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NSDAR surpasses 1 million members

Members of John Conner Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution posed for a photo in 1917. Pictured, from left, are, in front, Gleda Houghton, Mabel Sanders Hart, Fredricka Minerva Faulkner Wilson, Adela Michener, Lulu Trusler Silveyand Bess Merrell Barnes; second row, Madge Kensler McKennan, Ella J. Hughes McFarlan, Mattie Webb Barrows, Ada Boerner Faulkner Newkirk, *Isabel Morrison Kensler, Estella Norris Ochiltree, Fannie Hulse Nevin, Laura Jane Trusler Backousand Rebecca Lockland Chrisman; third row, Beulah Hamilton Frazee, Mabel Buckley Zehrung, *Margaret Lucinda Pratt Hawkins, Pearl Sanders Page, Fannie Taylor Sanders, Rozzie Lair Hull, Gladys Lockhart Hasslerand Ethelyn May Backous. * indicates a charter member

This fall the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) will surpass one million total members who have joined the organization since its founding in 1890.

The DAR is a women’s service organization whose members can trace their lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War.

The John Conner DAR Chapter based in Connersville has welcomed 385 members since the chapter began in 1909. The chapter joins the National Society in celebrating this milestone by spotlighting members of the chapter through the years.

Throughout John Conner Chapter’s 110-year history, its membership has included many remarkable women from the local community. The 12 charter members at the organizing meeting on April 10, 1909, included Flora C. Broaddus; Lillian Chambers; Sophia Alice Frybarger Chitwood; Anne Disney Conwell Thompson; Cornelia Disney Conwell; Margaret I. Dickson; Sarah Elizabeth Merrill Garver; Margaret Pratt Hawkins; Irene Pepper Johnson; Isabel Morrison Kensler; Mary Susan Frybarger Pepper; and Sophia Ethel Pepper.

In December 1916, chapter members gave money for bed linens to the city hospital. In 1917, chapter members met and knitted sleeveless sweaters, mufflers, helmets and wristlets to be sent to Battleship Indiana. 

In researching for this article, it was discovered that the John Conner chapter had member number 100,000, a milestone for DAR at that time in history. Her name was Adella McGrew Michener. Her membership was approved on April 2, 1913. Adella is seated in the front row, middle of the photo, in front of the flag. She served as Chapter Regent 1917-19.

These members are just a few of the one million women who have joined DAR since 1890. Each DAR member has a unique story, but all share a passion for historic preservation, education and patriotism and a dedication to her local community.

The John Conner DAR Chapter focuses much of its efforts on projects suggested by the National Society and the Indiana DAR; making financial donations to active duty military and veterans projects, awarding prizes to students for essays on American History and DAR Good Citizen, marking historic sites, honoring people in the community, donating books to the local library and the NSDAR Library.

The chapter has copied documents, planted trees, sent many packages of clothing and household articles to the approved schools. Members have been honored for over 25, 50, 60 and 70 years of service to America. Chapter members have served at chapter and state level as committee chairmen and state officers. They have also served at the national level as division chairmen and national officers.

The chapter encourages women interested in DAR membership to contact Chapter Registrar Jeanie Hornung at ktomom@comcast.net.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to preserve the memory and spirit of those who contributed to securing American independence. For more than 125 years, the DAR has strived to bring awareness to the honorable sacrifices and enduring legacy of all patriots who fought for America’s freedom. Through the DAR Genealogical Research System (www.dar.org/GRS), the public can access a free database of information amassed by the DAR about these patriots. DAR is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s service organization with more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. DAR members passionately carry out the timeless mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.dar.org.