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Generations remembered as DAR members show and tell

Emma Pauline Keulegan holds up ivory-handled silverware found by her uncle after the San Francisco earthquake in April 1906.(Jon Giffin The Vicksburg)

[3/5/04A 200-year-old newspaper and silverware at least 98 years old were among items of interest as members of the Daughters of the American Revolution had a show-and-tell session at their meeting Thursday.

Emma Pauline Keulegan displayed some of the silverware passed through generations of her family since 1906.

Her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George Moore, were moving from Union, Pa., to Bakersfield, Calif., and stopped at a hotel in San Francisco. That night an earthquake devastated the city, and all of the Moores’ belongings were destroyed in the fires that followed. The earthquake is known as the biggest disaster to hit the city.

“They lost everything,” Keulegan said.

Keulegan’s uncle John, then 7 years old, rummaged around the city and found a set of ivory-handled silverware minus spoons. He also found a cast-iron frying pan.

The Moore family was left with only their nightclothes, and Keulegan’s mother was only 6 months old. A woman saw the baby and insisted on giving Mrs. Moore one of the first Singer sewing machines to make the baby’s clothes.

Keulegan said she didn’t bring the machine to the monthly meeting of the Ashmead Chapter because it’s entirely too heavy, and she can’t find a table that will hold it without collapsing.

Harriette Elrod brought pictures of her family’s belongings and homes in South Carolina.

“I’m the oldest child, and with my being an American history teacher and a member of Daughters of the American Revolution, that lent itself to being the one who would cherish these,” Elrod said.

The pictures included an organ, homes in Anderson and Williamston, S.C., clocks, desks and rockers.

But what’s most valuable in her family is a side saddle.

“There may be a tug-of-war between the grandchildren over that,” Elrod said.

Another member, Josephine Gilliland, who’s also regent of the Ashmead chapter, showed newspapers dating to 1795 and a cup and saucer from an early Vicksburg hardware company.

The newspaper, called Dunlap and Claypoole’s Daily Advertiser, was given to her by her brother-in-law Robert Beckwith.

“He thought I’d appreciate it,” she said.

Also on display were a Lee Richardson and Co. cup and saucer. The china was made in France for the Vicksburg company.

Normally, DAR meetings include a meal, a history lesson and a guest speaker.

“We just like to show and tell about things that we prize,” she said. “We do this once in a while to spark a little interest.”

Ten members attended the monthly meeting at the YMCA on East Clay Street.

The organization is one of the oldest patriotic groups in America and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.