The Elizabeth Ross Chapter was organized June
5, 1896 as the sixth Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter in
the State of Iowa. Although the chapter was originally formed
with twelve members, by the end of 1897, the chapter had 33 members.
At the end of 1898, the membership had grown to 45.
The Elizabeth Ross Chapter DAR has always been
active in contributing to the community. Since 1898, shortly
after war was declared on Spain, the Daughters began making plans
to support the Sons of Iowa who were involved in this war.
Throughout the years, the chapter worked tirelessly to support
those involved in World War I and World War II.
Contributions of both money and gifts have been
made to local schools and to the schools at Tamassee, North Carolina,
and to the Kate Duncan School in Grant, Alabama, throughout the history of the
Chapter. Early in the Chapter’s history, beads and jewelry were
provided to Tama Indians for producing their products. Sewing
supplies were sent to Ellis Island for the use by immigrant women.
The Elizabeth Ross Daughters have also
financially supported Wapello County as well as the town of Ottumwa
itself. In 1981 and 1982, the Daughters donated money each
year to the Wapello County Historical Society for the maintenance of
the DAR room in the Wapello County Museum. In
2000, a donation was presented to the Ottumwa Fire
Department to help purchase an imaging camera. These cameras
aid in locating victims trapped inside burning buildings.
The Elizabeth Ross chapter has placed a variety of
historical markers throughout Wapello county. The following lists
the markers and a short description.
Chief Wapello's Grave
Chief Wapello was a good friend of the early
settlers, especially General Joseph M. Street, the first Indian
Agent at Agency, Iowa, just east of Ottumwa in Wapello County.
One of the leaders of the Sac and Fox tribes, Chief Wapello was not
a tall, sinewy brave. In fact, he was short and stout and
always promoting peace. His good friend, General Street, died in
1840 and the Chief died two years later. After the death of
his friend, he let it be known that he wanted to be buried beside
Chief Wapello was born in Prairie Du Chien,
Wisconsin, in 1787. He died at the forks of the Skunk River on March
15, 1842, and following his wishes, he was brought to the Indian
Agency and buried by the side of General Street in the garden of the
An enclosure back of the Chief Wapello sign
houses the graves of the Chief and the General, side by side. The
Elizabeth Ross Chapter added a memorial marker to Chief Wapello's
grave and a directional marker pointing to the grave's location.
Washington Bicentennial Recognition
In 1932, a
sycamore tree was planted in Wildwood Park in Ottumwa, IA
by the Elizabeth Ross Chapter
This tree was to commemorate the bicentennial birthday of George
Washington. The tree is located about fifteen feet west of the
Chief Hard Fish
A historical marker was placed in 1937 as a
dedication to Chief Hard Fish, also known as Wishecomaque.
Chief Hard Fish followed Black Hawk as the leader of the Sac and Fox
Indians and was in charge when the Iowa Governor's Council purchased
the Sac and Fox land in Iowa in 1842. Hard Fish and his 2000
followers moved upstream to the Red Rocks in Marion county and left
their camp to the whites. The camp was located near the mouth of the
Muchakinock Creek on the banks of the Des Moines river.
On September 16, 1946, the Elizabeth Ross
Chapter placed a boulder marker at the site of the Old Agency House
East of Agency, Iowa and ¼ mile south from U. S. 34 East. Agency
House was built by General Joseph M. Street in 1839 for use of the
Indian agents. The large boulder was marked with a fitting
inscription and placed on the spot where General Street’s house
formerly stood. The dedication was held on the second day of the
Centennial Celebration of the founding of the city of Ottumwa. The
marking of this historical spot also emphasized the 50th
birthday of Elizabeth Ross Chapter.
In 1938, the Elizabeth Ross Chapter
placed a large boulder and marker
commemorating the passage of the Dragoons through this section of
Iowa, at the intersection of Rutledge Road and U.S. Highway 63 North. A bronze plaque
on the boulder reads: “Here passed the Dragoon
Trail. Blazed in 1835 by the first Dragoons under Colonel Stephan
W. Kearney and marked by DAR 1938.” Also on the plaque is an
outline of our state with the trail etched across it from Montrose,
Iowa through Des Moines and up through Albert Lea, Minnesota. This
still serves as a landmark in our community.
Revolutionary Soldier Buried in Wapello County
Jonathan Woody was born June 15, 1756 in a
Quaker settlement of Surry County, North Carolina. He died April
18, 1850 in Wapello County, Iowa. Burial was in Dahlo-negal
Cemetery northeast of Ottumwa.
On October 4, 1968, the Elizabeth
Ross Chapter and the American Legion dedicated the first
permanent marker on Mr. Woody's grave.