The memorial window
to Jean Marie in St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines, Iowa.
The chapter was organized November 4, 1941,
under Mrs. Hazel Wheeler Whitmore, Regent. There was a need at that time
for a chapter which met to accommodate the working woman, so two of the
meetings were held in the evening and two on Saturday. Gradually, there
were more held on Saturday until that is now the regular meeting day.
The name was chosen to honor Jean Marie Cardinell, an Indian trader on
the upper Mississippi River by 1754, as the first white man to
permanently reside on Iowa land of whom there is authentic
evidence. He was a hunter, trapper, trader, and miner of the lead
mines of Spain on the west bank of the Mississippi River (now Dubuque
County, Iowa). He visited St. Louis to fulfill his religious duties,
taking his Indian wife to the little church newly erected in St. Louis to
have his marriage blessed and his children baptized.
He escaped the British attack at the Fox Village on Catfish Creek on May
2, 1780. Racing down the river to St. Louis, he was in time to give
warning and join the forces of liberty who defeated the British and
Indian attack on May 26, 1780. He died from wounds suffered in that
attack. Jean Marie Cardinell is the only known Iowa resident to give
his life to the cause of American Independence.