IN THE BEGINNING, 1917 – 1938
The Colonel John Washington Chapter was organized April 3, 1917. Their first meeting was held at the home of Organizing Regent Miss Fanny Washington Hunter Weeks at 1920 Sunderland Place, Washington, D.C. Miss Weeks was charter member number 23 of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
When the chapter was organized there were twelve charter members and by 1935 the chapter had grown to sixty-five members. Miss Fanny Washington Hunter Weeks was our first Regent and served seven years in that office, and most of the early meetings were in her home. She died in 1928 at age 80. A tribute to her was placed in the Chapter Memorial Book at the chapter house and a chair purchased for the auditorium at Constitution Hall in her honor. On September 27, 1975, a Bronze DAR Marker was placed at her gravesite in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, Washington, DC, and a rededication ceremony is planned for April 7, 1990.
From the beginning the chapter has been dedicated to historical, educational and patriotic endeavors. We contributed to parties for the soldiers at Mt. Alto Hospital and rolled bandages for the Red Cross. We supported education and general betterment of the Southern Mountaineers. By 1923 there were 3000 members in the District of Columbia DAR and it was decided that there was a need for a chapter house. Members of the Colonel John Washington Chapter helped to acquire that house located at 1732 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
By 1925 the chapters were asked to support the Continental Library and ten cents was solicited per member for the purchase of rare books. Chapter meetings were interesting with discussions of Americanization, Ellis Island, Constitution Hall and Chapter House activities. These meetings were usually held at the home of the Organizing Regent, Miss Weeks. Different committees were established to carry out the work of the Chapter. Topics were Magazines, Better Films, Children, Sons, and Daughters of the Republic, Constitution Hall and Finance, Continental Hall and Revolutionary Relics, Conservation and Thrift, DAR Student Loan Fund, Entertainment, International Relations and Legislation, Library, National Defense, Patriotic Education and the correct use of the American Flag.
In 1929 Mrs. James B. Stansfield was elected Regent. She reorganized our chapter. Mrs. Stansfield was Registrar General and National Chairman for Genealogical Records. She spent 50 years in service of the National and Local Society.
From 1933 to 1938 one hundred and four pages of church records were copied by Mrs. Edward C. Stone, Mrs. Robert Carroll and Mrs. Roy Tinker. These were vital records from St. John’s Church in Georgetown, the oldest Episcopal Church there, founded in 1796. Also a list of the original subscribers.. Mrs. Beatrice Reid Power, Regent 1933-1936, gave the library an old Connecticut will from her family dated 1765. Trees were planted and $50 was donated for milk for needy children of Washington, DC. By March 1935 membership had grown to 65 members and in October the chapter adopted by-laws for their future guidance.
Secretary of the Navy Swanson appointed Mrs. Beatrice Reid Power as sponsor for the USS Reid in honor of her grandfather, Captain Samuel C. Reid, who had paved the way for victory at New Orleans in the Ware of 1812. The USS Reid, one of the U.S. Navy’s newest type of destroyers, was the third ship to honor Captain Reid’s name.
During this time Miss Helen Corselius, Mrs. Jennie Esmond Wright and Mrs. Richard Frizell were commended for their fine committee work.