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.
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.