News | Joseph Spencer Chapter Activities | DAR Good Citizen Awards

Community Common, Portsmouth, Ohio, March 14, 2014

Joseph Spencer Chapter: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

The Joseph Spencer Chapter NSDAR has been in existence for 115 years. The charter from the National Society was issued in 1898 with 35 eligible women. Today the chapter is 87 members strong. The DAR is a volunteer service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children. The Joseph Spencer Chapter participates in the Memorial Day Parade, the memorial service at Greenlawn Cemetery, donates many items and money to the local VA facility, and the Chillicothe Veterans Hospital, makes annual monetary donations to local charities and facilities including, the Domestic Violence Shelter, Steven Hunter Back Pack Program, Homeless Shelter, Wounded Warriors, State Trooper Teddy Bear Project, Shawnee Mental Health, and Hospice, marks graves of Revolutionary Soldier, sponsors Good Citizens Contests in local high schools, Constitution Week displays, distributes hundreds of American flags. This past year approximately 1500 hours of volunteer service was given by the members to our community. The Joseph Spencer Chapter has also established a DAR scholarship at the Scioto Foundation. The chapter has their own website and is on Facebook.

Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. Tracing your lineage is valuable because it preserves your family's heritage. DAR recognizes Patriots not only as soldiers, but as anyone who contributed to the cause of American freedom.

The National Society has 170,000 members in nearly 3,000 chapters worldwide, including chapters in 12 foreign countries. Since its founding in 1890, DAR has admitted more than 875,000 members. The DAR motto is "God, Home, and Country."

Chapter Officers for the 2013-2014 year are: Regent, Belinda Bowman-Schaefer; First Vice-Regent, Monica Karasek; Chaplain, Deborah Huffman Mersiel; Recording Secretary, Donita Clark Smith; Corresponding Secretary, Mollyra Watkins Stroud; Treasurer, Mima Taylor Vita; Registrar, M. Joan Vicars Phillips; Historian, Gail Cropper Swick; Librarian, Marilyn Morrow Schomburg; Parliamentarian, Carolyn Morrow Hilliard; Directors, June Morton Perry, Irene Messer Maple, Ruth Shultz Adkins.

Community Common, Portsmouth, Ohio, December 27, 2013

Joseph Spencer Chapter of the National Society of DAR

The Joseph Spencer Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently held a day of celebration to commemorate their 115th Anniversary. The event was well attended with over 80 members and friends, including nine members of the Ohio State Board of Management; Sandra McCann - Ohio State Regent, Nancy Wright - State Vice Regent, Kathy Dixon - State Treasurer, Joyce Peters - State Librarian, Betsie Goad - State Organizing Secretary, Kathy Bentley - State Registrar, Donna Murdock - SE District Director, Jean Muetzel - SW District Director, Mary Chase - NE District Director and Tracey Coe - State Page Chairman.

The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children. The Joseph Spencer Chapter was issued a charter on June 30, 1898.

Current officers for the group include: Patricia Lacy - Regent, Belinda Bowman-Schaefer - First Vice Regent, Monica Karasek - Second Vice Regent, Deborah Mersiel - Chaplain, Donita Smith - Recording Secretary, Mollyra Stroud - Corresponding Secretary, Mima Vita - Treasurer, Joan Phillips - Registrar, Gail Swick - Historian, Marilyn Schomburg - Librarian and Carolyn Hilliard - Parliamentarian.

Portsmouth Daily Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, December 9, 2013

Patricia Lu Vicars Russell Lacy, 65, of Portsmouth, died Sunday, December 8, 2013, at SOMC Hospice Center. Born June 3, 1948, in Portsmouth to the late Orra Glenn and Goldie Esther Branson Vicars, she was the youngest of 10 children. Also preceding Pat in death were her former husband, John Richard Russell, whom she married in Portsmouth, March 1, 1985; her paternal grandparents, William Sherman Vicars and Lona Dove Spurlock Vicars; her maternal grandparents, Charles Meston Branson and Frances "Fannie" Rebecca Williams Branson Chadwell. She was also preceded in death by siblings, Robert Orris Vicars of San Diego, CA, Mildred Jane Vicars Fite and Mary Frances Vicars, both of Bowling Green, Elbert Franklin Vicars, of Richmond, VA, James Richard Vicars, Emmitt Earl Vicars, Charles Vicars and Glen Joseph Vicars, all of Friendship.

Formerly employed by Ashland Inc., the Scioto Foundation, and most recently at the Scioto County Welcome Center as Facilities Coordinator, she attended Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth. Pat was active in many organizations, serving as Regent of the Joseph Spencer Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Patriot Robert Vicars; Recording Secretary of the Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter of the Daughters of War of 1812; Scioto County Chapter Ohio Genealogical Society, Portsmouth Area Ladies PAL's Inc.; the Ohio Genealogical Society; and the Indian Historical Society.

Surviving are her husband, Patrick Lacy of Portsmouth, whom she married, July 4, 2009; and a sister, Maxine "Joan" Vicars Phillips, of Portsmouth.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, with Rev. Tom Charles officiating. Interment will be in Lucasville Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the ADKINS-BRANT FUNERAL HOME in Portsmouth from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday and one hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to SOMC Hospice in Pat's name for the excellent care they provided. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Community Common, Portsmouth, Ohio, June 2, 2013

Joseph Spencer Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Front row: Belinda Bowman-Schaefer, Vice Regent; Patricia Lacy, Regent; Monica Karasek, Second Vice Regent. Back Row: Donita Smith, Recording Secretary; Mima Vita, Treasurer; Joan Phillips, Registrar; Deborah Mersiel, Chaplain; Marilyn Schomburg, Librarian; June Morton Perry, Director; Carolyn Hilliard, Parliamentarian; Molly Stroud, Corresponding Secretary

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

The organization boasts 200,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.

The Joseph Spencer Chapter, NSDAR, recently held its installation of officers. The Joseph Spencer Chapter, NSDAR, has been in existence in Portsmouth since 1898.

Community Common, Portsmouth, Ohio, March 27, 2013

DAR Good Citizen's Essay Winner

The DAR Good Citizen must have the qualities of Dependability - which includes truthfulness, loyalty, punctuality; Service - which includes cooperation, courtesy, consideration of others; Leadership - which includes personality, self-control, ability to assume leadership; Patriotism - which includes unselfish interest in family, school, community, and nation, to an outstanding degree. The school faculty chooses the student which best represents these qualities.There is also an essay portion of this contest. The essay title is "Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It." Jennifer Scherer, Glenwood HS guidance counselor, administered the essay, which is submitted, and then judged by a non-DAR judge.

The Joseph Spencer Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution presented an award to Sara Adkins, senior at Glenwood High School, New Boston, OH. Sara was presented a certificate, a lapel pin, a wallet card and a check in the amount of $200. Sara is the daughter of Raymond and Sherri Adkins. Sara is an honor student at Glenwood High School. In high school, she has been active in volleyball, cheerleading, tennis, band, the Scioto County Honors Band, Honor Society, and chorus. Sara is a representative of the American Red Cross Red, White and Youth council, represented her school as a delegate to HOBY Ohio South, delegate to 2012 Buckeye Girls State, and represented the school as an Ohio Americanism and Government State Test winner. She is active in her church, has been in Bible quizzes for six years and has competed in two National quizzes. She is a senior youth representative to the South Central Ohio Nazarene Youth International Council.

The Joseph Spencer Chapter, NSDAR Good Citizen's contest was open to all high school seniors at the thirteen high schools in Scioto County.

The Community Common Progress Edition, Portsmouth, Ohio, February 24, 2013

Joseph Spencer Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

The Joseph Spencer Chapter, NSDAR will be celebrating the 115th Anniversary of the organization in Portsmouth in 2013.

The origin of the Joseph Spencer Chapter, NSDAR, goes back to early 1898. At the time, there were only two members of the society in Portsmouth - Mrs. Mary Sarah Slocomb Cotton and Mrs. Sarah Merrill McCall. Both were members of the Cincinnati Chapter. Mrs. Cotton took the first steps toward the organization of what later became the Joseph Spencer Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. After some inquiry and investigation of the records, thirty five eligible women were found who desired to unite with the National Society with the intention of forming a chapter in Portsmouth. The charter was issued in 1898.

The DAR is a service organization of over 200,000 members with over 3,000 chapters located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Australia, Canada, France, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Any woman, eighteen years of age and over, and who is lineally descended from a man or woman who with unfailing loyalty aided in the cause of American Independence, and must be able to prove her lineage back to an ancestor who served the American cause during the American Revolution.

The Joseph Spencer Chapter has established a DAR scholarship at the Scioto Foundation. This year's winner was Kathleen Rosier of Shawnee State University. The chapter participates in the Memorial Day Parade, the memorial service at Greenlawn Cemetery, the Veteran's Recognition Day at Shawnee State University, donates many items and cash to the local VA facility, and the Chillicothe Veterans Hospital, marks graves of Revolutionary Soldiers, sponsors Good Citizens Contests in local high schools, Constitution Week displays, sponsors Community Service Awards, distributes hundreds of American flags, promotes patriotism and education. The DAR motto is "God, Home, and Country."

The local chapter currently has 85 members. Officers for the 2012-2013 year are: Joan Vicars Phillips, Regent; Belinda Bowman-Schaefer, First Vice Regent; Mima Taylor Vita, Second Vice Regent; Deborah Huffman Mersiel, Chaplain;; Mollyra Watkins Stroud, Corresponding Secretary; Donita Clark Smith, Treasurer; Patricia Vicars Lacy, Registrar; Gail Cropper Swick, Historian; Wanda Frasher Staggs, Librarian. June Morton Perry, Parliamentarian . Directors are Irene Messer Maple; Jean McCorkle Easter, and June Morton Perry.

Community Common, Portsmouth, Ohio, September 27, 2012

DAR promotes Constitution Week Awareness

September 17, 2012, begins the national celebration of Constitution Week. The weeklong commemoration of America's most important document is one of our country's least known official observances. Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom, and to ensure those inalienable rights to every American.

The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In 1955, the Daughters petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into Public Law #915 on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The aims of the celebration are to (1) emphasize citizens' responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, preserving it for posterity; (2) inform the people that the Constitution is the basis for America's great heritage and the foundation for our way of life; and (3) encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

The United States of America functions as a Republic under the Constitution, which is the oldest document still in active use that outlines the self-government of a people. This landmark idea that men had the inalienable right as individuals to be free and live their lives under their own governance was the impetus of the American Revolution. Today, the Constitution stands as an icon of freedom for people around the world.

"We must remember and teach that those who wrote the Constitution believed that no government can create freedom, but that government must guard freedom rather than encroach upon the freedoms of its people" stated Merry Ann T. Wright, President General of the DAR. "The Constitution by itself cannot guarantee liberty. A nation's people can remain free only by being responsible citizens who are willing to learn about the rights of each arm of government and require that each is accountable for its own function. Therefore, Constitution Week is the perfect opportunity to read and study this great document which is the safeguard of our American liberties. We encourage all citizens across the country to take time this week to guard that which is committed to us by our forefathers... our freedom."

DAR has served America for 122 years as its foremost cheerleader. In 1928, the Daughters began work on a building as a memorial to the Constitution. John Russell Pope, architect of the Jefferson Memorial, was commissioned to design the performing arts center, known as DAR Constitution Hall. Today, DAR Constitution Hall is the only structure erected in tribute to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Known as the largest women's patriotic organization in the world, DAR has over 165,000 members with approximately 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and 11 foreign countries. The DAR has long promoted patriotism through commemorative celebrations, memorials, scholarships and activities for children, and programs for new immigrants. For more information about DAR and its programs visit HYPERLINK "" or call (202) 628-1776.

Portsmouth Daily Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, September 23, 2011

DAR Chapter donates to Homeless Shelter by Frank Lewis

The area chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has stepped up and made a donation to help the financially-strapped Scioto County Homeless Shelter.

"We saw the article in the newspaper that they were in need of contributions," said Pat Lacy, registrar of the Joseph Spencer Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. "And we have a total contribution of $700 that we hope will help with the expenses here."

"Awesome," Cadogen said. "This has been such a faith walk, and God just keeps providing. We had just gotten enough to scrape together and pay our last electric bill, and we got another $750 bill, and here they (DAR) come. God is awesome. He is so faithful."

Smith said the donation is for an important need.

"It makes us proud for the work they do in the community," Smith said. "And we just wanted to be a part of that."

Joan Phillips, regent for the chapter, said the organization typically makes donations in November and December, but they made an exception.

"This year when we saw the article in the news we decided to do it now so that it would make a difference," Phillips said.

Cadogen said several money sources had dried up in recent days.

"The reduction and decrease in donations has caused us to deplete our resources, and it has caused a critical shortfall," Cadogan said. "To that end the shelter is in dire need of monetary contributions. Although we are still in need of those tangible donated goods our crucial need at this present time is for monetary assistance. Although many are hurting and struggling, there are some who could bless us substantially with great amounts. And others who could only bless us with their widow's mite."

Portsmouth Daily Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, July 4, 2006

Patriot Ladies Club Preserves History, Works for Education by Phyllis Noah

In 1890, a group of 18 women started a patriotic organization that has grown to include 168,000 members throughout the United States and the world today.

The National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution was founded to preserve history and promote patriotism and education. Since 1890, more than 800,000 members have joined the volunteer women's service organization, according to

Membership is open to any woman years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution." In order to join, a woman must have documentation to prove an ancestor was in the Revolutionary War.

"You just have to have source information to prove the lineage," said Pat Russell, of Portsmouth, regent for the Joseph Spencer Chapter of DAR. "If you've done your genealogy, you do not have to have any certified copies of anything, but you do have to prove the link from one generation to the next."

The more current documents would be birth, death and marriage certificates, first with parents, then grandparents, she said.

"Of course, the further back you go the harder that is to get," Russell said. "As long as the certificate names the child or their parents, that's your link right there. If it doesn't, then you have to have something in addition to that. A lot of times the older census records, at least from 1854, they have that information."

If anyone in the family has been a DAR member, that information can be used as part of the source information.

The objects of the DAR is to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence; to promote "institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge"; and to cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.

The national headquarters is in Washington, D.C., and occupies an entire city block near the White House. Memorial Continental Hall has a large genealogical library, museum, gift shop and more than 30 rooms depicting American interiors from the 17th to the early-20th century. Constitution Hall has one of the largest concert halls in the capitol with a cafe and gallery. The Administration Building houses a collection of manuscripts, historical research library, a microfilm center and offices.

The DAR is a service organization, and the local chapter supports numerous programs, including six schools, each one specializing in a different cause.

For example, one school in Grant, Ala., serves 1,100 impoverished children in Appalachia with schooling, clothing, health care, breakfast and lunch. A school in South Carolina is a resident school for abused and neglected children. A school in Hindman, Ky., specializes in treating students with dyslexia, a learning disorder. Another school helps children who have difficulty learning and with Attention Deficit Disorder.

One of the schools needed a van, so DAR members started saving soup can labels.

"It took 1 million labels to buy a van," Russell said. "Our chapter saves Campbell's soup can labels and a lot of other labels that have a patch for education."

As an incentive to get members to save labels, Russell has a Christmas party each year with an auction where the soup can labels are used as "cash."

"We set up the room with half for the labels and the other half for monetary donations," she said. "It's amazing the amount of money and labels we get."

A July tea each year includes a white elephant sale and invitations for prospective new members. The tea will be at the Welcome Center on July 29.

The members also have projects for the Veteran's Hospital in Chillicothe, and for the first time, they have established a scholarship fund.

"We'd like to have more members, of course," Russell said. "We do a lot of little things but it's mostly behind the scenes."


The Joseph Spencer Chapter meets NSDAR objectives through the following activities:

Historical Preservation
  • Members attended the Flag Day/Anniversary Celebration of the Pickaway Plains Chapter, Camp Dennison Comes Alive Celebration

    • Support DAR School through monetary donations
    • During our Christmas Bazaar, we collected Campbell's Labels and Boxtops for Education to bid on items at our auction. We donated all of the labels and boxtops to the DAR Schools, Kate Duncan Smith and Tamassee.
    • Sponsor DAR Good Citizen essay contest
    • Sponsor national, state and chapter scholarships
    • Distribute flags on the 4th of July
    • Donate time and money to soldiers overseas and veterans at home
    • Promote observance of Constitution Week
    • Take active part in Memorial Day parade and Memorial Day service
    • Knit and donate blankets for veterans

    DAR Good Citizen Awards

    Good Citizen Award Left to Right, Irma Pruitt of New Boston; The winner, Betty Jean Lamm, of Portsmouth; Alberta Spiech of Minford; Betty Bratton, of Sciotoville and Naomi Smith of Nauvoo. February 8, 1941