|The Samuel Davies Chapter was organized April 2, 1902 at the home of Potter College President, B. F. Cabell and his wife, Ellen Douglas Cabell. Charter members were Mrs. Ely H. Adams, Miss Susie Alexander, Miss Jeanie Davies Blackburn, Mrs. J. G. Brewer, Mrs. B. F. Cabell, Mrs. S W. Coombs, Mrs. Henry B. Hines, Mrs. W. H. Jones, Mrs. J. N. McCormack, Miss Nan Motley, Mrs. E. L. Motley, Miss Frances Potter, Miss Mary Alberta Potter, Miss Louise Taylor, and Miss Mary Jane Willis. Two young lawyers who were Notary Publics attended the first meeting to certify the prospective members' papers. Officers elected were Miss Jeanie Blackburn, Regent, Mrs. J. N. McCormack, Vice-Regent, Miss Mary Jane Willis, Recording Secretary, Mrs. Jeanie Spalding, Corresponding Secretary, and Miss Susie Alexander, Treasurer.
|Miss Blackburn served as Chapter Regent from 1902-1914, then was elected to the office of Honorary Regent, which is perpetual. Under her wise and gentle administration the Chapter progressed rapidly. She was elected State Vice-Regent. For many years she was associated intimately with the National Society, where she won the laurels of recognition, culminating in her election to the office of Vice President General, 1917-1920. Miss Blackburn, the daughter of General Samuel Davies Blackburn and Elizabeth Henry Marshall, was the granddaughter of General William Marshall. The Marshall ancestral home, Fleetwood, known for its hospitality, was a rendezvous for political gatherings in addition to the noted social affairs of interstate reputation. From a grand old walnut tree at Fleetwood, a gavel made sacred by revered and hallowed memories, was carved. This gavel, mounted in silver with the Marshall Coat of Arms engraved thereon, was presented to the Samuel Davies Chapter by Mrs. Juliet Blackburn Williams at the State Conference held in Bowling Green in 1914 and was used to call the house to order.
Miss Blackburn named the new chapter Samuel Davies in honor of her great grandfather, Lieutenant Samuel Davies, who was born in Bedford County Virginia, but in 1779 removed to Lincoln County Kentucky. He was a lieutenant in Captain John Boyles Company, Kentucky Militia, Revolutionary War. He died in 1783 from exposure in Indian warfare and is buried in Lincoln County near Crab Orchard. Samuel Davies lived at Whitley's Station in Lincoln, then moved to Gilmer's Lick nearby where he built a cabin and cleared land. It was here, while working in a field in the year 1782 that he was surprised and attacked by an Indian. Attempting to reach the house, he found it full of Indians, and being unarmed, he concealed himself in a nearby field. Unable to render aid to this family, he ran to the station of his brother, James Davies, five miles distant to summon help. Mrs. Davies, in the house, detained the Indians for two hours by showing them clothing which pleased them, but finally they plundered the house, taking Mrs. Davies and the seven children prisoners. Fearing the Indians would kill the children too small to keep up, Mrs. Davies had the oldest boys carry them on their backs.
Upon arrival of the rescue party, the family had gone, but the howling of the Davies dog, which the Indians attempted to kill led them in the right direction. Upon its approach, one of the Indians scalped the eldest son of Samuel Davies, then about eleven years of age. Mrs. Davies saved herself and a nursing baby by jumping into a sink hole. The Indians fled. The boy who was scalped was greatly disfigured, as the hair never grew upon that part of his head. He wished for an opportunity to avenge himself upon the Indians. When, ten years later, Indians did come to his neighborhood and stole horses, he and a party of men went in pursuit, but young Davies was killed. Mrs. Davies was a woman of cool, deliberate courage. One day a marauder came to their home when no one was there except the children and herself. She asked him to drink and placed a full bottle of whiskey before him. He put his gun at the door while drinking. Mrs. Davies picked up the gun and held him prisoner until a party of men returned to take him into custody.
With such a heritage one readily can discern from whence came the noble character with which our Organizing Regent, Miss Jeannie Blackburn, was endowed. Miss Jeanie Blackburn's staunch character, her devotion to duty, her unswerving loyalty to our organization ever will be remembered as outstanding characteristics. Her culture and gracious personality found their highest expressions in her gentle contacts and associations with the members of the Chapter. She was an excellent genealogist and prepared the papers for all members. The Samuel Davies Chapter erected a marker at her grave in Fairview Cemetery. She died October 20, 1929. She was born April 29, 1841 in Arkansas.
In the Chapter's first year, the yearbook was pronounced in the state and in Washington as the "most perfect" yet received. It was placed in the corner stone of Memorial Hall. The first contribution by the Chapter to Memorial Hall was $20.00 in 1903. Through the years various money making projects were held such as ice cream and cake socials, dances, skating rink parties and silver teas. The Chapter has always been active in community, state, and national activities. In the early years it was noted for extensive genealogical works and to that aim a library was commenced and the ladies not only purchased many valuable books, but also book cases. This library is now part of the Kentucky Library and Museum at Western Kentucky University. Early contributions went to Hindman Settlement School, to worthy Confederate veterans in need, and to state and national projects. For many years Ellis Island was the recipient of yarn and sewing supplies several times a year.
The Chapter was first represented at State Conference in 1903. Favorite celebrations through the years have been George Washington's birthday and Flag Day. In the early years George Washington's birthday was an occasion for costumed balls, addresses by statesmen and colonial entertainment such as minuets and militia drills, some under the command of Captain H. H. Denhart, later Lieutenant Governor. In later years this holiday has been observed with a Silver Tea benefiting Duncan Tavern Historical Site. Flag Day commenced as a picnic in the gardens of Walnut Lawn and is now a luncheon including guests from neighboring chapters.
The Chapter has hosted the State Conference three times, 1912 when the President General Mrs. William C. Story and Kentucky's own daughter Ex-President General Mrs. T. Scott attended, and again in 1921 and 1942. For many years the Chapter has received National and State Gold Awards for its accomplishments and National Yearbook Awards for "outstanding yearbook".
Mrs. J. N. McCormack was State Regent 1907-1908, Mrs. Ely M. Adams held the office of Chaplain for one term, and Mrs. W. P. Drake as State Vice Regent. Mrs. J. Vernon Hardcastle, who served as Regent of the Samuel Davies Chapter for eight terms, also held the positions of Organizing Secretary, State Registrar, State Librarian, National Committee Member and Chapter Honorary Regent. She organized three DAR chapters and prepared the member applications from her research. She also organized the Charles Duncan SAR Chapter and was the first State President for the 50 Year Club.
As we enter our second hundred years our Chapter's objectives remain the same-patriotic, historical, and educational. The members will continue to work to instill in our youth a love of country, respect for the American Flag and adherence to the Constitution of the United States of America.