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Twelfth State Regent, Nebraska Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.1915-1916

     The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was organized in Washington, District of Columbia, October 11, 1890, and incorporated under the laws of Congress, June 8, 1891. Its charter membership numbered 818. Its declared object was:

     "To perpetuate the memory of the spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence by the acquisition and protection of historical spots, and the erection of monuments; by the encouragement of historical research in relation to the Revolution and the publication of its results; by the preservation of documents and relics, and of the records of the individual services of revolutionary soldiers and patriots, and by the promotion of celebrations of all patriotic anniversaries.

     "To carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, 'to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge,' thus developing an enlightened public opinion, and affording to young and old such advantages as shall develop in them the largest capacity for performing the duties of American citizens.

     "To cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty."

     Although there were previously some "members at large" in Nebraska, no chapter had been organized until the formation of Deborah Avery chapter in 1896. At present (1916) there are thirty-three chapters with a membership of fifteen hundred, and a well organized state society actively engaged in historical, educational, and patriotic work. Each chapter pays to the state society a per capita tax of twenty-five cents. A conference is held annually to plan the state work and promote the purposes of the national society.

     Mrs. Charlotte F. Palmer of Omaha was appointed by the national society as organizing regent for Nebraska, June 7, 1894.




She was reappointed in February, 1895, and again in February, 1896.

     No chapters were formed until in 1896, when Mary M. A. Stevens of Lincoln was admitted to membership in the national society, January 8, and was made organizing regent by Mrs. Philip Hichborn, vice-president general in charge of organization. Under the direction of Miss Stevens, Deborah Avery chapter was formed May 15, 1896, and chartered June 17 following.

     In May, 1896, Mrs. Laura B. Pound of Lincoln was appointed state regent to succeed Mrs. Palmer and the real work of organization was begun.

     Omaha chapter was formed June 29, 1896, and approved by the national society October 1, 1896. In December, 1896, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Langworthy was appointed organizing regent at Seward but a chapter was not completed there until nine years later. In February, 1897, Mary M. A. Stevens of Deborah Avery chapter and Mrs. Henry L. Jaynes of Omaha chapter were delegates to the continental congress at Washington. Miss Stevens nominated Mrs. Pound for state regent and Mrs. Jaynes nominated Mrs. John M. Thurston of Omaha for vice-president general from Nebraska. Their election followed. Mrs. Thurston died March 14, 1898, and her sister-in-law, Mrs. Angie Thurston Newman of Lincoln was elected at the following congress to succeed her. No new chapters were perfected in 1897 but Minnie Shedd Cline of Minden and Mrs. Sarah G. Bates of Valentine were appointed organizing regents.

     Mrs. Frances Avery Haggard of Lincoln was elected state regent by the continental congress in February, 1898. She devoted her energies to raising money and supplies for the relief work undertaken by the Daughters during the Spanish-American war. At the close of her first term Mrs. Haggard declined a renomination.

     The third state regent was Mrs. Elizabeth Towle of Omaha, who was first elected in 1899 and reëlected in 1900. Miss Anna Day of Beatrice was appointed organizing regent by Mrs. Towle.

     In 1901 Mrs. Laura B. Pound was again elected state regent and served two terms. The national society having made provision for state vice-regents, Mrs. Mildred L. Allee of Omaha was elected to that office. Mrs. Annie Strickland Steele was ap-



pointed organizing regent at Fairbury, Mrs. Janet K. Hollenbeck at Fremont, and Mrs. Olive A. Haldeman at Ord. In her last report as state regent Mrs. Pound recorded two new chapters, Quivira chapter at Fairbury, organized December 3, 1902, and Lewis-Clark chapter at Fremont, January 17, 1903, with chapters at Beatrice and Ord in process of formation. Quivira chapter was chartered February 3, 1903, and Lewis-Clark chapter was chartered February 13, 1903.

     The first state conference was called by Mrs. Pound in October, 1902, and was held in Lincoln at the home of the late Mrs. Addison S. Tibbetts. This conference was called to nominate a state regent and plan for observing the centennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. This event was celebrated August 3, 1904, the anniversary of the council of Lewis and Clark with the Otoe and Missouri Indians. On this date a Nebraska boulder was dedicated at Fort Calhoun with appropriate exercises, participated in by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Nebraska State Historical Society. This was the first historical event commemorated by the Daughters in Nebraska.

     Mrs. Mildred L. Allee of Omaha was nominated for state regent at the conference in 1902, and Mrs. Emma Kellogg of Lincoln for vice-regent. These nominations were approved at the continental congress in 1903 and both nominees were elected, and reëected in 1904.

     Coronado chapter at Ord was organized January 25, 1904, and Elizabeth Montague chapter at Beatrice June 17, 1904. The former was chartered September 30, 1904, and the latter June 21, 1905.

     On October 20, 1903, the second annual state conference was held in Omaha. Mrs. Charles Warren Fairbanks, president general of the national society, was the guest of honor and delivered an address upon the subject, "The Mission of the Daughters of the American Revolution."

     The third annual state conference assembled in Lincoln, October 19, 1904, for a two days' session. Mrs. Elizabeth C. Langworthy of Seward was chosen for state regent and Mrs. Janet K. Hollenbeck of Fremont was the choice of the conference for vice-regent. Both were elected, and both were renominated at the fourth state conference held at Fairbury in October, 1905.



Mrs. Langworthy organized the Margaret Holmes chapter at Seward April 10, 1905, and Nikumi chapter at Blair, February 23,1906.

     Lincoln entertained the fifth annual state conference October 29-30, 1906, Mrs. Donald McLean, president general, being the guest of honor. At this conference a state organization was perfected and by-laws adopted providing that nominations for state regent and vice-regent should be made by the state board of management and submitted to the continental congress for election. Other officers for the state organization were to be elected at the annual conference. This system was followed until 1910, when the by-laws of the national society were changed to permit each state organization to elect its own regent and vice-regent.

     Mrs. Charles B. Letton of Quivira chapter, Fairbury, was nominated for state regent and Mrs. Janet K. Hallenbeck for vice-regent at the meeting of the board of management in the spring of 1907, and were elected at the national congress immediately following. Mrs. Letton was reëlected in 1908 and Mrs. S. D. Barkalow of Omaha was elected vice-regent.

     The sixth annual state conference was held in Omaha October 22-23, 1907. Mrs. Letton appointed three organizing regents, one at Aurora, where no chapter has yet been formed; Mrs. Arthur E. Allyn at Hastings, and Mrs. Charles Oliver Norton at Kearney. On May 16, 1908, she organized the Fort Kearney chapter at Kearney, which was chartered October 27, 1908, with Mrs. Norton as its first regent.

     Mrs. Richard C. Hoyt presented the following resolution to the sixth annual conference and moved its adoption, the motion being seconded by Mrs. Henrietta M. Rees:

     "Therefore, be it resolved that the D. A. R. of Nebraska cooperate with the State Historical Society in taking some steps toward marking the old Oregon trail in Nebraska and that a committee be appointed to act in unison with the Historical Society."

     The resolution was adopted.. Members of the Omaha chapter who were interested in this matter at the time, say that the idea was suggested by Dr. George L. Miller of Omaha, then president of the State Historical Society. In accordance with the foregoing resolution Mrs. Letton, state regent, appointed the follow-

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Erected by Omaha Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution


Erected by Omaha Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution

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ing committee: Mrs. John J. Stubbs, Omaha; Mrs. George H. Brash, Beatrice; and Mrs. Stephen B. Pound, Lincoln.

     The seventh annual conference was held at Fremont October 29-30, 1908. At this conference Mrs. Letton urged that plans he made for marking the Oregon trail across Nebraska, and called upon Mrs. Charles Oliver Norton who had been appointed chairman of the Oregon trail committee to present the subject to the conference.

     In April, 1909, Mrs. Oreal S. Ward of Lincoln was elected state regent and Mrs. S. D. Barkalow of Omaha was reëlected vice-regent. In 1910 Mrs. Ward was reëlected state regent with Mrs. Charles Oliver Norton as vice-regent.

     The eighth state conference was held at Beatrice October 28-29, 1909. At this conference it was voted to present two marble pedestals to Memorial Continental Hall. It was resolved to vigorously prosecute the efforts to secure an appropriation from the legislature for the marking of the Oregon trail. Mrs. Charles B. Letton, during her last term as state regent, had endeavored to have the legislature of 1909 appropriate money for marking this trail, but no action was taken by that body until the session of 1911, when, through the efforts of Mrs. Oreal S. Ward, who had been elected state regent, $2,000 was appropriated "for the purpose of assisting in the procuring of suitable monuments to mark the Oregon trail in the state of Nebraska." This money was to be expended under the direction of a commission composed of "the state surveyor of Nebraska, the state regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the state of Nebraska, and the secretary of the Nebraska State Historical Society." This act was approved April 7, 1911. On April 10th following, the above named commissioners met and organized as the "Oregon Trail Memorial Commission," with Robert Harvey president, Mrs. Oreal S. Ward vice-president, and Clarence S. Paine secretary-treasurer.

     During Mrs. Ward's term as state regent she organized four chapters, St. Leger Cowley chapter, Lincoln, December 3, 1909; Niobrara chapter, Hastings, October 12, 1910; Otoe chapter, Nebraska City, February 15, 1911; Major Isaac Sadler chapter, Omaha, March 1, 1911.

     The ninth annual state conference was held in Seward, Octo-



ber 19-20, 1910, and Mrs. Charles Oliver Norton of Kearney was elected state regent, and Mrs. Warren Perry of Fairbury vice-regent. They were reëlected at the tenth state conference, held at Kearney, October 23-25, 1911. The following eleven chapters were organized during Mrs. Norton's administration:

     Platte chapter, Columbus, October 20, 1911.

     Reavis-Ashley chapter, Falls City, January 5, 1912.

     Superior chapter, Superior, January 12, 1912.

     Thirty-seventh Star chapter, McCook, February 21, 1912.

     David City chapter, David City, March 5, 1912.

     Pawnee chapter, Fullerton, March 28, 1912.

     David Conklin chapter, Callaway, February 22, 1913.

     Josiah Everett chapter, Lyons, February 26, 1913.

     Bonneville chapter, Lexington, February 26, 1913.

     Nancy Gary chapter, Norfolk, February 27, 1913.

     Stephen Bennett chapter, Fairmont, February 28, 1913.

     Mrs. Norton attended the third meeting of the Oregon Trail Commission, held May 2, 1911, and was elected vice-president in place of Mrs. Oreal S. Ward whom she had succeeded as state regent. During her term Mrs. Norton vigorously prosecuted the work of marking the Oregon trail, with the assistance of Mrs. Charles B. Letton, whom she had appointed as chairman of the Oregon trail committee. During her administration the contract was made for regulation markers to be used in marking the trail, and several were erected. There were also several special monuments erected ranging in cost from $100 to $350. The first monument to be planned for during this period was the one on the Kansas-Nebraska state line, to cost $350, which, however, was not dedicated until later, and the last monument to be dedicated during Mrs. Norton's term was the one on the Nebraska-Wyoming line, costing $200, for which Mrs. Norton raised the money from the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution in Nebraska and Wyoming. During this time there was also a very careful survey made of the trail and sites for monuments were selected.

     In April, 1910, Mrs. Andrew K. Gault of Omaha was elected vice-president general from Nebraska at the national congress and reëlected in 1912, serving, in all, four years.

     The eleventh annual conference was held in Lincoln, October



22-24, 1912. Mrs. Mathew T. Scott, president general, was the honor guest. Amendments to the by-laws were adopted in harmony with the by-laws of the national organization and the date of the state conference was changed from October to March. It was provided that all state officers should serve for one term of two years, and the per capita tax was raised from ten cents to twenty-five cents. Mrs. Warren Perry of Fairbury was elected state regent and Mrs. Charles H. Aull of Omaha vice-regent.

     The twelfth annual state conference convened at Fairbury, March 17-19, 1914. During Mrs. Perry's term of office there were organized the following chapters:

     Oregon Trail chapter, Hebron, October 20, 1913.

     Jonathan Cass chapter, Weeping Water, January 23, 1914.

     Elijah Gove chapter, Stromsburg, February 16, 1914.

     Fontenelle chapter, Plattsmouth, April 21, 1914.

     Reverend Reuben Pickett chapter, Chadron, March 4, 1915.

     At the close of her administration twelve organizing regents were at work: Mrs. Eleanor Murphey Smith, Crete; Mrs. Capitola Skiles Tulley, Alliance; Mrs. Mabel Raymond, Scottsbluff; Miss Jessie Kellogg, Red Cloud; Mrs. Alice Dilworth, Holdrege; Mrs. Clara King Jones, Wayne; Mrs. C. M. Wallace, Shelton; Mrs. Charles Brown, Sutton; Mrs. Margaret Orr, Clay Center; Mrs. Viola Romigh, Gothenburg; Mrs. Leona A. Craft, Morrill; Dr. Anna Cross, Crawford.

     The most important work to engage the attention of the state society during the administration of Mrs. Perry was the erection of monuments on the Oregon trail, and the accumulation of material for the present volume of reminiscences. A large number of the regulation markers on the Oregon trail were erected during this time; several special monuments dedicated and others arranged for.

     The thirteenth state conference was held in Omaha, March 17-19, 1915. Mrs. Charles H. Aull of Omaha was elected state regent, and Mrs. E. G. Drake of Beatrice vice-regent. Three chapters have been organized under the present administration:

     Capt. Christopher Robinson chapter, Crawford, June 16, 1915.

     Butler-Johnson chapter, Sutton, June 17, 1915.

     Three Trails chapter, Gothenburg, December 31, 1915.

     At the present time plans are being formulated for marking



the California trail from Omaha and Florence along the north side of the Platte river to the Wyoming line. This work will be carried forward by the Daughters, through the agency of the Nebraska Memorial Association of which the state regent is vice-president.



"The moving Finger writes, and having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."
- Omar Khayyam

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