Long before suffrage, women felt the desire to express their patriotic feelings and were frustrated by their exclusion from men's organizations. As a result, a group of pioneering Washington DC women formed their own organization and the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was founded on October 11, 1890.
Today the DAR remains a society of women who are direct descendants of Revolutionary War patriots. It supports historic preservation, education, and patriotism. So far in 2017, DAR members worldwide have volunteered close to a million and a half hours in service to America.
The Chickamauga Chapter, which draws its members from all of greater Chattanooga, was formed soon after the National Society on Oct. 7, 1894. Today it is over 100 members strong. While celebrating Founder’s Day, the chapter honored the women who have served as chapter leaders, known as regents, and who remain supportive today. The events described are those which each regent considered most memorable during her administration.
Catherine Douglass Anderson Kain: 1975-1977
Under Ms. Kain, the chapter won both state and national awards. The chapter also held a ceremony to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the Brainerd Mission Cemetery of which the chapter is now part owner.
Floweree Patten Whitaker Oakes: 1983-1985
New granite markers were placed in the Brainerd Mission Cemetery to replace the broken marble benches. A student sponsored by the chapter won 1st place in the Tennessee American History essay contest.
Betty Jeanne Little Couch: 1995-1999
The chapter purchased a brick for the “Pathway of Volunteers” for the Bicentennial Capitol Mall celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Tennessee Statehood.
Fayla Moss Daniel: 1999-2001
The chapter planted a tree at the National Cemetery in honor of George Washington’s birthday. For Constitution Week they sponsored an hour-long radio program featuring two prominent local lawyers discussing the Second Amendment to the Constitution (the right to bear arms).
Marilyn Funk Dammann: 2003-2005
Her first duty as regent was on June 14, 2003 when she, along with four other Chattanooga Chapter regents, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) chapter president and the National Park Service signed the Brainerd Mission Cemetery agreement at the annual Brainerd Mission Flag Raising ceremony. The agreement recognizes the Chattanooga DAR and SAR organizations as co-owners of the property. She has received several recognition medals from the SAR, and currently is national appointee from Tennessee to the Advisory Committee of the Tamassee DAR School in South Carolina, as well as state chairman of the Americanism Committee, and chapter parliamentarian. Marilyn will also be recognized by many Chattanoogans for her extensive work with both the Burk and Hixson United Methodist Churches, the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Chorus, and the Scenic City Chorale.
Diana Sue Taylor Ward: 2005-2007
Sue is most proud of the work the chapter did with Tamassee School and for veterans, including purchasing TVs for vets. The first year she served as regent, the chapter received a DAR award for five members using e-mail on the computer. The second year it increased to 11. Sue currently serves as the Americanism/Naturalization Ceremonies chair. Sue will be known to many Chattanoogans for her work with Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company and Nuclear Power Development and Support at TVA.
Norma Gordon Viall Scales: 2007-2009
She is a 50- year member of the DAR. Her mother was also a Chickamauga Chapter regent and her grandmother served as a regent for the John Sevier Chapter in Johnson City, Tn. During her administration, the chapter collected items and sent Christmas cards to the men and women at Landstuhl Facility in Germany. Information from 15 family Bibles was photographed for inclusion in the TSDAR Bible Project. The Brainerd Mission Cemetery Flag Raising Ceremony in 2009 was notable when the Tennessee flag and the flags of two eastern bands of the Cherokee were added to fly by the flag of the United States. She currently serves as chaplain.
Carol Keeter Rogers: 2009-2011
During her administration the chapter sponsored or participated in 27 different events to educate people about our country’s history and promote patriotism. She currently serves as librarian on the Executive Board, DAR Museum Outreach chair, one of two members from the chapter for Historic Preservation Brainerd Mission Cemetery, Insignia chair, Literacy Promotion chair, member of the Archives Committee, and vice-chair of the Cherokee District/American History. Carol has served in many areas of the community including environmental consulting, educational testing in the Hamilton County Schools, ownership and management of over 30 rental properties which provide safe, affordable housing for low income and disabled citizens, and the board of the Chattanooga Area Historical Association. She also is highly active at the Ridgedale Baptist Church, especially on the Mission Team.
Leila Anne Kucewicz Parham: 2011-2015
Lee was chosen as the Tennessee Outstanding Regent in 2015 – the first time for this award. She recalls one memorable meeting when members hiked to Point Park on Lookout Mountain. A park ranger gave a tour of the park. Afterward, a lovely lunch was served at Lee’s home. She lives in the summer cottage once owned by Amelia Chamberlain, the chapter founder and first regent (1894). Lee currently serves as chair of the state Community Service Awards committee. Lee will be known to many Chattanoogans for her eight years teaching at Girls Preparatory School, and from the Christmas Corner shop which she owned and ran for 20 years. She also founded the Hunter Associates organization of the Hunter Museum, was on the board of the first Riverbend Festival, and served on the allocations committee for both United Way and the Allied Arts ( now ArtsBuild) organizations.