Our chapter proudly bears the name of Daniel H. Brush, considered one of the founders of Carbondale, Illinois.
In August 1852, Daniel Harmon Brush, John Asgill Conner, and Dr. William Richart bought 360 acres of land along the right-of-way for the Illinois Central Railroad with the intention of founding a new town. The inspiration for the town's name came from Brush's plans to develop coal-mining operations in the region. The first train came through the town on the main line north from Cairo (Illinois) on Independence Day, 1854. Daniel H. Brush, built the first Presbyterian house of worship in Carbondale, in 1858, and in 1906, when the congregation needed a new one to accommodate its increased and still increasing numbers, he was himself chairman of the building committee.
It has been written that following the attack by Confederate soldiers on Fort Sumter in April 1861, Brush carried an American flag to the Union House in Carbondale despite cries of "down with the flag" from many Southern sympathizers. He then summoned "all lovers of their country" to a meeting in support of the war. A few days later, Brush made a patriotic speech from atop his Carbondale store, and the following day, joined 30 others and enlisted in the Union Army, forming the nucleus of the 18th Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Brush, then 48 and the oldest man in Company K, was elected as the captain. His unit was in the battle of Fort Donelson, where 60 men were killed and 140 wounded, including Col. Michael K. Lawler. Brush, as the senior captain, took command of the regiment until he was also wounded. Brush again took command when the colonel in charge was injured in the battle of Shiloh. Brush was also injured. He was promoted quickly to major, then lieutenant colonel and was promoted to full colonel in March 1863. He resigned following the siege of Vicksburg and returned to life in Carbondale.
Brush wrote in his autobiography, "My notion of duty is 1st to my God, 2nd to my country and next to my family."
The Daniel H. Brush Chapter was organized on January 24, 1963. State Regent, Mrs. Albert G. Peters, installed Mrs. Anthony Blass as our first regent. The chapter was begun with 18 members. Our last Charter Members passed away in 2008. Currently, 47 years later, we have 135 members.
In April of 1965, the chapter initiated the practice of buying a wreath for the Grave of Daniel H. Brush, the founder of the City of Carbondale. The city has continued this practice and every year has requested that the current regent lay this wreath in historic Woodlawn Cemetery during the Memorial Day service. Woodlawn Cemetery is the site of the first organized Memorial Day observance.
During the regency of Mrs. Elisabeth P. Leighty, in 1965, DAR medals were first awarded to cadets in the Aerospace ROTC program at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. This practice has continued, and now, our current regent presents the medal at the ROTC Honors Day each year.
Our Daughters have served the region and the state: Dr. Dorothy Rudoni currently serves as State Librarian and has served as District VII Treasurer. Mary Russell Muchmore served as State Chaplain in 2002 and compiled a book listing all the historic churches in the state. She has also served as District VII Director, State Historian, is a speaker at Continental Congress and has held chairmanship of numerous national, state and district committees. Jeanette O’Boyle has served as District VII Treasurer, as well as holding chairmanship of various state and district offices such as Membership. Currently, Lyn Christy serves as District VII Treasurer.
Our candidate for DAR Good Citizen has been first at the state level three times. We are very proud of our work with area students as well as with DAR schools. We have had a Lillian and Arthur Dunn National Scholarship winner, several state scholarship winners and; in 2008, we had an Arthur Lockwood Beneventi Law Scholarship winner. In 1993 Megan O’Boyle, Junior member was selected as Lincoln Laureate. Our chapter scholarship, The Alice Grant Memorial Scholarship, endowed by a deceased member of the chapter, was started in 2005, and is given yearly to a deserving young woman from this area.
Our proximity to the Marion VA Medical Center has made participation with veterans’ activities a priority. Additionally, we were part of the Department of Defense project to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the ending of the Second World War. We supported the September 11th Firemen’s Fund and Project Patriot during the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars. In 1993, two of our daughters were the first recipients of the State DAR Award for Service to Veterans. In 2008 our chapter awarded a medal to Josie Kunce for her service at the VA medical center. Currently, our chapter has five veterans as active members; three Second World War Army nurses, one Vietnam Navy nurse, one Navy line officer. Our chapter has an Honor Flight Chairman and it is our goal to raise money to support this worthwhile program; as well as to encourage our own Second World War Veterans and those in the community to participate.
Our chapter has been active in welcoming new citizens to this county, a practice started in 1987 when the federal court moved the ceremony to the Southern Illinois University Law School. Our chapter has presented flags to the new citizens and provided a reception following the ceremony for the new citizens and their families.
In 1995, this chapter participated in the state dedication of the Liberty Bell of the West. In 1996 we also participated in the marking of Pounds Hallow site for the National Forrest Service. The grave of Revolutionary War soldier, Private Robert Friatt/Fryatt was marked at Dutch Ridge Church in June of 2005.
At the State Conference in Bloomington in 2006, our chapter won the membership award for our classification for the most new members in 2005. In 2008 our chapter was one of three in the state to receive recognition for work in Women’s Issues. The chapter was proud to received recognition for work on Project Patriot in 2009. Daughter Sarah Capps was awarded first place in the nation for her drawing submitted under American Heritage.
The Spirit of DAR is strong in the Daniel Brush Chapter. We continue to fulfill the goals of the National Society through our dedication and hard work.