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Pilgrim Chapter NSDAR
Iowa City, Iowa

Serving our Community since 1898


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Chapter History

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Real Daughter
Charter Members

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Informal meetings of the proposed DAR chapter had been held in 1897 or perhaps earlier - we have not been told just when. Fannie Startsman was probably the force behind the starting of Pilgrim Chapter, as the first informal meetings were held at her home. We don't know exactly when the charter was applied for, but it was granted on February 19, 1898. The charter cost $5.00, and Pilgrim Chapter became the twelfth chapter organized in the State of Iowa.

The first formal meeting of Pilgrim Chapter, NSDAR, was on January 19, 1898, at the home of Fannie Startsman, E. Bloomington Street. Ella Lyon Hill, who presided over the first formal meeting, had been approved as organizing regent by Clara Cooley, Iowa DAR State Regent. Elizabeth Gardiner Cox was the first treasurer. Fannie Startsman named the chapter in honor of the forefathers who emigrated from New England into Iowa. New opportunities lay before them, and they prospered on their "pilgrimage." Read more about our 13 Charter Members.

In keeping with tradition, Pilgrim Chapter had 13 charter members, which represented the 13 original states in the union. The membership restriction of 13 members was quickly changed. At our second formal meeting, on January 26, 1898, at the home of Martha A. Marshall, three more women, "who were on the waiting list," (including the name of Eliza Shrader, a "Real Daughter") were admitted.

Since its founding, hundreds of women have contributed to Pilgrim Chapter and the community through events which foster patriotism, historic preservation, and education. Our members participate yearly in Constitution Week, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day activities. We actively participate in the local military affairs group, VA Medical Center activities, conservation programs, genealogical interest groups, historical societies, community theater groups, and in our schools through our many awards and contests. We have placed many historic markers and dedicated many trees throughout the community in honor of historical events and people.

Now starting our second century of service to the community, we are fortunate to have many area attractions such as: the University of Iowa, Iowa State Historical Society, Johnson County Historical Society, Herbert Hoover Library and Museum, the village of Kalona, the Amana Colonies, and many more that help us continue to actively interest women of all ages in the Daughters of the American Revolution. For more information on our chapter or our activities, please contact us.


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Last Updated 17 August 2017
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