Ashmead Chapter of NSDAR celebrates 90 years of preserving history

Published 2:17 pm Thursday, December 30, 2021

On Dec. 16, the Ashmead Chapter of the National Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated its 90th anniversary at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.

To commemorate the chapter’s milestone, the event included greetings from notable people around the state, including MSDAR state regent Hellen Hicks Polk, Heartland district director Katherine Roberts Wolfe and M.S.S.C.A.R. state president Callie Elizabeth Martin.

Bobbie Beyers Edwards, who serves as the Ashmead Chapter regent, said the celebration also included the recognition of the chapter’s charter members.

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Rebecca Drake, the author of five Civil War books and St. Alban’s Episcopal Church historian, was also on hand, Edwards said.

“She spoke on the history of the church and the St. Alban’s cemetery,” Edwards said.

A tour of the cemetery followed, with commentary from Ashmead Chapter members Tracy Trichell, Mary Louise Stevens, Beth Guynes, Janis Koestler and Joy Brabston.

Ninety years ago on Dec. 16, charter members of the Ashmead Chapter met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Hoggatt, 3421 Drummond St., with Mrs. Hoggatt serving as the chapter regent.

In addition to Hoggatt (Eva May Conway Hoggatt), charter members included Irene Conway Bolls Artz, Alma Barston Cashman, Kathleen Mary Conway, Mary Amanda Conway, Mary Van-Princess Sneed Cashman, Hazel Barstow Dearing, Ruth Hitt Eakin, Nellie Alice Lawwill Felner, Cecile Jones Glassco, Eva May Hammett, Love Groome Hardenstein, Martha Rebecca Hoggatt, Martha Temperance Conway Mann and Nell Thames Wright.

Named for both father and son Samuel and John Ashmead from Pennsylvania, Edwards said the reason their name was chosen was that “Most of the organizing members, including Mrs. Hoggatt, were ancestors.”

In fact, Edwards said, to this day, the chapter continues to have descendants of Samuel and John Ashmead in the chapter.

“The women of the Cashman family, who were former owners and Publishers of The Vicksburg Post newspaper, have been members since 1931,” she said.

Descendants of the Hoggatt and Conway families are also members as well.

From the 15 charter members Edwards said, the Ashmead Chapter has ranged from well over 100 members in years past to a current average of 69 members.

“A number of our members are families — grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins and other connections,” Edwards said, adding, in 2021, the Ashmead Chapter had members in eight states, and represented 88 proven Revolutionary ancestors.

Edwards said the Ashmead Chapter has always been actively involved in community events.

“Ashmead has made many contributions to the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library Local History Room, to the Old Courthouse Museum Collection, other libraries and museums in the area including the State Archives, and worked to preserve, restore and actively maintain the history of this area,” she said. “We contribute books and materials to the NSDAR Library every year, many that are authored by our own members. We are also involved in the education of our children and the public and have provided college scholarships to area high school seniors for many years.”

On Aug. 17, 1933, the Sarah Randolph Boone Society, Children of the American Revolution, was organized with the help of Ashmead Chapter, Edwards said.

Since then, 10 members from Vicksburg have served as the youth state president. Ashmead members Mary Dalrymple Bradway and Ruby Kassner have served as senior state president M.S.S.C.A.R. and Janis Lanier Koestler is currently serving.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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