"Like an endless strand, the descendants of the Revolutionary fathers have woven themselves into the warp and woof of American life; and, spreading from ocean to ocean, have implanted true ideals of citizenship and right thinking." - Honorary Organizing Chapter Regent Anna Ford Pursell
With these thoughts in mind, the first DAR chapter in Idaho was named "Pioneer." Anna Ford Pursell organized the chapter on November 14, 1908, and served as its first Regent. In the early years, Daughters staged patriotic pageants, marched in Flag Day parades and supported the Childrens' Home.
During World War I, members knit more than 1,000 garments for the troops in Europe and hired children at the Childrens' Home and prisoners in the penitentiary to "Knit for Victory." The chapter "adopted" 22 French orphans and provided comfort items for the seriously wounded being treated at the Boise Veterans Hospital.
After the War, Daughters distributed Americanization Manuals and assisted new immigrants in becoming naturalized citizens. One of our distinguished members, Cynthia Pease Mann, established a scholarship fund to enable disadvantaged youth to attend college. The prominent O'Farrell sisters donated their family's pioneer cabin to the chapter. It was the first family dwelling in Boise. Daughters restored the historic cabin, where they held numerous social gatherings. More than one President General enjoyed a cup of tea in front of its fireplace.
The chapter established Ward Memorial Park, site of one of the largest massacres on the Oregon Trail, and erected historical markers in Boise and in Pocatello, honoring Oregon Trail Pioneers. Decorations from one of the annual Colonial Balls were displayed at Continental Congress in 1932 and were greatly admired by the Delegates.
Pioneer Chapter has experienced many changes since 1908. Our membership has grown from a dozen proud women to over 100 members. The Colonial Balls and Flag Day parades are no more. Some things, however, have not changed - commitment to education, patriotism, service for veterans and historic preservation continue to be our priorities.
Pioneer Chapter continues to be a vital part of the community and the National Society. Members range in age from "twenty-something" to "ninety-something." We are teachers, bankers, musicians, retirees, attorneys, community volunteers, physicians and homemakers. We are natives of Idaho and Iowa, California and Colorado, Maine and Maryland. We are all proud to be members of Pioneer Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
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