Osceola History celebrates History Month in May of each year. Throughout the month we will feature an article about local heritage organizations.
Daughters of the American Revolution
Patriotism and interest in early United States history experienced a revival in 1890. Women were excluded from men’s organizations and began to form their own groups. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) was one such group.
Founded on October 11, 1890, their objectives have not changed in the past 130 years – historical, educational and patriotic. Proof of lineal descent from an ancestor who aided in obtaining American independence is required to become a member.
A brief article in the November 10, 1916, issue of a local Kissimmee newspaper mentions a DAR chapter being formed. Later issues have no further mention of the chapter becoming a reality. It is possible that once World War erupted in Europe, the women put their efforts into helping provide needed items to our local boys who’d been called to fight through the Red Cross and other women’s relief organizations.
On December 16, 1946, in St. Cloud, the Joshua Stevens Chapter NSDAR was formed. Various names – “St. Cloud Chapter,” “The Soldier City” and “Micanopy” after the Seminole Chief, were all discarded as chapter names. The following year – Joshua Stevens, Revolutionary ancestor of organizing regent Mrs. Edith Elliott was chosen.
Over the years, Joshua Stevens Chapter has presented Good Citizen Awards in local high schools. At one time, contributions of money, clothing, books, magazines, beads and Christmas presents were sent to the Seminole Indians. The national and state DAR libraries, as well as local libraries have been gifted books and magazines and American flags have been presented to local schools. In conjunction with other patriotic groups, Joshua Stevens participates in Memorial Day ceremonies and wreath-laying events in the local cemeteries.
One of their most recent projects, which took place in August 2019 was the unveiling of a Revolutionary War display donated by the chapter to the local Museum of Military History in Kissimmee.
Written by Anza Bast.
Sources: “Kissimmee Valley Gazette” November 10, 1916; “St. Cloud News Golden Jubilee Edition” December 3, 1959; https://www.dar.org/