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.