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
Montana State Society
Sons of the American Revolution
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
NSDAR President General
Ann Turner Dillon
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
MONTANA STATE SOCIETY NSDAR
APRIL 25, 1977
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
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
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.
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.
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,
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
~Ellen Baumler, PhD
BITTER ROOT CHAPTER, NSDAR
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)
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-
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Bleth “Polly” Maurine Wilson (Mrs. Charles E.) Dobson
State Regent 1939-1941
Member #222078; Revolutionary Ancestors: Joseph Attwood,
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
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.
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
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.
• Bitter Root Chapter: The First 100 Years, compiled and written by
Andrea Phillip using more than 25 listed sources, plus first-person
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
• 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
BLACK EAGLE-ASSINNIBOINE CHAPTER,
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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).
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
• 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
• 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
Organized February 15, 1917 ~ Susie Wallace (Mrs. Frank H.) Johnson,
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
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
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
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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 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.
* 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,
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,
• 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
• 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
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
Elizabeth Brown Rahn
Fanny Ainsworth Dykins
Ethel Walton Abbott
Josephine Cook Mueller
Sarah Stout Briscoe
Abigail Coulter Gilmour
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
John S. Hill
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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:
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,
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
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
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
• 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
• 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,
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
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.
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
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
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,
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
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,
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
1. Honor Jim’s service
2. Thank Jim for his service
3. Provide warm comfort and assurance that Jim is in our thoughts
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.
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.
• 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
MILK RIVER CHAPTER, NSDAR
Organized September 15, 1956 ~ Vivian Durkee (Mrs. Alexander)
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
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
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,
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.
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
• 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
MOUNT HYALITE CHAPTER, NSDAR
Organized March 8, 1912 ~ Ella T. Clark (Mrs. E. Broox) Martin,
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
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.
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
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.
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
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,
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
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:
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
“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
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!!!!
An obituary was published in the
Bozeman Daily Chronicle on March 3, 2019,
and reprinted in her memorial service
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.
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
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
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.
Iverna Lincoln (Mrs. Alvin J.) Huntsman
State Regent 2002-2004 and 2006-2009
Vice President General 2008-2011
Member# 629699; Revolutionary Ancestors: Isaac Lincoln,
Iverna is a Montana
native, born in the
Gallatin Valley in 1932.
She is the great-greatgrand-daughter
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
• 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
ORO FINO CHAPTER, NSDAR
Lewis and Clark County, Broadwater County and
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.”
However, in 2019, it’s “Veronica L. Bovee-Anderson, Regent Oro Fino
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
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
~ Dorothy Oliveira,
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Salvation Army. Monetary ~ Patty Donoho, Chapter Secretary
awards to students with high
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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,
organization and its members,
but are also tributes to our members and their families with newspaper
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
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
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
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
~ Veronica Bovee-Anderson,
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
Rebekah Lodge, Helena Woman’s Club, DAR and Alpha Gamma
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
• 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
SHINING MOUNTAIN CHAPTER, NSDAR
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Regent Fay Danielsen,
Boothroyd, Grant Writer
Trudie Biggers, and
Museum Director Neal
Gunnels celebrate at the
check presentation, June
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
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!
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.
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.
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
Louise served as
she had also
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
• 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
• 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
SILVER BOW CHAPTER, NSDAR
Organized December 21, 1897 ~ Jennie Stilwell (Mrs. Walter S.) Tallant,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Mrs. Renisch joined Silver Bow
Chapter and served Silver Bow as
Treasurer, Chaplain, and Vice Regent,
being elected Chapter Regent from 1901-
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
• 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,
• 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,
• 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
MONTANA SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
After the war, Wheeler was appointed in 1869 by President Ulysses S.
Grant to be the 3rd United States Marshall of the Montana Territory,