valley area.

From 2012-2014 Bonnie served as MSSDAR State Chair of National

Defense while organizing

the new chapter. She

served Kuilix two terms as

Chapter Regent from

2012-2016 and was thrilled

to achieve Chapter Level 1

in 2016 and have State

Regent Jane Lee

Hamman present the award certificate to her at a chapter meeting.

At the 2018 MSSDAR 115 th State Conference, when Bonnie was

recognized with the first state Most Valuable Daughter Award for Kuilix

service, Nancy Mehaffie, Kuilix Chapter Regent, said,

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At the age of 92, none of our

members bring the vitality and

enthusiasm that Bonnie does to

exceeding our expectations!

Beloved Bonnie is always going

above and beyond our regular

responsibilities as a DAR member.

Bonnie continues to work on

fulfilling that second promise, with

many DAR members’ help, trying to find her lost great-grandmother

Francis Anne Parker Hostetter. At the Kuilix Chapter fall 2018 heirloom

meeting, Bonnie brought the framed marriage certificate of her greatgrandmother’s

marriage to John Hostetter and shared the story of her lost

lineage, joking in jest that she must be a ghost. In March 2019, NSDAR

approved her supplemental Patriot Peter Wilson and child Thomas as

another piece of the puzzle. Now 93, Bonnie continues to work fulfilling

her promises and living a rewarding life of service to God, home and

country. She currently serves as Chapter Chaplain.

Chapter Services and Activities

Even before it became an official chapter and ever since then, the

ladies of Kuilix Chapter have been involved in numerous community

services and events. Members have participated in several Naturalization

ceremonies in Missoula, joining with the Bitter Root Chapter; set up

displays and interactive computer hook ups at the David Thompson


Mountain Man Days in Thompson Falls and the Patriot Veterans Day to

aid in inquiries about DAR and ancestry for prospective members.

Daughters marched in the 100 th Year Heritage Days Parade in Columbia

Falls and have hosted several Christmas parties at St. Luke’s Assisted

Living Center in Ronan.

Educational activities include the annual Good Citizens Award and

American History Essay Contests in the eleven local school districts. For

Constitution Week, members distribute U.S. Constitution booklets to local

school districts, deliver talks and provide skits in colonial dress in

classrooms, set up library displays and a radio interview.

Kuilix members’ main focus has been on recognizing and assisting

veterans and active military and their families. Over several years,

Daughters donated lap robes to residents of the Montana Veterans Home

in Columbia Falls and The Springs in Whitefish. Members have

continually been providing coffee supplies to the VA office in Missoula

and collecting toiletries for the Valor House, a transitional housing

program in Missoula for homeless veterans whose goal is working

towards stable housing.

In the winter of 2017, the chapter led a coat and blanket drive for Team

RWB (Red, White and Blue), a veteran’s organization, and The Poverello

Center which provides for the homeless in Missoula. Over 50 coats and 50

blankets were donated by Kuilix Chapter and the Mission Valley United

Methodist Church.

The chapter received a donation of a beautiful Quilt of Valor in the fall

of 2018 which was made by Sandra “Sandy” Janelle Cain Taylor, a local

Quilt of Valor Foundation member and DAR member. For Veterans Day,

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this Quilt of Valor was awarded to Vietnam veteran James “Jim” Mathias

for his service to our country during and after the Vietnam War. Mr. Mathis

lives in Ronan and was very emotional about receiving the honor

represented by the red, white and blue quilt. The Veterans Day observance

at the Ronan Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5652 on Round Butte Road

was a cooperative event with members of the Ronan VFW Post and the

American Legion joining Kuilix Chapter members attending to assist in

thanking and honoring Vietnam veteran James “Jim” Mathias and his wife

Josie through presentation of the Quilt of Valor. The quilt has a three-part

message to:

1. Honor Jim’s service

2. Thank Jim for his service

3. Provide warm comfort and assurance that Jim is in our thoughts

and hearts

Photo: Presentation of a Quilt of Valor to Vietnam veteran Jim Mathias by

Kuilix Chapter, NSDAR. Members (L to R): Organizing Regent Bonnie Huber,

Chaplain and DAR Service to Vets Chair Leona Harris; Chapter Regent Karen

Adele Huber, honored Vietnam Veteran James “Jim” Mathias, Chapter Treasurer

Sharon Adamson, associate member and maker of the Quilt of Valor Sandra

“Sandy” Janelle Cain Taylor, Linda Roberts. and Kathleen “Katie” Hertz.


Kuilix Chapter Daughters proudly join the long list of federal, state and

local communities, veterans' organizations and other nonprofit

organizations in activities that recognize Vietnam Veterans and their

families' service, valor, and sacrifice.

Chapter’s Future

Looking toward the future, Kuilix Chapter members are committed

to doing what we can to promote the goals and mission of the Daughters

of the American Revolution to promote Historic Preservation,

Education and Patriotism, identifying places of historic interest in the

Mission Valley for recognition, continuing our work with the schools

for the Good Citizen award, essay contests and Constitution Week, and

assisting and recognizing veterans. We also are actively looking for new

members in our area to assist us in these service opportunities.

SOURCES

• eMembership database NSDAR

• Researched and written by Chief Ignace Chapter Historian Sandra “Sandy”

Janelle Cain Taylor and Kuilix Chapter Regent Karen Adele Huber

• Compiled by Montana State Regent Jane Lee Hamman

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MILK RIVER CHAPTER, NSDAR

Glasgow 7009MT

Organized September 15, 1956 ~ Vivian Durkee (Mrs. Alexander)

Torkelson

The Milk River is a tributary of the Missouri River which starts in

the mountains of western Montana and flows north and east into Canada

before it turns south again and re-enters Montana, just north of the

Sweetgrass Mountains. It then slowly snakes and wanders through the

northern part of the state. The length of the river from start until it flows

into the Missouri River, five miles below the Fort Peck Dam, is 729

miles. For many years, this river was the main artery of travel in this

part of the state. The river gets its color from the clay-rich soils that are

found in northern Montana and southern Canada and was named by

Captain Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clarke Expedition, who in

1805 described the river in his journal:

…the water of this river possesses a peculiar whiteness, being about

the color of a cup of tea with admixture of a tablespoon of milk,

from the colour of its water we called it Milk River.

Milk River Chapter was organized in 1956 and named so only after

the first recommended names were rejected by the National Society

because they did not conform with naming rules. (The first group of


three names were Nakoda, Fort Peck, and Durkee.) The group of ladies

then sent in a second list of possible names: Great Plains, Sage Brush, and

Milk River, the latter of which was approved by everyone. Vivian Durkee

(Mrs. Alexander) Torkelson, who was appointed Organizing Regent in

1953, convened the formal organizational meeting September 15, 1956,

with State Regent Amy Hales Dehnert in attendance at which time Vivian

was installed as the first Chapter Regent (1956-1962) together with the

other officers. Mrs. Torkelson later served as the State Regent from 1966

to 1968.

Other Organizing members included: Florence Billingsley (Mrs. Bert

H.) Armstrong, Cloris Bailey (Mrs. G. Roy) Austin, Laura Vining (Mrs.

Leo B.) Coleman, Ethel Henry (Mrs. James H.) Cook, Pauline Billingsley

(Mrs. Lloyd A.) Henningsen, Ethel Elliott (Mrs. C.W.) Kampfer, Frances

Torkelson (Mrs. Adrian V.) Kruse, Barbara Ann Peters, Maude Walker

(Mrs. Hiram) Peters, Marion Kellogg (Mrs. William M.) Ruffcorn, Edith

White (Mrs. Harold L.) Wiley, Helen Davis (Mrs. Herbert J.) Friedl and

Wauneta Billingsley (Mrs. George) White. No Milk River Chapter charter

was ever purchased.

Past Chapter Regents and their primary services that tell the history of

this DAR chapter are listed below.

Vivian Durkee (Mrs. Alexander) Torkelson, Chapter Regent 1956-

1962 when the chapter sent 409 Marriage and Baptismal records to the

National Society. Historical events were commemorated with displays in

store windows and the public library; donations were made for the

historical marker at Fort Assinniboine and for National Defense; cash and

clothes were sent to the four approved DAR schools and to the two nearby

Indian Missions; Mrs. Ethel Kempfer served as State Chair of American

Indians and donated $100 to the NSDAR American Indian Scholarship

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Fund; Mrs. Pauline Henningsen served as Chapter Treasurer and was

appointed Chair of the Valley County Census. Personal information given

below as State Regent.

Pauline Billingsley (Mrs. Lloyd A.) Henningsen, Chapter Regent

1962-1966, born November 29, 1906, at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, attended

Montana State Normal School in Dillon and married Lloyd Henningsen

September 14, 1926 at Glasgow. Member #427523, Revolutionary

ancestor was William Hulse and she was co-hostess for the 1965 State

Conference in Miles City, with Powder River Chapter. Pauline served as

MSSDAR State Secretary 1966-1968.

Fannie Beth Wolfenden (Mrs. Stanley Clifford) Russell, Chapter

Regent 1966-1969, born October 12, 1901, at Delano, Minnesota,

graduated from Eastern Montana College with a B.S. Degree, married

Stanley Clifford Russell June 11, 1932 at Glasgow and had two sons:

Stanley Thomas and Dennis Eugene; died August 17, 1969. Her

Revolutionary ancestor was William Furman. During her regency, she

expanded the DAR Good Citizen program, stressed all phases of youth

service, and presented Certificates of Honor to the parents of each

Veteran from the area who lost his or her life in the Vietnam War.

Laura Vining (Mrs. Leo B.) Coleman, Chapter Regent 1969-1970,

arrived in Montana in 1910 and homesteaded in Dawson County 1912-

1913, teaching summer school in a homestead shack. She married Leo B.

Coleman, who was the son of 1895 Montana pioneers; they had one

daughter and one son. During WW I, she was chairman of the Valley

County Chapter of American Red Cross, which was recognized as the

Champion Chapter in the United States, cited for their sewing service.

With Member # 438509, her Revolutionary ancestor was John Bitely.

Laura’s regency was noteworthy for Northwest States Breakfast favors at


Continental Congress and her assistance to the State Regent, presenting

Certificates of Honor to families of those Veterans lost serving in Vietnam,

further expanding DAR Good Citizen to 12 schools and establishing a

Memorial Fund in memory of Beth Russell, which is to be used to buy a

historical marker for Fort Peck.

Mary Emily Robinson (Mrs. Leo) Barthelmess, Chapter Regent 1970-

1976, was born July 28, 1932, in Gillette, Wyoming, graduated with an AA

degree from Colorado Women’s College in Denver and married Leo

Barthelmess October 16, 1954, at the Cross S Ranch. They had two sons,

Leo Floyd born December 1955 and Christian Casey born February 1957,

and two daughters, Emily Ann born October 1974 and Marian born

September 1977. Mary’s DAR Revolutionary ancestor was John Townsend.

She was also a member of the Daughters of the Colonists and the Colonial

Dames of the XVII Century. She served as Milk River Chapter Treasurer

and Registrar before being elected Regent. During her term, the chapter

continued emphasizing DAR Good Citizens and entertaining them with a

Christmas potluck luncheon. After five years of planning and fund raising,

the chapter presented a plaque to Mr. Donald Backman, Chief Engineer of

the Fort Peck Dam, and placed it at the entrance to the first powerhouse,

which says:

Old Fort Peck was located about a mile above the present dam site.

Built in 1867 as a trading post, and becoming an Agency in 1871,

it served also as headquarters for military and government officials

when negotiating with the Indians. It was abandoned in 1979

due to river erosion and the Agency moved to Poplar.

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Pamela Danetta Garrison (Mrs. Orlie) Linn, Chapter Regent 1976-

1982, was born February 6, 1934, at Glasgow, Montana, graduated from

Saco High School and married Orlie Linn July 22, 1951, at Moweaqua,

Illinois. They had two children, Donni and Joy. She joined NSDAR June

8, 1973, and her Revolutionary ancestor was Jacob Riegel. During

Pamela’s regency the chapter celebrated its 25 th Anniversary with a large

public birthday party and received lots of news coverage for its services.

Because of vast travel distances, she had a “do” session after most

business meetings so that members could socialize and make favors for

the schools to celebrate Americanism or whatever patriotic event would

be occurring next. She served as Chapter Registrar from 1998-2011 and

as State Treasurer 1998- 2002. She also belongs to the American Legion

Auxiliary, the O.E.S., White Shrine, Rebekahs, the Saco Garden Club,

and served as a 4-H leader for 25 years.

Ruby Cook (Mrs. Jim G.) Kountz, Chapter Regent 1982-1986, was

born November 1, 1922, at Burke, South Dakota. She married Jim G.

Kountz December 14, 1941, at Glasgow, Montana; they had two

daughters and two sons. She proudly earned her GED 38 years after

leaving school. Her Revolutionary ancestor was Nathan Wooley. During

her regency, the chapter catalogued the Glasgow Cemetery and continued

donating items to the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Miles

City.

Dorothy Redfield (Mrs. Orrin J.) Fossum, Chapter Regent 1986-

1992, was born August 28, 1920, at Glasgow and graduated with a B.S.

degree in education with an additional year of elementary education

study. She married Orrin J. Fossum on June 6, 1943, at Glasgow,

Montana. They had three sons and three daughters. Her Revolutionary

ancestor was Sam Redfield. During her term, the Glasgow Cemetery

cataloguing continued and Opheim and Glentana Cemeteries also were

completed for the Valley County Centennial. Dorothy compiled a History


of the Milk River Chapter for inclusion in the city history being written

for Montana’s 1989 Centennial. Dorothy was co-hostess of the 88 th State

Conference held at Glasgow. She also served later as State Chair of

Seimes Microfilm Center from 1984-1994 and Literacy Challenge 1991-

1992.

Martha Lawson (Edwin J.) Volkomener, Chapter Regent 1992-

1994, was born November 1, 1920, at Charleston, West Virginia,

graduated from Charleston High School in 1938 and was licensed as a

private pilot of seaplanes in 1940. She served 22 months in Women’s

Airforce Service Pilots during World War II until discharged December

20, 1944. She graduated with a B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan

College at Buckhannon in 1942, pursued graduate studies at the

University of Montana-Missoula and teacher’s certificate training at the

College of Great Falls. She married Edwin J. Volklkomener January 14,

1950; they had three children Margaret A., Mark E. and Lucille M. Her

Revolutionary ancestor was Henry McWhorter. Her regency focused on

commemorating the 50 th Anniversary of World War II, participating in the

annual Veterans Memorial Services with the American Legion and its

Auxiliary, and promoting and celebrating Junior Member Joy Linn who

was first runner- up in 1992 at Continental Congress as the NSDAR

Outstanding Junior.

Joy E. Linn, Chapter Regent 1994-1996, of Saco, Montana, joined

the Milk River Chapter in 1979 as a Junior member, serving as Secretary

for 12 years before serving as Vice Regent and Chapter Regent, along

with many chapter committee chairmanships. (See also her State Regent

service described below.)

Barbara Jean Robinson (Mrs. Kevin) Wiebe, served five terms

as Chapter Regent from 2002-2012 after which the chapter elected her

Honorary Chapter Regent. Barb joined NSDAR.in April 17, 1999, and

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her Revolutionary Ancestor is John Townsend of Pennsylvania. She

currently is serving as Treasurer of the chapter.

Elinor Marian Tyte (Mrs. Byron) Lindsay served three terms as

Chapter Regent in 1996-2002 and 2012-2018. She was born November

24, 1934, at Riverhead, New York, and married Byron Lindsay on June

24, 1955. They had four children: Sandra, Loretta, Deanna and David,

plus 15 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He supported her

DAR activities and died in March 2018. First joining the Children of the

American Revolution, Elinor transferred from Suffolk Society C.A.R. to

Suffolk Chapter, NSDAR in Riverhead on December 7, 1955, and then

transferred membership to Milk River Chapter in 1991 after moving to

Montana. Elinor’s Revolutionary Ancestor is Henry Corwin of New York.

Her first regency included co-hosting State Conference in 1999 at

Glasgow with Powder River and Yellowstone River Chapters. In addition

to her service as Regent, Elinor has served her chapter as Librarian,

Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Regent multiple times, currently serving

again as Recording Secretary. She has a heart for the U.S. Constitution

and has received state, division and national recognition annually for the

last decade, especially for the school kits she makes and delivers

personally to area schools. In 2017, the 114 th State Conference recognized

Elinor with a Certificate of Award for 62 Years of Service, the 115 th State

Conference recognized her with the Most Valuable Daughter Award from

Milk River Chapter and, in 2018, her chapter elected her an Honorary

Chapter Regent.

Melissa Kay Thomas (Mrs. Michael) Ancell, Chapter Regent 2018-

present, was born March 11, 1964, in Greenville, South Carolina, and

married Michael Ancell September 20, 2003, in Greenville. She joined

NSDAR on October 5, 2015; her Revolutionary Ancestor is Benjamin

Barton of South Carolina. She served simultaneously as Chapter Secretary


and Registrar from 2016-2018. Completing the New Horizons Course,

Melissa choose as her Capstone Project raising money for repair of the

graduating class photos in the Talmadge Auditorium of the Tamassee

School in South Carolina, which was supported by her chapter and other

Montana Daughters.

From the chapter’s inception, regents and members have worked hard

to maintain a viable organization while having a small active membership

and the requirements of long travel. Because of the distance, members are

contacted frequently by the Chapter Regent either by mail, phone calls,

emails and now Facebook. Throughout the years, the chapter has

catalogued the cemeteries of Valley and Phillips Counties and published

their history for various county centennial celebrations. In May 1970, the

chapter dedicated a DAR plaque which was placed at the entrance of first

powerhouse at the Fort Peck Dam.

Milk River Chapter has had several Junior Members serve as pages at

the National Continental Congress in Washington D.C.: Kay Krusee and

Margaret Friedle in 1962. Mary Emily Barthelmess served as page for her

mother Montana State Regent, Emily Colgate Robinson in 1969 and Joy

Linn served in 1987 and 1988. Mary Emily Barthelmess also has the

honor of being sponsored by Milk River Chapter and was awarded

Montana State’s Outstanding Junior during State Regent Vivian

Torkelson’s time in office. The chapter sponsored Montana’s Outstanding

Junior in 1992, Joy Linn, who was also named 1992 Northwest Division

winner and first runner up in the National contest that year. Joy continued

to represent Milk River by serving as Montana State Regent for two

separate terms in 1998-2000 and again from 2012-2014. In 2017 the first

annual Joy Linn Nursing Scholarship was awarded.

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Members continue to collect small items and toiletries that are needed

for Veterans at the Miles City and Fort Harrison hospitals. The chapter

celebrates Constitution Week and American History Month with strong

media coverage. For numerous years the DAR Good Citizen Award was

bestowed to students in several towns and counties represented by the

chapter. Milk River has taken part in Civil Defense sponsored by the

Glasgow PTA, Highway Safety recommended classes in bicycle safety,

and in urging drivers’ training in schools. It has donated bookstand

magazines pertaining to history, patriotism, museums, and preserving our

heritage, in keeping with the DAR mission, to local city county libraries.

In 1991, Milk River co-hosted the State Conference with Powder River

Chapter in Glasgow. The chapter has participated in the various Veterans

Memorial Services and supports the NSDAR sponsored schools.

In memoriam for Departed Daughters, rosebushes and trees are planted

in the communities where the daughter lived. They are a living reminder

for past members and a welcome spot of green and beauty on the prairie.

Montana’s Oldest Daughter Bessie Mae Waters

Milk River Chapter members

were proud to help Daughter

Bessie Mae Waters celebrate

her 102nd birthday in

September 2018, hosting a

party and reception in her

home with flowers and red,

white and blue cupcakes. She was the oldest Daughter in the chapter and

the oldest member in the Montana State Society, still occasionally

attending chapter meetings. Daughters applauded her as a happy content


woman living independently in her own home. Bessie Mae Blevins was

born on September 8, 1916, in Arkansas before her parents moved their

young family to Nebraska. When Bessie Mae was 11 years old her parents

moved one last time and homesteaded 12 miles south of Malta, Montana.

Bessie Mae married William “Bill” Waters in Malta in 1935. Bill, the son of

homesteaders who had land in the same rural community, was a dry land

farmer, insurance salesman, Justice of the Peace, and City Judge. They were

married 61 years when Bill died in 1996. Bessie Mae enjoyed tatting and

was active in the Order of Eastern Star. Bessie Mae and Bill had three

daughters: Wilma, Beverly, and Sheila, eight grandchildren, ten greatgrandchildren

and a large extended Waters family. Bessie Mae was a longtime

member of The Little White Church in Malta and was honored each

birthday with the church bell pealing her age. Last September the

community of Malta was able to hear the bell ring 102 times. Amazing

sound, amazing woman, amazing life.

Bessie Mae died December 23, 2018, and

is buried at the Malta Community Cemetery.

Her headstone will be placed in May 2019

for Memorial Day.

Milk River Chapter: Understanding the

Culture of the Middle of Nowhere

On February 20, 2018, The Washington

Post put Glasgow and all of northeast

Montana in the national spotlight when an

article, written by Andrew Van Dam,

reported that a large group of researchers working out of Oxford University

in England put together large amounts of data and information to calculate

how far any dot (which represents a square kilometer) on the map is from a

city. The researchers spent years building a globe-spanning map “based on

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its transportation types, vegetation, slope, elevation and more” to educate

all on the global effort to help the poor of this planet. When The

Washington Post processed the data looking for the place in the lower 48

states that would show “The True Middle of Nowhere” in the United

States Glasgow, Montana, won First Place. Congratulations! Wow… to

win first place!

Glasgow, a town of 3363 smack dab in the middle of the Milk River

Chapter’s membership rolls, is on the rolling prairie of Northeast Montana

and is officially the farthest town (1000-5000 people) in any direction

from any city of 75,000 or larger. Travel north from Glasgow for 235

miles, drive through miles and miles of wheat fields, and cross the

U.S./Canadian border to reach Regina, Saskatchewan, a city of 215,000.

To the south, Glasgow is bordered by Fort Peck Dam. Fort Peck is a lake

135 miles length and a surface area of 245,000 acres. To reach Billings,

one needs to drive around the lake for 277 miles. Other towns in Montana

also received national notice: Scobey was second place, Wolf Point third;

and for larger towns from 5,000 to 25,000 people, Glendive was second

and Sidney came in at sixth place.

While much of the state smirked about notice of this data, residents

living in this area of the state already knew it was true. It is a remote,

isolated and pretty much amazing area for those very reasons. Citizens of

the area tend to embrace the isolation of daily life. So what is there to be

impressed about? Wide open spaces with beauty. Eastern Montanans can

feel hemmed in when surrounded by mountains. They are used to being

able to see for miles and the forced closeness can feel confining. To those

in the eastern part of Montana, the ability to see for miles and miles gives

them an opportunity to study and fall in love with even the smallest of the

land’s features. Those in the mountains are given a much shorter time to

see the scenery before it becomes obscured again by another turn in the

road or a growth of trees.


Eastern Montana and the Glasgow area has a beauty totally different

than the western part of the state. The breathing room is marvelous.

People so often say “What is out there? What do you do? How can you

stand it? It is so boring!” Eastern Montanans are a hardy bunch and we

prefer no crowds. We like the fact that everyone knows each other and

always waves to any car or vehicle driving down the county road. We like

the fact that people are self-reliant, but will always drop everything they

are doing to help out or solve a problem. We like it that people will stop

and ask how your family is doing.

With the invention of the internet and Wi-Fi, everything people do in

larger populated areas can be accomplished in Glasgow, just on a smaller

scale. People the world over would love to be able to see almost

unchanged views since the time of Lewis and Clark. Where else could a

civilized society enjoy an entire day on a massive lake without seeing

another boat? Honestly, Glasgow and the area is an extraordinary place to

live, large and unfettered, and we want to keep it that way. Glasgow is

both serene and surreal and in the middle of nowhere.

Currently the chapter has 33 members spread across ten counties in

Montana and six states. Meetings are held in Glasgow, Malta and

occasionally in other hometowns of members. Because of the distances

between meeting locations, members often drive up to 280 miles

roundtrip to attend meetings and daytime meetings are the norm because

of the distances. No meetings are held during the winter months because

long lonely stretches of highway are made longer by the extreme winter

weather. The need for a quorum is necessary to have an effective meeting

and the chapter is always happy to reach the magical number. Each

regular meeting includes a Devotional, Pledge of Allegiance, Opening

Ritual, President General’s Message, National Defense Message, Indian

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Minute, DAR school, Women’s Issues, Conservation, and Scholarships.

Each meeting has a program speaker or tour in and around the chapter

region which is educational or historical in content.

Milk River Chapter has endorsed and supported two Montana State

Regents, one of whom went on to serve the National Society as a Vice

President General.

Vivian Durkee (Mrs. Alexander “Alex”) Torkelson

State Regent 1966-1968

Member #200617; Revolutionary Ancestor: Timothy Durkee Sr.

Vivian Durkee was born on June 6, 1892,

in Jamestown, North Dakota, to parents James

B. and Caroline Durkee. Her father was a

telegraph operator with the Great Northern

Railroad. After Vivian graduated from St.

John’s Academy, a Catholic parochial school

in Jamestown, she attended State Normal

School in Valley City, Barnes County, North

Dakota, to become a teacher.

On August 10, 1914, she married Alexander

“Alex” Torkelson in Glasgow, Valley County, Montana. Alex was born

on August 2, 1885, in Otter Trail County, Minnesota, to Ole and Inger

Torkelson, who were Swedish immigrants.

For a number of years, the young family with two daughters lived in

Nashua, Montana, where Mr. Torkelson was a druggist and owned a

jewelry store. Throughout World War I, Vivian was an active member of

the Valley County Chapter of the American Red Cross and served on


its board. Her obvious community leadership skills led to her name

appearing weekly in the local paper for multiple projects and committees

on which she served. In November 1918, she contracted a severe case of

the influenza which she survived when many did not. Vivian was a

lifelong member of the Catholic Church and also active with American

Legion Auxiliary and the Montana Federation Women’s Club.

Joining the Daughters of the American Revolution on June 18, 1924,

Vivian was appointed by Montana State Regent Beatrice May as

Organizing Regent for a new DAR chapter at Glasgow in 1953, which

was named by Organizing members the Milk River Chapter in 1956 and

she was elected the first Chapter Regent. She served as State National

Defense Chair 1958-1960. Ten years later, she was installed as Montana

State Society DAR State Regent on the platform in Constitution Hall at

her first Continental Congress and attended three more times. Vivian gave

unsparingly of her time and means to carry on the work of DAR. She

established a budget committee and was influential in securing a Montana

State Pin. Vivian provided numerous workshops at State Conferences

over the years.

Vivian Durkee Torkelson died on November 1, 1982, and was buried

at Highland Cemetery in Glasgow, Montana, beside her husband, who

died in 1960. A DAR plaque was placed on her headstone. She was

survived by their two daughters, Frances Vivian (Mrs. A.V.) Krusee and

Mary Ann (Mrs. C.M.) Frazier. Daughter Frances was the owner of a very

nice dress shop in Glasgow and later served as Regent of the Milk River

Chapter.

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Joy Evelyn Linn

State Regent 1998-2000 and 2012-2014

NSDAR Vice President General 2002-2005

Member #642016; Revolutionary Ancestors: Jacob Riegel,

Thomas Connelly, James Garrison, Adam Stonebraker

Joy, from Saco, Montana, joined the

Milk River Chapter December 13, 1979, as

a Junior member. She was Secretary for 12

years before serving as Vice Regent and

then as Chapter Regent from 1994-1996.

For over 30 years, she chaired numerous

chapter committees.

She began paging under the guidance of

Marjorie A. Stevenson, State Regent 1972-

1974, and paged at Continental Congress

for 17 years. Joy was State Chair of Pages for many years and was the

National Outstanding Junior Runner-Up at age 30 on the platform in

Constitution Hall, a unique never-before and never-since achievement by

a Montana Daughter. Joy served as National Vice Chair of Pages Events

at Continental Congress for nine years. She was National Vice Chair of

National Board Events from 2004-2007, worked on Continental Congress

Credentials from 2004-2006 and served as National Vice Chair of

Credentials from 2006-2007.

Joy served the Northwestern Division as National Vice Chair of

American Heritage from 2001-2004, Seimes Technology Center from

2007-2010, DAR Service for Veterans from 2016-2019. She was National

Deputy Representative VISN 18,19,20 from 2013-2016, MSSDAR State

Chaplain 2000-2002 and Vice Regent from 2010-2012.


Joy graduated with her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in May

2017 from Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral research

and teaching institution, after three years of full-time education, and was

hired by the Veterans Administration Health Care Clinic in Glasgow. Joy

was previously employed at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital (FMDH)

for 17 years, serving last as the nurse manager of the emergency room.

She obtained her Associate and Bachelor's Degrees in Nursing from

MSU- Northern in Havre and is a Certified Emergency Nurse and Board

Certified Medical/Surgical Nurse. Joy has been active with the Phillips

County Ambulance and Hinsdale Ambulance for over 20 years as well as

many other local groups and activities. Joy lives and works on her familyowned

ranch north of Saco, in the family for over 120 years.

SOURCES:

• State History Daughters of the American Revolution in Montana revised and

prepared for binding by Mrs. Lewis D. Smith, State Vice Regent 1939-1941,

Montana State Regents section, various unnumbered pages

• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution Volume II

1941-1960, compiled by Mrs. Irving L. Dehnert, State Regent 1956-1958,

History of Milk River Chapter, u/p

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1960-

1970, by Amy Hales Dehnert Honorary State Regent, pp. 3-4, 22-23

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1970-

1980, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert Hon. State Regent, p. 19

• State Centennial History Montana State Society Daughters of the American

Revolution Volume Five, March 1994, compiled by Iris McKinney Gray, State

Regent 1990-1992, pages 99-101

• eMembership database NSDAR

• Phillips County News, August 2, 2017

• Material provided by Dena Burt, Milk River Chapter American Heritage and

Genealogical Records Chair, MSSDAR Scholarships Chair

• Compiled by Jane Lee Hamman, MSSDAR State Regent

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MOUNT HYALITE CHAPTER, NSDAR

Bozeman 7010MT

Organized March 8, 1912 ~ Ella T. Clark (Mrs. E. Broox) Martin,

Organizing Regent

Ella Clark was born on March 21, 1855, to Nathaniel and Maria

Hanford Clark of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.

At the beginning of the Civil War, the family

moved to Michigan where Ella met and

married her husband E. Broox Martin. A fire

in their Michigan milling factory relocated the

family to Montana in the late 1880s, where

they became extraordinary figures in the

history of Bozeman and its historical

structures.

An article was published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle on March 17,

2004, titled “Ella Clark Martin: In Celebration of Women’s History

Month,” written by Derek Strahn, historic preservation consultant, winner

of the 2017 Montana DAR American History Teacher Award and longtime

teacher in Bozeman.

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The article explains Ella and Broox’s life in Bozeman:

From the time of their arrival here, the outgoing Martins made an

obvious impact on the community. Legend has it that Ella owned

one of the first electric cars in town - something that was quite a

novelty back in the horse and buggy days. Old-timers recall that

she was especially fond of driving her nearly-silent horseless

carriage up behind wagons parked on city streets. When in position she

would lay on the auto’s horn, scaring bystanders and horses half to

death and attracting considerable attention to her prized

acquisition.

The couple became pillars of the community for their activities and

philanthropy. Mr. Strahn continues, “According to her obituary, Mrs.

Martin ‘contributed liberally to numerous other projects for the benefit of

Bozeman and to local churches and other community enterprises.”

She played an instrumental role in helping the MSC Chapter of the

Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority. She was also remembered as a

‘noteworthy supporter of patriotic causes,’ who took ‘a leading part’ in

the organization of the Mount Hyalite Chapter of the Daughters of

American Revolution and ‘always displayed the Flag of the United

States at her home on the proper occasions.

Ella Martin joined DAR as a Member-at-Large on October 1, 1902.

In 1903, she was appointed by the Montana State Regent Jennie Tallant

to organize a chapter in the town of Bozeman. Mrs. Martin became the

Organizing Regent and first Chapter Regent of the new Mount

Hyalite Chapter in Bozeman, Montana, serving from 1912-1920. The

Charter #1061 was issued November 18, 1912.


The chapter first hoped to call itself Sacagawea, but a Washington

Chapter already had chosen that name. Charter #1061 was issued to

Mount Hyalite and the Organizing members were: Cecilia du Hamel

(Mrs. Cornelius B.) Boyle, Helen R. Brewer, Mabel Booth (Mrs. William

F.) Brewer, Lena Luce (Mrs. Richard E.) Chandler, Cornelia Brooks

(Mrs. William F.) Conard, Florence Conard, Claire Conard (Mrs. Timothy

F.) Edwards, Minnie Payne (Mrs. Jacob H.) Griffin, Helen Kirk (later

Mrs. Frank A. Heeb), Elizabeth Sword (Mrs. Thomas S.) Kirk, Gertrude

R. Luce, Emma Thornbury (Mrs. Orman A.) Lynn, Ella Clark (Mrs. E.

Broox) Martin, Lillian Tolman (Mrs. Lyman G.) Schermerhorn.

Mount Hyalite is a majestic 10,299 foot peak just 25 miles south of

Bozeman and the source of a rare mineral of the opal family known as

hyalite from the Greek word glass. The peak overlooks what was once a

lake and now is the fertile and populous Gallatin Valley. On the peak,

hyalite is encrusted between layers of lava and appears to bubble forth on

black and red stones like tiny transparent fountains, frozen for eternity in

the aftermath of volcanic activity millennia before the upheavals that

created Yellowstone National Park. Thus the charter members selected

the name Mount Hyalite. During the 1980s, Daughters presented the

Smithsonian with a specimen of the hyalite, which has little value as a

gemstone, but does have richer yellow green fluorescent colors, when

exposed to short wave ultraviolet lights, than the hyalite found in several

other volcanic areas. A sample of the stone is displayed at the Museum of

the Rockies in Bozeman.


When Iris M. Gray, State Regent from 1990-1992, was writing about

these years in State Centennial History Montana State Society Daughters of

the American Revolution Volume Five 1894-1994 she said,

Montana Daughters were not only guardians of history, but makers

of history. And one of the most significant players among these

Daughters was Ella T. Clark Martin, who had been not only an

organizing regent, but a chapter regent over a span of 13 years, 5

unofficially and 8 officially, and who later became a state regent and

our first honorary state regent.”

Mount Hyalite members always have had a heart for service to God,

Home and Country. During their first fifty years, reports are replete with

donations to Fort Harrison, Ellis Island, Angel Island immigration station,

the Bell Tower at Valley Forge, Kate Duncan Smith and Tamassee DAR

Schools, Indian Schools, the Red Cross, the Blood Bank, the National

Society Library and Building Fund, the DAR Museum, history books and

pictures to schools and books to the DAR shelf in the city library. There

was tremendous support for immigrants through distribution of DAR

Citizenship Manuals, participation in Naturalization ceremonies with U.S.

Flags, welcome packets and receptions, compiling names of all citizens

who had been naturalized for distribution of voting information and for

recognition at Citizenship Day each May at the Court House and

sponsoring regular coffee hours for new citizens. The chapter raised funds

for Girls’ State and sponsored girls to participate, sponsored Good

Citizens in the schools, held American history essay contests and awarded

scholarships. Members participated in Army Day, Memorial Day, July 4 th

parade and all other patriotic events in the county.

159


During the War years, members went into overdrive, continuing their

regular service projects and adding thousands of hours volunteering with

the Red Cross, serving as Blood Bank leaders, selling and buying War

Bonds, purchasing Defense stamps, making Buddy Bags, providing First

Aid and Victory Garden classes, serving as Air Raid Wardens, supporting

the U.S.O., sending off and welcoming home soldiers, recruiting women

for the armed services, and whatever else needed doing. Post-war

activities included increased support for Fort Harrison, the American

Legion Auxiliary and presentation of Reserve Officers Training Corps

DAR Gold Medals and bars to Air Force Cadets and Army Cadets at

Montana State University.

In the 1960s an old Indian trail starting from the Watkins Ranch in

Madison County and reaching its end at the Buffalo Jump a few miles

from Bozeman was marked. The Madison River Toll Bridge DAR historic

site marker was dedicated November 1968. The legend reads:

Madison Toll Bridge

A toll bridge crossing the Madison 200 yards downstream from this point was in use

from 1870 to 1888. Across it rolled the settler’s six-horse stanges, covered wagons, and

gold from the mines of this region. Deep ruts on both river banks once marked the road.

This area was a popular Indian camp site.

Rock circles or “tepee rings” can still be seen.

United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management

Daughters of the American Revolution, Mt. Hyalite Chapter

The chapter worked with the Sons of the American Revolution to

organize and sponsor a July 4 th Bicentennial observance at the Gallatin

County Fairgrounds with colonial games, 15 booths, a program, patriotic

literature and a DAR booth showing a living replica of the DAR motto,

followed by an hour and a half of fireworks. Chapter Regent Yvonne Bost

Pickett accepted the Montana State DAR First Place Award for their

participation in the 1976 observance.


Mount Hyalite has endorsed and supported five State Regents in its

history, as reported below, one of whom also served as National Vice

President General. Their service and stories inform the history of Mount

Hyalite Chapter.

Ella Clark Martin 1922-1924

Yvonne Bost Pickett 1980-1982

Iris McKinney Gray 1990-1992

Iverna Lincoln Huntsman 2002-2004 and 2006-2008

Roxie Jean Stillman Curtis 2004-2006

Ella T. Clark (Mrs. E. Broox) Martin

State Regent 1922-1924

Member #40474; Revolutionary Ancestors: Charles Deake,

Annie Deake

Ella was born March 21, 1855,

in Polk, Pennsylvania, to Nathaniel

and Augusta Clark. She married E.

Broox Martin in 1879 and they had

two sons, Horace and N.W. Martin.

Mrs. Martin first became a

DAR member-at-large October 1,

1902, and later was the Organizing

Regent of Mount Hyalite Chapter,

serving as Chapter Regent for the

first eight years, providing strong

161


leadership and a great deal of financial support for many years. She said

of her regency, “Americanization and education of aliens was the keynote

and main endeavor…” She began the annual eighth grade American

History essay contest in the Bozeman area in 1913 and the winner

received a $5 gold piece from Mrs. Martin. Copies of the painting

“Washington at Valley Forge” were given to the high school, several

county schools and the YMCA; in 1920 there were 500 copies of the

American’s Creed distributed to Gallatin Valley school children. After her

death, the chapter named a student loan fund in her honor.

She conceived the Beall Park project, personally providing $1189 of

equipment for the playground and furniture for the community meeting

house. The chapter continued to sponsor the park, adding a drinking

fountain, a flag with a pole, a skating rink and planting 26 trees.

Ella served as State Regent from 1922-1924. For the National

Society, she installed a drinking fountain in the Administration Building,

paid for a chair in Constitution Hall, donated money for the Montana Bell

in the Carillon of the Washington Memorial at Valley Forge and

contributed half of the money pledged for the furnishings of the Montana

Room which housed the magazine office.

Organizing Regent Ella Clark Martin is buried in the Sunset Hills

Cemetery at Bozeman. Financed largely through her

efforts, fittingly, the first historic site memorialized

by the chapter was a DAR bronze tablet attached to

a large boulder and placed on a knoll near the

entrance of Lindley Park facing Bozeman’s East

Main Street leading into the Sunset Hills cemetery,

to mark The Trail of the Lewis and Clark

Expedition in 1805.


Mrs. Martin also largely financed the second chapter marker: A bronze

tablet donated by Anaconda Copper Mining Company attached to a boulder

and dedicated August 27, 1926, at the site of Fort Ellis, a military post east

of town that was built in 1867 to guard the Bozeman Trail and Pass. The

site also marks the encampment of Captain William Clark who set out on

July 14, 1806, with eight men, Charbonneau, Sacajawea and son Pomp to

explore the Yellowstone River Valley east of Bozeman.

Ella died June 24, 1940, in Bozeman at the age of 85. She is buried in

the Sunset Hills Cemetery there and her grave stone has a DAR marker.

An obituary appeared in The Billings Gazette, June 25, 1940, page 8.

Dies in Bozeman; Bozeman, June 24–Mrs. Ella T. Martin, 85,

widow of E. Broox Martin, and notable Bozeman philanthropist, died

at her home Monday. Mrs. Martin was a past state regent and an

honorary regent of the Montana organization of Daughters of the

American Revolution. She gave liberally to civic enterprises, built a

large building for indoor play at one of the city playground parks, and

aided in the support of local churches.

163


Yvonne “Bonnie” Lillian Bost (Mrs. Frank Joseph) Pickett

State Regent 1980-1982

Member #394324; Revolutionary Ancestors: Betsey Phifer Blackwelder,

Caleb Blackwelder, Jacob Boss (Bost), Welter Haynes, Joseph Knowles,

William Locke

Yvonne Lillian Bost was born

November 8, 1915, in New Orleans,

Louisiana. She earned a B.S. in

Nursing Education at Washington

University in St. Louis and took one

year post graduate study at Montana

State University in Bozeman. She

married Dr. Frank J. Pickett June 8,

1945, in St. Louis and they had three

children: Frank James, Mary Lee and

John.

Yvonne “Bonnie” Pickett became a DAR member of the Mount

Hyalite Chapter on June 20, 1950, as a Junior, aged 35. She was a life

member who participated at the local and state levels. She was Chapter

Regent from 1956-1958. While serving the second time as Mount Hyalite

Chapter Regent 1976-1978, the chapter partnered with the Sons of the

American Revolution to organize a 1976 Fourth of July celebration at the

Gallatin County Fair Grounds with 15 booths, a program, colonial games

for the children and one-and-a-half hours of fireworks. The chapter booth

was a living replica of the DAR Motto “God, Home and Country” and the

chapter won the MSSDAR Award for its Bi-Centennial participation.

Before becoming Montana State Regent in 1980, Bonnie served as

State Chair of American History, American Indians and DAR


Magazine, a s well as Vice Regent. During her regency, the DAR marker

on the Sacajawea Memorial in Three Forks Sacajawea Park was

rededicated July 26, 1980, to commemorate the 175 th Anniversary of the

Lewis and Clark Expedition discovery of the Missouri River headwaters.

Members of the Sourdough Chapter National Society Sons of the

American Revolution joined 30 Montana Daughters to dedicate the

flagpole in the Missouri Headwaters State Park at Trident. Bonnie served

as State Chair of the Yorktown Bicentennial 1981-1984 and of the

NSDAR Centennial Jubilee 1984-1990. At the 114 th State Conference,

hosted in 2016 by Mount Hyalite in Bozeman, Bonnie attended the Gala

Banquet and President General Ann Turner Dillon and State Regent Jane

Lee Hamman presented her with a Certificate of Recognition for 67 years

of DAR service and a red rose.

She also belonged to the Daughters of the American Colonists, the

Gallatin Historical Society and the United Methodist Church. She is buried

in Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. It is not known whether her stone has

a DAR marker. Her obituary as published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle

on August 20, 2017, reads:

Yvonne Lillian Bost Pickett passed away suddenly at Bozeman

Health Deaconess Hospital Aug. 14, 2017, after 101 years of a

wonderful life. Bonnie, as her husband Frank nicknamed her, was

born at home to Dr. and Mrs. Ernest (Ella Elizabeth Hoffman) Bost

in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 8, 1915, weighing 4.5 pounds.

The doctor who delivered her said it would be no use to send her to

the hospital, because she probably wouldn't live. With her parents'

tender care, Bonnie beat the odds and lived on for more than a

century.

165


She later was joined by a sister, Elaine. While the girls were

young, the Bosts moved back to their native Illinois, settling in

Vandalia. In addition to her many interests, Bonnie was an

enthusiastic Girl Scout, earning its highest award at the time, the

Golden Eaglet.

After graduating from Vandalia High School in 1933, she

attended MacMurray College for Women in Jacksonville, Illinois, for

two years before transferring to Washington University School of

Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from the five- year

program with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1938. It was in St.

Louis that she met medical student, Frank Joseph Pickett, on the

steps of a Methodist Church, where they would be married

several years later.

Iris Martha McKinney (Mrs. Philip Howard) Gray

State Regent 1990-1992

Member # 620459; Revolutionary Ancestor: Lawrence Everhart, MD

Iris Martha McKinneywas born in the

rural community of Dwight, Illinois, about 80

miles southwest of Chicago, the eldest of five

children of Herbert Larkin McKinney, a 12 th

generation descendant of New England

Colonials, and Orlene Ada Siedentop,

youngest daughter of 2 nd generation German

immigrants. Her husband, Philip Howard

Gray, whose agnate ancestor, George Gray, was one of the Scotch

prisoners taken by Cromwell at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 and sold as a


slave to the American colonists, enjoyed collecting with her. They had

two children, Cindelyn and Howard Carson.

Joining Mount Hyalite Chapter, NSDAR June 9, 1977, Iris held various

chapter offices and was elected Chapter Regent 1984-1986. During her

term, the chapter organized its first “wild edibles” bazaar and proceeds were

used to establish a “seed money” savings fund for awards and local

scholarships. She organized the first Golden Age summer picnic to honor

members 80 years of age and over who had been unable to attend regular

chapter meetings during winter months. Mount Hyalite earned an Honorable

Mention from National for its contribution of $576 to the Liberty Love

Fund. The chapter sponsored Girls State and the delegates were special

guests at the September meeting each year.

Mrs. Gray served the MSSDAR as State Secretary 1980-1982,

Librarian 1986-1988, Vice Regent 1988-1990 and State Regent 1990- 1992.

She assisted with the June 1991 merger of Black Eagle Chapter in Great

Falls with the Assinniboine Chapter so that the latter could retain its charter

and name. Accompanied by long-time State Treasurer Mrs. Wallace

Hecox, Iris attended a NSDAR Centennial Jubilee tree-planting ceremony

in Memorial Park at Helena June 1990 as a guest of Oro Fino Chapter. After

a meeting with Powder River and Yellowstone River Chapters, everyone

went to the Dawson County Cemetery to visit the grave of Real Daughter

Mrs. Orpha Parke Bovee. On September 7, 1991, Mrs. Gray spoke at the

rededication of the Beaverhead Chapter marker at Barrett’s Station near

Dillon. She presided at the 89 th State Conference in the Rainbow Hotel at

Great Falls the last three days of March 1992, attended by President General

Mrs. Eldred M. Yochim and dedicated to the MSSDAR’s “Golden Age”

members. A State Bylaws revision to conform with National was

approved. Her State Chairmanships include:

167


DAR Magazine, Friends of the Library, Program, Columbus

Quinquennial 1992-1994, Seimes Technology Center and American

History. Compiling the State Centennial History Montana State Society

Daughters of the American Revolution Volume Five 1894-1994 was a

memorable achievement of her regency. She pursued genealogy and

prepared an ahnentafel for her two grandsons, Wescott and Russell

Eberts.

“A Credo to Live By” that was found folded at her bedside became

one of the most appreciated articles at her March 8, 2019, Celebration of

Life service, which was filled with beauty, love and grace from beginning

to end. There were many DAR members attending her service, led by

Mount Hyalite Chapter Regent Nichole “Niki” Halver Venable,

immediate past Chapter Regent Cheryl Ann Genovese, Vice Regent Jodi

Lynn Gorder, Past Vice President General and Honorary State Regent

Iverna Lincoln Huntsman, who delivered the DAR eulogy, Honorary

State Regent JoAnn Piazzola, State Regent Jane Lee Hamman, State Vice

Regent Leigh Haislip Spencer and State Chaplain Janice Hand. Iris’ credo

is copied below, with permission from her son, Howard.

Think positively. Negativity is a time and energy suck. Remind

yourself of the good things that are happening and rekindle your

faith from time to time.

Take deep breaths and do something you enjoy. The bottom line:

Take care of yourself. But don’t take yourself too seriously.

Be proactive. Look at your life, or at what is happening in your

community, and actively change what can be changed.

Appeal to compassion with compassion. Cry with someone. It’s

more healing than crying alone.

Be kind to those with whom you disagree and move on if necessary.


Sometimes it’s better to let something go or agree to disagree.

Pick your battles carefully, and don’t waste valuable time and

energy on people or situations you can’t influence or that won’t

change.

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Life isn’t fair, but

it’s still good.

When in doubt, just take the next small step and pray.

Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Don’t compare your life with others. You have no idea what their

journey is all about.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years,

will this matter?”

Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make your stronger.

Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful.

Life isn’t tied with a bow. But it’s still a gift.

A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

Believe in miracles.

Get outside every day. Miracles are everywhere!

Don’t resist chocolate!!!!

169


An obituary was published in the

Bozeman Daily Chronicle on March 3, 2019,

and reprinted in her memorial service

program:

Iris Martha McKinney Gray passed

away peacefully in her home in Bozeman

February 27, 2019. She was 93.

Iris, born September 14, 1925, was the eldest daughter of Herbert

Larkin McKinney and Orlena Ada Siedentop of Dwight, Illinois.

Iris graduated from Dwight Township High School where she was

yearbook editor and won numerous debate and speech competitions.

She attended Illinois State University in Normal graduating in

1947 with a Bachelor of Science degree. For five years, she taught

English and French languages at Antioch Community High

School, Antioch, Illinois.

After leaving teaching, Iris taught in the Hammond, Indiana Felt

& Tarrant Comptometer School. Comptometers were mechanical

calculators before mainframe computers. Iris was a member of the

Kappa Delta Epsilon National Education Sorority, located next to

the Chicago University International House, and it was there she

met her husband of 55 years.

On New Year's Eve, 1954, Iris married Philip Howard Gray of

Bar Harbor, Maine in the University of Chicago chapel. Their

first child, Cindelyn, was born in Chicago while Philip was in

graduate school working on his Master's degree from Austin

Riesen, the research pioneer in sensory deprivation and cognitive

development. The family moved to Seattle, Washington in 1958,

for Philip to complete his PhD under Donald M. Baer, the pioneer


of applied behavioral analysis. While in Seattle, Iris worked at

General Electric rising through the ranks to be a parts manager.

In 1960, Philip hired on at Bozeman's Montana State College as

a psychology professor. A second child, Howard Carson, was born

in 1962. Iris took a job as the psychometrist (speed) reading

comprehension specialist at MSU's Computer Testing Center,

retiring in 1990.

Iris was brought up in the United Methodist Church and belonged

to the local BUMC congregation. In 2012, her Faith guided her to

volunteer charity at Bozeman's Love INC.

Philip and Iris were active participants in the international and

local arts community. They shared a love of folk art and operated

an art gallery in Kennebunkport, Maine for two years. While

briefly living in Canada in 1969-70 with her husband, Iris began

volunteering at the Winnipeg Handicraft Guild. There she

developed a passion for Inuit art and along with her husband,

amassed a collection of stone carvings and prints, later using her

language skills to help edit Philip's books on Inuit art.

The couple also collected folk music together and hosted many

listening sessions at their home during the folk music revival years.

She never missed one of her son's KGLT radio shows

In the 1960s, Iris and Philip belonged to the Four-Wheel Drive

Club of Bozeman and participated in many off-road outings. Both

of them enjoyed bird hunting with family friends on local ranches.

Iris was well schooled in Montana history and often mentioned her

favorite course studies with Professor Merrill Burlingame when

she took graduate level courses at Montana State College.

171


Iris joined the Daughters of the American Revolution Mt. Hyalite

chapter during the nation's bicentennial. She served as the

Montana State DAR Regent from 1990 to 1992. During that

time, she visited every DAR chapter in the state and wore out a

complete set of tires from all the driving. She was very proud of her

great great-grandfather John A. McKinney's service in the Union

Army Pennsylvania Bucktails Company C.

After Philip's retirement from MSU, they traveled extensively

around the West visiting the various dinosaur museums and dig

sites. For twenty years, Iris was an active participant in the docent

program at the MOR leading thousands of schoolchildren through

the exhibits, eventually amassing nearly 4000 hours of volunteer

time.

Following her retirement from MSU, Iris volunteered in Jack

Horner's paleontology lab at the Museum of the Rockies (MOR)

cleaning dinosaur bones. After Phillip's death in 2009, Iris

volunteered with the MOR sewing group making craft items as

fundraisers for the museum gift shop and working in the Tinsley

House Living History Farm museum. Family history and

genealogy were a passion for her.

This last August, Iris was a recipient of the Prime Awards 24-

Over-64 honor sponsored by the Bozeman Chronicle in recognition

for her many years as community volunteer.

Iris enjoyed playing cards, cribbage, scrabble, puzzles, and

crossword puzzles. Like her husband, Iris loved animals and had a

number of pets over the years ranging from Peep the chicken,

Seymour the duck, and numerous cats and dogs.


In 2016 son Howard moved to Bozeman to care for Iris and they

enjoyed attending many gypsy swing and classical music concerts,

going on road trips to Yellowstone Park, Cody, Wyoming, and

driving around the valley. Iris was a splendid cook and mother

and son would often cook meals together joking, "that was a $30

plate". Iris was also a fan of Tai Chi and practiced several times a

week.

Iris is preceded in death by her son-in-law, Dr. Ray Edward

Eberts; two siblings, Lt Colonel Floyd McKinney of the US Air

Force and Madelyn Meatyard of Lexington, Kentucky; and her

husband, Dr. Philip Howard Gray. Survivors include her

children, Howard of Bozeman, Cindelyn of McAllister, MT;

grandchildren, Russell of Seattle and Wescott of Austin, Texas; a

sister Lois Draper of Bloomington, Illinois, a brother, Lee

McKinney of Florida, and a brother-in-law, Michael Gordon of

Bar Harbor, Maine and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

173


Iverna Lincoln (Mrs. Alvin J.) Huntsman

State Regent 2002-2004 and 2006-2009

Vice President General 2008-2011

Member# 629699; Revolutionary Ancestors: Isaac Lincoln,

Lazarus Lincoln

Iverna is a Montana

native, born in the

Gallatin Valley in 1932.

She is the great-greatgrand-daughter

of Mr.

John Courts, a Montana

Pioneer who came to the

valley in 1864. She grew

up on the family farm just north of Bozeman. She shares a common

ancestor with Abraham Lincoln, 16 th President of the United States.

In 1954, Ivy married Alvin J. Huntsman, Jr. in Bozeman. They had

three sons together. The same year, Ivy graduated from the Montana State

College School of Nursing. She enjoyed a 55-year long career as an

Registered Nurse in hospital, office, and long-term care nursing to retire

in 2005.

Ivy joined the Mount Hyalite Chapter, NSDAR June 9, 1978, and has

served at the local, state, division, and national levels within DAR. She

was Mount Hyalite Vice Regent 1994-1996, Regent 1996-1998 and

Chapter Secretary 1998-2000. Her regent project was recording the oral

histories of older chapter members. Serving again as Chapter Regent

2006-2008, her project was placing a DAR marker in honor of Organizing

Regent Ella Clark Martin on a City of Bozeman building in Beall


Park. Within her chapter, she has held virtually every office and

continues to be a contributing member.

Serving the Montana State Society, Ivy has been State Librarian, Vice

Regent 2000-2002 and State Regent twice 2002-2004 and 2006-2008,

serving on the National Board of Management. Her first regency was

marked by setting up the first State Society web-site, a contribution to the

Palm/Pallett fund and assisting in the organization of Sleeping Giant

Chapter at Livingston. During her second regency, she designed and sold

a Montana pin to complete the Palm/Pallett fund $10,000 goal, updated

the web-site, updated the State History Book with a supplement from

1994- 2008, promoted the Montana Indian Nursing fund with Montana

State University School of Nursing in Bozeman and assisted with

organization of Bird Woman Falls Chapter at Columbia Falls.

She served the National Society as DAR Speaker’s Staff 2007-2010

and House Committee C Doors 2002. Mrs. Huntsman then was only the

sixth Montana Daughter to be elected at Continental Congress to serve as

a Vice President General from 2008-2011. She belongs to the National

Officers Club, State Regents Club (charter member), State Vice Regents

Club (life member) and is a NSDAR Life Member. Ivy is currently

serving as State chair for both Membership and DAR Good Citizens.

175


Roxie Jean Stillman (Mrs. Charles) Curtis

State Regent 2004-2006

Member #687394; Revolutionary Ancestor: David Jones

Roxie Jean Stillman was born in

Lewistown and raised on a ranch near the

ghost town of Gilt Edge, where she attended

grade school. She graduated from high

school in Lewistown, enrolled in Montana

State College in Bozeman and graduated in

1959 with a degree in Elementary

Education. She married Chuck in June 1959

and they had three children. Roxie received

a Master’s Degree in Library Science from

MSU in 1985.

Her life-long interest in history began in early childhood with stories

from her grandmothers, both of whom were mid-wives, and continued

through a great history teacher in High School. When she was expecting

their first son, her father gave them a baby book with a genealogy section

and the search to gather and record information on ancestors began and

never ended. In the mid-1970s, the Gallatin Genealogical Society was

formed and Roxie served with the Research Committee gathering

information on the descendants of local families who lived out-of-state.

Joining the DAR in October 1984, Roxie served in multiple capacities

at the chapter, state, and northwestern division level. She served twice as

Mount Hyalite Chapter Regent from 1998-2000 and again in 2008-2010.

She was the State Chair of Volunteer Genealogists, Genealogical Records,

Lineage Research and DAR Service for Veterans, among many other

roles during her years of dedicated service. She served as the


Northwestern Division Vice Chair of Literacy Promotion from 2010-

2013, supported the DAR Library and attended a National Genealogical

Workshop in Salt Lake City. Prior to her term as State Regent, Roxie

served as State Historian, State Chaplain, State Registrar and State Vice

Regent.

While State Regent, her project was to raise funds for the existing

program that makes monies available to the State Outstanding Juniors,

Good Citizens and History award winners. She supported contributing

funds “In honor of all Montana Daughters” for President General Presley

Wagoner’s Project to transfer all records to a nationally-accessed

computer base and served on the MSSDAR Speaker’s Staff during her

term.

Roxie died November 30, 2016, and is yet to be buried in the Sunset

Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. Her obituary was published in the Bozeman

Daily Chronicle on December 4, 2016, and reads as follows:

Roxie J. (Stillman) Curtis was born on Sept. 15, 1937, in

Lewistown, Montana, to Alvin and Thelma (née Tague) Stillman.

She died on Nov. 30, 2016, of complication of Parkinson's disease.

She was raised in Gilt Edge, a gold mining town 20 miles northeast

of Lewistown in the Judith Mountains.

She moved to Bozeman in 1955 to attend Montana State. She met

Charles Curtis on Jan. 10, 1959, and they were married on June 14,

1959, six days after receiving her degree from Montana State in

Elementary Education.

She taught 3rd and 4th grades in West Yellowstone from 1959 to

1960 and returned to Bozeman in 1960. She served as a substitute

teacher for many years. Roxie was the mother of Keith (Shirley) of

177


Gilbert, Arizona, Gib of Bozeman and Sharon; and grandson,

Charlie of Butte. Roxie was active in the community of

Bozeman for more than 50 years. She was a member of the Odd

Fellows/Rebecca Lodge in the 1960s, a member of the Welcome

Wagon, and an extension club, the Busy Bees.

She started her Adult Scouter career in 1969 and was a registered

Scouter for more than 45 years. She attended 13 Woodbadge

(Adult Scouter training courses), with 12 of them as a member of

the training staff.

Roxie was involved in the diabetic camp at Hyalite for several

years running the craft cabin. She was a member of the Hospital

Board of Trustees for nine years during the time the new hospital

was built. She was a member of the Bozeman Jaycees for several

years. Roxie was a member of the Daughters of the American

Revolution and served as the State Regent from 2004 to 2006.

She was a member of the Lily of the Valley Chapter of Eastern

Star serving in many positions and as Worthy Matron from 2003

to 2004. Roxie was an avid collector of Montana history acquiring

a large collection of books and publications. She delivered Mealson-Wheels

for a number of years. She was a member of the

Bozeman United Methodist Church for many years and served as

Nurture Care Director for 12 years. She also served on numerous

Methodist Church boards.

Roxie is survived by her husband of 57 years, her children and

numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations may be

made in Roxie's name to the donor's choice and would be

appreciated by the family. … She touched the lives of so many in

Montana, and she will be sorely missed.


SOURCES:

• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution Volume Two

1941-1960, compiled by Mrs. Irving L. Dehnert, State Regent 1956-1958,

unnumbered state regent pages

• State Centennial History Montana State Society Daughters of the American

Revolution Volume Five 1894-1994, compiled by Iris McKinney Gray, State

Regent 1990-1992, inside cover, p.24, p.28, pp. 53-56

• Update to the Montana State Centennial History Daughters of the American

Revolution Volume Five, compiled by Iverna Lincoln Huntsman, State Regent

2006-2008, unnumbered pages

• eMembership database NSDAR

• The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, March 17, 2004, article by Derek Strahn,

December 31, 1962, page 2

• Nichole “Niki” Halver Venable, Mount Hyalite Chapter Regent provided

notes for this chapter

• Jennifer L. Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent, helped

research photos and information on Montana State Regents

• Jane Lee Hamman, Montana State Regent 2016-2019, compiled chapter

179


ORO FINO CHAPTER, NSDAR

HELENA 7011MT

Lewis and Clark County, Broadwater County and

Jefferson County

Organized January 19, 1903 ~ Elizabeth Brooke

(Mrs. Anthony H.) Barret, Organizing Regent

Our Chapter name “Oro Fino” is taken from the name of one of the gulches

at whose mouth Helena is situated. Its history is briefly this. In 1864 the

gold seekers were roaming over the mountains and valleys of the Rockies

searching for valuable metals. A small party had been out for some time

and were about discouraged because they found nothing worthwhile. At

last they came over the mountain into the ravine, or gulch, as the westerners

say, in which our city is now located. They thought it a good place to rest and

recuperate. While some were busy making camp, others took their pans and

tried out the dirt of the creek. To great joy and delight they found it

contained the much-coveted gold. Millions were later taken from this

gulch which with its tributaries extended far up into the mountains. One

of these tributaries yielded such pure gold that it was named “Oro Fino,”

which literally translated means “Fine Gold.” To keep alive the history of

our city’s origin and growth this name was chosen for the Chapter.”

~Mrs. A.K. Prescott, Charter Member


The above quote was taken from a report found in the archives entitled

“Fifty Years with Oro Fino Chapter D.A.R.” It is an amusing account as

told by Helen Brazier, Chapter Historian about Oro Fino’s beginnings and

how progressive they had become in 1953. She details her search through

stacks and stacks of heavy newspapers to find Oro Fino’s name mentioned.

She also explains, as most of you will attest to, while doing research, she

found all sorts of interesting nuggets that took her off track and one hour

turned into five hours in the dusty papers full of fascinating information.

She closed the presentation with “Needless to say, throughout these fifty

years. ‘delicious refreshments’ have always been served.”

As Chapter Regent, I have found writing this historical account to be

both enlightening and time consuming; however, deeply rewarding to know

that Oro Fino has not wavered in its 116 years of organization from the

fundamentals of the National Society. Today’s members are as committed

to America and all She stands for, as were the women who organized the

chapter in 1903. We have survived times of war, supported the men and

woman in the Armed Forces during conflicts around the world and some

have served themselves, to ensure the principles our Founding Fathers

established in the U.S. Constitution will protect all U.S. Citizens.

I am very proud to be part of such a vibrant, intelligent, and devoted

group of women, who take time in today’s fast-paced world to preserve the

history of America and Montana’s vital role in it. There is no other place

like Montana and Helena, as the Capital, has a special role in presenting

Montana to the world. The Daughters of Oro Fino enjoy this unique

opportunity and we would like to share our history with you.

The next few pages honor our history and present our challenges. For

example, in 1903 I would have signed this part as “Mrs. Kenneth J.

Anderson, Chapter Regent.”

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However, in 2019, it’s “Veronica L. Bovee-Anderson, Regent Oro Fino

Chapter, NSDAR.”

Rediscovered Decades: 1910-1920s

Part of the legacy of DAR is that we are guardians of United States

history, and nothing could bring more pleasure than finding historical

documents once stored away and long forgotten and reclaiming them for

posterity. Preservation of DAR activities, especially chapters, represents a

microcosm of American and World History as seen through the eyes of

women, and on that account alone is worthy of education and research

opportunities through Women’s Studies. This is true of recently

recovered documents pertaining to Oro Fino Chapter and what were once

believed to be our lost decades.

In looking back on these documents, one cannot help but appreciate

the aspect of the miniature time capsules they represent, how DAR (as a

whole) and Oro Fino Chapter have managed to retain much of its

respective heritage and traditions, yet always keeping up with the times.

The society’s motto “God, Home, and Country” is as relevant in 2019 as

it has been through these many years since our chapter’s inception in

1903, one hundred and sixteen years ago.

From the Oro Fino Chapter Historian account from 1916; mind you,

World War I was in full swing, and, in fact, two of the most decisive battles

of the war, Verdun and the Somme, were seen that year. War was also

being waged against the United States on the home front in March of 1916

by Pancho Villa at Columbus, New Mexico. In June, President Woodrow

Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America. The New

Jersey Shore shark attacks happened in July, and became the inspiration

almost 50 years later for author Peter Benchley’s Jaws, and William


Boeing incorporated Pacific Aero Products (Boeing) that same month in

1916. President Wilson was re-elected in November, and Jeanette Rankin

(R) of Montana became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of

Representatives, a remarkable achievement for American woman in

general and Montana woman in particular, especially three years before

they achieved the right to vote.

It is against the backdrop of World War and rapid change in industry,

technology, politics and the role of women at home and in society that Oro

Fino Chapter shined brightly through benevolence in troubled times with

continued monetary donations to the Montana Children’s Home and

Martha Berry Scholarship, purchasing the State flag for placement in

Memorial Continental Hall, the Belgium Relief Fund and partnering with

S.A.R. to purchase and plant Colorado Blue Spruce trees in Helena’s new

City Parks.

Oro Fino was forced to make a decision regarding the topic of politics in

discussions during chapter meetings. As stated in a chapter recovered

document circa 1916 with the heading Charles H. Wright, Jr., “During the

year a letter pertaining to the Susan B. Anthony Amendment was sent to us,

but on a motion duly made and seconded, it was laid upon the

table. It was decided that politics in

any form would not be brought up, nor

acted upon, by us as a chapter.”

Later referred to as the Women’s

Suffrage Amendment, the proposed

amendment was a revision of the 15th

Amendment and would later pass

through the House of Representatives

I joined DAR to patriotically

honor my American Revolutionary

Ancestors. Ancestors that

participated in other American

Wars, and to support living

Veterans and active duty military

personnel.

~ Dorothy Oliveira,

Chapter Registrar

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in 1919 and be ratified by the Senate two weeks later. It became the 19th

Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with specific emphasis on “public

will.” Montana was the 13th State to vote in favor of the amendment

(August 2, 1919).

Of special note that year, was the chapter’s support of member Mrs.

Ellis, and her family, who were overseas missionaries. Oro Fino gifted

Mrs. Ellis with an American Flag to accompany her on her missionary trip

to Japan and, as noted in the Historian’s account, “We purchased one large

enough in which to wrap herself, should occasion demand, but hope she

may never need to use it for protection.”

As is true today, encouraging patriotism and frowning on desecration of the

United States flag in any form is of special concern to DAR, but one cannot

help making certain comparisons between the differences in appreciation of

our Nation’s sacred symbol in the flag then and now…

The 1917 Oro Fino Chapter Historian’s account is ripe with historic

references and the prevailing sense of patriotism of its members. It begins,

“Let us this year take as our watchword, Conquer We Must, for ourselves,

our country, our homes and our God.”

Of utmost concern, of course, was the war effort abroad and on the home

front. Oro Fino Chapter members were thrust into rapidly changing and

demanding roles due to the Great War and rose to the challenge no matter.

On account of the unsettled conditions in our Country and the

Great World War, a very high standard of patriotism and unselfish

loyalty to our country has manifested itself in the lives of our

women. Every call for relief has met a speedy response, whether for

time, funds or work, individually and collectively.

Chapter member focus was centered around the Red Cross and relief to

Belgium and France orphaned children. “While these stories of child life in

France and Belgium make our blood boil with indignation, we are happy


that we can and are contributing a mite

for their relief,” the Historian wrote.

I just love to go to the

Oro Fino members managed to raise

Naturalization of American

Citizens. Helping to supply items $100 at a single benefit during “an

for our Veterans, both men and

evening of Living Illustrated Songs.”

women. Putting the Flags on the

graves remembering our DAR The government called upon its citizens

Sisters. Being involved with

to purchase Liberty Bonds, and Oro

Wreaths Across America.

Helping with the Celebration for Fino members did their part purchasing

Constitution Day at the Capitol.

one $100 bond on behalf of the chapter.

~Fee Lamping,

Chapter Chaplain Malnourished veterans returning home

from the war were fed by chapter members at Fort Harrison—milk, eggs,

jellies and broth.

Of special mention was the invitation to Oro Fino Chapter by the

Daughters of the American Confederacy to attend the unveiling of a granite

fountain in Hill Park, presented by them as a gift to the City of Helena.

And in response to a shift in community standards, that fountain was

removed in the dark of night August of 2017. As stated in the Helena

Independent Record article a year later on August 18, 2018, “The city

removed the fountain, along with the remains of Confederate soldiers

wrapped in tarp in response to a national epidemic of violence sparked by

racial animus in Charlottesville, Virginia” in spite of the pleadings of some

40 people who spoke at a public meeting on the matter to leave the

monument alone. Both the Confederate soldier remains, and the fountain

were moved to an undisclosed location.

Oro Fino Chapter continued its tradition of benevolent work with

monetary donations to the YWCA, the Montana Children’s Home and

Martha Berry during these decades. And, of special note, Oro Fino

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DAR means to me honoring our brave

ancestors who supported and fought in the

American Revolution and all veterans

thereafter. It is a way to make sure their

efforts are never forgotten and to promote

patriotism and study of American history. It

works to keep God in our lives. It supports

the importance of families. DAR also works

in community service projects.

~Brenda Grasmick,

Honorary Chapter Regent

member, Miss Lottie

M. Rumsey, had the

distinction of being

the first representative

from Montana, born

and raised here, to

serve as DAR delegate

at the National

Congress.

In closing her comments of chapter activities for 1917, the Historian

wrote, “Let us use our mental powers, our hearts and our hands to

encourage our boys who are fighting for us and make this year one to go

down in history as the year in which Oro Fino accomplished that which

was worthwhile.”

In 1921 the Historian wrote:

Our beloved regent, Mrs. McIntire, with a corps of helpers, initiated

action which we hope to make our annual practice to decorate the

graves of all members of the D.A.R. buried in Helena. Flowers and a

small American Flag were placed as a token of respect on the last

resting place of each. Among those whose memory was so honored

was Mrs. Elizabeth Barret, first Oro Fino Chapter Regent. The Sons

of the American Revolution accompanied and escorted the

Daughters on this mission to pay the tribute of esteem to our

departed members.”

Currently, Alene Stoner is our member who organizes and beautifully

handles this project.


Oro Fino Chapter had the honor of hosting the State Conference in

1921-22. It saw an increase in membership, which stood at 42. The

Historian noted the guests arrived by train and were chauffeured to various

sites in and around Helena. Programs included interpretive dancing, papers

on Revolutionary Battles Fought in December and January, Christmas

Customs of Colonial Days and New Year’s Customs of Colonial Days.

There was also discussion concerning organizing a society of the Children

of the Revolution. Her account provides an impressive description of what

the annual meetings of that time were like—flag decorations, place cards,

“dainty corsages,” bouquets for each guest, vocal and instrumental

performances, “fancy dancing,” readings and original essays.

In this post-war period, tuberculosis was of great concern, and Oro Fino

members took great pains to ensure veteran suffering from the illness were

not forgotten. Members called on sick and disabled veterans at Fort

Harrison and donated money to the state tuberculosis fund. “Members

have adopted boys (veterans) and have given them all the attentions

possible both in cheery calls

and in tokens such as jellies,

candies and other home

Daughters of the American

sweetmeats and flowers.” Revolution is a wonderful society. It

makes me proud to belong. I love the

They also provided gift

baskets and toys for Christmas

to the children of the Dry Land

Farmers of Montana, monetary

donations to the Red Cross

feeling of doing for others, including

Veteran’s and Active Military. I

enjoy being involved in many

community projects. I’m extremely

proud of my rich heritage that I have

come to discover. Oro Fino Chapter is

my second family. I’m proud my

Christmas Seals and the

daughter and granddaughter are also

members.

Salvation Army. Monetary ~ Patty Donoho, Chapter Secretary

awards to students with high

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marks in American History was still ongoing and with a chapter member

involved in missionary work in Japan, a May Day tea was given with a

program on Japan and Japanese Customs by Miss Nina Ellis Dosker, a

medical missionary.

The placement of markers on the Lewis and Clark Trail by the

Beaverhead and Mount Hyalite Chapters in Dillon and Bozeman

respectively was noted in a report by Mrs. Scott, who wrote, “There is so

much that can be done in this state and it should be done before our old

pioneers, who can help us, are

all gone.” Her sentiments can

certainly be appreciated even

now, serving as a gentle

Many years ago, my mother began

researching our family history. She

reminder to DAR members documented our family back to her

today and in years to come.

great grandfather. She made copies

for each family member. When I

Each chapter was commissioned retired, I decided to go further back

to “locate, preserve and mark at

in time and see what occurred. I

was fortunate to have my mother’s

least one historic spot” that year work as a template. It was

to help the State Historian

interesting to discover the facts

about my family, and how they

“make a good report to the lived and died. After discovering I

Smithsonian Institute” the

had a couple of Revolutionary War

soldier forefathers, I became

following year.

interested in joining the DAR. My

journey through the genealogy of

The 1922-23 annual State my family was interesting and fun.

Historian report revealed the

In 2011, I joined the Oro Fino

Chapter, Daughters of the American

writer’s sense of humor, Revolution, located in Helena,

“Several former historians have

Montana. I have held the positions

of scrapbook historian, program

taken slogans for the year, such manager, and Vice Regent. I enjoy

as, “Enthusia Service,” etc., but

my chapter’s activities and the

women who have joined.

knowing how crowded our

~ Patty Greene,

business sessions are and how

Chapter Vice Regent


tiresome it is to listen to masses of details in various reports, I have

selected, “Conciseness,” as my slogan.

By this time, the awarding of cash prizes, buttons, medals, etc. to students

had been adopted by all chapters in an effort to promote the study of

American History and good grades. It was also duly noted that DAR

members in every chapter were beginning to work with Americanization

schools and volunteering their time to mentor emigrants and distributing

flags and manuals to those seeking naturalization. Special mention was

made of “boxes” being sent to Ellis Island emigrant women.

That year, Oro Fino devoted much effort to raising money for the

Tuberculosis Seal Sale and to prevent the USV Hospital at Fort Harrison

from being removed. Oro Fino’s summary for 1923-24 provides yet

another time capsule of the prevailing attitudes and concerns of its

members as chapter activities held to its traditional values, while acting on

providing for the needs of America’s veterans from World War I to be met

in new ways. Soldier welfare, especially the Tuberculosis Ward at Fort

Harrison, dominated chapter activities in the 1920s and much of the

chapter’s activities on behalf of the fort and veterans continues to this day.

Bake sales, heirloom tea parties, and card parties were the chief ways of

fund raising. Today, members contribute and aluminum cans are recycled

to help provide needed funds for food, clothing and monetary donations for

veterans and active duty military and their families.

“The second (DAR) preservation project was the purchase and restoration

of the blockhouse at Fort Logan in 1924 by members of the Oro Fino

Chapter,” wrote Ellen Baumler in Magazine of Western History, Autumn

2014, page 33. The chapter used its influence, its members and volunteers

to restore the blockhouse at Old Fort Logan and a marker was put on the

building August 17, 1924. Montana Governor Joseph Moore Dixon and

Sidney Logan, son of Captain William Logan for whom the fort is named,

were present and spoke at this event. The property was deeded for the


project by the Gaddis family, who ranched there, and a Mr. Moored was

noted in the Chapter records for having sawed logs for the blockhouse.

The Oro Fino Chapter enjoyed saving buildings so much in the 1930s that

it set out to save a building that is now known as the Pioneer Cabin at

Reeder’s Alley.

When Helena’s two gold rush-era cabins were endangered in the

1930s.…On December 15, 1938, nearly a year after (George)

Mitchell’s death, Grace V. Erickson assembled a group of enthusiastic

women at the Helena Chamber of Commerce. Erickson, the wife of

former Governor John E. Erickson, was an amateur historian and an

active member of the local (Oro Fino) DAR chapter, serving as the

organization’s Historical Research Committee Chair. Others who

rallied at her side included Katherine Prescott Towle and Lottie

Rumsey Willett, also active DAR members and (Oro Fino) chapter

officers. The women’s innovative idea was to purchase and restore the

Mitchell cabin and furnish it as a house museum. (Ellen Baumler,

Magazine of Western History, Autumn 2014, p. 34)

This they succeeded in accomplishing and in 2019 Oro Fino again

celebrates the Pioneer Cabin at the 125th Anniversary MSSDAR 116th

State Conference. Oro Fino Chapter Historian Shirley Herrin is conducting

tours of the preserved and furnished Pioneer Cabin.

The chapter year 1924-25 showed consistent efforts in fundraising as in

years past for the Montana Children’s Home, Martha Berry, the YWCA

and Fort Harrison. Monetary awards were also given to students with high

marks in United States history.

Responding to drought, Oro Fino Historian reported in her 1925-26

summary the chapter sent monies to the Southern Schools of Martha Berry.

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Tuberculosis was still rampant, and the chapter raised monies to donate to

the State TB fund. The chapter also donated monies toward a marker at

Bannack. The group continued its devotion to the veterans at Fort Harrison

with gifts, birthday cakes and regular visits there.

And thus, the work of the Oro Fino Chapter continues for the next 100

years, working with and supporting American soldiers in another World

War, comforting and providing for veterans at Fort Harrison, all the while

recruiting and training the next generation of patriotic woman to carrying

on the proud traditions of our chapter.

Into the 21 st Century and Beyond

Oro Fino joined our DAR sisters everywhere in welcoming the new

millennium and embraced the NSDAR’s Millennium Administration

Theme 2000 and beyond, “Our family tree…roots from the past, linking to

the future.”

This theme has certainly propelled the NSDAR and all chapters forward

in exploring new and exciting ways to maintain our traditions, while

incorporating new methods to achieve our goals, such as record keeping,

genealogy, networking with other chapters and the NSDAR, as well as

getting the word out to the media and the public about our activities.

In our 2008-09 brochure, Oro Fino reaffirms the mission of our chapter

and DAR as “promoting patriotism, historic preservation and securing

America’s future through better education.”

Among the objectives listed therein hold a “Good Citizen Contest” in

the local high schools; participate in conservation projects such as “trash

for trees;” volunteer at Fort Harrison weekly and for special events;

participate in Proceedings and host a welcome reception for newly


Naturalized Citizens and provide them with flag pins and certificates;

participate in Constitution Week Activities; dedicate markers for Historical

Sites; support Fort Harrison, the Intermountain Children’s Home and the

Friendship Center; send phone cards to our service men and women;

support the DAR Schools; provide books and magazines to local schools,

libraries and to the Montana Historical Society as a way of promoting

literacy; attend the Lite a Life Ceremony to support Hospice Services; and

participate in the American Heart Association activities. In more recent

years, we have added activities centered around Women in American

History, Gold Star Families, Wreaths Across America, “No Veteran Buried

Alone,” the POW/MIA Project and Memorial Highway, the Friendship

Center, Rocky Mountain Care Center and Willis Cruse House, to name just

a few.

Are we meeting our goals?

Absolutely—both those that

I am so grateful to DAR for the

opportunity to help in some small way

are part of our legacy and in the education of our young people,

tradition and new ones as

so they will understand the greatness

of our Nation, and the sacrifices of our

demanded by our changing founding fathers that were so brilliant

times. And we will continue

to compose a Constitution that lasts

the tests of time. Educating our young

to strive to do it better every people to love our country, respect our

year.

flag, and honor our military that have

kept us safe all these years. We will

Chapter scrapbooks certainly

be in need of leaders in the future that

understand what has made America

reflect our mission of historic Great.

preservation of our

~ Maradell (Binko) LaFrance,

Member

organization and its members,

but are also tributes to our members and their families with newspaper

191


article clippings about them and their family’s activities, engagements,

graduations, induction into National Honor Society, Honor Roll, Dean’s

List, recipients of scholarships, participation in theatrical and other events.

The emphasis is on “family,” and we certainly view our members as

extended family. One of the hopes for our scrapbooks is to begin the

process of digitizing them to reduce the amount of paperwork needed to

produce them and the challenge of storing them.

DAR values and practices “organization” at every level- national, state,

and individual chapters, thus we are an entity that functions through

delegation of responsibilities through committees and program calendars.

Certainly, those of us who have many years in DAR may have to stifle a

laugh at the thought of “not another committee,” but where would we be

without our time-honored committees and programs that serve as the

impetus for all our activities?

It is through the auspices of serving on committees that Daughters

shine as leaders and volunteers. Such service within the organization

fosters confidence, teaches new skills, reinforces known skills, and often

leads to being called upon to serve at higher levels within DAR at the State

and National levels. To this end, Oro Fino has had our share of capable

and talented woman who have served as Montana State Society officers.

Much the same can be said about our chapter programs as members

serve one another with interesting talks on a variety of topics and report on

committee activities and upcoming events. Like our committees, the way

we present our programs has changed with the times as technology has

enhanced the experience, yet we hold tightly to traditions that date back to

Colonial times.


Currently, Oro Fino is very active in Naturalization ceremonies. Our

Daughters play a key role in these life-changing ceremonies, from hosting

the reception to passing out certificates to these new American citizens to

serving as guest speakers and even singing. Swearing in individuals from

other countries as citizens of our nation is an event that is met with tears of

joy, gratitude, and pride by everyone involved. Records reveal a steady

growth of new citizens in recent years in spite of changes in the process

that can take longer and demand more of those seeking citizenship. In the

new millennium, the Honorable Judge Charles C. Lovell has presided over

most of these ceremonies in Helena.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles

C. Lovell was presented with Oro

To me, DAR means volunteering

and helping our community in any

way I can. It means supporting our

military families and veterans by

honoring them at patriotic

ceremonies, donating food and

Fino’s Constitution Award in

2011, in recognition of his

“outstanding work in upholding

and promoting the ideals of the

other clothing when needed and Constitution of the United

assisting organizations who support

our military. Because of DAR, I

States.” This was prompted by

have formed strong bonds of his years of “eloquent and

friendship with many of my DAR

sisters. We are there to work

educational remarks to new

together toward a common goal, citizens about the meaning and

support each other in time of need,

and have fun and enjoy each other’s

importance of the U.S.

company all along the way.

~ Gale Kramlick, Chapter

Treasurer

Constitution” in his addresses to

newly naturalized citizens in his

court and as part of his role in

celebrating Constitution Week in September. Whether it is participating in

helping those who come to this country with hopes of becoming citizens to

realize their dreams or celebrating the signing of the U.S. Constitution, we

know we must be vigilant about proclaiming the good news of the rights

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guaranteed us in that beloved document. It’s no wonder Constitution Week

each September is celebrated with such passion by our chapter.

It was the DAR that petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23

annually as Constitution Week, and they initiated plans for a memorial to

the Constitution. In 1928, they commissioned John Russell Pope, architect

of the Jefferson Memorial to design DAR Constitution Hall, the performing

Arts Center in Washington, D.C. It is the only structure erected as a tribute

to the U.S. Constitution. Congress passed the Constitution Week

resolution on February 29, 1952, authorizing the President to designate the

week beginning September 17-23 each year Constitution Week and the day

September 17th as Citizenship Day in commemoration of the signing of the

U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Constitution Week is a highly

anticipated event for Oro Fino as

My introduction to DAR was my

Grandma. She called me one day

and said, “We are related to Daniel

Boone and can now join the DAR.

Now go to your computer and prove

that!” And now, five years later, I

am in the final year as Montana State

Secretary and just starting as a

Chapter Regent—thank you to my

Grandma. DAR has been a great

opportunity for me to meet and

befriend outstanding vibrant women

throughout Montana and strengthen

my patriotism for the United States

we take center stage in our State’s

Capitol, reminding our leaders and

the public about the importance of

the greatest document in the history

of our Nation. We urge everyone

from the mayor of Helena and

county leaders to the governor to

issue proclamations in honor of

Constitution Week. We set up

of American. I am grateful for the displays and talks about the

sisterhood of this outstanding

organization.

~ Veronica Bovee-Anderson,

Chapter Regent

Constitution at schools and public

libraries, in banks and other public

buildings. And, of course, there is

the Bells Across America campaign. We take great joy to ensure we


surpass in number and loudness each year as we boldly hail the

Constitution with the ringing of bells and we take great pride in receiving

both Second Place and Third Place National awards for 2017 as reported in

The Daughters national magazine Sept/Oct 2018, page 370.

Oro Fino is truly blessed with a diverse membership of accomplished

and giving Daughters—women who regularly donate their time, skills and

talents to causes that embody the DAR spirit and mission. Our Daughters

lead by example and stand out as shining role models to us all. And while

we cherish and honor each one within our ranks, oftentimes, they are

singled out in the community for their work as well. Here are a just few

examples.

Member Christine Shannon (90-years-old at the time) is one such

Daughter, who showed us age should not deter us from whatever calling is

put upon our hearts. In the May 1, 2003, Independent Record article about

the VA Montana Healthcare System service awards banquet, Christine was

listed as one of several volunteers honored for having answered President

Bush’s challenge for all Americans to donate 4,000 hours of community

service over the course of their lifetime. Christine had, at that writing,

donated 12,237 hours with the Disabled American Veterans over the course

of 26 years. She passed away in 2006.

In February 2004, chapter member Alice Otten (86 years old at the

time) was the recipient of the Lewis and Clark County United Way’s most

prestigious award to a member of their board—the Betty Lou Lindstrom

Award—for providing outstanding service to the United Way and the

community. Chapter members celebrated Alice on April 12, 2008, on the

occasion of her 90th birthday. She was also nominated by the chapter to be

195


honored by the NSDAR as one of the Women in American History that

year. Among her many accolades listed in her nomination to the NSDAR

was her Lewis and Clark County United Way’s most prestigious award,

named United Way Honorary Board Member in 2007 and service as

president of the Retired Teachers Association. NSDAR awarded her with a

certificate as one of its Women in American History on March 8, 2008.

Oro Fino Member Shirley Mangini, R.N. was acknowledged by St.

Peter’s Hospital in their May 20, 2005, newsletter for her work at Fort

Harrison and Volunteers Pet Partners Therapy Visiting Program. She

received a National Appointment from the Montana Hospital Association

to travel to Washington, D.C. to be certified by the Center for Medicare

and Medicaid Services as an educator for Hospice Conditions of

Participation. Shirley has spent many years working to raise awareness of

heart disease in women after her experiences with a serious heart condition.

Shirley was one of 800,000 people who survived a complete blockage of

her left artery (a.k.a. the widow maker). She had heart surgery for the

condition in November of 2005 (source: Independent Record, February 2,

2006). She went on to participate in awareness campaigns such as Heart of

the Matter and Go Red to educate women on heart disease and the

differences in symptoms in women. Shirley continued her work on

educating women about heart disease anytime an opportunity presented

itself to do so. She was one of 350 people who attended and spoke at the

“Heart of the Matter” St. Peter’s Hospital wellness event on women and

heart disease in February 2008. Shirley received the Montana Department

of Public Health and Human Services Award in 2009. In 2010, she

received a national honor being selected to attend a 10-day all expenses

paid course to become a Women’s Heart Disease Educator at the Mayo

Clinic. Shirley would become Montana’s only “Woman Heart Champion”

upon completion of the course.


Daughter Marjorie Smith was one of a select group of Montanans to

receive Governor Brian Schweitzer’s Award for Excellence in Performance

in their area of employ with the state of Montana in 2007. Marjorie was

recognized for her job at the Montana State Library and her spirit of

volunteerism.

Daughter Betty Ruth Lee Babcock, former Montana First Lady and wife

of Montana Governor Tim Babcock, was one of six local residents named

Humanities Heroes in a

February 18, 2012, article in

the Independent Record. She

was a champion of historic

DAR means that a bunch of smiling

faces are there to greet me when I

come to activities. DAR means we

preservation and sought all care enough about our

creative ways to support her

passion. She authored two

cookbooks with proceeds from

“The First Ladies’ Cookbook”

Americanism that we took time to

figure out how we are related to the

American Revolution. DAR means

fun activities, service to the

community, and giving of ourselves

in countless ways, just because it is

going to the Montana

the right thing to do…DAR means so

many things that it’s hard to pinpoint

Centennial Commission to help

defray the costs of celebrating

only a few. That’s mainly what DAR

means to me.

~ Linnea Ghilardi, Member

the territorial centennial.

In the 1990s, Betty focused

her volunteer efforts on the restoration of the State Capitol, which had

fallen into disrepair. In later years, she championed a new Montana History

Center at the mall site. The former Montana first lady lay in state at the

Capitol rotunda with Montana State Troopers serving as honor guards

following her death August 4, 2013. Supreme Court Clerk Ed Smith

sought support for legislation to name the proposed Montana Heritage

Center after the former First Lady a year later.

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Betty was a successful business woman, served as a delegate to the 1972

Montana Constitutional Convention and as a member of the House of

Representatives in 1974-1975, according to an August 9, 2013, article in

the Independent Record. She and her husband co-authored the book,

“Challenges, Above and Beyond,” and were featured in the November 12,

2009, Great Falls Tribune at a book signing in celebration of his 90th

birthday. Tim Babcock served as Governor from 1962 to 1969. He died

April 7, 2015.

Brenda Grasmick was acknowledged for being one of 108 volunteers

who gave 15,177 hours of service to St. Peter’s Hospital. Brenda volunteers

in the gift shop.

As changing times and technology demand, Oro Fino welcomed

websites and Facebook pages, members are using the internet to dig

deeper into family history, help prospective members do their own

research connecting with women from all parts of the world to learn more

about our history, and to promote and teach the DAR objectives of

Patriotism, Education, and Historic Preservation. Thank You Ladies of

the Oro Fino Chapter for your service.


Oro Fino Ladies at the December 2018 Chapter Christmas Party

Front Row Left to Right: Shirley Herrin, Fee Lamping, Del Harris, Veronica

Bovee-Anderson, Jane Lee Hamman, Gale Kramlick, Dorothy Oliveira, Patty

Greene; Back Row Left to Right: Kathy Dreyer, Kim Leffler, Alice Dove, Maradell

LaFrance, Marjorie Smith, Capri Gray, Charmaine Lindgren.

Oro Fino Past Chapter Regents

1903 Mrs. Elizabeth Barret

1904 Mrs. Lavina Southmayd

1905 Mrs. Emma Glenn

1906-1910 Mrs. Liza Condon

1911-1912 Mrs. Mary Prescott

1913 Mrs. Mabel Morley

1914-1916 Mrs. Helen McIntire

1917-1918 Mrs. Lillie Conway

1918 Mrs. Harriet MacNeill

1919 Mrs. Anna Bartley

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1920 Mrs. Helen McIntire

1921-1922 Dr. Mary Atwater

1923-1924 Mrs. Susan Johnson

1925-1926 Mrs. Cordelia Brown

1927 Mrs. Anna Brannon

1928-1929 Mrs. Alta Carsley

1930 Mrs. Bessie Rasmusson

1931 Mrs. Elizabeth Kleve

1932-1933 Mrs. Lottie Willett

1934 Mrs. Alice Houston

1935 Mrs. R.D. Beer

1935-1936 Mrs. Edna Palmer

1937-1938 Mrs. Alice May Reitsch

1939-1940 Mrs. Jennie D. Henry

1941 Mrs. Grace Erickson

1942 Mrs. Elizabeth Porter

1943-1944 Mrs. Cora Read Pew

1945-1946 Mrs. Marguerite Longmaid

1947 Mrs. Mouriel Bottomly

1948 Mrs. May Bartos

1949-1950 Mrs. Georgia Whipps

1951-1952 Mrs. Katherine Towle

1953-1954 Mrs. Josephine Neill

1955-1956 Mrs. Katherine Towle

1956-1958 Mrs. David T. Berg

1958-1960 Mrs. A.H. Tuttle

1960-1962 Mrs. Frank W. Wiley

1963 Mrs. Lela Thorn Wolverton

1963-1965 Mrs. Eila Conel Edwards


1965 Mrs. Martina Casey Weber

1965-1966 Mrs. Eila Conel Edwards

1966-1967 Mrs. Charles D. McDonald

1968-1971 Mrs. Lincoln Ballard

1971-1973 Mrs. L. Hoyt Larison

1973-1975 Mrs. H.C. Kiel

1975-1978 Mrs. Robert E. Otten

1978-1980 Mrs. Robert F. Cooney

1980-1982 Mrs. Lyle Harris

1982-1985 Mrs. Richard G. Smith, Jr. *

1985-1988 Ms. Darlene Ghilchrist

1988-1992 Mrs. Richard G. Smith, Jr. *

1992-1996 Mrs. Robert E. Otten

1996-2000 Ms. Darlene Ghilchrist

2000-2002 Mrs. Richard G. Smith, Jr.*

2002-2004 Gail Hansen (Mrs. Thomas) Murrin *

2004-2008 Shirley Jean (Mrs. Mark) Mangini *

2008-2012 Ms. Brenda Grasmick *

2012-2016 Ms. Jane Lee Hamman *

2016-2018 Mrs. Kathy Dreyer *

2018-Present Mrs. Veronica Bovee-Anderson

* Honorary Chapter Regents, as voted by the chapter on February 10,

2018, are Gail Murrin, Shirley Mangini, Marjorie Smith, Brenda

Grasmick, Jane Lee Hamman. Kathy Dreyer was voted May 12, 2018.

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Oro Fino Chapter has endorsed and supported seven members to serve

as Montana State Regent:

1905-1906 Gertrude Junkin (Mrs. William Wallace) McCrackin

1912-1913 Helen Marie Foster (Mrs. Henry G.) McIntire

1913-1917 Mabel C. Greene (Mrs. Edward A.) Morley

1927-1928 Bessie Elma Andrews (Mrs. Charles A.) Rasmusson

1943-1944 Alice May Alley (Mrs. Julius G.) Reitsch

1958-1960 Josephine Maude Kier (Mrs. Frank Dwight) Neill

2016-2019 Jane Lee Hamman

Gertrude Junkin (Mrs. William Wallace) McCrackin

State Regent 1905-1906

Member #15084; Revolutionary Ancestor: Joseph Junkin

Gertrude was born on September 7,

1858, in Fairfield, Iowa, to William and

Elizabeth Junkin. She was a twin. She

married William Wallace McCrackin and

they had three children, son Wallace and

daughters Helen and Virginia. The family

moved to Montana in 1877. Her husband

worked at several banks in Butte before

moving to Hamilton in 1894 where

William founded the Ravalli County Bank

and she was a director.


Gertrude was a Charter member of Silver Bow Chapter in Butte in

1897. In 1902, she was the Organizing Regent for the Ravalli Chapter in

Hamilton. In 1905 she was elected to serve as the fourth Montana State

Regent. As disbandment of the Ravalli Chapter was in process, she joined

the Oro Fino Chapter in Helena for her regency, as the NSDAR Archivist,

Joy O’Donnell, confirmed.

Mrs. McCrackin died on November 24, 1933, in Hamilton. She is

buried in the Riverview Cemetery there. Her stone does not have a DAR

marker. Her obituary in The Missoulian on November 25, 1933, on page 7

states:

Old Resident of Bitter Root Dies, Mrs. Gertrude McCrackin Passes

Suddenly at Hamilton Home, Mrs. Gertrude McCrackin, aged 75,

widow of the late W.W. McCrackin, old-time Montana banker, was

found dead in her room at the family home here this morning at 8:30

by her son’s wife, Mrs. Wallace McCrackin. Dr. George McGrath

stated death had come some hours before, presumably from a heart

attack. She had apparently risen during the night and when discovered

her body lay across the bed. She returned to Hamilton in May from

Long Beach, Cal., where she spent the past six years with her

daughter, Mrs. M.A. White, for her health. Mrs. White returned to

Long Beach two weeks ago. Mrs. McCrackin came to the state first

with her husband in 1877, settling at Sand Coulee, where he engaged

in raising sheep. Two years later they went to Butte, where Mr.

McCrackin was affiliated with the Clark Bank and later was

president of the Silver Bow National. They came to Hamilton in

1894. Her son, Wallace, and the daughter (Virginia), Mrs. M.A.

White, survive, with three granddaughters, Misses Gertrude and

Virginia White of Long Beach and Mrs. Milton D. Byrd of Hamilton.

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A twin sister Mrs. J.B. Swinbourne lives at Fairfield, Iowa,

birthplace of Mrs. McCrackin. Another sister, Mrs. J.F. Hinkhouse, is

at Iowa City and a brother P.S. Junkin, is postmaster at Fairfield. A

brother, W.D. Junkin, is editor of the Daily Press-Dispatch at

Brainered, Minn. Their father was founder and editor for years of the

Fairfield Ledger. Mrs. McCrackin was a director in the Ravalli

County Bank founded by her husband in 1894 and was a member of

the Presbyterian Church. Funeral arrangements wait word from

the daughter. Mr. McCrackin died and their oldest daughter, Helen,

well- known teacher, was a victim of the influenza epidemic of 1918

here.

Published volumes of the Report of Daughters of the American Revolution

archived in the NSDAR Office of the Recording Secretary General for 1905

(page 124) state:

MONTANA [Mrs. William Wallace McCrackin, State Regent]

Oro Fino Chapter, Helena, met last year each month, except during the

summer. A course of study was outlined, taking the biographies of

women in historical novels dealing with Revolutionary times. Twenty

dollars was sent to Memorial Hall. One magazine was sent for a year to

the Manila Library.

Ravalli Chapter, of Hamilton, gave $25 toward Continental Hall

fund. Pictures of Colonial Hall were presented to the county

superintendent for distribution among the schools of the county. The

number of members is 13.

Silver Bow Chapter has donated one traveling library and put it in

circulation in the state. A donation of $25 was made to the Continental

Hall fund. There was expended $10.50 for a bookcase to be placed in the

public library for the purpose of holding our books, relics, etc. Our course


of study for the year has included Indians and prehistoric races of

America. The number of members is 32.

Helen Marie Foster (Mrs. Henry Gordon) McIntire

State Regent 1912-1913

Member #65926; Revolutionary Ancestor: Jacob Wicker

Helen Marie Foster was born April

12, 1861, in Whitehall, New York, to

Samuel and Maria Foster. She graduated

from the Conservatory of Music in

Boston, Massachusetts, and traveled by

steamship up the Missouri River to Fort

Benton in 1881. There she met Henry

Gordon McIntire and they were married

September 28, 1882. They came to

Helena in 1887 and Henry McIntire

became a well-known “pioneer attorney of Helena.” She and Henry had

nine children in the rough and tumble early days of Montana, three of

whom lived long lives.

Helen was a member of the Mayflower Society, Daughters of the

American Revolution, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where she was

president of the Woman’s Society, a strong supporter of St. Peter’s

Hospital, where she was president of the Ladies Auxiliary, and an ardent

city charity worker.

She joined Oro Fino Chapter DAR and was elected to serve as

Montana State Regent in 1912-1913. During her regency, the $50

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scholarship to Martha Berry School was continued and Mr. Granville

Stuart gave a splendid talk on “Old Fort Benton.” Helen subsequently

served as Chapter Regent in 1914, 1916 and 1920. Highlights of her

DAR chapter regency include maintaining the Colonial room at the

YMCA, raising $50 for the Red Cross, giving American history cash

prizes to best essay contest writers in local schools, supporting the

Intermountain Children’s Home, purchasing War Savings Stamps and

war relief efforts.

Son Robert was born April 19, 1886, in Fort Benton, married

Marjorie Franklin of Helena Aug. 12, 1914, and died Feb. 11, 1917, in

Los Angeles. Daughter Frances Noyes was born Feb. 14, 1900, in Helena

and married Chester A. Drummond of Helena Aug. 27, 1925, and died

Sept. 27, 1947, in Phoenix, Arizona. Their daughter Helena Drummond

reportedly had one daughter and three sons in Louisiana.

Daughter Helen Gertrude McIntire was living in Helena and daughter

Mrs. Roy C. Richardson was living in South America when their mother,

age 67, died unexpectedly of heart failure at home on Warren Street in

Helena Oct. 8, 1928. Funeral arrangements were delayed pending word

from Mrs. Richardson. She is buried in Forestvale Cemetery in Helena

and her stone has a DAR marker that was placed and dedicated May 22,

2014, by Oro Fino Daughters. Her marked stone is posted on

FindAGrave. An obituary appeared in The Independent Record, October 9,

1928, page 6.

Mrs. H. G. M’Intire Dies Suddenly at Home Here. Mrs. Helena

Marie Foster McIntire, wife of H. G. McIntire, pioneer attorney of

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Helena died suddenly of heart failure yesterday afternoon at 5:30 at

the family home, 620 North Warren Street. Mrs. McIntire was born

in Whitehall, N.Y., April 12, 1864. She came to Montana in 1881

and the following year was married to Mr. McIntire at Fort Benton.

They came to Helena in 1887 and have resided here since that time.

Besides her husband, the deceased is survived by three daughters, Mrs.

Chester Drummond of Helena; Mrs. Roy C. Richardson, who is to

land in New York Wednesday from South America and Helen

McIntire of Helena. Mrs. McIntire was a member of the Daughters

of the American Revolution. She was an ardent worker in behalf of

St. Peter’s hospital and active in charity work in the city. Funeral

arrangements are pending awaiting word from Mrs. Richardson. Opp

and Conrad will have charge of the funeral.

Mabel C. Greene (Mrs. Edward A.) Morley

State Regent 1913-1915, 1915-1917

Member #35891; Revolutionary Ancestor: Elijah Pettibone

Mabel C. Greene was born March 27,

1866, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, to

William and Loretta Greene. She

graduated from Waukesha High School

and taught school for eight years there.

Mabel married Edward Morley in 1893

and several years later they moved to

Montana. They had no children.

Mrs. Morley joined Silver Bow

Chapter in 1901 and served as Chapter


Regent 1907-1909. She transferred to the Oro Fino Chapter in 1913 when

she lived in Helena, at which time she was elected the Montana State

Regent. During her two terms as State Regent, she helped organize two

chapters: Chief Ignace (February 1917) and Beaverhead (March 1917)

and appointed two Organizing Regents, Mrs. M.G. Rogers of Great Falls

and Mrs. L.G. Smith of Anaconda. Four hundred dollars was contributed

to the Belgian Relief Fund, $50 was contributed to the Martha Berry

Scholarship and a handsome Montana State Flag was presented to

Memorial Continental Hall.

A major highlight of her administration was placing the DAR marker

at Three Forks honoring Sacajawea October 12, 1914, with Senator W.A.

Cark presenting the bronze tablet mounted on a huge granite boulder and

Governor Samuel Vernon Stewart making the dedication address to a very

large crowd. On November 15, 1915, a similar marker was placed at

Armstead where Lewis and Clark encountered a band of Indians that

included Sacajawea’s brother, thus assuring safety for the rest of their

journey westward. The family moved back to Butte and she transferred

back to Silver Bow Chapter, where she was an active member until her

death.

Mabel died on August 18, 1949, in Butte. She is buried at the Mount

Moriah Cemetery. Her grave has a DAR marker. An obituary in The

Montana Standard, August 20, 1949, page 3 said:

Mrs. Morley Is Taken by Death: Mabel Green Morley, widow of

Edward A. Morley who was a prominent Butte leader for more than

40 years, died Friday morning at a local hospital. Mrs. Morley

resided at 314 West Broadway and had made her home in Montana for

209


more than a half century. Her death is mourned by scores of friends

throughout the city. She was born on March 27, 1866, in Waukesha,

Wis. Her father, William St. John Green, was a direct descendant of

Gen. Nathaniel Green of Revolutionary fame. Her mother, Loretta H.

Pettibone, was a member of the prominent Pettibone family of

Nashville, Tenn. Mrs. Morley was a member of the Silver Bow

Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution since 1901

and was at one time state regent of the organization. She was also a

charter member of Chapter X, PEO, and a member of St. John

Episcopal Church, which her husband had served as a vestryman.

The Morley family first came to Montana when Mr. Morley was

hired as an auditor for the newly organized B.A. and P. Railroad

Company with headquarters in Anaconda. He moved to Butte as

auditor and credit man for the Hennessy mercantile store and later

went into the real estate business. At the time of his death in 1937, he

was president of the firm of Morley and Thomas. His record included

10 years of service as a railroad commissioner. He took an active

interest in politics and was a prominent leader in local sports

associations. Mrs. Morley is survived by a sister-in-law, Mrs.

R.C. Harbord, of Spokane, Wash. The body is at Richards’ funeral

home and will be moved Saturday morning to St. John Episcopal

church where the Rev. Thomas Ashworth will conduct funeral rites at

10 o’clock. Interment will be in Mount Moriah cemetery.


Bessie Elma Andrews (Mrs. Charles A.) Rasmusson

State Regent 1927-1929

Member #60294; Revolutionary Ancestors: Capt. Abraham Andrews,

John Fickett Sr., John Fickett Jr., William Kimball, Isaac Stearns

Bessie Elma Andrews was born

February 21, 1881, in Atlantic, Cass

County, Iowa, to Isaac and Mary Olive

Andrews, she attended schools there

and graduated from Atlantic Normal

Business College and began teaching

school. She married Charles

Rasmusson in 1902. They did not have

children.

Joining the Oro Fino Chapter,

NSDAR in Helena, Mrs. Rasmusson

was Chapter Regent, State Vice Regent

and State Regent, presiding at the 1927

State Conference in Kalispell and the 1928 State Conference in

Livingston. During her regency, she purchased the “Traveling Pin” for the

State Regent to pass on to each incoming regent; outstandingly raised

$1,400 to complete the fund for Montana’s Loge of Constitution Hall in

Washington, D.C.; raised $240 for the Montana Star on the National

Birthday Bell at Valley Forge, and garnered significant contributions for

two state scholarships, Fort Harrison, American History prizes,

Restoration of Old Ironsides, Memorial for Caroline Scott Harrison and

War Relief Work.

Most important, she and her well-informed and well-connected life

211


partner, Charles, both had a passion for preserving history. He was a

Montana legislator, the U.S. Internal Revenue Collector for the District of

Montana from 1922-1933 and arranged with the Anaconda Copper

Company for 25 permanent bronze markers, gratis, for the DAR to

designate historic sites of national significance within the state. Bessie

served as State Chair of the Montana Markers Committee from 1924 –

1940, working tirelessly to compile and verify authentic data, locate and

mark sites, penned the July 1940 “Trail of the Markers” report, and

prepared accurate copy for the press year after year.

Bessie died May 17, 1966, in Billings. She is buried in the Atlantic

Cemetery in Atlantic, Iowa. It is unknown if her grave has a DAR marker.

An obituary appeared in The Billings Gazette, May 18, 1966, page 14

that said:

Mrs. B. Rasmusson; Mrs. Bessie Elma Rasmusson, 85, of 225

Burlington Ave., admitted to a Billings hospital April 27 after

spending several days in a bathtub, too weak to get out, died

Tuesday night. Born Feb. 21, 1881, in Cass County, IA,

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac S. Andrews, she was married to

Charles A. Rasmusson on Nov. 25, 1902 in Cass County. They

moved from Atlantic, IA, to Glendive in 1910, to Helena in 1922

and to Billings in 1935. Mr. Rasmusson died in 1939. Mrs.

Rasmusson was a past president of Yellowstone Republican

Women’s Club, past matron of Order of Eastern Star in Glendive,

past state chairman of Daughters of American Revolution and past

regent of Oro Fino. Survivors include two sisters, Miss Martha

M. Andrews and Miss Esther L. Andrews of Atlantic, IA. Smith’s

Funeral Home is in charge.


Alice May Alley (Mrs. Julius G.) Reitsch

State Regent 1943-1944

Member #177007; Revolutionary Ancestors: Ephraim Alley, Harris

Chadwell, Abiather Rogers

Alice May Alley was born June 6, 1885, at Rockford, Illinois, to

Charles and Lettie Alley. She graduated from high school and Normal

School and taught primary grades and music in Rockford. She married

Julius G. Reitsch September 6, 1904, in Rockford and they had two sons,

Charles William and John Alley.

Alice May was very active in

Roundup, Montana, women’s clubs,

First Worthy Matron of Peace

Chapter No. 91, O.E.S., and serving

the Episcopal Church Chancel Guild,

playing the pipe organ and piano.

Mrs. Reitsch was the Organizing

Regent for the Musselshell Chapter

which began in 1927 but disbanded

in 1935.

The family moved to Helena in

1932 and she joined the Oro Fino

Chapter, serving as Oro Fino

Chapter Regent from 1937-1938. She was the MSSDAR State Regent from

1943-1944. During her term, much important war work was done by all

chapters and especially outstanding was the presentation of a Behrman

Locator by the Juniors in Missoula and generous gifts to the Blood Plasma

Fund.

213


Alice died December 30, 1962, in Washington. She is buried in the

IOOF Cemetery in Ellensburg, Washington. Her stone does not have a DAR

marker. An obituary appeared in The Independent Record, December 31,

1962, page 2 that said:

Alice M. Reitsch, Widow of Former Banker Here, Dies. Alice May

Reitsch, widow of J. G. Reitsch, former Helena banker, died

Sunday in Ellensburg, Wash., where she had made her home for

the past several years, according to John Carlson, president of the

Union Bank and Trust Co. Funeral services will be conducted at

2 p.m., Wednesday in the Grace Episcopal Church, Ellensburg,

Wash. Burial will be at Ellensburg. Mr. Reitsch died about two

years ago at Ellensburg. Mrs. Reitsch was a member of St. Peter’s

Pro-cathedral, POE Sisterhood, and DAR. Survivors include

sons, Jack, a banker at Ellensburg, and Charles, stationed in the

mid-western area of the Mountain States Telephone Co., and

several grandchildren.


Josephine Maude Kier (Mrs. Frank Dwight) Neill

State Regent 1958-1960

Member #352652; Revolutionary Ancestor: Christian Fast

Josephine Maude Kier was born Sept. 5, 1906, in Dayton, Sheridan,

Wyoming, to Joseph O. and Florence Belle Kier. After the death of her

father, the family of mother, Josephine and younger sister, Kathryn Bryte,

moved to Helena where Josephine

excelled in school and Glee Club, served

in the Vocational Congress, was selected

Miss Vigilante 1923 and was Helena

High School Valedictorian Class of 1923.

She took business administration at

Montana State College in Bozeman 1925-

26 where she was a member of the Alpha

Gamma Delta sorority. Returning to

Helena, she was employed by the Internal

Revenue office.

Aug. 31, 1929, at the First

Presbyterian Church, she married Frank Dwight Neill, son of Mrs. Nellie

Neill of Helena and also a graduate of Montana State College, employed as

a chemist by the Anaconda Copper Company in East Helena. Society news

of the Helena Independent Record stated when publishing her photo the

next day, “Mr. and Mrs. Neill are well known young people and have a host

of friends throughout the state.” They had three children, Frank Dwight, Jr.,

Arthur Kier, and Kathryn Audrey.

While raising their family, she was active in the Presbyterian Church,

Order of the Eastern Star, dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness,

215


Rebekah Lodge, Helena Woman’s Club, DAR and Alpha Gamma

Sorority.

Some of her most important Oro Fino DAR projects as chapter regent

(1953-1954) included raising donations for the National DAR

endowment fund and internationally-known DAR Museum, sponsoring

rural school children tours of the Montana State Historical Society

Museum, and continuing work on the Fort Logan Block House project,

located 20 miles Northwest of White Sulphur Springs. The Fort Logan

Blockhouse marker had been

dedicated August 17, 1924, by

Oro Fino Chapter, but

preservation work was still

continuing. Originally called Fort

Baker, Fort Logan was

established in November 1867

upon recommendation of Major

General Winfield Scott Hancock, one of the heroes on the Union Side at

the Battle of Gettysburg, for protection of the miners at Diamond City

and neighboring mining camps. The name was changed to Fort Logan in

1878 to honor William Logan killed August 9, 1877, by Nez Perce

Indians under Chief Joseph at the battle of the Little Big Hole.

Josephine served as Montana State Society DAR State Program chair,

Vice Regent and then as Montana State Regent from 1958-1960, visiting

all chapters in the state and attending Continental Congress in

Washington, D.C. in 1959. She died unexpectedly of heart failure at her

home in Helena at age 55 on December 13, 1961, and is buried in the

IOOF Cemetery there. Her stone has a DAR marker that was placed and

dedicated by Oro Fino Chapter members May 22, 2014, with visits that


week by sons Frank Dwight, Jr. and Arthur from Alaska and Billings,

respectively. Her obituary appeared in The Independent-Record, December

14, 1961, page 1.

Josephine Neill, Past State DAR Regent, dies; Josephine K. Neill, 55,

past stat regent of DAR, and wife of Frank D. Neill, died

unexpectedly Wednesday afternoon at her home, 1001 Eleventh,

following a lengthy illness. Mrs. Neill was born Sept. 5, 1906, in

Sheridan, Wyo., the daughter of J. O. and Florence Bryle Kier.

The family moved to the Helena Valley after the death of her

father. She attended Helena public schools and was graduated

from Helena High School. She attended Montana State University

and was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. On Aug. 31,

1922 she was married in Helena to Neill, Montana Power CO.,

employee. She was a member of Miriam Chapter, No. 1, OES,

Oro Fino Chapter DAR, Vera Rebekah Lodge, Helena Woman’s

Club and the Presbyterian Church. In March 1958, Mrs. Neill,

vice regent of Oro Fino Chapter of the Daughters of the American

Revolution, was elected regent at the Montana State Society of the

DAR during its annual conference in Missoula. Survivors include

sons Lt. Arthur K. Neill, Fort Bliss, Texas, and Lt. Frank Dwight

Neill Jr., USAF, Minneapolis, Minn.; daughter, Kathryn A. Neill,

Helena; sister Kathryn Haskins, Seattle; three grandchildren,

Christine M. and Stephanie

A. Neill, both of Fort Bliss, and Cheryl L. Neill, Minneapolis, and

several cousins, including Paul Hart, Helena Valley, George Hart,

San Francisco; uncle Conway E. Bryle, Lewistown, and aunt,

Bessie B. Bryle, Helena. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Monday in the Ritz

Chapel. Burial will be in the IOOF Cemetery.

217


Jane Lee Hamman

State Regent 2016-2019

Member # 859145; Revolutionary Ancestors: Jacob Stiffler,

Joseph Warner, David Wright

Jane Lee Hamman was born

January 13, 1941, in Manitowoc,

Wisconsin, to James Charles and

Minnie Louise Cooper Hamman,

attending local schools and

graduating from Lincoln High

School. She earned a bachelor’s

degree in sociology and history from

Carroll College (now University) in

Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she

was named to Who’s Who Among

Students in American Universities

and Colleges, graduating magna cum

laude. She studied public policy and organization management in the

honors program at Columbia University, graduating with an MSW from

Syracuse University. Employment included several positions with the

United Way of Central New York based in Onondaga County, Director of

the Council on Child Abuse of Columbia, South Carolina, Montana

Legislative Fiscal Division and Montana Governor’s Office of Budget

and Program Planning from which she retired in December 2004. Since

then she established Anretta for governmental affairs contracting and

represented traffic educators, acupuncturists and naturopathic physicians

as a registered state lobbyist before retiring again in 2019.


Joining Oro Fino Chapter in February 2008, Jane served the chapter

two years as Historian, two years as Vice Regent, and five years as American

History, American Heritage and Constitution Week Chairs before being

elected Oro Fino Chapter Regent 2012-2014 and 2014-2016. During her

regency, chapter members began researching burial locations of all deceased

Daughters and again placing more than 100 U.S. flags in 18 area cemeteries

for every Memorial Day; purchased a Parade Banner and greatly expanded

participation in commemorative events in Helena, East Helena and

Boulder; enhanced Constitution Week activities; media coverage of chapter

events and services; and began sponsoring Wreaths Across America in the

Statehouse. The chapter elected her Honorary Chapter Regent in March

2018.

She served as State Genealogy Preservation Chair and, in 2012,

MSSDAR appointed her Constitution Week State Chair—a position she

continues to hold. After serving as State Vice Regent 2014-2016, Jane was

installed as MSSDAR State Regent in June 2016 at the special 125th

Continental Congress, which set a new Guinness World Record for cards

sent to active military and was her fifth Congress. Adopting “Learn from

the Past ~ Celebrate America! ~ Hope for the Future” as her theme and with

Ms. Liberty (Beanie Baby) as a traveling companion reminding all that

“After life, liberty is the most precious gift,” she visited all eleven chapters

and assisted with disbandment of Bird Woman Falls Chapter, which was

approved at the October 2017 National Board Meeting. The DAR Big Sky

Banner statewide newsletter was expanded to six issues per year with

compilation by State Librarian Marsha Berland, state records for her

administration were organized in notebooks by Secretary Veronica Bovee-

Anderson, bylaws were revised with leadership from Chaplain and State

Bylaws Chair Janice Hand and assistance from NSDAR Parliamentarian

219


Beverly Przybylski, 501(c)(3) status was obtained for MSSDAR, and the

Executive Board began using GoToMeeting for meetings between State

Conferences. She instituted an annual Most Valuable Daughter Award

from each chapter, worked with State Treasurer Dorothy Oliveira to

begin a Terrific Treasurer Award for each chapter treasurer who submits

100% of their chapter dues before November 10, created a welcome letter

and MSSDAR brochure for all new DR members that State

Corresponding Secretary Veronica Bovee-Anderson distributed monthly,

and worked with Vice Regent Leigh Spencer, Vicki Selin, Barb Stem and

HSR Peggy Salitros to prepare bylaws and bitterroot pin proposals for the

organization of a State Officers Club at the 116th State Conference.

During her regency, Jane attended four National Board of

Management meetings in Washington, D.C. each year, two during

Continental Congress, presented three Montana annual reports with Ms.

Liberty on the Constitution Hall platform and voted electronically on

other board matters monthly. She participated in all of the NBM tours

including Independence Hall and the Museum of the American

Revolution in Philadelphia, the 2016 NSDAR Schools Tour and two

Mexico State Conferences, joining San Carlos and Thomas Paine

Chapters as an associate member, and the 2019 “The American

Revolution in the Caribbean” cruise.

Jane’s State Regent’s project was 250 Patriotic Education Boxes, one

for each chapter to keep for reference and programs, and 240 for all the

one- room and other small schools in Montana. Inspired by the patriotic

education of Kate Duncan Smith DAR K-12 School, she raised $16,000

to produce a CD of KDS 4th grade students singing their favorite songs,

another CD “Songs of Liberty” of Rick Wine singing American favorites

and Oro Fino Chaplain Charmaine Lindgren singing The National

Anthem, a 315-page 3-ring binder of patriotic education resources

developed around KDS materials, lesson plans from the NSDAR and


Mount Vernon websites, and teaching aids contributed by Montana

Daughters, together with bells, U.S. Flags and Constitutions.

She presided at three State Conferences, all beautifully presented in the

MSSDAR Scrapbook by State Historian Suzi Hansen: 114th hosted by

Mount Hyalite Chapter “Reverence for the Past ~ Hope for the Future”

attended by President General Ann Turner Dillon as Keynote Speaker and

Director of Development Sandra Pollack at which decals were placed on

the education boxes; and 115th hosted by Bitter Root Chapter “Learning,

Liberty, Love for Country” with KDS DAR School Executive Director

Heather Watson Green as Gala Banquet speaker at which the education

boxes were packed and distributed to chapters for statewide distribution;

and 116th hosted by Oro Fino Chapter “DAR, It’s a Golden Opportunity”

with Ellen Baumler, Ph.D., Montana historian and author as Gala Banquet

speaker, author of the Foreword to the 125th Anniversary Book and of

historic preservation quotes for the DAR/SAR 125th celebration six-week

exhibit at the Montana Historical Society.

Ms. Hamman has served as State Chair of Constitution Week since July

2012, gradually expanding and improving events, receiving numerous

chapter and state awards annually until, in 2018, the MSSDAR received a

National Society certificate for the state-sponsored event of "Educate-

Commemorate-Celebrate! The U.S. Constitution" which was posted to the

DAR Constitution Week group and National Chair Jeanie Pike Hornung

named the First Place Outstanding Constitution Week Division report was

from National Vice Chair Jane Lee Hamman of Montana. She also has

served as State Chair of Community Service Awards, Community

Classroom, Public Relations and Media and Chapter Development and

Revitalization Commission.

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A DAR Founders Club member, during her regency Jane also was a

charter sustaining supporter, a three-year member of the 1890 Annual

Giving Circle, donor to the Guardian Trust endowment, President

General’s Project supporter and 2018 Benefactor, and DAR Pathway of

the Patriots sponsor of her Revolutionary Ancestor Jacob Stiffler.

Community volunteer work has included Chair of the North Jefferson

County Public Library District Board of Trustees, for which she received

the Montana State Library 2019 Jane Lopp Trustee of the Year award,

Retired Senior Volunteer Program coordinator, Family History Center

Library assistant, Convention of States legislative liaison and United Way

committee chair and trustee for many years until 1997.

Special interests include many memorable dogs, cats and three horses

over the years, gardening, Green Bay Packers, reading, governmental

policy, and genealogy. Working to preserve and promote heritage and

patriotism, she is a member of the National Society of United States

Daughters of 1812, the Heritage Foundation, Hillsdale College Legacy

Society, the National Rifle Association Foundation, the Montana History

Center Committee and Glacier and Yellowstone National Park

Foundations.

Active in The United Methodist Church, Jane was selected as a

volunteer editor and a secretary of the Finance Committee at the 2012

General Conference in Tampa, Florida and as program chair of the

Western Jurisdictional Quadrennial Conference in San Diego, CA. She

served the Yellowstone Conference two terms on the Council on Finance and

Administration, volunteered on the Congregational Development

Committee until 2017 and continues as the Clancy United Methodist

Church Finance & Stewardship Committee chair, Church Council

member, and lay leader.


She concludes:

I love America, sweet land of liberty, because it provides

opportunities for each individual to reach the pinnacle of being.

Through its mission of historic preservation, education and

patriotism, DAR is the professional organization that enables me to

meaningfully use my resources endeavoring to preserve these

foundational values of self-governance. Serving a three-year term as

Montana State Regent has been a joy.

SOURCES:

• State History Montana Society Daughters of the American Revolution Volume Two

1941-1960, compiled by Mrs. Irving L. Dehnert, State Regent 1956-1958,

unnumbered state regent pages

• Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1894-1940 Oro

Fino Chapter various portions

• Report of Daughters of the American Revolution 1905 Volume, NSDAR Office

of the Recording Secretary General archives, page 124

• Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Autumn 2014, “’We are Learning

to Do These Things Better’ A Women’s History of Helena’s First

Neighborhood” by Ellen Baumler, Ph.D, pp. 32-34

• eMembership database NSDAR

• The Missoulian, November 25, 1933, page 7

• The Independent Record, December 31, 1962, page 2

• The Independent Record, October 9, 1928, page 6

• The Montana Standard, August 20, 1949, page 3

• The Billings Gazette, May 18, 1966, page 14

• The Independent-Record, December 14, 1961, page 1

• Veronica Bovee-Anderson, Oro Fino Chapter Regent researched and wrote

most of the copy for this chapter

• Jennifer L. Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent, helped

research photos and information on Montana State Regents

223


SHINING MOUNTAIN CHAPTER, NSDAR

Billings 7013MT

Organized February 22, 1918 ~ Mary Adelia Kelley (Mrs. Verne D.) Caldwell

Mary Adelia KelleyCaldwell is the person who started the process

that became Shining Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of the American

Revolution. Adelia, as she was known, was born to Sam and Julia Kelley

on May 15, 1888, in Kansas. She had two sisters, Julia and Louise. The

family moved to Michigan and there Adelia’s mother Julia (national

#94864) joined DAR to continue this family’s legacy. At the age of 12,

Adelia lost her mother, so she had to help her father with her two younger

sisters.

Adelia, age 20, on a return home trip from attending college in Lake

Forest, Illinois, joined Algonquin Chapter of DAR in Benton Harbor,

Michigan, on February 5, 1908. Daughters of the American Revolution

was only 18 years old at this time, having been founded in 1890 with

Caroline Scott Harrison, the wife of President Benjamin Harrison, being

the first president general. A few years later, Adelia married her high

school sweetheart, Verne D. Caldwell, on November 26, 1912, in

Lansing, Michigan. She and her soon-to-be husband had worked on the

first high school yearbook during Adelia’s senior year at Benton Harbor


High School. Following their marriage, Verne and Adelia moved west

and arrived in Billings to make Montana their home.

In the spring of 1917, Adelia sent a request to Washington, D.C. for

permission to organize a new chapter to be located here in Billings. With

Adelia’s background in DAR and the war to end all wars looming around

the corner, she was granted permission and given the “Methods of

Organization” and blank forms to report the different aspects of the new

chapter. During the summer of 1917, the name of the chapter “Shining

Mountain” was given permission to be used. The National Board reviews

proposed chapter names to ensure there are no duplicate or inappropriate

names being adopted.

The National Society recognized Adelia as Organizing Regent for the

new DAR chapter Shining Mountain, Billings, Montana. Adelia did the

work of the treasurer, registrar, regent and anything else that came along.

According to another letter she received regarding members’ applications,

any transfers had to be recorded and verified by national; re-instatements of

members if needed and the updates of changes to the membership. All of

these had to be approved by national so the names of these first chapter

members could be on the organizing list. The membership list shown in the

first booklet for the 1919-1920 meeting year is 35 resident members with

11 non-resident members. To be able to start and organize the chapter,

Adelia needed a minimum of 12 members on the organizing list before the

first meeting on February 22, 1918. She acquired 25 ladies to become

members for the seventh DAR chapter in the state of Montana. During this

time of organization of our DAR chapter, Adelia was also making some

changes in her personal life. Adelia and Verne added to their family with

the birth of their daughter, Julia, born in 1921. She was their only child.

225


Julia also joined Shining Mountain in 1941, at the age of 20 just like her

mother had joined in Benton Harbor.

As a young chapter, Shining Mountain hosted its first Montana State

Conference of Montana Daughters in October 1919 just a short 18

months after being established. It was the 16 th annual conference for

Montana and the National organization was in its 29 th year of existence.

Adelia was a very active member of DAR both locally as well as for

the state. During those first years, the chapter spent much time doing

“war work” that included sponsoring copies of the American’s Creed

distributed to public schools and adopting and supporting ten French war

orphans during World War I. The chapter donated annually to the city’s

Americanization School for the education of foreign-born persons, but in

1923 the chapter took over administration and management of the school,

distributing the DAR Manual of Citizenship, which NSDAR began

printing in 19 languages, to provide information helpful to applicants for

American citizenship. The schools served 290 pupils of 14 nationalities

from age 14 to 74 until 1931 when the U.S. Immigration and

Naturalization began classes, which the chapter continued to support

together with Naturalization ceremonies in the Federal Court.

Adelia was elected as State Regent in 1924. During her tenure,

Shining Mountain hosted the 21 st annual state banquet. Many things were

done during her reign, one of which was a request by U.S. House

Representative Emanuel Celler, New York 19 th District, for her input and

support for the bill proposing that the “Star Spangled Banner” become the

national anthem. Adelia had a sad event in 1925 with the loss of her

father.

Shining Mountain Chapter was involved from 1925 to 1929 in

organizing, fund raising for and then planting a corridor of Memorial

Trees along Memorial Drive leading into Pioneer Park to recognize


Yellowstone County WW I veterans. This project was credited primarily

to Julia (Mrs. Frank W.) Adams, Adelia’s younger sister, and to Adelia

who served as State Regent until 1926. During the National Society’s

Diamond Jubilee, Daughters conducted a special tour of Memorial Tree

lane and the 53 Chinese Elm trees at the east side of Billings Senior High

School leading to Pioneer Park. At the foot of each tree was a bronze

marker with the name and date of 52 soldiers and one female nurse from

Yellowstone County who lost their lives in the war. The Billings Gazette

printed the event with a photo by Dennis Calkin shown below.

A tour of the Memorial Tree Drive led by Adelia Caldwell in the foreground and by

Shining Mountain Chapter Regent Elsie Jackson (Mrs. Glenn E.) Seitz (1964-1966)

standing at the entrance to the lane by the block of granite with the bronze tablet

describing the Memorial, which was placed and dedicated May 19, 1927. For

many years on Memorial Day, the Daughters and members of Pompey’s Pillar Society

C.A.R. laid a wreath at the granite gateway and placed an American flag at the bronze

marker by each of the 53 trees.

At the beginning of one of the hardest times for our country, the Great

Depression, business was doing well considering the economic times.

227


Adelia was elected again to be Shining Mountain Chapter Regent for the

1932-1934 term, during which the chapter hosted the MSSDAR Annual

Conference and President General Edith Scott Magna of Massachusetts

attended. However, in 1935, the bottom dropped out of Adelia’s world

with the death of her long-time sweetheart and husband Verne. For the

next few years, Adelia and her daughter Julia spent equal time between

her home in Billings and her hometown in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

She worked as a saleswoman for Jane Drake during the late 1930s and,

during the war, she worked as a secretary for the National Association of

Pro- America. After the war she became a Hostess for the City of

Billings, which evolved into the Welcome Wagon. Daughter Julia

graduated from Billings High, attended Northwestern College in

Evanston, Illinois, and then married Thomas Mitchell.

Adelia continued to be active in the local Community Concert

Association, the Red Cross and the Women’s Republican Club. She also

belonged to the Huguenot Society, the Colonial Dames of the XVII

Century and the Daughters of the War of 1812. She remained an active

DAR member of the Shining Mountain Chapter. Adelia was a patriotic

citizen, active in her community, a staunch Republican and proud of her

heritage. She had several interesting and civic-minded ancestors. Her

great-grandfather, Judge A. J. Harlon, was one of the founders of the

Republican Party. He was the last surviving member of the 31 st Congress,

where he served with Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, Sam

Houston and Stephen Douglas, among others. Adelia was named after a

Missouri grandmother, who was married to another judge, Henry S.

Kelley, author of several law books. Her father, Samuel Kelley, was an

attorney who served in the Michigan legislature, and her husband, Verne,

a Billings businessman was also in politics by serving in the Montana

legislature as a Republican representative from Yellow-stone County.


In photo below, starting from the left: Adelia Kelley (Mrs. Verne D.) Caldwell,

Organizing Regent, Louise Bradford (Mrs. R.C.) Dillavou, Organizing member,

Amy Hales (Mrs. Irving L.) Dehnert, Honorary State Regent, and Willo Arthaud (Mrs.

James Kenneth) Ralston, Shining Mountain Chapter Regent during the 50th

Anniversary celebration of Shining Mountain Chapter, NSDAR. This flag was

presented to the chapter in 1960 at the golden anniversary celebration tea.

In 1968, Daughters of Shining Mountain celebrated the 50 th

Anniversary of their chapter led by the Organizing Regent, Charter

members and current officers who were serving five decades later. A special

chapter flag was presented. There were reports on the DAR Good Citizen

contest for senior high school girls and also the DAR American History

essay contest for 8 th grade students.

After living in Billings for 63 years, Adelia moved to Tennessee to be

near her daughter, Julia, who followed in her mother’s footsteps by being a

1968 Charter member of Great Smokies Chapter, NSDAR in Gatlinburg,

Tennessee, after she moved to Sevierville. This chapter celebrated Adelia’s

75-year membership and service to DAR in 1983. Adelia died the following

year at age 96.

229


Through the years, Shining Mountain Chapter continues to be

recognized for its significant service in patriotism, support of veterans

and active military, DAR Good Citizen and American History essay

winners who are recognized at an annual Presidents’ Tea (formerly the

George Washington Tea). In addition to traditional DAR service,

Daughters have begun a small group book club, garden group, their own

newsletter and other innovative ways to create and maintain connections

among members. Two exciting, commendable recent service projects

include an historic preservation NSDAR Special Projects Grant and the

Flag Garden at ZooMontana.

First DAR Special Project Grant Awarded in Montana

Huntley Project is an interesting site. It was originally Native Tribal

Reservation land along a 27-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River

Valley. In a somewhat unusual move, the U.S. Government purchased the

tract from the Crow Indians for $1.1 million dollars in 1904. The Bureau

of Reclamation then sent engineers out to construct an irrigation system

from the river through the area. Interestingly, several Shining Mountain

members have connections to Huntley Project as homesteaders and

workers.

The land was next partitioned into 40-acre homestead sections that

were sold by lottery from 1907 up until the 1930s, making this some of

the last homestead land settled in the USA. Like all homesteaders, the

people had to move onto their tract (initially usually constructing a tar

paper shack) and “prove up.” Irrigation gave the very fertile, but arid,

land the boost it needed to become the rich farmland that remains to this

day. Small towns sprang up throughout The Project, some of which still

survive, some of which have vanished.


The Huntley Museum of Irrigated Agriculture and Historic Town Site

covers ten acres and includes homestead buildings that have been acquired

and restored from this vanishing era, hundreds of turn-of- the-century farm

implements and thousands of artifacts. The museum interprets, preserves,

restores and portrays life on the Huntley Project Area from Lewis and Clark

voyage of discovery to the late 20th century. The buildings include a school

house, tar paper shack settlement house, early farm house, dentist’s office

and church, all furnished with period pieces from the area.

In 2015 the Huntley Project

Museum was working on probably

the second largest and final piece

of the homestead town exhibit –

the General Store. The building

was already moved onto a solid

foundation, but it was in dismal condition, as shown in this photo. Funds

had been raised to replace the roof and interior restoration, and they had

exhibit material for the inside. The final need was to replace the siding. In

the summer, Shining Mountain Regent Anita Simonsen gave Treasurer

Leslie Boothroyd permission to send outreach letters to various local nonprofits

to inform them of DAR Special Project Grant possibilities for

Historic Preservation, Education or Patriotism. A total of seven letters were

sent out. When Museum Director Neal Gunnels received the letter, he

immediately spotted two puzzle pieces that fit together nicely. He assigned

a new part-time employee named Trudie Biggers to get the full information

from Leslie and start to work on a grant proposal in October 2015. This was

the first grant proposal that Trudie had ever written. Trudie and Leslie kept

in touch throughout October and November, which was a good thing. The

DAR grant process was updated during that period.

231


Included below is some interesting information from the original grant

proposal written by Trudie:

15. Project Outcomes and Benefit. The general population, and

especially the schools located within Yellowstone County, are the

beneficiaries of the Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated

Agriculture and Historic Town Site. Each year third grade classes

from Yellowstone County schools visit the museum not only to view but

also to participate in the life experience of a person living in the

early 1900s. We teach children how to churn homemade butter and

ice cream and how to make their own rope for work on the farm

and ranch. They experience a day in our 1908 school house

including reciting the 'Pledge of Allegiance'. Children and adults also

participate in outdoor games which were popular throughout

America and Montana in the early 1900s. Children learn how to

raise a garden in our museum garden, shuck corn, feed chickens and

gather eggs, stack wood, carry water, wash clothes with a scrubbing

board, then hang them on the clothesline. Visitors of all ages

experience the cramped quarters of the 8’ x 10’ tar paper shack, the

spacious living improvement of the 400 square foot homestead

house and our Russian style barn designed to use very few nails

during construction. Visitors can step inside the diminutive

doctor’s office complete with pedal operated dentist drill,

nondenominational church, bank with vintage adding and posting

machines and original bank safe. The homestead house even has an

outhouse, equipped with all the modern conveniences of the time;

a crescent moon cut out in the door to let in light and a modicum

of fresh air and even a Sears catalog. The one item missing from

our Historic Town Site is also the most important, the general store.

As the gathering place and information epicenter of every small town


across America, our general store is a final link to completing the

early 1900s living experience. Only those items regarded as

absolutely vital were included in the inventory. So much of what

we enjoy today was simply not available. That very lack of

commodities inspired a creative ingenuity in the American

homesteader which lives on today. The Huntley Project Museum of

Irrigated Agriculture, along with our Historic Town Site, provide

every visitor with a real life, hands-on experience they will never

forget. It was the “Homestead Generation” who coined the phrase,

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!” Great advice

still valued today.

The final grant proposal with Shining Mountain’s DAR sponsor letter

was submitted very late in December 2015. Then we waited. Eventually, in

May 2016, Huntley Project received word that their grant proposal was

approved. They were required to submit some additional paper work, which

they did. In the meantime, they began planning a celebration of the grant to

take place June 27, 2016.

Shining Mountain

Regent Fay Danielsen,

Treasurer Leslie

Boothroyd, Grant Writer

Trudie Biggers, and

Museum Director Neal

Gunnels celebrate at the

ceremonial $10,000

check presentation, June

27, 2016.

233


Amazingly, during the presentation ceremony the mail arrived containing

the actual initial NSDAR check!

The Huntley Project Museum

staff worked hard throughout the

remainder of 2016 and early

2017 to meet the grant project

deadline. A miraculous

transformation took place and on

June 24, 2017, Shining Mountain

Past Regent Fay Danielsen cut

the ribbon for the grand opening

of the General Store (photo left).

Several Shining Mountain members and members from other Montana

chapters were in attendance. so, the chapter donated another cake.

Past Chapter Regent Anita Simonsen celebrates the plaque on the General Store

crediting the NSDAR and Shining Mountain Chapter for the building

restoration grant project in photo below.


Shining Mountain Chapter,

NSDAR is very proud to have

sponsored the first National

DAR Special Project Grant

Request to be awarded by the

National Society Daughters of

the American Revolution in the

state of Montana. Shown here

are two photos of the furnished

interior of the refurbished

General Store.

It is noteworthy that the grant award was in the amount of $10,000, which

is the maximum amount awarded by NSDAR. Historic Preservation at its

best—an almost one-hundred-year-old chapter working together with a

first-time grant writer!

235


Flag Garden at ZooMontana

The idea for maintaining the Flag Garden at ZooMontana came in

June 2015 when Fay Danielsen and her husband were participating in a

University of Montana Alumni work session there. Fran McDermott, the

Master Gardener who was directing the group efforts, mentioned that

there were several gardens available to be adopted and one of them was

the Flag Garden.

After seeing the small garden at the base of the flag poles where the

American and the Montana State flags were flown, just outside the

entrance gate of the Zoo, Mrs. Danielson thought this would be an

appropriate garden for Shining Mountain Chapter to adopt and maintain.

She presented the idea to the Executive Board at the next meeting and it

was decided that the chapter would adopt this garden and maintain it for

zoo visitors to enjoy. The two pictures, one of the garden plot with the

flag pole (above) and one showing the DAR marker at the front portion of

the garden (below), were taken in summer of 2018.


Fay, who served as Shining

Mountain Chapter Regent from 2016-

2018, notes that when she began

working in the garden, it had been

planted with various plants, but had not

been properly maintained. The plants in

the garden are mainly red, white and

blue – the colors found in the American flag.

ZooMontana is Montana’s only zoo, opened in 1992, and recognized as

a regional zoological/botanical garden, the only one of its kind in the

Northern Rockies. With 70 acres in Billings, it maintains about 100 animals

of 58 different species.

Centennial Celebration

In February 2018, Shining Mountain Chapter celebrated its Centennial.

The event included a new poem written by Cheryl Jeanine Elliott Heser,

Chapter Vice Regent, for the occasion.

LOOK TO THE MOUNTAINS

(In Honor of Shining Mountain Chapter NSDAR)

In the valley of the Yellowstone, where

Pompey’s Pillar looms above lush meadows

And towering cottonwoods -- and the beckoning

Beartooth peaks stand sentinel in the distance,

Intrepid women looked beyond daily lives

To ideals lofty as the majestic mountains.

Embracing history, honoring community,

Celebrating our beloved country’s Father,

They founded a special chapter of DAR.

237


Daughters -- precious daughters of the nation

From its beginnings, pulled westward into

More adventures, more antiquity creating dreams.

They preserved Clark’s signature, established monuments,

Educated the young, honored the old,

Encouraged patriotism, embraced each other’s lives,

Celebrated patriots, invited new viewpoints,

Learned together, worked together, made their chapter

Shine like the Montana sky and mountains.

Now for our grand Shining Mountain Chapter

One hundred years later, we look to the mountains,

Remember the women whose spirits remain,

Treasure the beauty of this place and our history,

And commit to a future which celebrates the past,

Made grand by women who served and dreamed.

~ Cheryl J. Heser

On June 17, 2018, the chapter entertained a major celebration of its

100 th Anniversary at the Moss Mansion for all Daughters statewide and

members of the community. Members prepared a 14-page “Passing Our

Shining Torch Through the Decades” program book celebrating in verse

decade by decade the chapter regents, together with the major

accomplishments and events of each decade.

It began, 1918-1927, Ladies and Gentlemen, please lend me your ears!

As I now recount Shining Mountain’s very first ten years!” and continued

through 2008-2017, concluding, “So now Shining Mountain Daughters, the

challenge is here. Your work must continue for the next 100 years!”


The Chapter Charter was framed and memorabilia gathered too

numerous to show. Honorary State Regent Louise Arden Smith Palm,

pictured here, presented one of the special historic speeches at the

Centennial

Program.

Louise served as

Montana State

Regent from

1994-1996 and

transferred from

Powder River

Chapter, where

she had also

served as

Librarian,

Registrar and Regent, to Shining Mountain Chapter in 2003. Her continuing

DAR service has included State Chairman Lineage Research, National Vice

Chair of the DAR Museum, National Vice Chair Northwestern Division of

DAR Museum, Friends of the Library and DAR Magazine.

Since its founding, Shining Mountain Chapter has endorsed and

supported four State Regents elected by MSSDAR, one of whom was

elected NSDAR Vice President General and Vice President General for

Life, an honor that has been accorded to no other Montana Daughter in the

first 125 years.

239


Mary Adelia Kelley (Mrs. Verne D.) Caldwell

State Regent 1924-1926

Member #64639; Revolutionary Ancestors: Francis Garrow,

George Kimmel, Christopher Lobingier

Mary Adelia was born May 15,

1888, in Kansas to Samuel and Julia

Kelley. She specialized in music at

Ferry Hall School and married Verne

Caldwell. They had one child, Julia.

Mrs. Caldwell was the Organizing

Regent of Shining Mountain Chapter

and served twice as Chapter Regent.

She served as State Regent from

1924-1926, Vice Regent, State Chair

of National Defense and the National

Magazine, and National Vice Chair of

the Committee for the Preservation of

Historic Spots. During her regency,

State Conference was honored by the

visit of the President General, Mrs.

Anthony Wayne Cook, and by Organizing Secretary General Mrs.

William Sherman Walker, which was the first time that national officers

attended a Montana meeting and when this photo was in The Billings

Gazette. The state dues were raised from ten cents to twenty-five cents

per year.

Under her administration, the State Society and Daughters contributed

$1,000 for the Magazine Room in Memorial Continental Hall that bears


a “Montana” nameplate and sent pledges to Angel Island for support of

western immigrants. While in California, Adelia also was a Charter member

of the Huguenot Society.

Mary Adelia died October 3, 1984, in Tennessee. She is buried in

Berrien Springs, Michigan, at the Rose Hill Cemetery. Her stone has a

DAR marker. An obituary appeared in The Billings Gazette, October 10,

1984, page 12:

Mrs. Verne (Adelia) D. Caldwell; Sevierville, Tenn.–Mrs. Verne

(Adelia) D. Caldwell was the organizing Regent of Shining

Mountain Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, served as

State Regent of Montana and was an Honorary State Regent. A

member of the first board of directors and secretary of Billings,

Mont., Community Concert Association, she was the first Welcome

Wagon Hostess in Billings, greeting many newcomers from 1943 to

1970, was active in Billings Woman’s Club, president at Women’s

Friday Club, and a member of Highlands Golf Club, Colonial

Dames of the XVII Century and Huguenot Society. Mrs. Caldwell, a

resident of Billings for 63 years, died Oct. 3 in Sevierville where

she had lived since 1975. She was born in Scott City, Kan., she lived

in Benton Harbor, Mich., where she graduated from high school,

and Ferry Hall School in Lake Forest, Ill. Her husband preceded her

in death. Survivors include her daughter, Julia C. Mitchell of

Sevierville; a sister, Mrs. H. l. Culver of Davis, Calif.; two

granddaughters; and four great- grandchildren. Burial will be in

Berrien Springs, Mich.

241


Louise Bradford (Mrs. Roscoe C.) Dillavou

State Regent 1933-1935

Member #135852; Revolutionary Ancestors: Humphrey Fullerton,

Isaac Robinson, Robert Smith, William Smith, Hugh Stewart

Louise Bradford was born January

13, 1890, in Iowa to Maurice and

Harriet Bradford. Following graduation

from James Millikin University at

Decatur, Illinois, with a B.A. where she

was a member of the Kappa Honor

Society, she studied piano and voice at

the Ingraham Conservatory of Music at

Champaign, Illinois.

She married Roscoe Dillavou on June 14, 1916, and they had two

children, George Jackson and Harriet Louise. They were members of the

Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mrs. Dillavou was an Organizing member of Shining Mountain

Chapter where she was a chapter Regent, Vice Regent, and Secretary. She

served as the State Regent from 1933-1935. She presided over the April

1934 State Conference attended by President General Mrs. William Russell

Magna, after which a marker was placed on June 17, commemorating the

58 th Anniversary of the Battle of Rosebud on the battle site on Rosebud

Creek in Big Horn County.

She attended the special National Board of Management meeting held

in Chicago June 1933 when the board participated in the Flag Day

ceremonies and dedicated the Federal Building at the Century of Progress

Exposition. As Montana State Regent, she gave the seconding speech for

Mrs. John Richardson of Oregon when she was nominated as Vice


President General at the 1934 Continental Congress. Girl Home Makers

sponsored a national story contest and Lucile Stephens of Dillon won first

place and Mary Dawn Warner of Dillon won third place. In addition to her

DAR service, Louise was State President of Colonial Dames of the XVII

Century, Mother Advisor of Rainbow Girls and Parliamentarian for the

State Convention of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Louise died January 28, 1978, in Billings. She is buried in the

Mountview Cemetery there. Her stone does not have a DAR marker. An

obituary is found in The Billings Gazette, January 29, 1978, page 8.

Louise B. Dillavou; Louise Bradford Dillavou, longtime Billings

resident was active in community organizations, served on the

Eastern Montana College executive board for 16 years, eight years as

chairman. She died Saturday in St. John’s Nursing Home at age

88. Born in Glenwood, Iowa, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice

Bradford, she grew up in Tolono, Ill., and graduated from James

Millikin University, Decatur, Ill.

In 1916 she married R. C. Dillavou and they came to Billings.

Her husband, an attorney died in 1965. Mrs. Dillavou was a

charter member, past regent, and past state regent of DAR; a

charter member and past state president of Colonial Dames of the

XVII Century; organizing president of Billings AAUW; past

matron of Edna Hedges OES; past mother adviser of Rainbow

Girls; past queen of Daughters of the Nile; organizing worthy high

priestess of White Shrine of Jerusalem; past president of Republican

Women’s Club, Methodist WSCS, Deaconess Hospital Guild and

YWCA; and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi

and American Red Cross. Survivors include a son, Dr. George J.

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Dillavou of Providence, RI; a daughter, Mrs. Ray E. (Harriet) Wise

Jr. of 2002 Mariposa Lane; two grandchildren; and two greatgrandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in First United

Methodist Church. Burial will be in Mountview Cemetery with

Smith’s Downtown Chapel in charge.

Marjorie Anne Stevenson

State Regent 1972-1974

NSDAR Vice President General 1974-1977

Honorary VPG for Life 1979-1995

Member #268976; Revolutionary Ancestor: Peter Jones

Marjorie was born June 7, 1898, in Dillon to Benjamin and Katherine

Stevenson. She was a teacher at

Montana Normal College and Eastern

Montana College, retiring in 1965 and

becoming “very active in MSSDAR

committees,” serving as State Chair

of Constitution Week, Lineage

Research, President Generals Project

and American Indians, and National

Vice Chair for the Western Division

of Constitution Week. She was a Life

Promoter of the Children of the

American Revolution.

Miss Stevenson joined Shining

Mountain Chapter in April 1931.

Elected Chapter Regent in 1968, she served as State Regent 1972 – 1974.


During her term, Montana had 100% participation in Constitution Week

and the Bicentennial Gift to the Nation. The Department of Veterans

Affairs presented a plaque to the State Society during Fort Harrison’s 50 th

Anniversary gala, the only group outside of veterans organizations to be

recognized for their support.

When Miss Stevenson was nominated at Continental Congress in 1974

for Vice President General, Past President General Mrs. Betty Newkirk

Seimes in her nomination speech, described Marjorie as “gracious, friendly

and tactful. True, she is little, but a little dynamo would best describe her.”

When Miss Stevenson was elected Honorary Vice President General for

Life in 1979 at the 88h Continental Congress, she became the only Montana

Daughter to hold this office. An Associate Member of Wyoming Indian

Paint Brush Chapter, and later of Elizabeth Ramsey Chapter of Wheatland,

WY, she was a frequent guest of and sometimes banquet speaker at

Wyoming State Conferences. At age 95 she still was active in DAR,

generating enthusiasm and support for the objectives of the Society.

Marjorie died November 7, 1995 in Billings. She is buried in the

Mountview Cemetery in Billings. There is no DAR marker. An obituary

appeared in The Billings Gazette, November 9, 1995, page 7.

Marjorie A. Stevenson. Marjorie A. Stevenson, 97, of Billings, died

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1995, at St. John’s Nursing Home. Marjorie was

born June 7, 1898, in Dillon, Mont., the daughter of Benjamin and

Katherine Patterson Stevenson. She attended Dillon school,

graduated from Sargent School for Physical Education, Cambridge,

Mass., earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and an M.A.

from Colorado State University, Greeley. She taught summers at

Western Montana College, Dillon and in an Episcopal school for girls

in Salt Lake City. Marjorie came to Billings in 1927 as a member of


245

the first faculty of Eastern Montana College. She retired in 1965.

After her retirement she worked as a Pink Lady at St. Vincent

Hospital. She was a member of Big Sky Dollars and had been a

member of Zonta, Delta Kappa Gamma, and University Women

clubs. She was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, working in

the Altar Guild, St. Margaret’s Guild, and the Daughters of the King.

She belonged to Shining Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of the

American Revolution. She served as Chapter Regent, State Regent

and on the national level was a Past Vice President General and

at the time of her death was an honorary Vice President General

for life. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday at St. Luke’s

Episcopal Church. Interment will be 10 a.m. Monday at Mountview

Cemetery. Memorials may be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

or Shining Mountain Chapter, DAR. Michelotti, Sawyers &

Nordquist have charge of arrangements.

Catherine Mary “Kate” Rice

(Mrs. Jess Tilford, M.D.) Schwidde

State Regent 1982-1984

Member #328744; Revolutionary Ancestor: William Shield

Catherine Mary “Kate” Rice was born October 3, 1918, in Iowa to

Howard and Jane Rice. She married Jess Tilford Schwidde, M.D. in 1942

and they had four children. As a member of the Shining Mountain Chapter,

Kate served in numerous positions including Historian, Treasurer, Vice

Regent and Chapter Regent. Significant checks and donations were made.

to the Veterans Hospital in Miles City. She led Memorial Day ceremonies

in Veteran’s Park and also conducted services at the Avenue of Trees.


Kate served as MSSDAR Historian,

Vice Regent and then State Regent

from 1982-1984. State chairmanship

that she held are Constitution Week,

Audit and Budget, Program,

President General’s Project,

Nominating Committee and the

Resolutions Committee. Kate also

held National Chairmanships for

Constitution Week, American

Heritage, and the President General’s

Project Committees.

During her term as regent, the first

Montana Outstanding Teacher was honored. The DAR marker

commemorating one-room schools was placed on Teigen School in

Lewistown during her regency. Kate died October 4, 2000, in Billings. She

is buried in the Mountview Cemetery there. Her gravestone does not have a

DAR marker. Her obituary appears in The Billings Gazette, October 5,

2000, page 10.

Catherine Rice Schwidde. A longtime Billings resident, Catherine Rice

Schwidde, 82, died on October 4, 2000, surrounded by her family.

Kate, as she was known, was born Oct. 3, 1918, the daughter of

Howard and Jane (Doyle) Rice in Boone, Iowa. She graduated from

Boone High School and from Iowa State University with a BA in

home economics. Immediately upon graduation, Kate and two

cousins traveled throughout western Europe. The three ladies were

on one of the last ocean liners leaving Germany before the

commencement of World War II. Kate then resumed her education and

obtained her master’s in child welfare from the University of Iowa.

247


On Feb. 28, 1942, Kate and Jess T. Schwidde, M.D. were united in

marriage in Boone. Jess, who continues to write and publish poetry,

practiced medicine for over 40 years with a specialty in

neurosurgery. Kate was an ardent “birder” with a special yen for

pileated woodpeckers and cardinals. She was also a talented water

color painter who specialized in miniatures and who won

numerous awards for her landscapes, principally old Montana

barns, wild flowers, and birds. In her early years she enjoyed

playing golf and bridge.

Kate later was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution,

where she held numerous positions, including the State of Montana

regent and delegate to the DAR National Conventions. Kate was

also an active member in the Yellowstone County Landmarks

program and PEO.

Kate is survived by her devoted husband of 58 years, Jess; her

brother, Clarence (Mary Beth) Rice of Fort Dodge, Iowa; two

sons, Charles Rice (Mary) Schwidde of Alexandria, VA, and Jess

Thomas Schwidde of Pittsford, VT; and a daughter, Susan (Jim) Sidd

of Green Valley, Ariz. Kate’s parents and her daughter, Kate Jane,

preceded her in death. Visitation for Kate will be at Dahl Funeral

Chapel on Friday afternoon Oct. 6, from noon to 8 p.m. Her funeral

service will be 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, Oct. 6, at Dahl

Funeral Chapel, 10 Yellowstone Ave., with interment to follow in

Mountview Cemetery. Those not wishing to go to the cemetery may

begin the reception while waiting for the family to return. The

Schwidde family wishes, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in her

name to The Catherine J. Schwidde Endowment Fund at MSU-

Billings or to the charity of choice. Dahl Funeral Chapel is in

charge of arrangements.


SOURCES:

• State History Daughters of the American Revolution in Montana revised and

prepared for binding by Mrs. Lewis D. Smith, State Vice Regent 1939-1941,

Montana State Regents section, various unnumbered pages.

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1960-

1970, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert Honorary State Regent, pp.30-32

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1970-

1980, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert Honorary State Regent, pp.28-29

• State Centennial History Montana State Society Daughters of the American

Revolution Vol. Five 1894-1994, compiled by Iris McKinney Gray, State

Regent 1990-1992, pp. 68-69

• Shelley A. Green, Shining Mountain Corresponding Secretary, wrote

information on Adelia Kelley Caldwell

• Fay Danielson, Shining Mountain Honorary Chapter Regent (2016-2018),

wrote information and provided photos on ZooMontana Flag Garden

• Leslie Boothroyd, Shining Mountain Chapter Regent (2018-2020), wrote

information and provided photos on the Huntley Project NSDAR Special

Projects Grant

• eMembership database NSDAR

• The Billings Gazette, Tue, Oct 19, 1965, Main Edition, page 7

• The Billings Gazette, October 10, 1984, page 12

• The Billings Gazette, November 9, 1995, page 7

• The Billings Gazette, October 5, 2000, page 10

• Jennifer L. Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Honorary Chapter Regent,

researched and helped provide information on Montana State Regents

• Compiled by State Regent Jane Lee Hamman

249


SILVER BOW CHAPTER, NSDAR

Butte 7004MT

Organized December 21, 1897 ~ Jennie Stilwell (Mrs. Walter S.) Tallant,

Organizing Regent

Silver Bow Chapter had its first official meeting on December 21,

1897. The day was Forefather’s Day. For many years, Chapter Daughters

met on this day as their annual meeting and for electing officers. In

December 1897, The Butte Miner reported:

On Tuesday afternoon several ladies met at the home of Mrs. C.

Moore to organize a Chapter of the Daughters of the American

Revolution and celebrate Forefather’s Day. The officers elected were:

Mrs. Tallant, regent; Mrs. A. H. Barret, vice-regent; Mrs. E. L. Kern,

secretary; Mrs. R. D. Grant, treasurer; Mrs. C. H. Moore,

registrar; Mrs. J. H. Harper, historian. The name Silver Bow was

given the Chapter. Dainty refreshments were served, the china used

being over 70 years old.

In April 1896, Jennie Stilwell Tallant had been appointed to serve as

Organizing Regent at Butte by Mary DeVeny Wasson, who had been


appointed Organizing Regent of the State of Montana by the National

Society DAR Board of Management in 1894. Then, as is the case now, not

all ladies in the chapter were from Butte. Of the first fourteen ladies, only

ten of them were from Butte. Two were from Bozeman, one from Hamilton,

and one from Great Falls. Many ladies over the next several decades joined

Silver Bow and later went on to help form other chapters across the state.

Because of this, there was a great connection with the DAR statewide,

which continues 125 years later. In 1998, the Beaverhead Chapter at Dillon

asked to merge their chapter with Silver Bow. Members were gladly

accepted into the chapter. Historically, the highest membership count in

Silver Bow was 117 members in 1920. Ladies who served the chapter were

greatly appreciated by all the membership and the local graves of all past

chapter regents have been marked by the chapter.

As with their beginning, Silver Bow liked to note special days with a

meeting. Significant days the chapter celebrated year after year were:

Forefather’s Day in December, Washington’s Birthday in February,

Commemoration of the Battle of Lexington in April, Flag Day in June, and

the Surrender of Cornwallis in October. Washington’s Birthday celebration

became a tradition for the next 90 years. Members held a tea, luncheon or

dinner to commemorate the day and invited guests to join them at the

wonderfully decorated, colonial theme event to which many ladies wore

period costume. In later years, the chapter planned this event to honor their

scholarship, American History essay contest, and Good Citizen award

winners. From the Butte Miner, 1898:

The reception hall and library was in palms and flags. George

Washington’s picture hung in the library draped in flags painted just

101 years ago from life. Flags draped the stairways. The dining

room draped in Continental colors, buff and blue. The floral

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decorations were yellow tulips and blue shrdlurdlu. Refreshments

were colonial, small cakes, cider, nuts and raisins. Birthday cake and

George Washington’s favorite rum punch, bonbons in buff and blue;

tapers lighted the room. The drawing room was in oriental. The

walls hung with neutral draperies and divans filled with oriental

cushions and draped with beetle embroideries; tables covered with

embroidered covering; floor cushion, tiger spins, taborette, oriental

stools and palms were scattered around. The harp and violin

discoursed sweet music during the hours. The reception was one of

the most unique and entertaining ones ever given in Butte.

Flag Day was always a special day to be remembered. Silver Bow

Chapter is noted as being the first organization to recognize and celebrate

Flag Day in Butte. In 1902, members began a movement in Butte to

display the flag on Flag Day and wrote to the Business Men’s

Association to request they do the same. They asked reporters to write in

the newspapers a history of Flag Day and requests for people to fly their

flags. In 1910, the chapter held a program about the flag with slides for

1000 school children at the Broadway Theater. In April 1911, they gave a

history program for the Newsboy’s Club and each boy received a box of

candy. Silver Bow had articles in the local newspapers on the proper way

to display the flag and handed out Flag Codes to local business owners.

Early in 1917, they began a push to get businesses to stop using the flag

as an advertising tool. Per The Butte Miner:

On protest of Mrs. E. J. Strasburger, state chairman of the

committee of the Daughters of the American Revolution on

prevention of the desecration of the American Flag, the American

Theater took down the flags which decorated the entrance to the


theater yesterday. The Daughters of the American Revolution mean

to prosecute to the limit infringements of the state law on the

desecration of the flag. They see quite a difference between the

display of the nation’s colors from a spirit of patriotism and their use

for purely commercial and selfish purposes.

The chapter further got the Rialto Theater to remove their displays

after some controversy. And the ladies also persuaded a local newsstand to

stop desecrating the flag. The chapter has always promoted the proper

display and use of the United States Flag. Whenever possible, they have

given U.S. Flag programs to area school children to teach them how to fold

the flag, display the flag, and respect the flag.

Silver Bow Chapter has been very generous over the years with

donations. Beginning in 1899, the chapter donated $20 or $25 a year

towards the construction of Continental Hall in Washington, D.C. Montana

furnished the spade that broke ground for the building and Silver Bow

Chapter gave the handle of that because they were the only organized

chapter at that time. And once that was completed, the ladies joined with the

other chapters in the state in 1916 to place a Montana Flag there. They also

gave generously to fund the building and furnishing of Constitution Hall

and the Montana Box there. Ladies of the chapter donated a copper waste

basket with a name plate on it and a teapot used during the Boston Tea party

and silver fork to the DAR Museum. Recently one member donated two

period dresses to the museum.

Throughout the years Silver Bow has donated large amounts of money

and many different items to the National Society, the projects and schools

supported by DAR. For more than 20 years the chapter faithfully sent a

253


box to either Ellis Island or Angel Island with supplies for the immigrants

detained there. Donations also were given to the Lincoln Memorial Fund

and the Valley Forge Bell Memorial. Members supported DAR schools

and the DAR Library annually with donations from the chapter. The

ladies did not forget the DAR work that was going on in the state and

have always tried to support the State Society or other state chapters too.

Ladies of Silver Bow Chapter gave generously to local causes and

organizations, too. Many groups like the Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts,

Salvation Army, Milk Club, and the library saw donations year after year.

The chapter, for many years, got a subscription to the American Monthly

Magazine and National Defense and placed them in the local library.

Trees for local parks and the college were given to brighten the city. The

chapter also volunteered at the Butte Silver Bow Archives and continues

to do so now. Members have helped with cataloging local cemeteries and

compiling data for historic city directories. Several of the ladies have

donated time and talents to the Montana Mining Museum to help preserve

local history.

The chapter also participated in the pageants in local parks celebrating

our nation’s history. When Butte began having Naturalization Ceremonies

in town, the chapter participated by giving flags and Flag Codes to the

new citizens. Chapter members continue to take an active role in these

ceremonies. The ladies hand out code booklets and flags and host a

reception following the ceremony for the new citizens and their families.

The chapter always supported promoting patriotism in the community

and to that end members participated as much as possible in patriotic

events. Ladies took part in the Fourth of July parades for many years. In

2019 the float was featured in the DAR Magazine and in 1928 the chapter

took first prize for their float. (See next photo of the July 1919 DAR float,

per Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, Dec. 1919, p. 742.)


With Butte’s large immigrant population in the early years of the city,

the chapter also gave out Citizenship Manuals produced by the NSDAR in

19 different languages to local immigrants wanting to become citizens. The

State Society held a traveling exhibit of the manuals in different languages

in 1926 and the Butte ladies handed out more than 200 copies at the event.

Ladies also helped organize events like the Freedom Train of 1947 and

visits by United States presidents to the city of Butte.

After the Spanish-American War ended, an American Library was

created in Manilla, Philippines in 1903. As part of that library, there was a

“Montana Alcove” which was in memory of the men who fell there, and

Silver Bow contributed over 50 books to be placed there. The chapter also

donated many books to the DAR Library.

In 1921, during the State Conference in Helena, the group visited Fort

Harrison. There were over fifty men there that had tuberculosis. Each of the

ten chapters took five men and did something nice for them every week for

the entire year. Silver Bow served five men from Butte. The chapter

continued supporting the veterans of our state year after year by either a

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monetary donation or boxes of things like cookies, books and personal

items for the veterans both locally and statewide. In more recent history,

the chapter has become a partner of the Vietnam and World War I

Commemorations to remember and recognize the men and women veterans

who served.

When Silver Bow Chapter first began meeting, they were mostly social

events, like the October 19, 1898, meeting at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth

Barret to commemorate the Surrender of Cornwallis. Mrs. Barret held the

reception for 200 ladies in her home, which was beautifully decorated,

complete with an orchestra. The first informative program was held in 1899

where several ladies brought “revolutionary relics” and spoke about them.

Beginning in 1901, the chapter began to always have a talk or paper read

for each meeting. Greatest interest was in programs about American or

Montana history. The meetings became less social and the chapter soon

created their own ritual for an opening even before one was produced by

the National Society.

For many years the ladies of Silver Bow Chapter met in member’s

homes. These homes were not lavish mansions, but regular homes of

working people. There were single family houses, duplexes and even

apartments in boarding houses. The lady of that house would be the hostess

and usually served “dainty refreshments.” The year of 1917, however,

because of the war it was decided they would only serve tea and wafers at

the meetings. Other locations were used off-and-on several times, but the

ladies always enjoyed the privacy and comfort of a personal home. When

more and more women began working, it became more convenient to meet

at a local restaurant or hotel meeting room. In 1917, the chapter had its

first picnic. Every August they held a picnic, usually at the home of one of

the members, and more than one hundred years later, the annual picnic

continues and remains one of the favorite meetings of the year.


From the very beginning, chapter members believed in promoting

education and patriotism. In 1901, President McKinley took a train tour of

the country. He had plans to stop in Butte. The ladies of Silver Bow

Chapter were asked, along with several other patriotic organizations, to

help with a reception to welcome the President and his wife. Unfortunately,

his wife got very ill when they were in San Francisco, and they did not

make any more stops after that but went straight back to Washington, D.C.

The chapter was also asked to be part of the welcome party for the visit of

former President Harding.

To support those going to war and the veterans in 1917, Butte held a

patriotic parade which ended with an assembly at the Broadway Theater.

Silver Bow Chapter was among the patriotic groups at the beginning of the

parade, with ladies riding in cars and waving the flag. One of the chapter

ladies was instrumental in organizing this event. Members felt it was very

important to support the men and women who were serving, and they

wanted their neighbors and friends to also recognize the service of those

serving by displaying the flag and singing the National Anthem. In April

1917, The Butte Daily Post reported:

Silver Bow Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution

celebrated the 142 nd anniversary of the Battle of Lexington at a

meeting at the home of Mrs. George Potter, 400 South Washington

Street, yesterday. Resolutions were adopted pledging undivided

support to the president and urging the display of the national colors

and the singing of the National Anthem. “Silver Bow Chapter,

Daughters of the American Revolution, Butte, endorses the

President’s stand for universal service. Please inform the other

members of the Montana delegation. Silver Bow Chapter,

Daughters of the American Revolution, endorse the display of our

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national emblem, the beautiful Stars and Stripes, at all public

gatherings and requests that our national anthem, ‘The Star-

Spangled Banner’, be played or sung not in medley form, during

the performance, the audience standing.”

In February 1902, the chapter arranged a history contest at Butte High

School. A prize was given to a boy and a girl with the best essay. They

could write on Nathaniel Greene, The Influence of the American Revolution

on Universal Freedom, or a story about an incident that happened before

1776. After the success of this contest, the chapter decided to create a

history prize at Montana State University. They gave out a monetary prize

to the best history student of the year, where at least half of the work needed

to be on American History. This prize was given out until 1929. Beginning

in 1930, they started to focus on local students. The chapter created an essay

contest for Butte High School students and gave out a prize to them for the

next ten years. During World War II, they moved the contest to the middle

school students. When National created the American History Essay

Contest, Silver Bow decided to replace their contest with that one. Every

year since, the ladies have promoted this contest in the schools and have

had some national winners over the years.

When National began observing Constitution Week, the chapter jumped

on board to promote this observance in the local community. Members had

ads placed on local radio and television stations, put articles in the

newspaper and had displays at local businesses. Continuing with that

tradition, the chapter regularly receives a proclamation from the city and

also holds Constitution Week events in area schools and gives out copies of

the Constitution.


In 2010, the chapter sponsored Chris Fisk, a history teacher from Butte

High School, for the History Teacher of the Year Award. There were great

celebrations when Mr. Fisk won not only the Montana State Society DAR

State History Teacher Award and received his certificate and cash

recognition at State Conference, but then he won the NSDAR National

Teacher of the Year Award. The Dillon Tribune, July 14, 2010, page 17,

reported:

Dillon Native Receives National Teaching

Award. Dillon native Chris Fisk, an

American history teacher at Butte High School,

received the Daughters of the American

Revolution “Outstanding Teacher of American

History” Award at the group’s 119 th

Continental Congress at Washington DC on

Saturday. The award honors notable full-time

teachers of history and related fields in public,

private and parochial schools, grades 6-12.

Along with the promotion of American history and the Constitution, the

chapter also saw the need of students struggling to pay for a college

education. Early in its history, the chapter created a loan scholarship for

local college students, awarding one or two a year. In the early years, the

student repaid the loan over several years. Eventually the fund became a

scholarship gift and then in 1919, at the 16 th Montana State Society State

Conference, this program was recognized and became the State Traveling

Scholarship, which the chapter and all chapters in Montana continue to

support and make one $500 award annually.

259


One of these scholarships went to a local girl in 1922 and enabled her

to attend college and become a teacher. She was forever grateful and,

upon her death, gave the chapter stock to set up a scholarship fund for

future students. For many years the chapter administered the fund, but

later the fund was moved to Western Montana College, where the money

now is administered, because that is where the long-ago winner went to

college. The chapter still selects the winners for this scholarship.

The ladies of Silver Bow Chapter never let the fact of low bank

accounts stop them from getting their plans done. Members have always

been resourceful in finding ways to fund their projects. Numerous

different types of events were held to gather money. Ladies hosted tea

parties, bake sales, and card parties for their friends and neighbors.

Rummage sales, flea market sales, quilt shows, and sales of “fancy work”

like lace and embroidery were held in the community. A skating carnival

was held on February 3, 1908. There were games and a program of

patriotic songs. This event was also used as a fundraiser. The Butte Miner

reported:

The present week promises to be the most successful and genuinely

enjoyable of any in the history of the Holland Rink. Several

functions have been planned which will attract larger crowds than

any so far during the present season. Tonight will occur the

carnival to be given by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

This affair will be attended by the society folk of Butte and

everything possible will be done to insure all who are present a

royal good time. The organization under whose auspices the

carnival is to be given are noted as royal entertainers, and with

the hearty cooperation of Manager Byrne, it is expected that this

will be a gala event in the history of Butte’s smart set. The public is

invited.


The Montana State Society has always been an important part of Silver

Bow Chapter. During the last 125 years, the chapter has hosted 15 state

conferences. The first conference did not take place until 1904 and was held

at the home of the first Chapter Regent, Jennie Tallant, while she was

serving as State Regent. For many years, the business part of the conference

always took place at the home of one of the chapter members and then they

would have the banquet dinner at a special location. With the growth of the

society, the conferences are now held at local hotel conference centers.

The chapter has not only welcomed the State Society to Butte for

conferences, its members have also served in the state. There have been 13

different ladies who were at one time a part of Silver Bow Chapter that

served as the Montana State Regent.

For the 1909 conference, they held an exhibit with items like: the

signatures of all the presidents, old books, jewelry, old china, pewter,

needlework, and curios. The ladies in charge of this were garbed in Colonial

dress. Along with this they sold aprons, cakes, and ices with the money

benefitting the chapter and the work that the State Society was doing in Fort

Benton. After the business meeting, the ladies of the conference were given

an automobile tour of Butte where they stopped at the Columbia Gardens

and the cemetery to see the Spanish-American War marker and coping.

They then had a banquet at the Silver Bow Club.

At the beginning of 1900, chapter members decided that they wanted

to erect a bronze drinking fountain near the new government building that

was being planned on the corner of Main and Copper Streets. They wanted

the fountain to have the names of the fallen soldiers of the Spanish-

American war inscribed on it.

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American Monthly Magazine reported:

“…untiring efforts of the Chapter members for the purpose of

erecting to the memory of their countrymen a drinking fountain in

the city of Butte, which shall be both useful and ornamental, and

which shall be an everlasting memorial to them.

The ladies were very excited about this project and began to have

fundraisers and other events to raise money. As reported in the Butte

Daily Intermountain, 1900:

Although the society enjoys a meeting every week at the home of one of

the members, when they give a “function” they have a two-fold

purpose. One to pass a pleasant evening and also to add a little

more to the treasury. To this end they charge a fee of 50 cents,

which all goes to the fund they have been steadily increasing every

month. Their ambition is to purchase a public drinking fountain in

memory of the Montana boys who lost their lives on the field of

battle in the Philippines. Their first intention was to place it in

front of the new government building for the post office, corner of

Copper and Main. Now that seems to be in a state of innocuous

desuetude, they are looking at several other sites which have been

offered them.

On May 30, 1900, the chapter held a musicale at the Sutton Theater

at 2:30 pm. The tickets were $1 for main floor seats. The theater was

donated along with the musicians’ time. They made $226. Also, during

the year, the ladies held euchre parties in their homes once or twice a

month. Sometimes they would even meet at the Columbia Gardens

pavilion and have a card party. Each event would net from $5 - $10.


By the end of the year, the chapter had over $300. For the next several

years, members held small events like this to raise money for the project. As

the government building was just being constructed, they believed they had

time to raise the money. The chapter raised $800 and in 1904 the Butte City

Council pledged $1000 to the project, but then was prohibited from giving

the money. The chapter felt that the city should honor the pledge and took

them to court with one of our members, Mrs. Haskell, defending us.

Unfortunately, the next year the chapter lost the case.

Thus, in 1907, the ladies decided that the money they had raised would

be used for stone coping to enclose the plot of land in the Mount Moriah

and St. Patrick cemeteries

set aside for those soldiers

who had died in that war.

The plot was 72ft x 56ft and

was enclosed with granite

posts at even intervals and

linked with an iron chain.

The photo of the erected

stone coping is from the American Monthly Magazine, December 1909, page

1207.

In 1908, the ladies further decided to place a marker to recognize the

soldiers who lost their lives in the war. The skating party they held helped

raise the funds for this. Later, the war veterans noted that the inscription on

the DAR marker was very dim and wanted the chapter’s permission to get it

renewed. Nothing was ever done. Eventually, the chapter put a new marker

next to the old one. The new marker was dedicated on May 8, 1999, to the

men and women who served in that war.

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With work of marking notable spots going on across the state, the

chapter decided to mark the spot of the first gold discovery in Silver Bow

County. Per The Montana Standard, August 23, 1931:

Program is Completed for Dedication of Marker on Site of Gold

Discovery. Several hundred Butte people are expected to attend the

dedication ceremonies which will be held near Silver Bow at 7:30

o’clock Monday morning by the local chapter of the Daughters of the

American Revolution to mark the spot where gold was first

discovered in Silver Bow County. The local chapter, which will

have as its honored guest for the dedicatory ceremonies Mrs. L. W.

Hobart, president general of the national order, has issued a

general invitation for the public to attend, it was announced. A

bronze plaque, which will be mounted on a huge six-ton granite

boulder, will mark the spot where B. H. Barker and several others

are credited with having panned the first gold along Silver Bow

creek in July of 1864. The spot is between Nissler and Silver Bow

near the creek bed. The bronze plaque is a gift of the Anaconda

Company and the granite boulder was donated by the Wendell-

Cannon Monument works. The program, as announced yesterday,

will open with a bugle salute by a Butte Boy Scout and a salute to the

flag, led by Mrs. C. A. Blackburn. Mrs. Hobart, the head of the

order, will extend greetings and Mrs. E. J. Strasburger will give a

brief history of the state and its significance. Little Mary Salisbury

and Frederick Kistler will then unveil the monument, and Mrs. C.

H. Little will present the marker to Silver Bow County, with Don

B. King, chairman of the board of county commissioners,

accepting. Mrs. C. A. Passmore will make the dedication address

and the program will close with the singing of “America” by the

audience, led by Emmett Thompson.


The following day, The Montana Standard printed this photo of the

Marker dedication. The photo caption read: “President General Present

for Ceremonies.”

The local Daughters of the American Revolution yesterday

unveiled this monument between Nissler and Silver Bow to point out

the spot of the first discovery of gold in Silver Bow Creek. Those in

the back are, left to right, Mrs. Lowell F. Hobart, president general

of the D.A.R. and Mrs. C. H. Little, regent of the Silver Bow

Chapter. In the middle row are Frederick Kistler, Boy Scout who

helped unveil the monument, and Mrs. C.H. Passmore, state

regent. In the front is Mary Salisbury, who assisted in the

unveiling.

Dedication of this marker was a great success. The rest of the day was

full of activities with the NSDAR President General. After the ceremony

the chapter held a breakfast and then had a tour of the Leonard Mine with

sightseeing around uptown Butte. After lunch at the Finlen Hotel, the

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President General gave a talk on a local radio station. The chapter also

held a tea and quilt display for the public at the YMCA.

Years later, the original bronze marker was stolen, and the boulder

was in disrepair. The chapter debated for many years on what to do.

There was talk about moving the boulder to a new spot so that cars along

the new interstate could see the marker. Finally, in 2006, a new marker

was created from granite and attached to the original boulder in the same

location. The new marker was dedicated on October 21, 2006.

On the same day of the Pay Gold rededication, the chapter also

dedicated a new marker at 832 West Park Street in Butte. This marker is

to preserve the location of the first MSSDAR State Conference at the

home of Jennie Tallant, the first Silver Bow Chapter Regent and the third

Montana State Regent.

The ladies of Silver Bow Chapter are to be commemorated for their

efforts throughout World War I. During the year of 1917, the chapter

decided that they should meet every month to do simple helpful things

like host card parties to benefit the Patriotic Fund and make bandages. On

the first and second Saturday’s of the month, they worked for the Red

Cross. On the fourth Saturday, the ladies worked at the Patriotic

Association Rooms in town. The chapter purchased a Liberty Bond from

every issue, five in all. They also contributed money to the Montana State

Society and National Society so that they could purchase more bonds.

The chapter members did easy things like send items to soldiers such as

books, magazines, and records. Even before the United States got

involved in the war, the chapter ladies sold Belgian flags around town to

benefit starving Belgians who were hurt by the war. They raised $182.

During a card party in October 1917, they raised $43 for hospital

supplies. With this money, they were able to make six sheet sets, four


pillow cases, three pajamas, four bed skirts, a bath robe, one convalescent

cap, three pairs of bed socks, six pairs of woolen socks, one pair of knitted

slippers, four knitted washcloths, three bath towels and three hand towels.

Over the years of the war, Silver Bow did many other things. Many of

the chapter ladies made items on their own like sweaters, socks, mufflers,

washcloths, bandages, slings, and pajamas. They made jellies and others

food items and brought them to the soldiers recovering in Butte. The ladies

gave money to the Butte War Chest and sold thrift stamps locally. In six

days, they sold over $1900.

During the Second World War, the ladies were just as involved. They

donated their time and money to the Red Cross, the Defense Committee, the

Victory Shop, Blood Plasma Fund, USO, salvage drives, first aid, rationing

board, nursing, sewing, and war bonds. The chapter purchased 13 war

bonds to help the war effort. They also made bandages and created a

window display at the Chamber of Commerce for the Defense Committee.

Before the United States got involved in the war, the chapter was knitting

afghans for the British War Relief.

Over the many wars in the past century, the ladies of Silver Bow

Chapter have taken the time to write to service men and women serving the

nation. And during the Vietnam War, they gave certificates to honor the

families of Vietnam casualties.

On December 7, 2017, Silver Bow Chapter members celebrated their

120 th Anniversary. The day began with a special chapter meeting. Then a

catered lunch was held, and an informative program on the first 25 years of

Silver Bow Chapter history was presented to chapter members, Montana

State Society DAR officers and other members. Chapter Regent Helen

Elizabeth Brown received a Vietnam Commemoration Family Pin to honor

267


the work that her father, Retired Master Sergeant Earl Williams, did

during his military service. She also was recognized as having helped

wounded soldiers with anything they needed as she passed by them at the

Fort Houston Hospital during her stay there as a patient. It is something

that she said she will never forget.

Following this program, the chapter hosted a public 120 th Anniversary

Reception at the Butte Silver Bow Archives for all, which included

MSSDAR State Regent, state officers, honorary state regents, DAR

members from across the state, SAR officers, Butte Silver Bow Chief

Executive Dave Palmer and Butte residents. Executive Palmer brought

greetings from the county and State Regent Jane Hamman gave greetings

from MSSDAR. The men of the SAR posted the colors for the event and

were dressed in period costume. Two short programs were given for the

public along with a cake cutting. Regent Helen Elizabeth Brown gave a

talk on what the Daughters of the American Revolution is all about. State

Chaplain Janice Hand gave the history of the founding of Silver Bow

Chapter. During the public event, local TV station KXLF was present to

record the festivities. Several members were interviewed by the media.

Everyone was made welcome and, during the reception, the public was

able to mingle with members and ask questions and get to know the

chapter.

For the past 121 years, Silver Bow Chapter has promoted patriotism,

education, and historic preservation in their community and state. The

chapter has endorsed and supported ten State Regents and one NSDAR

Vice President General described below. The chapter goal is to continue

serving Montana and America long into the future.


Antoinette Van Hook (Mrs. David G.) Browne

State Regent 1899-1901

Member #1638; Revolutionary Ancestors: Mary Van Hook, James

Lawrence Van Hook

Antoinette Van Hook was

born October 20, 1861, in

Washington, D.C. to John and

Emma Van Hook. She worked

as a clerk in the Quarter Master

General’s office. She met David

G. Browne of Fort Benton,

Montana, while he was in the

national capital on business and

they were married in 1895. They

had no children but Antoinette

became stepmother to two boys.

David’s story can be read in the book A History of Montana by Helen

Fitzgerald Sander. During her marriage, she traveled extensively with her

husband, across the country and to Europe.

Antoinette first joined the Dolley Madison Chapter, NSDAR in

Washington, D.C. and knew founding members there. She transferred her

membership to join the Silver Bow Chapter as an early member. Published

volumes of the Report of Daughters of the American Revolution archived in

the NSDAR Office of the Recording Secretary General for 1897-1898 show

Mrs. Antoinette Browne (page 146) reported:

Montana Silver Bow Chapter, of Butte, 14 members, has aided the

George Washington Memorial Association and sent a contribution

269


to the relief work of the National Society Daughters of the American

Revolution. The chapter takes its name from the beautiful stream

that runs through the valley below the city, forming a silver bow

among the Rocky Mountains.

During her term as Montana State Regent, Antoinette traveled to

the 1899 National Society Continental Congress where she presented

$10 in the name of the Silver Bow Chapter to the Continental Hall

fund and delivered the state report. From the Report of Daughters of

the American Revolution, page 180:

Montana Silver Bow Chapter, of Butte, 22 members, sent supplies of

literature to the soldiers in the Philippines. The society has become

a charter member of the Washington Memorial Association. On

February 22, 1899, a fine engraving of Washington was presented

to the public school of Butte, and the chapter is now working to

raise funds for a drinking fountain to be erected in memory of the

Montana soldiers who fell in the Spanish war. Over $300 has

already been secured for this purpose.

During her regency, Antoinette also traveled across the state

promoting the Society and drumming up interest. She was very

instrumental in informing the Tenth Montana Legislature about the need

for support of the old Fort Benton, one of the oldest buildings in the state

representing the very beginnings of state history, the early fur traders,

Indians, missionaries and pioneers. In 1907 the Legislature appropriated

$800 for restoration of the fort and Governor Joseph K. Toole appointed

Mrs. Antoinette Browne Chairman of the Trustees with responsibility for

the Fort Benton property and funds. Under her leadership, the debris was

cleared away, the old blockhouse was restored by the use of adobe bricks,


and the building was strengthened and made safe. Trees were planted and

a clear title to the land was secured. Finally, the property was turned

over to the City of Fort Benton to be kept and preserved as a park.

Mrs. Browne became inactive in 1922 when her health worsened and

she began traveling to South America and Hawaii in search of relief. She

died February 3, 1933, in Long Beach, California, and is buried at Forest

Lawn Memorial Park there. It is unknown if her stone has a DAR marker.

Her obituary is noted in The River Press of Fort Benton on February 8,

1933, page 1:

Mrs. David G. Browne Passes. A telegram was received in this city

Friday that Mrs. David G. Browne, for many years a resident of this

city, has passed away that morning at a private nursing home in

Long Beach, California. The news was not unexpected by friends here

as it was known she was in very serious condition. She had been

bedridden for more than four years due to a broken hip with paralysis

following this injury. Although no particulars were given in the

message, it is understood that interment will be at Long Beach.

Antoinette Van Hook was a native of Washington, D.C. and spent her

early life there. She met the late David G. Browne when he was in

the capital city in connection with his activities as collector of

customs for this district, which he held under appointment of Grover

Cleveland. They were married and came to Fort Benton about 1895,

making this city their home until Mr. Browne’s death in 1919. Ill

health necessitated a change of climate for Mrs. Browne and two

years later she left this community in the hopes of improving her

condition. She returned a time or two, but about 1924 gave up her

home here and since then has lived with relatives and friends in New

York, Washington, and California. The injury to her hip, from

271


which she never recovered, occurred in Washington and she spent

some time in a hospital there, finally moving to California to be

near her sister and two brothers. During the years Mrs. Browne

lived in Fort Benton she was active in the social life of this town

and made many friends. She was a member of the Episcopal

Church and of the Fort Benton Woman’s Club and assisted with a

number of community enterprises, organizing the Old Fort

Improvement society and securing through cooperation of the

Daughters of the American Revolution an appropriation to preserve

the ruins of old Fort Benton by establishment of a park at the site of

the historic landmark. The hospitality of the Browne home was

extended to many. During the years Mr. Browne was president of

the Stockman’s Bank and a member of the Democratic State Central

committee Mrs. Browne came in contact with a large number of

people who will recall her pleasant personality. In recent years she

has kept in touch with local friends by letter and in her distress has

maintained the cheerful spirit which drew people to her. Many

friends will join in extending sympathy to the relatives in their

bereavement. Those surviving are one sister, Mrs. Emma T.

Morris and two brothers, Clifford and Gordon Van Hook, all of

Long Beach, together with a number of others in different parts of the

country.


Sarah Jane “Jennie” Stilwell (Mrs. Walter S.) Tallant,

State Regent 1901-1905

Member #11622; Revolutionary Ancestor: Abraham Warren

Jennie was born in 1855 in

Minnesota to John and Nancy Stilwell.

Richard Warren, a passenger on the

Mayflower, was her ancestor. She

graduated from Minnesota Normal

School and taught school until she

married Walter Tallant in 1880. They

had one child, son Harry S. Tallant.

Mrs. Tallant was a Charter member

of Silver Bow Chapter and its first regent.

She served four years as the third State

Regent from 1901-1905. The first Montana State Conference was held at

her home at 832 West Park Street in Butte December 17, 1904. During her

term, three chapters were organized: Yellowstone Park at Livingston,

Ravalli at Hamilton and Oro Fino at Helena. The Butte Daily Post reported

April 1, 1904, page 14.

Mrs. Walter Tallant, Montana state regent of the DAR, and Miss

Esther Pettibone have been invited to serve on the committee in

charge of revolutionary relics at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. The

invitation has come from the president general, Mrs. Fairbanks, and

the state regent of Missouri.

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Published volumes of the Report of Daughters of the American

Revolution archived in the NSDAR Office of the Recording Secretary

General for 1899-1901 (page 257) state:

MONTANA [Mrs. Walter Tallent, State Regent] Silver Bow

Chapter, of Butte, 24 members, has raised $60 more for the project

mentioned last year for the memorial fountain in honor of the

Montana soldiers who fell during the Spanish-American war.

Several boxes of books and magazines have been sent to the Old

Soldiers’ Home at Columbia Falls, Mont. The chapter has been

presented by General Kesoler, of the Spanish-American war, with

some rare old pieces of continental money.

It is unknown whether or not Mrs. Tallent attended most of the

annual sessions of Continental Congress during her regency, but the

early National Society records, which are not indexed, appear to indicate

that she may have because her state reports are presented under her

name instead of being cited as read into the record by the secretary.

Although the earliest records are bound, the citations and references are

not all marked or ordered by date and year. On page 198 of the next

volume are reports submitted in 1903:

MONTANA [Mrs. Walter Tallent, State Regent] Montana has one

organized chapter, Silver Bow, of Butte; two others, the Ravalli, of

Hamilton, and the Orofino, of Helena, just about to organize, while

a fourth, to be called the Yellowstone Park Chapter, is forming at

Livingston.

Silver Bow Chapter, of Butte, 28 members, in the past year gave two

prizes to the pupils of the high school for the best essays on


patriotism. The chapter has voted to request the Business Men’s

Association to assist in observing Flag Day by displaying flags. The

“daughters” of Montana gave to the American library at Manilla

300 volumes and many magazines to the table in the alcove to be

known as the Alhambra American Alcove. Montana contributions for

Memorial Continental Hall, October 1, 1901- October 11, 1902:

Silver Bow Chapter $20.00; Captain Meriwether Lewis Society,

C.A.R. $5.00 TOTAL $25.00.

What appears to be the 1904 report on page 196 states:

MONTANA [Mrs. Walter Tallant, State Regent Chapters

organized, 3] Six hundred volumes have been collected by the

Daughters of the American Revolution of Montana and sent in

June, 1903, to the American Library at Manilla, to establish a

Montana Memorial Alcove in memory of Montana soldiers that fell

in the late war; also fourteen monthly magazines are sent each month

for one year for the magazine table in the alcove.

Silver Bow Chapter, Butte, has completed six years of its existence. Six

years of steady growth, broadening experiences, of distinct

achievement stand now to its credit. The study of the year was the

“Early History of Montana.” The fire of patriotism has been

burning, for the meetings were replete with historic papers,

enthusiastic talks, and accounts of historic deeds. We have received

some useful gifts and have responded to every cult of patriotism.

Through the efforts of our state regent, Mrs. Walter S. Tallant, and

her coworkers, several hundred books and magazines were shipped

to Manila. These volumes are to establish a Montana Alcove in the

American Library at Manila. Of this number, Silver Box Chapter

275


contributed 50 carefully selected volumes.Montana may well feel

proud of this collection and the efforts of her patriotic citizens.

Mrs. Elizabeth Brook Barret died in Baltimore, Md., July 17. She

was a charter member of Silver Bow Chapter, but at the time of her

death she was regent of Oro Fino Chapter at Helena, Mont. So

thoroughly imbued was she with her patriotism that it seemed a part of

her life.

Shortly after Jennie’s regency, the family moved to Bradenton,

Florida. There she was an Organizing member of the Osceola Chapter in

Tampa and was active until her death. Jennie died June 1, 1939, in

Florida. Her grave stone location is unknown.

Helena Charlotte Hill (Mrs. Walter Harvey) Weed

C.A.R. Director 1899-1903

NSDAR Vice President General 1903-1905

Member #15438; Revolutionary Ancestors: Amos Call, Ebenezer Hill,

Eliakim Howe, Enoch Illsley, Silas Mossman

Helena was born August 16, 1875, in Connecticut to Congressman

Ebenezer and Mary Ellen Hill. She graduated from Vassar College and

Montana School of Mines with a degree in geology. In 1896 she married

Walter Harvey Weed and they had three children, Mary, Elinor and

Walter Harvey, Jr. They later divorced in 1914.

Mrs. Weed first joined DAR as a member of the Norwich Chapter in

Connecticut. She was a member of Silver Bow Chapter and later a

member of the Encinitas Chapter in California. During her membership in

Montana she was active at the local, state and national level.


In 1899, she was appointed the director of the Montana Children of

the American Revolution. At the

groundbreaking of Memorial Continental

Hall in Washington, D.C. in 1902, she

presented the Montana spade to President

General Mrs. Fairbanks. During this

time, she also served as Montana State

Vice Regent. In 1903, she was elected as

a Vice President General under Mrs.

Fairbanks for a two- year term. Following

this service, she was again elected as

State Vice Regent.

After her challenge to one of the candidates for National President General

and the subsequent resistance to installing her, she was supported by Jennie

Tallant and the Montana chapters, but resigned as a representative at the

1905 National Board of Management. Thereafter she focused more on her

other interests and was no longer active in the state. The following article

was published in the Anaconda Standard newspaper, June 4, 1905:

MONTANA WOMAN WINS AFTER A WARM SESSION

Mrs. Walter H. Weed recognized by Daughters. She Immediately

Resigns. And declares she will carry the fight to the floor of the next

national convention -- An insult to Montana Chapters.

Washington, June 6. -- Montana, in the person of Mrs. Walter H.

Weed, came off with flying colors in one of the warmest sessions ever

held by the national board of management of the Daughters of the

American Revolution. A hostile board, led by President Mrs. McLean

and Mrs. Draper of Washington, was forced to recognize Mrs. Ward

277


as vice state regent and Mrs. McCracken as state regent, following

correspondence with the Montana chapters of the society, which

completely vindicated the two Montana officers, who had been

refused recognition by Mrs. McLean. The correspondence

conclusively showed that they were the choice of a majority of the

chapters.

After her victory in forcing recognition, Mrs. Weed sprung a

surprise by resigning and declaring that Montana would take the

matter into the next congress of the Daughters and fight it to a

finish. It is stated here that the Montana chapters will not accept Mrs.

Weed's resignation and will refuse to nominate a successor to her on the

board. In the correspondence in the case was a letter from Mrs.

Jennie S. Tallant, retiring Montana state regent in which she says:

"Montana regards Mrs. Draper's motion (opposing recognition of Mrs.

Weed and Mrs. McCracken) as an unwarranted insult to Montana

and an affront to the state. Montana will resent to the last any

interference with its state rights.

The Montana incident promises to develop into the biggest fight in

which the D.A.R. has ever participated. To Mrs. Weed's political

work in opposition to the election of Mrs. McLean as president is

attributed the hostility that has arisen against the Montana officer.

Helena was a very active suffragist and was arrested three different

times. She was a member of the Congressional Union for Woman’s

Suffrage and the National Woman’s Party. Helena died April 20, 1958,

and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Norwalk, Connecticut. An

obituary appeared in The Bridgeport Post, April 26, 1958, page 25.


Helena Weed, Suffragist, Dies on Coast; Norwalk, April 26 – Mrs.

Helena Hill Weed, 83, pioneer feminist and leader in the National

Woman’s Party campaign for women suffrage died Sunday in San

Jacinto, Calif. She was a sister of Mrs. Elsie Hill Leavitt of

Ridgefield. Mrs. Weed whose pioneering support extended to other

causes unpopular 30 years ago, was jailed four times in Washington

in connection with picketing the White House in the campaign for

suffrage. She worked in nearly every state for the movement and later

for passage of the proposed equal rights amendment to the

Constitution. Born in Norwalk, a daughter of the late Congressman

Ebenezer J. Hill and Mary Ellen Mossman Hill, she was graduated

from Vassar College in 1896 and received a Master’s degree in economic

geology at the University of Montana School of Mines. While in

Montana she married one of her instructors, Walter Harvey Weed.

Later she studied at Columbia University and in Paris, Rome and

Munich. Mrs. Weed and her husband practiced economic geology

several years in this country, Mexico and Haiti. They were divorced

in 1914. Once suffrage was won, she continued to work for other

objectives, such as the Child Labor amendment and world peace. In

1927 she was unsuccessful candidate for mayor here on the

Democrat ticket. Mrs. Weed became interested in improving

conditions in Haiti while studying copper deposits there and in

1930 accompanied the Haitian commission to the island as

reporter. Haiti named her to its honor roll “for distinguished

public service.” In 1930 she moved to Washington and in 1941 was

279


leader in the so-called “Battle of Du Pont Circle,” a sit-down strike

against the government for an eviction from an apartment hotel they

wanted for a new FBI headquarters. She sued the government for

$50,000 and after several years of litigation, collected $1,000. Mrs.

Weed was founder of the National Women’s Press club. In recent

years she lived in San Jacinto with a daughter, Miss Mary Hill Weed.

Also surviving is another daughter, Dr. Eleanor Weed Sharpe, of

Westbury, L.I., and a son, Harvey Weed Jr., of Greenwich.

Emma Jane Hutchins (Mrs. Clinton H.) Moore

State Regent 1906-1909

Member #11623; Revolutionary Ancestor: Benjamin Kimball

Emma Jane Hutchins was born in

Landaff, New Hampshire, August 16,

1845, graduated from Kimball Union

Academy at Mondru, New Hampshire,

and attended Mount Holyoke College.

She taught school for 11 years and

married Clinton H. Moore August 10,

1880. They had no children.

Clinton Moore selected the town

name of Anaconda and was its first

postmaster. He was an engineer and

professor at the School of Mines and

Technology. The Montana Standard,


Sunday, September 27, 1936, on page 9, reflected on the Free Public

Library at Butte:

Through the efforts of Clinton H. Moore, a number of Butte

businessmen, including Charles X. Larrabee who subscribed

$10,000, businessmen, miners and other citizens donated a total of

$20,000 for the establishment of a library in Butte…constructed in

1892-1893.

Jane was a member of many different organizations in Butte and she

had a love for the wild flowers of the state. She was one of the organizers of

the College Club, which became the Butte American Association of

University Women, and a devout active member of the Episcopal Church.

Her most beloved work was with orphan children and Jane served in various

capacities as trustee, President of the Board and Manager of the Paul Clark

Home for many years. Mrs. Moore was an 1897 Charter member of Silver

Bow Chapter and the first meeting of the chapter was held at her home.

She was State Chair of the Historic Sites Committee which helped to place

many of the first DAR markers across Montana. She was State Regent from

1906-1909 and the second Montana DAR State Conference was held at her

home October 17, 1906.

Jane worked to form new chapters at Dillon, Billings and Bozeman; the

first marker on the Lewis and Clark Trail was placed by Livingston in 1908.

She attended the Continental Congress to make her state report, which is

printed in Report of Daughters of the American Revolution for 1907 archived

in the NSDAR Office of the Recording Secretary General (pp. 207-208):

MONTANA.[Mrs. Clinton H. Moore, State Regent]

Oro Fino Chapter, of Helena, is interesting the pupils of the public

281


schools in preserving buildings and marking sites connected with the

early history of Montana.

Yellowstone Park Chapter, of Livingston, has rendered material

assistance to a local hospital.

Silver Bow Chapter, of Butte, has held monthly meetings;

important events of the Revolutionary War were studied. A

yearbook has been issued containing the programme for study and the

names and addresses of its members. At the last congress a

member, in the name of the chapter, presented a large flag to

Continental Hall. The chapter also contributed a small sum for the

same. With a fund that has been accumulating for several years a

granite coping with granite posts set at regular intervals and

connected with chains has been placed around a plot in the

cemetery owned by the Spanish-American War Veterans for those of

the First Montana who fell during the war. It cost $600.

In the name of the daughters of the state an appropriation was

secured from the last legislature for the restoration of old Fort

Benton, built in 1846 by the American Fur Company at the head of

navigation on the Missouri River. Three daughters have been

named by the governor as trustees, who are superintending the

work. A title to the land (two blocks) has been secured and a park

will be made for the pleasure of the people of the town nearby (Fort

Benton), who have agreed to care for the park in the future. All

plans will be perfected this winter and work will begin in the

spring as soon as practicable.

Jane died February 11, 1933, in Butte. She is buried at the Mount

Moriah Cemetery and her stone has a DAR marker. The placement and


dedication of the marker was noted in The Montana Standard on June 17,

1938. Her obituary is listed in The Montana Standard, February 12, 1933

on page 1 and 8.

Mrs. C. H. Moore, A Butte Pioneer, Taken By Death, Widow of

Prof. Clinton H. Moore Dies of Complications Due to Old Age. Mrs.

Clinton H. Moore, pioneer Montanan, widow of Prof. Clinton H.

Moore, educator and mining engineers, passed away at 8:15 last night

at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Pennington, 1212 Steel Street.

Death was due to complications resulting from old age. Mrs. Moore

was nearly 87 years old. She was born in Haverhill, New

Hampshire, on Aug. 16, 1845, and had been a resident of this state

more than 50 years. Her husband, Professor Moore, died last June.

Since his death she has made her home with the Penningtons, who are

old friends. Mrs. Moore, like her husband, was a member of the

teaching profession. She attended the Kimball Union School in New

Hampshire where she was a classmate of the man who later became

her husband. No children were born of the marriage. Throughout

their long residence in Montana Professor and Mrs. Moore

enjoyed, to a pre-eminent degree, the regard of a wide circle of

friends. Although greatly incapacitated as a result of her ailments she

attained to the last the sweet, kindly disposition which had made her

so much loved during her youthful years. Mrs. Moore came to

Montana in 1882 and taught school for a year in Helena. While so

employed she renewed her acquaintanceship with her former

classmate. Their marriage was the result. During her long

residence in this city, Mrs. Moore was actively identified with

various civic welfare movements. She was chairman of the board of

trustees of the Paul Clark Home for several years, until the toll of the

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passing years made it advisable for her to resign. Mrs. Moore has

been in ill health for a long time. As a result of the paralytic stroke

she was confined to the hospital for many months, some two years ago,

and her life was despaired of. She recovered to an extent. The body is

at the White undertaking parlors. The date of the funeral will be

announced later.

Ella Lydia Arnold (Mrs. Emil Henry) Renisch

State Regent 1909-1910, 1911-1912

Member #31588; Revolutionary Ancestors: Ebenezer Arnold,

Ebenezer Frothingham, Ebenezer Johnson, Samuel Ward,

Abner Fuller, Samuel Frothingham

Ella Lydia Arnold was born in November 1861 at Rockford, Illinois, to

Frederick and Sabra Ann Arnold. She

graduated from Oak Park High School in

Illinois. In 1900, she married German

immigrant Emil Renisch; they had no

children.

Mrs. Renisch joined Silver Bow

Chapter and served Silver Bow as

Treasurer, Chaplain, and Vice Regent,

being elected Chapter Regent from 1901-

1903.

She was elected State Regent twice and served two terms from 1909 –

1912, presiding at three state conferences. During her regency, mahogany


chairs were presented to Memorial Continental Hall. Contributing

extensively to the work on the old Fort Benton property and raising

generous donations from DAR members, Governor Joseph K. Toole

appointed her one of the trustees to manage the property.

She also assisted in the organization of Mount Hyalite Chapter in

Bozeman, chartered March 1912. Her 1910 Montana Report printed in

Report of Daughters of the American Revolution Vol.13 archived in the

NSDAR Office of the Recording Secretary General (page 103):

MONTANA. Oro Fino Chapter, Helena, purchases a (mahogany)

chair as its contribution to Continental Hall. The chapter held a

meeting of all the public school children above the third grad in the

large auditorium on April 19, 1910. A most interesting program was

given, with addresses by prominent local speakers on the meaning of

the day, with an illustrated reading of Paul Revere’s Ride, a touching

recitation of “Old Glory” and music by the United States military

band. The Star Spangled Banner and America were sung by the entire

audience, accompanied by the band. This was the first observance of

Patriots’ Day ever held in Helena, and a great deal of enthusiasm and

interest was shown.

Silver Bow Chapter, Butte, reports a mahogany chair was given to

Continental Hall, and that the chapter is assisting in the

restoration of Old Fort Benton at Fort Benton, Mont.; a

subscription of $100 was made and one-half has been paid. An

entertainment, consisting of an illustrated lecture on “The Flag,”

obtained from the interchange bureau, national committee

Daughters of the American Revolution, was given on Flag Day for

all the school children of Butte.

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Ella did some writing and had several pieces published in Montana

newspapers including a large front-page article titled “Daughters of the

American Revolution Organized in 1894. Marked Many Historic Sites in

This State” published September 30, 1923, in the Great Falls Tribune,

one paragraph of which reads:

Each chapter has its social side and delightful afternoons are

common. Programs are given and play is mingled with work, so that

the members never find their duties irksome. They have been accused of

“ancestor worship,” but the fact is that they don’t have time to worship

their ancestors. Too busy. And if they are proud of their ancestors, the

deeds they did, the republic they founded, the constitution they wrote

and adopted, the flag they adopted justify them in being proud of such

forefathers. But the beauty of it is they want all America to feel that

they are their forefathers, too.

After her husband’s death, she moved to Seattle to live with her

sister. Ella died September 16, 1950, in Seattle, Washington. She is

buried in the Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park Cemetery in Seattle.

Her stone has a DAR marker.


Emma Marvin (Mrs. Charles A.) Blackburn

State Regent 1917-1920

Member #55306; Revolutionary Ancestor: Giles Marvin

Emma Marvin was born on July 22,

1875, in Sedalia, Missouri, to Edward

and Leila Marvin. The family moved to

Butte in 1891. She married Charles

Blackburn in 1897 and they had one

child, son Charles Marvin, Jr. She was a

member of the Daughters of the

Founders and Patriots of America.

Mrs. Blackburn joined the Silver

Bow Chapter, NSDAR and served as

Chapter Regent from 1922-1926. She

served the Montana State Society as Secretary, Historian, Vice Regent and

as State Regent from 1917-1920. She helped organize four new chapters:

Shining Mountain, Anaconda and Bitter Root in 1918, and Black Eagle in

1919. Emma also served as State Chair of Real Daughters, Magazine,

Patriotic Education and Manual for Citizenship. Her leadership in 1918 was

instrumental in having a bill introduced and passed by the Montana

Legislature to establish the Americanization Schools in several districts,

which used the NSDAR Manual for Citizenship to teach immigrants and

help them prepare for Naturalization.

During the war, she was called “an inspiring leader” as Montana

Daughters devoted much time, energy and money to the work of relief

services, in addition to the work of the Society. A scholarship at the

University of Montana established during her state regency was named in

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her honor after her death. Emma died on April 16, 1942, in Butte.

Following her death, the Fortieth State Conference, held in Butte, was

dedicated to her memory. Mrs. Geraldine Harvey stated, “Her untiring

devotion to the work of Silver Bow Chapter and to the statewide

organization will always be an inspiration.”

She is buried in the Mount Moriah Cemetery. Her stone has a DAR

marker. Her obituary appeared in The Montana Standard, April 17, 1942,

on page 2.

Mrs. Blackburn Passes Away, Old-Time Resident Ill Several

Weeks. Mrs. Charles A. Blackburn, 66, beloved matron, died this

morning at the family residence, 804 West Silver Street, following an

illness of several weeks. Mrs. Blackburn, whose maiden name was

Emma Marvin, was a native of Sedalia, MO. She came to Butte

in 1891 and this city had been her home since. She was married

in Butte to Mr. Blackburn in 1897. She was an active member of

the Daughters of the American Revolution and the First

Presbyterian Church and left a wide circle of friends in the Mining

city who mourn her passing. The surviving relatives include her

husband, Mr. Blackburn, who is connected with the claim

department of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, and a

granddaughter, Miss Barbara Blackburn, both of Butte; a sister,

Mrs. Harvey Pettit of Cleveland, Ohio, and several nephews and

nieces at Cleveland. The body was removed to the Richards

funeral home. Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Saturday

afternoon at the Richards chapel. Rites will be conducted by Rev.

Floyd E. Logee, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. Burial

will be in Mount Moriah Cemetery.


Susie M. Came (Mrs. Charles Sumner) Passmore

State Regent 1931-1933

Member #69062; Revolutionary Ancestors: Samuel Elder,

William Wood

Susie M. Came was born on December 5, 1864, in Standish, Maine, to

Mahlon and Nancy Came. She taught school for five years in North Dakota

before marrying Charles Passmore in 1886. They had four children: Blair

Sumner, Paul Benton, Lynnie (Graham) and Gail C. (McKeown).

Mrs. Passmore joined Silver Bow

Chapter and served as Regent from 1919-

1922. Suzie was Montana State Secretary,

Librarian, Registrar, Vice Regent and then

State Regent from 1931-1933, traveling at

her own expense to visit all 12 chapters.

She helped organize the Assinniboine

Chapter in Havre during her regency and

traveled to attend Continental Congress in

Washington, D.C. in 1932. She is

credited with planting an ash tree dedicated by DAR on the State Capitol

grounds, raising money for indexing all of the Montana books in the

NSDAR Library, and placing a marker at Lewistown for the log building

post office. She assisted in dedication of the marker placed by Silver Bow

where pay gold was discovered and in the dedication of the Sacajawea

National Monument in August 1932, with 500 guests attending the

ceremony marking the Lewis and Clark Trail at Lemhi Pass. The site

contains 140 acres of Montana-Idaho land crossing the continental divide

following the states’ boundary lines.

289


Susie died on July 30, 1956, in Los Angeles, California. She is buried

in the Mount Moriah Cemetery in Butte and her stone has a DAR marker.

Her obituary, printed in The Montana Standard, August 1, 1956, on page

1 was as follows:

Mrs. Passmore Dies on Coast. Mrs. Charles S. Passmore, who

would have been 92 on Dec. 5, died Monday night in her home in

Los Angeles, where she moved about two years ago. Mrs. Passmore

lived in Butte 65 years, and formerly made her home at 717 W.

Granite. Mr. Passmore, early-day real estate and insurance man,

died in 1946 and Mrs. Passmore carried on his business until

leaving for the coast city. She was a former two-time state DAR

regent. Susie Came Passmore was born in Maine in 1864 and

came to Butte in 1889, the year the territory became a state. She

was a member of the First Presbyterian Church since that time, 17

years of which she was secretary of its Missionary Society. She was a

charter member of the Atlas Club. Mrs. Passmore joined the

Silver Bow Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, in

1907 and served in every office and was state regent in 1931 and

1932. On retirement she was made honorary state regent for life.

Butte friends said she was one of the Northwest’s outstanding

genealogists, for which she will be greatly missed. A memorial

service for the beloved former resident will be held Friday at 10

a.m. in the First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Lewis

Abbott officiating. Funeral services will be held in Los Angeles

and the ashes will be sent to Butte for burial in the family plot in

Mount Moriah Cemetery.


Geraldine Selfridge (Mrs. John) Harvey

State Regent 1954-1956

Member #291131; Revolutionary Ancestor: Oliver Selfridge

Geraldine Selfridge was born May

25, 1891, to Dean and Elizabeth

Selfridge in Butte, Montana, and was

educated in Butte schools. She married

John Harvey January 10, 1912. They

had one child, son Donald E.

Mrs. Harvey joined Silver Bow

Chapter June 5, 1935, serving as

chapter Secretary, Treasurer, Vice

Regent and Regent for the 1942–1944

term during which DAR markers were placed on the graves of five past

regents, the chapter entertained the State Conference, a Real Daughter was

remembered with a cash gift and gifts were sent to Kate Duncan Smith and

Tamassee DAR Schools. But her primary work was World War II relief,

support of the Red Cross, U.S.O., A.W.V.S. and Fort Harrison, with 100%

per capita giving to the Blood Plasma Fund.

Serving the State Society as Treasurer, Press Chair, and Vice Regent,

she was elected State Regent in 1954. During Geraldine’s regency,

Beaverhead Chapter purchased Bannack, the first Capitol of Montana, the

state scholarship was reorganized and became a scholarship rather than a

loan. Mrs. Harvey presented to the State Historical Society that diorama that

the State Society had purchased in 1953. At the 53 rd State Conference, a

reception was held at the Governor’s Mansion with Governor and Mrs. J.

Hugo Aronson serving as hosts.

291


Geraldine died April 10, 1976, in Butte. She is buried at Mount

Moriah Cemetery and her stone has a DAR marker. Her obituary was

written in The Montana Standard on April 12, 1976, page 9:

Geraldine Harvey, 84: Services for Geraldine Harvey, 84, 140 W.

Fremont, will be Wednesday at 10 in Wayrynen-Richards Funeral

Home with the Rev. John Fargher officiating. Mrs. Harvey died

Saturday in a local nursing home. She was born May 25, 1891, in

Butte where she attended schools. She married John Harvey in

1910 in Butte. He preceded her in death. She was a member and

past matron of the Eastern Star, Silver Leaf Rebekah Lodge,

Daughters of the American Revolution, Marion Arts and Crafts

and Atlas Club. Order of Eastern Star services will be Tuesday at

7 in the mortuary followed Rebekah Lodge services at 7:30. Mrs.

Harvey is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs.

Donald Harvey of Billings. Burial will be at Mount Moriah

Cemetery.


Berniece Metlen (Mrs. George P.) Palmer

State Regent 1962-1964

Member #359180; Revolutionary Ancestor: Paul Custer

Berniece Metlen was born

December 24, 1903, in Dillon,

Montana, to George and Mae Metlen.

She graduated from the University of

California and married George Palmer

June 18, 1941, at Dillon. They did not

have any children. She was involved

in many different organizations.

Mrs. Palmer was a member of St.

John’s Episcopal Church, the

Daughters of the American Colonists,

Colonial Dames of the 17 th Century, Huguenots Society, Sons and

Daughters of Montana Pioneers, American Legion Auxiliary (Past District

Chair), Community Concert, Daughters of the Nile and the Silver Bow

Chapter NSDAR in Butte. During her 1951-1953 Chapter Regency,

$1,080 in advertising for the DAR Magazine was secured, $25 was given to

the Valley Forge Bell Tower fund, the 50 th Annual State Conference was

held and the usual donations to Fort Harrison and approved schools and

usual services were sponsored.

Berniece was elected State Regent from 1962-1964, after service as

Treasurer, Librarian and Vice Regent. She also was State Chair of New

Chapters and Magazine Advertising. She traveled to National Headquarters

and Continental Congress, with Montana receiving 3 rd place for national

Defense work and 2 nd place for Constitution Week activities.

293


Berniece died April 10, 1973, in Butte. She is buried at Sunset

Memorial Park in Silver Bow County and her grave has a DAR marker.

Her obituary was in The Montana Standard, April 16, 1973, page 1:

Services Tuesday for Mrs. Palmer. Services for Berniece Palmer, 69,

2515 State, who died Saturday will be Tuesday at 2 in St. John’s

Episcopal Church with the Rev. John S. W. Fargher officiating.

Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Mrs. Palmer was

born Dec. 24, 1903, in Dillon, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs.

George Melten. She had lived in Butte since 1942 and was, until

her retirement, a cateress at Butte Town Club. She was a member of

Tirzah Temple of the Nile and served as queen in 1967; a charter

member of White Shrine; a past regent of Silver Bow Chapter of

Daughters of the American Revolution and a past regent of the

Montana DAR; a past regent of the Daughters of American

Colonists and a past regent of Colonial Dames of 16 th Century. She

was an oil and water painter. She was also a member of the

National Huguenot Society, the American Legion Auxiliary, the 40

and 8 Auxiliary, Marian White Arts and Crafts Club; a secretarytreasurer

of the State Society of Sons and Daughters of Montana

Pioneers and was listed in Who’s Who of American Women. She

married George Palmer in 1941 in Dillon. He survives. Also

surviving is a brother, David Melten, Alturas, Calif.; sisters, Mrs.

Georgia Mae Judge, Santa Maria, Calif., and Mrs. Elizabeth Rife,

Dillon. Her grandfather, Dave Melten, was one of the first settlers

in the Beaverhead region, arriving in 1862 before Montana was a

territory.


Shirley Ann Hand (Mrs. Sidney) Groff

State Regent 1988-1990

Member #574185; Revolutionary Ancestor: William Halbert

Shirley was born August 27,

1933, at Dillon, Montana, to John

and Ida Hand. She grew up in

southwest Montana and was raised

in Argenta by parents whose

ancestors came to Montana before

1868. Shirley received a B.S. in

Education (1968) and M.S. in

Education (1975) from Western

Montana College at Dillon. She

had four children from previous

marriages. Her husband, Sidney

Groff, worked at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology at Montana

Tech; she taught school in Clancy and Butte with a career of 32 years.

Mrs. Groff is a member of the Retired Teachers Association, the First

Baptist Church (she researched their centennial history), American Legion,

VFW Auxiliary, and a life member of Sons and Daughters of Montana

Pioneers for whom she has served as President, Vice President, Board

member and newsletter editor. In August 1988, she received the Sons and

Daughters of Montana Pioneers’ “Award of Merit for Historical

Leadership” and in August 2003 she received their “President’s Award” in

recognition of her time and efforts to their Society. She also is a past twoterm

member of the Montana Historical Society Board of Trustees.

295


Shirley joined Silver Bow Chapter December 8, 1972. She has served

as Chapter Regent, Vice Regent, Treasurer, Registrar, and Chaplain as

well as chair of numerous committees. For the Montana State Society,

she has served as Regent, Vice Regent, Secretary, Parliamentarian and

Montana State Regent from 1988-1990. Shirley also has been the

Northwest Division National Vice Chair for DAR Good Citizen and State

Chair of Historic Preservation, Lineage Research, Community Service,

Good Citizen, Conservation, American Heritage, Americanism,

Membership, DAR Scholarship, Program, President General’s Project

and DAR Speaker’s Staff. She received the DAR Women in American

History Award for her extensive community work, especially touring

schools and service clubs promoting patriotism, teaching proper U.S.

Flag etiquette and distributing Flags to the children. Shirley is also an

associate member of the John Edwards, San Carlos, Thomas Paine, and

James Hogg Chapters in Mexico.

Mrs. Groff’s State Regent project was a Montana Centennial Float. In

1989, Shirley drove the vehicle pulling the float in seven parades across

the state. The float won multiple awards. To raise money for the float,

Shirley sponsored a doll named “Miz Marjorie” in honor of Honorary

Vice President General Marjorie A. Stevenson. MSSDAR also cohosted

the Northwest Breakfast at Continental Congress during her term in

1989.


JoAnn Marie Jordan (Mrs. Eugene) Piazzola

State Regent 2008-2010

Member #802197; Revolutionary Ancestors: Peter Babb,

Adam Brandt, Michael Hensel

JoAnn was born October 10,

1939, in Montana to Harrison and

Rubie Jordan. She attended a oneroom

school house during elementary

school and graduated from Livingston

High School. Her first marriage

produced three children. She later

married Eugene Piazzola and had two

step-children. For 35 years she had a

career with the Montana Power

Company.

JoAnn has been very active in her

community and is a member of the American Legion, VFW Auxiliary,

Daughters of the XVII Century, Society of Mayflower Descendants, and

Daughters of the American Colonists. She is also a volunteer at the Butte

Silver Bow Archives.

Mrs. Piazzola joined Silver Bow Chapter, NSDAR in February 2001

and has served that chapter as Registrar, Treasurer, Vice Regent and

Regent, plus chairing various services and activities. She has been very

active in the State Society DAR, taking on chairmanship of multiple

committees including Genealogical Records, Lineage Research, Chapter

Development, Insignia, DAR Museum Outreach, Volunteer Genealogist,

VIS, American 250! Task Force, DAR Speaker, and Volunteer Field

297


Genealogist. Her service extended to being a Northwest Division

National Vice Chair for Lineage Research, Volunteer Genealogists and

Community Service Awards.

JoAnn served the MSSDAR as State Registrar, Vice Regent and then

as State Regent from 2008-2010. Her State Regent’s project was to copy

all the Montana DAR history books from 1894 to 1994 and place them in

the archives in Great Falls, the Montana State Historical Library and the

NSDAR Library. Each chapter received a copy of the state history along

with their chapter’s specific history in a bound book. Until this time, a

complete set of history books were not in one location. Between 2005 and

2016, she received Member for Member recognition for assisting 78 new

members join DAR. During her term, she helped educate each chapter

and all state officers on the use of e-membership. JoAnn also is an

associate member of the John Edwards, San Carlos, James Hogg and

Thomas Paine Chapters of Mexico.

SOURCES:

• State History Daughters of the American Revolution in Montana revised and

prepared for binding by Mrs. Lewis D. Smith, State Vice Regent 1939-1941,

Montana State Regents section, various unnumbered pages.

• State History Montana State Society Daughters of the American Revolution 1960-

1970, compiled by Amy Hales Dehnert Honorary State Regent, pp. 3-4

• State Centennial History Montana State Society Daughters of the American

Revolution Vol. Five 1894-1994, compiled by Iris McKinney Gray, State

Regent 1990-1992, pp. 3-11, 38-40

• Jennifer Lee Klossner Buckley, Silver Bow Chapter Regent 2012-2016,

Honorary Chapter Regent, wrote the chapter summary, researched and

provided information and photos on Montana State Regents

• eMembership database NSDAR

• The Montana Standard, “Gold Discovery Commemorated,” August 25, 1931,

page 2

• The Butte Miner, “Gala Week at Holland Rink,” February 3, 1908, page 2

• The Butte Miner, “Desecration of Flag Will be Punished,” February 18, 1917,

page 5

• The Butte Miner, “Daughters of the American Revolution,” December 25,

1897, page 8


• The Butte Miner, “Society,” February 20, 1898, page 10

• The Butte Daily Post, “Ladies Side with Loyal Brothers,” April 20, 1917, page 6

• The Butte Daily Inter Mountain, “Society’s World,” May 26, 1900, page 9

• The River Press of Fort Benton, February 8, 1933, p. 1

• The Butte Daily Post April 1, 1904, page 14.

• Report of Daughters of the American Revolution for 1897-1898, archived in the

NSDAR Office of the Recording Secretary General, page 146

• Report of Daughters of the American Revolution for 1899-1901, archived in the

NSDAR Office of the Recording Secretary General page 257

• The Anaconda Standard newspaper, June 4, 1905

• The Great Falls Tribune, September 30, 1923, p1, 17

• Compiled by State Regent Jane Lee Hamman 2016-2019

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(blank)


MONTANA SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE

AMERICAN REVOLUTION

A Brief History 1894-2018

A group of men gathered in Helena, Montana on June 5, 1894, to

organize and create the Montana Society Sons of the American Revolution.

We are not aware of the extent to which they knew each other; however, we

do know that they all had ancestors who fought in the American Revolution.

Their goal was to honor those patriots by forming a Montana State Society

of the Sons of the American Revolution.

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Among those gentlemen to arrive at this meeting was Decius Wade

(State No. 009), an attorney originally from Ohio who was referred to as

“the father of Montana jurisprudence.” Wade, a Civil War veteran, was

appointed by President Grant to be the Chief Justice of the Montana

Territorial Supreme Court, a position in which he served for sixteen

years. While Wade’s legal opinions are an important component of

Montana’s judicial history, he became known nationally when he changed

Montana’s execution day from Friday to Thursday:

I could not see but the fellow enjoyed it just as well as though Friday had

been the day appointed, and I thought that poor abused Friday

looked a little brighter the next morning.”

Wade almost didn’t fulfill his

tenure as Territorial Supreme

Court Chief Justice. In a

frightening incident on October

4, 1884, Wade and his fellow

passengers were nearly killed by a

group of aggressive bandits while

traveling by stagecoach from

Boulder to Helena. The Choteau

Acantha newspaper detailed a

harrowing saga of masked

bandits who stopped this coach

expecting to free a fellow prisoner who was supposed to be transferred

from Boulder to Helena’s jail. Instead, Wade and other gentlemen

passengers were those on board. One of the passengers was randomly

killed by a bandit before they dispersed. Wade ordered the coach to return

to Boulder where he organized a posse to find the criminals.


Cephas Bateman (State No. 001) was an

Army Chaplain who had been in service

around the country and was in Montana only

for a brief period of time, serving as a

Chaplain at Fort Assinniboine, near Havre.

Prior to the time of MTSSAR’s organization,

Bateman was stationed in Washington State,

where he first became a member of SAR.

MTSSAR has a digital copy of the document

of Chaplain Bateman’s request to leave the Washington State Society to

join the Montana Society. Bateman remained in Montana only until 1897,

when he was assigned to another military installation in Idaho. He

eventually served overseas during the occupation of the Philippines until his

return to the USA in the early twentieth century. His last post was in Fort

Bayward, Texas, where he served to comfort soldiers who were suffering

from tuberculosis.

Capt. John C. Dent (State No. 006) is another gentleman involved in

organizing MTSSAR. A nephew of

President and Mrs. Ulysses Grant, he

was assigned to Fort Assiniboine.

Dent’s exploits in Montana are

partially detailed in some newspaper

articles, one in the July 25, 1894,

River Press, describing how Capt.

Dent and several companies of the

infantry were ordered to Butte to

assist with keeping the Northern

Pacific railway open. This was during

303


one of many labor strikes in Butte. Of special note in the River Press article

was that only two companies remained at Fort Assiniboine, “Co. I, the

Indian Company of the 20th infantry, and one troop of the 10th, colored,

cavalry.”

William F. Wheeler was the compatriot who got the whole

organization rolling when he was asked in 1890 by NSSAR to organize a

society in Montana. Born on July 6, 1824, in Warwick, New York, the son

of a Methodist minister, at age 19 he ventured to Ohio where he became a

reporter for the Ohio Statesman. In 1848 he was admitted to the Ohio Bar

Association.

In 1856, William moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. Just before the

outbreak of the Civil War, he was commissioned Lt. Col. of the 1 st Minn.

Volunteer Infantry and he saw action at Corinth, Mississippi, and

Vicksburg, Tennessee.

After the war, Wheeler was appointed in 1869 by President Ulysses S.

Grant to be the 3rd United States Marshall of the Montana Territory,

which, among other duties, made him responsible for the construction of

the first territorial prison in Deer Lodge. Wheeler was involved with the

Montana State Historical Society when it became a state institution in

1884. He was appointed State Librarian and remained at that post until his

death.

Wheeler was asked by NSSAR in 1890 to “introduce the order to the

state.” Wheeler relayed to the National Society that “he had looked over

the ground enough to feel confident that there is a chance for a large

membership.” He wrote on May 31, 1890: “A provisional committee,

which met at Helena in April last, will give due notice and call a meeting

of all applicants and others eligible, living in Montana, who shall


wish to organize a State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

as an auxiliary to the National Society.

Wheeler took part in the first organizational meeting of the Montana

Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in Helena June 5, 1894.

He died later in June 1894, just after the Montana Society SAR was

created.

To publicize and organize for the meeting, Chaplain Bateman was

tasked to send announcements to the various newspapers in Montana.

From the Fort Benton River Press in May 15, 1894:

Fort Assinniboine, May 15 – To the descendants of men of the

revolution, now in Montana, greeting:

By authority of the National Society of Sons of the American

Revolution, a convention is hereby called to meet in the rooms of the

Historical Library at Helena, Montana, Tuesday, June 5 th , 1894, for

the purpose of organizing a Montana Society of Sons of the American

Revolution.

All who have established their eligibility to membership in the

proposed society are urged to be present or send proxies; all who have

not as yet completed their proofs are earnestly requested to attend in

order that valuable assistance may be rendered them; and all who

believe themselves to be eligible, but are not informed as to the method

of procedure by which data is obtained from historical archives are

cordially invited to attend this convention.

It is the intention of those interested in this movement to draw

together in a purely social and patriotic society all descendants of the

heroic men who made successful resistance to the authority of Great

305


Britain, and established on this continent our political independence

cherished institutions of civil and religious liberty. Let us recall by

organic union the struggles and sufferings of Lexington, Bunker

Hill, Trenton and Valley Forge.

Cephas C. Bateman, Chaplain, U.S. Army

Another announcement appeared in the May 17, 1894, Great Falls

Tribune:

By authority of the National Society of the Sons of the American

Revolution, a convention is hereby called to meet in the rooms of the

Historical library at Helena, Mont., Tuesday June 5, 1894, for the

purpose of organizing a Montana Society of the Sons of the

American Revolution. C.C. Bateman, Chaplain U.S. Army.

With this publicity, those interested in and able to attend arrived in

Helena to officially charter the Montana Society - Sons of the American

Revolution on June 5, 1894.

Membership primarily came from Helena and Fort Assiniboine,

although there were other members from throughout the state. The 1895

National Society Yearbook lists these officers, who were also the Board

of Managers:

President, Decius S. Wade

Senior Vice President, John C. Dent

Secretary, Robert H. Howey

Treasurer, James U. Sanders

Registrar, Cephas C. Bateman

Helena

Ft. Assiniboine

Helena

Helena

Ft. Assiniboine


Other MTSSAR members were listed as:

Charles J. Brackett

J.B. Collins

Arthur J. Craven

Cornelius Hedges

Alan B. Murray

Charles T. Perry

James L. Rodgers

Frederick Dent Sharpe

Louis A. Walker

Almar P. Webster

Helena

Miles City

Helena

Helena

Cokedale

Helena

Ft. Assiniboine

Ft. Assiniboine

Helena

Helena

As with any organization, once created, what should be done to

celebrate the patriot ancestors? In 1896, MTSSAR President Charles

Benton and Secretary H.H. Matheson organized the celebration of George

Washington’s birthday on February 22. The highlight of this celebration

was the reading of historical essays submitted by students from around

Montana. According to Benton,

The great idea of fostering the study of patriotic history was

originated by this society; and the patriotic teachers and pupils of

our schools have responded to the spirit in which it was created,

with such zeal and energy, this method of educating our youth has

become national. (The Anaconda Standard, November 20, 1896)

President Benton and Secretary Matheson implored principals and

teachers to send only “meritorious essays.” The tradition continued

throughout the decade of the 1890-90s, the MTSSAR holding the

celebration of George Washington’s birthday and the essay contest.

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Of interest throughout this decade in Montana newspapers were a

number of articles related to the National Society SAR and other state

societies from across the country. The Michigan Society held a special

celebration in May 1899, inviting Secretary of War Russell Alger as a

special guest of honor. The Michigan Society, apparently, broke out in

celebration of having their native son as a guest. This was interpreted by

the New York Society as a breach of political etiquette; that is, that the

Michigan Society used their special guest for political purposes rather than

to promote patriotism. (The Anaconda Standard, May 9, 1899)

The turn of the twentieth century witnessed continued activity in

MTSSAR, coupled with the realization that MTSSAR growth was slower

than anticipated.

Some activities still occurred; an example was a special gathering in

Helena to celebrate the Battle of Cowpens, January 17, 1781, in the

Carolinas. This gathering in Helena was publicized throughout the state

including the March 1, 1901 edition of The Dillon Tribune.

The period of 1900 to about 1910 was a time of slow growth of the

Montana Society. The 1902 SAR Yearbook included a brief report from

MTSSAR, which stated that, “The past year has been without much of

special interest to report.” The report continued to point out that the annual

celebration of Washington’s Birthday occurred during the annual meeting

and that “A grandson of a Revolutionary soldier was present as a member .

. . having ridden horseback over the mountains for sixty-five miles to be

present at the meeting.”

Essay contests continued throughout the decade, although submissions

were sparse. Compatriot Edward Russell observed that the Montana

Society could not make reports about celebrations of “monuments or


preservation or historic spots” related to the Revolutionary War, but that

the Montana Society shared the spirit of the Revolutionary War with other

national societies that had such history in their midst (1903 NSSAR

Yearbook).

A surprising news article written by Mrs. Donald McLean appeared in

newspapers around the country, and in Montana was printed in the Big

Timber Pioneer on December 5, 1907. Mrs. McLean described how the

Revolutionary War patriotic societies came into existence in the late 19th

century and how their popularity had expanded. But one facet was her

description of how women had asked the National Society - SAR to accept

women as members of their society. This was soundly rejected by the

leadership of NSSAR, which prompted the women to create their own

Daughters of the American Revolution in 1890. A section of Mrs.

McLean’s article is shown below:

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By 1905, a name that appeared

in the annual reports of the Montana

Society - SAR was Leslie Sulgrove

(State No. 059), who served in

various capacities in the Montana

Society for well over twenty-five

years. Originally from Indiana,

Sulgrove arrived in Montana in 1879

and lived in various locations prior to

settling in Helena. He held many

positions in Helena, including as

newspaper editor and as editor of

“The Stockman’s Journal.” He was

also chiefly responsible for creating Helena’s municipal water system.

Compatriot Sulgrove held national offices in the NSSDAR and as


Secretary-Treasurer of the MTSSAR or nearly three decades. Sulgrove

also served as President of MTSSAR in 1912, 1913, and 1920.

The turn of the century caused an uproar due to coming

“reinterpretations” of the American Revolutionary War and the motives of

the Founding Fathers. One article suggested that members of the Sons and

Daughters of the American Revolution were nothing more than “hero

worshippers” who were shocked to “learn that many revolutionary soldiers

were deserters and bounty jumpers and … that a British soldier had been

scalped at the Battle of Lexington.” (Daily Missoulian, February 4, 1912)

Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution remained unfazed and

continued their mission to advocate patriotism and to tell the story of how

our patriot ancestors fought to create this new nation. Membership in the

Montana Society - SAR remained at about 25-30 members for a period of

several years.

MTSSAR lobbied in the Montana Legislature for a law that would

prohibit “flag desecration” specifically to “prohibit the use of Flag . . . for

advertising purposes, its mutilation, defacement, defilement, etc.” A

loophole was provided in the proposed law to allow for use of the flag as

supported by U.S. law and regulations of the army and navy (NSSAR

Yearbook, 1912).

At the annual meeting in Helena on February 22, 1912, President Leslie

Sulgrove gave a special presentation about the “Sulgrove Manor House” in

England, which dated back to the early 1500s and remained in the Sulgrove

family until the manor was sold to probable ancestors of George

Washington. Another special presentation was given by Compatriot H. B.

311


Palmer detailing the “enthusiastic work of patriotic women during the

Revolution.” Mr. Palmer served as a President of MTSSAR. A long-time

visitor to and well-known in Big Timber, Palmer died suddenly in Helena

in 1915 (Big Timber Pioneer, January 14, 1915).

The major presentation during the 1914 annual meeting in Helena

concerned “commercialization” of the textbooks used in the schools.

Compatriot Howey of Miles City spoke at length regarding his concern

that patriotism was being written out of textbooks. Compatriot Crane

told of the need for character building within the family, rather than in the

schools: “good character was the foundation of the nation’s greatness,

and the only way this could be secured was in good family training.”

(NSSAR Yearbook, 1914).

An issue that plagued the National

Society - SAR was a lack of successful

recruitment in some state societies,

Montana included. At the 1916 Congress,

Montana Lt. Gov. and MTSSAR Vice-

President W.W. McDowell suggested that

“much could be accomplished in Montana