The charter was sent for October 4, 1893, signed by Miss Eugenia Washington, Secretary General, NSDAR, and a check for $5 payable to the Treasurer General, NSDAR, was sent in payment of fee for the charter for Abigail Adams Chapter, Des Moines, Iowa. Chapter name, Abigail Adams. Date of Organization, August 17, 1893. Charter 54. Place, Des Moines, IA.
The organizing members were Sophia M. Dolson Andrews, Carrie M. Ogilvie, Alice A. Crawford, Elizabeth Brown Howell, Ella Lyford Warfield, Edith Hepburn Thummell, Hortense Bailey Vail, Ardella J. Pratt, Mary J. Loomis Gaylord, Mary Helen Baylies Peters, Lillian Monk, Antionette Graber, and Mattie Locke Macomber. Carrie was the organizer of Abigail Adams Chapter, and put in several months of concentrated efforts to interest women of the city of 50,000 (approx.) population and surrounding counties to form a chapter of NSDAR, the national organization having been formed October 11, 1891. It was incorporated under the laws of Congress applicable to the District of Columbia, thus the national headquarters was fixed in that city. Carrie put notices in the local press and county papers that she would have open house at various times to explain the objects and aims and the necessary proof of being eligible, and help in securing this needed proof. Her ‘dream child’ came into being in her home in May, 1893. She was rewarded for her efforts by a happy consummation of her plans when at this time fifteen (15) ladies started the formation of a chapter.
Carrie Ogilvie was elected as the first regent by a national board but she declined and said the office should go to Mrs. Sophia M. Andrews, whose father was in the Revolutionary War making Sophia a real Daughter. She was given the office of first secretary, and then was elected regent the next year by the chapter. Sophia Andrews' father, John Dolson (or Van Dolson), was one of the Minute Men of the Revolution and served as a soldier during the whole of the war. He was with Washington at the Battle of Trenton, Christmas night, 1776; in the Battle of Saratoga when Burgoyne surrendered; in the Battle of Yorktown when Cornwallis was defeated, and many other battles. He received a pension for his service in the war and his name is in the records of the Bureau of Pensions, Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.
The highlight of 1908 was the dedication of the stone marker on the site of the second Old Fort Des Moines, at the northeast corner of the children’s playground at First and Elm streets. Directly behind the monument was a flag staff from which the Stars and Stripes were to wave on all fair days. The bronze tablet was so inscribed:
|SITE OF OLD FORT DES MOINES ESTABLISHED IN 1843 EVACUATED IN 1846 Erected by Abigail Adams Chapter of Daughters of American Revolution, and Early Settlers of Des Moines, Dedicated June 14, 1908.|
The site was selected by Isaac Brandt, a member of the Park Commissioners, who had assisted with the project, and Mr. Brandt said, “Every streetcar going to New Fort Des Moines will pass this monument of the Old Fort.” He was one of the oldest residents of the city, and he was selected by Abigail Adams to locate the site. The ceremony was military in nature under the command of Colonel West of 2nd U.S. Cavalry.
Residing in the third and last Fort Des Moines, the 2nd Cavalry sat on their mounts with sabers drawn in salute, and the 2nd Cavalry Band on their white mounts played the "Star Spangled Banner." Mrs. D. W. Skinner, a past regent under whom this project was started, at the same time as the band played, unveiled the marker by hoisting Old Glory to the top of the flag staff. As the band finished, Mrs. Skinner pronounced these words: “On behalf of Abigail Adams Chapter, I present this memorial to the City of Des Moines.” On either side of her were Colonel West and the regent of that date, Mrs. Kasson Miller.
A letter dated April 13, 1908, to Abigail Adams Chapter, reads thus: “No. 32 General Assembly had made an appropriation whereby the flags which were carried by the 4th Regiment and other troops from Iowa during the Spanish American War are to be placed in a case in the rotunda of the Capitol Building, sets April 25, 1908, as date of ceremonies of placing said flags in cases, and as said flags were presented to the 51st Iowa Infantry by Abigail Adams, it affords the Committee great pleasure to extend to you a cordial invitation to be present at said ceremonies to participate with us in placing these colors in their last resting place. W. H. Thrift, Adj. Gen. – John Loper, Late Co. 51st Iowa Infantry, U.S.A.
On November 8, 1926, the meeting was given over to the planting of a Henry C. Wallace memorial tree on the lawn of Hoyt Sherman Place. Report of the recording secretary indicates that "The Chapter is indebted to Mrs. and Mrs. C. E. Hunn for the tree and stone that holds the bronze plate identifying the spot."
In December 1933, a place marker was dedicated and presented to the city of Des Moines. The three-ton boulder of pink Minnesota granite bears the bronze DAR insignia in one corner and was located to form the central point of interest in the city beautification plan. The boulder was placed between the Municipal Building and the Armory to be erected by the American Legion and was inscribed as follows:
|This Boulder Commemorates The First Licensed Ferry at the Junction of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers 1847 The First Pontoon Bridge at Sycamore Street (now Grand Ave.) 1856 The First Toll Bridge at Court Avenue 1858 Erected by Abigail Adams Chapter D.A.R. 1933|
On October 8, 1934, Abigail Adams Chapter opened its season by dedicating a bronze tablet at Hoyt Sherman Place. The tablet was presented to the city of Des Moines and accepted by Mayor Dwight Lewis. Later it was placed on a building on the northeast corner of 9th and Locust and marked the site of the first public school building in Des Moines.