SEVEN PATRIOTIC YEARS
Edna Mae Williams Leu, (Mrs. Walter) was elected chapter regent in May 1965. The chapter gave articles of clothing to an eleven year old scholarship girl at Crossnore School and donated funds to the Adele Sullivan Building Fund for Crossnore School. New members welcomed included Lois Bowen (Mrs. Wm. J.); Alma Carr (Mrs. Roy N.); Iva Pearson (Mrs. A.E.); Frances Faulconer; and Belle Wishart Allen. Grace Standiford was an exceptionally good registrar and was beloved by all.
Letta Brock Stone (Mrs. Edward) and Grace Standiford finished fourteen inches of the “Grandfather Sheets”. Faith Urdahl (Mrs.) donated a memorial album of “1776” along with photographs to the DAR Library.
Dr. Ruthe Miller Kniep (Mrs. William) enrolled her two children in the CAR. Our chapter was proud to present a photo copy of the Ree Family Bible to the Library. Malowe Case Ausen (Mrs. JuliusJ.) and Dr. Ruth Kniep donated trees in memory of their husbands to the campus of Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.
The chapter contributed to a fund for the restoration of Constitution Hall to modernize it with air conditioning and return it to its former grandeur. Two $50 scholarships were given, one each to Kate Duncan Smith and Tamassee. A beautiful picture of Francis Scott Key’s home in Georgetown was presented to the DAR Museum by our member Miss Helen Galbraith.
Our chapter history covering the period 1917-1965 was written by our dedicated regent, Edna Leu. This history was one of sixteen completed in the District. It required many dedicated hours of research and work. Along with the history she typed and retyped all the minutes and made a roster of all chapter officers for the period 1917-1965. We were all grateful to her indeed. Exceptional programs included “The Ladies of the Garter” by Mrs. Cloyd Marvin, wife of the President of George Washington University, and our member, Dr. Ruth Kniep’s “Parade of Paper Dolls” representing the past. Our junior member, Nancy Miller, returned from Florida and served as a page at our National Continental Congress. Letta Stone wrote to us from Rome, Belle Allen sent greetings from Alaska, and Miss Jewell wrote us about spending Christmas in Florence, Italy. Fifty-year pins were awarded to Falba Johnson and Frances Washington Weeks.
The highlight of Edna Leu’s administration was the April 1967 celebration of the chapter’s 50th Birthday with a tea attended by national and state officers and state committee chairmen. Two of our founding members attended: Frances Washington Weeks and Falba Johnson. Bertha Carroll was in charge of arrangements.
Dr. Ruth Kniep took the reins of Regent in October 1967. She is a professor of English at Montgomery College and a young widow of two months – a courageous lady. Letta Stone’s motion to charge members $1.50 for each invited guest was approved.
Louise Wells Peck (Mrs. Melvin, Sr.) presented a copy of the Patriots’ Index to our chapter. Faith Urdahl (Mrs.) gave an American flag and a Church flag in the name of our chapter and in honor of her ancestor who founded the First Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. The flags were presented to the Glen Echo Church where Faith Urdahl’s nephew as the minister. Dr. Kniep’s two children carried these flags in the presentation.
Historical slides were shown of Cambridge Farm in Massachusetts and the Battle Grounds of Lexington, where the American Revolutionary War began. Malowe Ausen (Mrs. J.J.) had taken the pictures when she, her husband, and father retraced the steps of the Muzzy family. The son of Malowe Ausen’s ancestor, Isaac Muzzy, was the fifth one to fall in the Battle of Lexington. Her family had lived there since the very early 1600’s.
Meetings were attended by some thirty to thirty-five members. The deaths of Ella Van Wagner Fisher (Mrs. Clarence), Mary Jane Jones (Mrs.), Catharine Smith (Mrs. Earl B.), and Pearl Shrader were sadly reported. Members were advised to inform their lawyers if they wished the DAR emblem placed on their grave markers. A letter from member Lt. Colonel Elizabeth Fitch’s attic proved to be of historical value and was given to the Americana Collection at National by Mrs. Walter E. Ward, State Regent, and a cousin to Lt. Colonel Fitch. The letter, written in 1841, was by a mutual ancestor of the two ladies. Members were asked to search out other letters and information.
Mr. Youst spoke against the proposed new constitution for Maryland. Dr. Kniep gave $50 to the flower fund which had been under stress due to many illnesses and deaths. The chapter had seventy members at that time and each was assessed $2 for chapter house taxes. Members did not forget our soldiers and donated funds for USO dinners.
A slide show on “Historical Homes” by Raymond Clark showed among other famous American homes, “Shadows-On-The-Teche”, the Weeks’ Ancestral home, including our chapter’s founding member, Fanny Washington Hunter Weeks, Frances Washington Weeks, and Anne Stephen Hunter Weeks. This 1830’s house in New Iberia, Louisiana is now a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is one of Louisiana’s most famous homes. It fell into ruins following the Civil War but was restored in 1920 by Weeks Hall, the great grandson of the builder, David Weeks, wealthy sugarcane planter, and grandfather of our founding member.
Malowe Ausen (Mrs. Julius J.), became chapter regent in May 1969 and had her first meeting at the Kennedy Warren Hotel with twenty-seven members and six guests present. Mrs. Austin Gaver, Official Photographer for NASA, showed the exciting film, “The Eagle Has Landed” to our members.
Our beloved and exceptional Registrar, Miss Grace Standiford passed away September 18, 1971. She had told Malowe Ausen that she would rather be on a bus going somewhere to check a prospective member’s genealogy than to eat. Her estate gave three scholarships to DAR Schools.
Robert McHenry, Professor of Political Science told us about “Communist Strategy”. We were pleased to have Frances Washington Weeks, a charter member, at that big meeting. At Christmas time, the Regent made a tea table arrangement of live boxwood and tiny cardinal birds which created much discussion. She introduced Dr. John Berg, Jr., recipient of the Sloan Kettering Fellowship award who gave a most fascinating talk on “Cancer, the Second Cause of Death in the United States”. The regent’s conservation thought was “Feed the Birds”.
An inventory of the furnishings, etc was completed of our chapter house requiring two years work.
Dr. John Perry, Assistant Director of the National Zoo, gave an exciting informal talk on “Conservation of Animal Life as well Land and other phases of Conservation”. At another meeting, Dr. William Gilbert of the Library of Congress talked on Genealogy using as an example the method used by the Cherokee Indians.
As spring came, the members of the chapter visited the house and lovely gardens of Hampton House near Towson, Maryland. The largest Mimosa tree on the East Coast grows there. This house had been the home of the Ridgley family for many years. Our chapter members became serious when Manuel Valderrama, Director of the Inter-American Bank spoke to us on the “History of the Bank, it’s Functions and Aims”. At Christmas time the Madrigal Singers of Washington Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia were introduced by Rosaline Bishop Barton (Mrs. William). After the delightful program the students joined the members at our Christmas luncheon.
Virginia Aderhold McDole Larsen (Mrs. Aksel), in her continued interest in Indians, talked about American Music and the American Indians. She has been most generous with financial contributions to Bacone Indian College and Saint Mary’s Indian Schools as well as our chapter.
We had six faithful members living at the Hermitage Retirement Home and one at the Washington House nearby, who were very active and eager to take trips to historical places and support the chapter’s projects. They “taxi-pooled” and we toured the Clara Barton House and the Society of Cincinnati’s home, the Anderson House, in Washington DC. Our contributions to DAR approved schools remained generous. We entertained state officers at a lively luncheon at the Kennedy Warcen Hotel. Real estate taxes on the chapter house had reached $8,000 per year and the Chapter members were busy going to benefit luncheons, bake sales, bazaars and having silent auctions to raise money. A “Let Freedom Ring” luncheon and style show had the support of the wives of the United States President and Vice President, Patricia Nixon (Mrs. Richard), Judy Agnew (Mrs. Spiro) and Martha Mitchell, wife of the Attorney General, John Mitchell. This luncheon was a great aid in raising necessary funds for taxes. Thirty-three of our members and guests attended the event. Our regent was commended for her work in raising $2,000 from the Patrons to further help with the taxes.
Mrs. Walter Ward, Honorary State Regent, gave a picture talk on the Founders of NSDAR and young student Robert Sessions showed slides and talked on “Conservation and Pollution of the Potomac River Basin”. Iva Pearson (Mrs. Arthur) always presented interesting National Defense programs. The Regent, Malowe Ausen, ended her first State Conference Report in March 1970 quoting Samuel Adams, who upon hearing the news of Lexington, exclaimed, “What a glorious morning for America!” “Let it begin here”, said the men of Lexington, on April 19, 1775. At the conclusion of her report to the March 1971 state conference she said, “As a descendant of Isaac Muzzy our National Theme, ‘God grants liberty to those who live it….and are always ready to defend it’. This quote has a very special meaning to her.
Rosalind Bishop Barton (Mrs. William N.), Rosie to us, became Regent in May 1971. She had served as a page for National and State for five years and as a delegate for three years. The chapter work was entered with renewed interest and vigor starting with a luncheon at the Washington Golf and Country Club in Virginia honoring chapter members and members of twenty-five years or more. A National Officer and five State Officers in addition to members paid tribute to Frances Washington Weeks and seventeen chapter members with twenty-five years or more service. Winnifred Mason (Mrs. Martin A.), State Vice Regent, brought greetings and spoke to us about the history of the society pointing out that the DAR had gone from four members to 193,000 in 2029 Chapters by 1971. A memorable, albeit sad trip, was made to New Freedom, Pennsylvania by eith members of our chapter to place a DAR marker on the grave of Miss Grace Standiford. Many of her relatives were in attendance including our members, ever loyal, Clara Standiford Hendrix (Mrs. Allen), her sister. Chaplain Iva Pearson, conducted a very appropriate memorial service, with Rosie Barton, our Regent presiding. Clara Hendrix and the relatives expressed appreciation for the solemn service. Two of the relatives attending joined the DAR as a result of this service through a Pennsylvania Chapter. Grace Standiford was responsible for getting many, many new members for our chapter. She had worked for the Internal Revenue Service for 38 years.
Mrs. Christine Moammar of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia showed us a film on the “Mecca Pilgrimage” and told of women’s role in Saudi Arabia, following a huge bazaar and luncheon at Southern Towers apartments, home to member Edith DeZerne (Mrs. H.) who was chairman of the bazaar and made so many beautiful crafts and kitchen lines to sell.
Our faithful Treasurer, Frances Faulconer, regularly reported on the chapter’s funds. Beatrice Bishop Franklin (Mrs. Chas. H.) kept after members to subscribe to the DAR Magazine. Books continued being given to the library as gifts and memorials. All members contributed to the restoration and refurbishing of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Support was given to the Seimes Microfilm Center for the microfilming of old records. Past Regent and now our Associate member, Helen Cousin Rod (Mrs. Arthur J.) married Walter Jacobson and lives in Florida. She stays in regular touch.
In October 1971 death took the lives of Bertha Carroll, for many years our faithful Treasurer as well as a past State Treasurer; and Evelyn Branstetter (Mrs. Neil V.), who became ill with cancer while serving as Vice Regent during the period May 1971 and May 1972. Malowe Ausen, immediate past Regent, fell ill and missed her first DAR meeting in six years.
An interesting Show & Tell program followed a meeting with the Regent, Rosie Barton conducting the program from a small table belonging to Daniel Rogers, Revolutionary ancestor of Rosie, her two sisters, Beatrice Bishop Franklin and Patricia Bishop Middelthon, and their aunt, Helen Corselius. All four of these ladies joined the DAR through the Revolutionary service of this soldier. Also the family displayed a pre-revolutionary hand woven flaxen bedsheet from the same ancestor. Letta Stone showed her beautiful lace collection. Emily Tinker, long a resident of Georgetown, displayed a dress owned by a REAL DAR daughter. A pair of hand-forged, 150-year-old scissors owned by Ruby Oddone’s family, and lovely scarves with embroidery were shown by Edith DeZerne and Ruth Borgstrom (Mrs. Perry).
Malowe Ausen as state chairman of conservation announced her project as the “Year of the Tree”. She raised $600 to plant hardwood trees on Columbia Island to protect the Dogwood trees planted by “Ladybird Johnson”, wife of the President of the United States. We donated two trees to honor Letta Brock Stone (Mrs. Edward) and Katherine Bell. Member Katherine Bell, had been a school teacher at Eastern High School in Washington for many years and taught Rosie Barton and Beatrice Franklin. Malowe Ausen’s committee also gave a scholarship to a George Mason University student who was majoring in water pollution, and sent a DC 4-H Club girl to the 4-H Club National Conclave in Chicago.
The Regent, Rosie Barton, announced that the Chilean Government had the cash to make a down payment on our Chapter House on Massachusetts Avenue.
Members continued to support the Out-Patient Veterans luncheons and bingo ames at the Veterans Hospital. Speakers of note during Rosie Barton’s term as regent were Mrs. Arthur Brown, State Chairman of the Bicentennial of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in preparation of the DAR’s participation in 1976; General Mildred Bailey, who spoke on “Today’s Women in the Woman’s Army Corp”’; Mr. Milton Miller, who spoke on the “Great American Seal”. Who can forget the Washington Lee Madrigal Singers at Christmas time? A special luncheon meeting was held at the Marriott in Rosslyn to honor Letta Stone, who was so dedicated to DAR and so beloved, she was known as our matriarch.
We joined other chapters in celebrating American History Month with a luncheon at the United States Capitol, Senate wing, after which the Hon. Fred Schwengel, President of the US Capitol Historical Society, escorted us on a tour of the halls were Allen Cox, noted painter, had painted the murals on the ceilings. Our National Society assisted financially in this important project. While touring, the President of the United States made an unexpected visit to the House of Representatives. The Secret Service men swarmed into the Capitol and we were rushed to protective corridors until the President came through to the elevators. What excitement!
At the conclusion of her term, Rosie Barton expressed her term as being, “most educational, rewarding and the friendships made most precious”.