A county of historical heritage and rich Revolutionary history, it was only a matter of time before a DAR chapter in Bucks County would happen. During the 1920s many Bucks county residents were "Members-at-Large." They were members without a chapter. President General, Mrs. Anthony Wayne Cook of Pennsylvania, was very eager to have a chapter organize in Bucks County. When Mrs. Isaac J. VanArtsdalen of Doylestown applied for membership, not only was she approved for membership, but was asked to organize a chapter in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the county seat.
Shortly thereafter, Mrs. VanArtsdalen, Mrs. R.L. Walter, and Miss Susanna B. Stillwell began recruiting eligible women for membership. With the aid of Mrs. Joseph M. Caley, of Philadelphia, the Corresponding Secretary for Pennsylvania, Mrs. VanArtsdalen received permission to proceed with the organization of the chapter.
As thirteen women were needed to form a chapter, membership applications were forwarded to the National Society. On June 17, 1925, the members were approved and the organizing members met for the first time, electing the officers:
||Mrs. Issac J. VanArtsdalen
||Mrs. Henry A. James
||Miss Susanna B. Stillwell
||Mrs. J. Harry Hoffman
||Mrs. William J. Leattor
||Mrs. William P. McCoy
||Miss Jane Watson
The following six members: Mrs. Herman Burgher, Mrs. W. Carlisle Hobensack, Mrs. Howard Holbert, Mr. Kirk Leatherman, Mrs. Robert L. Walker, and Miss Nellie Walter also attended.
The members voted to name the chapter:
"The Bucks County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution."
On October 18th, 1925, the National Society recognized and granted a charter to the chapter. On Washington's birthday, February 22, 1926, Mrs. VansArtsdalen was presented as the regent of the new chapter at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Mrs. John Brown Heron, the State Regent, and Mrs. Caley were the guests of honor.
Meeting at the American Legion in Doylestown the first year, the chapter bylaws were written, flag lessons were taught, and the members gave reports on their Revolutionary war ancestors. Always keeping up with the times, the growing chapter held public card parties as fund raisers. The funds were used to make donations to the American Legion, the Village Improvement Association, Doylestown Emergency Hospital, and to continue the work of the National Society.
Continuing with the preservation of American history, much of the historical data of Bucks County and nearby communities was reviewed and filed in Washington, D.C. American flags are given to various organizations including The Boy Scouts in Bristol, Newtown, Doylestown, and to the newly-arrived Ukrainians undergoing naturalization in the Philadelphia district. Trees were planted at Washington Crossing Park, as well as an historical marker erected commemorating the encampment of Washington's Army on the night of June 19, 1778. In Bucks County, 316 Revolutionary soldiers' graves were located, and a Bronze medal marker placed on each. At the Thompson Neely House at Bowman's Hill, a tablet was donated and unveiled.
Today the chapter continues to support the DAR objectives by participating in the Moland House restoration project in Jamison, PA. The field of education is supported by awarding Good Citizenship and R.O.T.C. medals to students in private and public schools throughout Bucks County. Medals and certificates are awarded to students participating in the NSDAR American History Essay Contest offered yearly.
The chapter participates in local parades handing out flags to young parade goers. DAR events are publicized so that interested citizens have the opportunity to enjoy our programs and speakers. It is with much satisfaction that we look back over the years, and with much anticipation that we look ahead to the future.
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