Colonel Marinus Willett Chapter, Frankfort, N.Y.
Colonel William Feeter Chapter, Dolgeville, N.Y.

General Herkimer's Home

General Herkimer's Home, early 20th Century, before DAR Restoration

Source: History of New York State Conference Daughters of the American Revolution, Its Officers and Chapters with National Officers from New York and Roster of Real Daughters. Compiled by (Mrs. Frederick) Florence Skidmore Brown Menges, State Historian, and Mrs. Charles White Nash, State Regent. 1923.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a society of women who can document their lineage back to an ancestor who contributed to the creation of the United States as a nation. Chapters across the U.S. work on projects that preserve and maintain historical locations, buildings, and other cultural resources, and keep the memories alive of events before and since the Revolution. Many local cemeteries and documents have been transcribed by members of area DAR chapters. Some of them no longer exist except for DAR documentation. The purchase and historic preservation of the General Herkimer Home is one of many success stories of the Mohawk Valley chapters.


Organized 1905          Membership 40

Marinus Willett, distinguished American soldier, Lieutenant, French and Indian War; prominent leader of Sons of Liberty New York City; entered Continental Army, 1775; accompanied Montgomery to Canada; served in vicinity of New York 1776; second in command under Gansevoort at Fort Stanwix; attained rank of colonel, 1779; accompanied Sullivan's expedition against the Iroquois; 1780-83, commanded New York militia in Mohawk Valley making last attack of the war on the British at Oswego. February 1782. Member of Assembly, 1783-84; sheriff of New York 1784-92; mayor of New York City, 1807-08.

Colonel Marinus Willett Chapter, founded November 10, 1905, with eighteen charter members, Mrs. George Watson, being the Organizing Regent. The first officers were:

Regent - Mrs. Alice B. Watson
Vice Regent - Mrs. Etta S. Richards
Recording Secretary - Miss Eva M. Bayliss
Corresponding Secretary - Mrs. Arvilla H. Staring
Treasurer - Mrs. Mary B. Thurston
Registrar - Mrs. Sallie G. Getman
Historian - Miss Sarah M. Piper
Chaplain - Mrs. Elizabeth Gilbert

For its educational work contributions have been made to the Martha Berry School, the Tamassee School, Guernsey Scholarship, and to the local schools annually $5.00 and $2.50 gold pieces for the highest standing in United States History, also flags and flag codes.

When the Frankfort Public Library was erected, this chapter contributed $200 towards the building, and the members worked faithfully for the library in many ways.

One of the "markers" indicating the route from General Herkimer house, to the Oriskany Battlefield, was given by this chapter, which also furnished a room in the General Herkimer homestead. The forgotten graves of Revolutionary soldiers in this vicinity have been properly marked.

During the World War, Liberty Bonds were purchased by the chapter, and by its individual members. They were also active in the various other relief work at that time. The quotas requested by Mrs. Charles White Nash, State Regent, have all been fully paid, for Continental Hall, Americanization Manuals, Fountain in honor of the Pilgrim Mothers and the Painting for Museum in France.


Organized 1909          Membership 25

Col. William Feeter, a loyal patriot, was born Jan. 6, 1756 in Stone Arabia, died May 18, 1844, in the Town of Little Falls and was buried in the "Old Yellow Church" cemetery of which he was a member. This Church was organized prior to 1740. His family was closely associated with Sir William Johnson, for whom he was named. They disowned him and fled to Canada, with Sir John Johnson, when the Revolutionary War came. He was in the Battle of Oriskany, also with Sullivan's famous company and served until the last of the war.

The chapter was organized on Thursday, June 9, 1909 in the Town of Little Falls, in the house built by Colonel Feeter in 1782, with Mrs. Delight E. R. Keller as organizing Regent. Recorded in the National Society, July 28, 1909, charter members seventeen, National Chapter No. 938. Charter given January 27, 1911. The First officers were:

Regent - Mrs. Delight E. R. Keller
Honorary Regent - Mrs. Margaret Feeter Alden
First Vice Regent - Mrs. Anna Eliza Feeter Marcy
Second Vice Regent - Mrs. Charlotte Dexter Yale
Recording Secretary - Mrs. Mable Picket Fisher
Corresponding Secretary - Miss Grace Newell
Treasurer - Miss Hannah J. Ransom
Registrar - Mrs. Laura Keller Windecker

When the chapter was organized the Regent was both National and State Chairman of the Committee on Preservation of Historic Spots, hence their work was largely National and State. Previous to 1909, Mrs. Keller started the work of securing the passage of a bill through the State Legislature, providing for the purchase of the General Nicholas Herkimer homestead in Danube, which was built in 1764. In 1913, the home was purchased, and the keys given to Mrs. Keller by the Land Board in the State Capitol at Albany, N.Y. She was appointed a member of the first Commission, and is still a member (1922). The Chapter furnished the upper hall in which is hung one hundred historical pictures of Revolutionary events, presented by Mr. David Burrell of Little Falls, a mahogany bookcase given by Mrs. William Howard, in memory of her mother, Margaret Feeter Alden, a granddaughter of Colonel Feeter, a shelf clock and old settle given by Mrs. Edwin Nelson, two chairs given by Mrs. James Feeter, and many other valuable relics.

September, 1911, The Regent was chairman of a patriotic meeting at the Herkimer Homestead, as a part of the Centennial Celebration of the City of Little Falls.

Flag Day, June 14, 1912, was a red letter day for this chapter. On that day was completed the locating and marking by eleven chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley, of the route taken by General Nicholas Herkimer and his men from his home to the Oriskany Battlefield, August 3-6, 1777. Promptly at 8:30 A.M. the start was made from Little Falls, Mayor Frank Shall, Mrs. Willard Keller, National and State Chairman of Historical spots, Mrs. Charlotte Pitcher, first vice chairman, Mrs. henry R. Roberts, Honorary Chairman, followed by the bugler and the Boy Scouts acting as advance guards to the automobile cavalcade. Following came National and State officials of the Daughters of the American Revolution invited guests of patriotic societies, Mohawk Valley Regents, with their speakers and chapter members. The Oriskany Battlefield was reached at 5:30 P.M., the unveiling of fourteen markers placed by chapters and other patriotic societies closed the program. Colonel Feeter Chapter placed the third marker at the birthplace of General Herkimer. Here the Masons of New York State had gathered to pay a tribute of love to a member of their order, Colonel John Vrooman, Past Grand Master of New York, and a direct descendant of Colonel Peter Bellinger and Delia Herkimer, a sister of General Herkimer. Colonel Vrooman directed the program assisted by Marshal Franklin Christman of Herkimer Lodge, who carried the sword used by General Herkimer at Oriskany. Impressive was the reading in German of the 35th Psalm from the old Bible used by General Herkimer just before his death. The address was given by Alfred D. Dennison, Master of St. Patrick's Lodge of Johnston, N.Y., whose ancester, Abraham Swarthout, was an officer at Fort Stanwix and whose blue military coat was used to make the first American flag that ever floated over a battlefield. Mr. Dennison wore the identical Mater's jewel which was worn by Sir William Johnson, Baronet, when Nicholas Herkimer received the Masonic Degree, Thursday, April 7, 1768. The Colonel John W. Vrooman Camp of Spanish War Veterans, acting as Guard of Honor at the marker, assisted at the unveiling. The tablet on the marker bears the following inscription, "Here was born Nicholas Herkimer, eldest son of John Jost Herchheimer. He became a General in the Revolutionary War and the hero of Oriskany. The town and county of Herkimer were named in his honor."

Arthur C. Parker, State Archeaologist of Albany, was entertained by the chapter, when a visit was made to Indian Castle Church, to see the old bell given by Queen Anne, and the Indian buryground near the Church, and chapter marker and Fort Herkimer Church. In the afternoon an address "The Mohawk Valley Indian" was given in the High School at Little Falls.

The Old Yellow Church, one half mile from the home of Colonel Feeter, its church society was organized previous to 1740. He was a member of its congregation and is buried in the old burying ground back of the present church. Several Old Home Days have been held there, under the direction of the Regent. One in honor of General Herkimer, Colonel Feeter and Fifty Revolutionary soldiers buried there. Through the efforts of the chapter, the following work has be accomplished. September, 1910, a flag pole was raised and a flag presented, assisted the descendants of Colonel Peter Loucks in erecting a monument at his grave, headstones were placed at the graves of Jacob Hoover, Sr., and John Hoover, Jr. Several other markers have been placed at Revolutionary soldiers graves, and a Daughters of the American Revolution plot has been put under the care of the chapter. In the Sherwood Burying Ground at Salisbury, the grave of Sergeant Major David Ransom has been marked, those of John Faville and Philip Helmer, will also be in the spring. A large number of Revolutionary soldiers graves have been located in different cemeteries.

June 14, 1914, patriotic pilgrimage to Oriskany was taken by the chapters of the Mohawk Valley under the direction of Colonel Feeter Chapter. Hon. Homer P. Snyder was chairman of the day. The State Regent, Miss Stella F. Broadhead, Ex-State Regent, Mrs. Benjamin F. Spraker, and Dr. James Sullivan, State Historian, were the guest of honor. The past four years the chapter had as its guests of honor at a dinner on Memorial Day, the General Spoffard Post G. A. R. of Dolgeville, N.Y. Each year this chapter takes part in their parade and exercises in the cemetery.

Armistice Day was celebrated November 11, 1920, for the first time in Dolgeville, by the newly organized Post. The Herman Shumacker Post No. 921. The chapter had the honor of co-operating with them by joining in their parade and having their State Regent, Mrs. Charles White Nash as one of the speakers. The members furnished a luncheon for the day, the proceeds were over $400.00. They also had charge of the floats in the parade, November 11, 1921, and were invited to join the parade and given the place of honor with the G.A.R., Major William E. R. Covell of Buffalo being the guest of honor of the Post, gave the address, "In France." Major Covell was again the Chapter's guest on November 12, when he delivered an interesting address entitled "From Texas to the Rhine."

A prize of $5.00 is given each year to the Dolgeville Public School for the highest standard in United States History, in the eighth grade, by Mrs. Delight Covell Barnes, in memory of her daughter Rebecca Anna Barnes.

The chapter has responded to all calls from the National and State Societies, as far as the treasury would permit. Has been represented on a number of National and State Committees, has celebrated patriotic days, also located and marked Revolutionary soldiers' graves. At nearly all National and Sate meetings the chapter has been represented.

The two profiles above were contributed by Asst. County Coordinator Lisa Slaski and typed by volunteer BetteJo Caldwell. A copy of the book they appear in is available for viewing at the main branch of the Orange County Library System, Orlando, FL. All punctuation, spelling and sentence structure are as appear in the original.

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