Mohawk Valley Chapter, Ilion, N.Y.

In The Gulph, Ilion, N.Y.

In The Gulph, Ilion, N.Y.

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. Transcribing early resources throughout the region is just one of many success stories of the Mohawk Valley chapters.


Organized 1898          Membership 111

Ilion is in the heart of the famous, beautiful and historic Mohawk Valley, on the Mohawk Trail and on the forty mile route taken by General Herkimer in August, 1777, for the relief of Fort Stanwix.

In this valley French priests and Dutch traders found red savages; After them came red-coated soldiers and traders of another race, the English; then followed the persecuted Palatines. From this mixture grew a brave people who rendered most remarkable aid in the overthrow of British tyranny in America.

In April, 1898, eight members of General Nicholas Herkimer Chapter of Herkimer, N.Y., residing in Ilion, obtained permission from Washington to organize a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. On September 22, following, Mohawk Valley Chapter held its first meeting, with sixteen members. The first Regent was Mrs. Ida Doty Whitfield.

In 1903, the neglected condition of the Old Fort Herkimer Church was brought to the notice of the Regent, and through her efforts with the aid of General Nicholas Herkimer and Astenrogen Chapters, it was newly shingled, other minor repairs made and a fund raised to provide for further care.

In 1905, eleven members residing at Frankfort withdrew from the Mohawk Valley Chapter and organized the Colonel Marinus Willett Chapter. Others withdrew from time to time, until but four Frankfort women remain on the membership list.

In 1905, the chapter presented a set of Hart's History of the American Nation, in twenty-seven volumes, and Hart's American History in four volumes, to the Public Library; since it has contributed many valuable books and magazines to the Daughters of the American Revolution collection.

In 1908, Mrs. O.B. Rudd, beloved Regent, declined re-election. She was made Honorary Regent. A beautiful Loving Cup was presented her in token of her long and faithful service.

The chapter has the honor of having three Real Daughters on its membership list. They were given money each Christmas, and at Easter, also monthly financial aid until their pensions were obtained. The Christmas gifts have been continued to the present time.

Prizes were awarded for the best essays on Revolutionary subjects in the High School, and for the highest standing in American history in the Grammar grades. These prizes are still given. In May, 1908, quite a sum of money had been raised for the purpose of furnishing a room in the New Ilion Hospital. To the Regent, Mrs. J. Holland Rudd, and Mrs. R.E. King, fell the pleasant task of selecting the room, purchasing the furniture, and otherwise carrying out the wishes of the chapter, which at that time assumed responsibility for the perpetual upkeep of the room. It is known as The Daughters of the American Revolution Maternity Room.

In 1910, under the efficient Regency of Mrs. Estella Folts Callan a room was furnished in the Old Ladies Home, and a fund raised for the admission of an aged and very honorable Real Daughter, who had been discovered in the County House, by a member of the chapter. She was clothed and provided with every comfort and kind attention during her declining years. She remained in the Home until she was called to her Heavenly Home May 9, 1915.

On November 22, 1910, Mrs. Callan delivered her illustrated lecture "Historic Homes and Churches" at Harter's Hall, for the benefit of the Old Fort Herkimer Church fund. It was very instructive and a hice sum was realized.

All celebrations in honor of Washington's Birthday have been delightful social events, but that of February 22, 1911, stands out among the "Memory Pictures" as being especially unique. Guests came from far and near to the Folts Homestead, were welcomed by Mrs. Callan and her assisting hostesses, who were in Colonial costumes. At the conclusion of a fine entertainment, the guests were invited to the spacious attic, overflowing with antique treasures. There they found a perfect replica of a typical Colonial Home, lighted by tallow candles (moulded while you wait) with all sorts of wheels, reels, swifts, looms, and other household conveniences of "Ye olden tyme," humming and rattling under the skilled (?) management of chapter members. Olde fashioned "victuals" and a goode olde fashioned time was enjoyed.

June 14, 1922, was a "red letter day" throughout the Valley. The marking of the Old Trail from the Herkimer Homestead to the Oriskany Monument was a tremendous undertaking, carried to a perfect success, and much credit was due the Regent of Mohawk Valley Chapter. The part alloted to this Chapter was placing a granite and bronze marker at the Bivouac Ground of General Herkimer and his men.

The tablet was unveiled by Maty Elizabeth Rudd, and by Master Warner Herkimer Callan, son of the Regent, and a descendant of General Herkimer's sister. The address, given by Dr. Rufus Everson King, who remarked that the ancestors of twenty-eight members of Mohawk Valley chapter, were among the eight hundred who marched over that trail, and camped at that spot.

August 23, 1912, was another day of credit and honor to the chapter, as on that day the precious Old Fort Herkimer Church rescued from decay and restored to its ancient beauty and usefulness, was formally re-opened with impressive ceremonies. Among those who took part in the exercises were, Hon. John W. Vrooman, Mrs. F.D. Callan, Rev. W.N.P. Daily, Hon. Pierrepont White, Mr. and Mrs. Douglass Robinson, Senator Watson C. Squire and Editor Rufus E. King.

At the close of the afternoon, several graves of Revolutionary heroes in the adjoining cemetery were marked, and their biographies read. May 15, 1913, more of the Revolutionary soldiers' graves were marked in Mohawk cemetery. September 23, of the same year, was observed as Memorial Day in the vicinity of Jordanville. Monuments were erected at two unmarked graves, and markers placed on several others.

February 20, 1914, the members of the chapter met at the Old Ladies Home and spent a delightful hour before the regular Washington's Birthday reception. The Regent, Mrs. Callan, in behalf of the chapter, presented to the Home, a flag, with staff, shield, cord, tassels and socket. The members in a body sang the Star Spangled Banner, as it was unfurled.

On May 22, 1914, at an annual meeting held at the historical Folts Homestead, the Regent was surprised by the presentation of a large flag, the gift of the Board of Managers of the chapter, the Honorary Regent, Mrs. O.B. Rudd, making the presentation. The flag was unfurled from the high staff on the lawn, by Master Warner Callan, while the happy crowd mingled cheers with the strains of The Star Spangled Banner.

In June, 1914, the Regent was elected Vice-President of the Board of Management of the General Nicholas Herkimer Homestead, that had been recently purchased by the State. The place was in a deplorable condition. After much painstaking effort, on her part and the committee, the task was completed and on July 5,1915, she had the pleasure of presiding, in the absence of the President of the Association, at the memorable gathering when this historical treasure, restored to its original plan of architecture, with every room in perfect condition, was thrown open to the public and dedicated by appropriate exercises to its new mission as a Revolutionary Historical Landmark under the supervision of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Among the speakers upon that occasion were the State Regent, Mrs. Benjamin F. Spraker, State Historian, Mrs. Charlotte Pitcher, Congressman Homer P. Snyder, Miss Clara Louise Rawdon, Past State Regent, Mrw. Henry R. Roberts and Mrs. Delight Kellar.

During the exercises a large flag was unfurled to the breeze by Master Warner H. Callan, from the pinnacle of an eighty foot pole, presented by Congressman Snyder. The flag was the gift of a Utica woman, and the presentation made by Mrs. Pitcher.

October 20, 1915, universal sorrow was felt in the passing to the Great Beyond of Mrs. O.B. Rudd, Honorary Regent, who had been associated with the chapter since its organization.

October 7, 1914, the chapter assisted in entertaining the New York State Historical Society, on its trip to Fort Herkimer Church.

April 6, 1916, at the conclusion of their meeting, the Regent presented the Registrar, Mrs. N.J. Newth, with a Registrar's bar and her five ancestral bars, in recognition of her untiring services for many years. The gift being made by the officers and Executive Board.

In August, 1916, the chapter took prominent part in the Remington Centennial Celebration. It was represented in the pageant by an electric-lighted and tastefully decorated float, depicting a reception by Columbia, of Revolutionary ladies, introduced by Uncle Sam.

January 5, 1917, an interesting and instructive lecture was given on "The Birth and Growth of the Largest Patriotic Organization in the World." A hundred pictures were thrown on a screen, showing the beautiful home of the National society in Washington, Memorial Continental Hall.

On Chapter Day, Miss Marian Brill, in behalf of the chapter, presented a silver coffee urn to Mrs. Callan, as a token of the high regard and esteem of the members, and a slight recognition of her leadership and loyal devotion to the chapter. After reading a beautifully appropriate poem, Mrs. Callan introduced the newly elected Regent, Mrs. Clara Creighton Stone, who was enthusiastically welcomed.

The Great World War may ever be remembered as the great world change. The Chapter history was suddenly changed from its regular channels, into records of new and varied activities. The whole fabric of social, religious and economic life was metamorphosed as by the hand of magic, and the Daughters of Mohawk Valley Chapter were among the first to recognize and adapt themselves to the changed conditions. They responded to the first call for women's service, contributions to the War Chest and other relief work. The members were busy with Red Cross and French Orphan work whenever opportunity offered, at Red Cross rooms, churches and homes.

When the Regent announced that the chapter could have its own Red Cross rooms and report such work directly to the National Society officials, the members responded gladly and contributed the funds needed for materials. Their newborn zeal found expression in the gratifying amount of War Work done during 1917-1918. Under the efficient leadership of their Regent, the Red Cross work was most attractive. One of the pleasing reports brought from the State Conference at Auburn was, that its war work record was excelled by no other chapter in the state.

Mrs. Stone was untiring in her determination to maintain the high standard of the monthly meetings, although every program naturally was made up of war topics, war readings, war songs and war narratives; while all minds, eyes and hands were engaged in knitting.

The work started during those months continued long after the Armistice, some is still carried on under different names. The French orphans adopted by the chapter and individual members were cared for three years.

The chapter had the honor of having one member, Mrs. Carolyn Wright, serving as Red Cross Nurse in a Sanitary Station and Miss Mary Wright nineteen months in France, doing hospital work among the soldiers.

October 4, 1918, the chapter was delightfully entertained at a reception given at the home of Mrs. Callan. Among invited guests there were five State Officers, twelve Regents, the State Regent, Miss Stella F. Broadhead, and the guest of honor, Mrs. Charles S. Whitman, wife of the Governor. The remarks of the distinguished guests were very inspiring and helpful, and the meeting greatly enjoyed.

Septmber 16, 1919, the chapter held a basket picnic at the Herkimer Homestead, and celebrated the completion of the splendid work done by the chapter in furnishing the dining room, and furnishing many articles for other rooms. Through Mrs. Callan's untiring efforts and the cooperation of chapter members, the Home was made beautiful and satisfactory in its antique appointments.

At the September meeting, 1920, it was decided to raise the annual dues to three dollars, and the program in the Year Books had been arranged for five business and social meetings, three receptions or guest days, one Chapter Day (Flag Day) and one picnic or excursion, thus eliminating the numerous Board meetings and giving every member a voice in business decisions.

October 2, 1919, in an effort to create new interest, Mrs. Callan and assisting Hostesses for that month, sent out invitations to many chapters throughout the State, to attend the meeting at her home and meet the State Regent, Mrs. Charles White Nash. Much to the regret of all Mrs. Nash was unavoidably prevented from attending, but Regents and accompanying members from twenty-nine chapters responded, and their cheerful encouraging remarks gave an impetus to the work. When Mrs. Nash visited the chapter in December, her splendid systematic program of centralized effort, her wonderfully straightforward, common-sense views of the duty of each separate chapter unit toward the Natioal Society and pride in our own Empire State, gave to her message just the inspiration needed. The chapter enthusiastically responded to her every suggestion, and the quotas to the various State and National undertakings were subscribed in full.

A campaign of grave marking, genealogical work, and Old Trails hunting has been started and will continue through the summer. The meetings are largely attended, the membership is increasing. During the twenty-three years since the organization of Mohawk Valley Chapter, there have been one hundred and eighty-one members enrolled. Of the seven Real Daughters, but one remains. Their average age was 95 years.

The profile above was contributed by Asst. County Coordinator Lisa Slaski and typed by Town of Schuyler Editor Bob Petrie. A copy of the book it appears 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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Created 9/28/00
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