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Hannah Lee Chapter NSDAR
West Union, Iowa

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Early Chapter History

Hannah Lee Chapter NSDAR, The First 60 Years

The day after Christmas in 1919, twenty-seven ladies met at the home of Mabel Ainsworth to form a new chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. Ainsworth was the organizing regent. Two names for the chapter were submitted to the ladies; in May 1921, Hannah Lee was chosen. Since then the members have worked to promote patriotism, education, and preservation.

To promote patriotism, they placed a framed "American's Creed" in each classroom of the public school and in the Legion Hall at West Union; and, our chapter gave a small American Flag and manual to each newly naturalized immigrants. In 1924, one thousand Flag Code pamphlets were distributed to local families and businesses. "An exceedingly large box of clothing" was sent to Piney Woods School to aid the southern mountain children in gaining an education. Financial aid was given to the Martha Berry School at Mt. Berry, Georgia, through the purchase of baskets (what type was not said). In 1927-28, the sum of $10 was sent. For many years they sent fabric, thread, and needles to Ellis Island for the immigrants.

Bronze plaques were placed on the tombstones of Emily Carter, a Real Daughter (the daughter of a Revolutionary War soldier and a DAR member) of the Wenonah Chapter NSDAR, and Mrs. Angelina Webb Morehouse, who was the daughter and granddaughter of Revolutionary War soldiers, but not a DAR member; in the new Court House at West Union; at the fort in Fort Atkinson; and at the site of the first cabin built in Fayette County in 1840.

Carter tombstone Real Daughter

Emily Carter
Real Daughter

Angelina Morehouse
real daughter

Johann Gaertner's
grave and DAR plaque

Cabin marker setting
First Cabin
On June 2, 1940, a marker was placed by Waucoma, Hannah Lee, and Wapsipinicon Chapters NSDAR
to recognize the site of the Franklin Wilcox home, the first cabin in Fayette County, Iowa.

Times were hard during the depression, the chapter cut back on activities and some members resigned for a while. During WWII, they sent books and food to local soldiers, in one year they volunteered 300 hours to war work and 100% bought War Bonds.
St.Anthony of Padua Chapel
In 1978, the Waucoma Chapter NSDAR of Waucoma, Iowa, disbanded; members joined Hannah Lee Chapter NSDAR or became members at large. It had been the first DAR chapter in Northeast Iowa, organized in 1907. They placed markers for Sally McCarn Seeber, a Real Granddaughter, local WWI veterans and for Johann Gaertner, who built the St. Anthony of Padua Chapel, or "the smallest church," at Festina, Iowa. He did this to honor his mother's promise to build a church if he returned alive from serving in Napoleon's Russian Campaign.

These were some of the early projects of the chapter. Reading the minutes and regents' reports you see a devoted group of women who shaped their chapters.

hr - blue horizonal rule with white

"If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind, whom shall we serve?"-- Abigail Adams

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Last Updated 27 February 2017
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