Barnum-Robbins House, Adrian, MI

Site of the first Lucy Wolcott Barnum Meeting

This photo was used as an invitation to the meeting held
"Saturday, December eleventh 1909. three o'clock"

The Commission of Mrs. Robbins

On the ninth day of January 1908, Louise Barnum Robbins (Mrs. Richard), of Adrian, Michigan, was entrusted, by the State Regent of Michigan, with a Commission to form a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This Commission was approved by the National Board of Management in Washington, DC.

Mrs. Robbins worked hard and diligently to gather the required number of members for this patriotic organization.  Her efforts were rewarded when the newly formed chapter held its first meeting at her home on the southwest corner of Broad and Toledo Street in Adrian, Michigan, on the 19th of April, 1909. Members present wanted to name the organization after Mrs. Robbins, but were informed by her that National DAR rules did not allow a chapter to be named after a living person.  She responded by thanking them for their esteem, and if they had no objection she would think of a name and report at the next meeting.

Mrs. Robbins welcomed the ladies with an address stressing the work and duties of members of the Daughters of the American Revolution and giving some history of the organization of the original society.  Each member was reminded of the sacrifice her ancestors had made to form this great Republic of ours.

The appointment of Mrs. Robbins as Chapter Regent was confirmed and she was instructed to appoint the officers and the committees.

May was selected as the Annual Meeting for the election of officers and annual reports.  The third Monday, at 3:00 p.m., from October through May, was set for the regular meetings.

Mrs. Robbins then declared that the preliminaries had been met and proclaimed: “by the power vested in me that this Chapter is duly and formally instituted.”  She then congratulated the ladies upon being “participants in the formation of so fine a Chapter.”  At that first meeting twenty-nine ladies were present with a total of forty-seven as Charter Members.

The program was dedicated to the remembrance of Lexington Day, April 19, 1775, after which the Regent presented a memento of the day to the members. This was in the form of a souvenir booklet about Lexington, which she had procured directly from Lexington, Mass.

The second meeting of the new chapter was held on May 17, 1909, at 3:00 p.m., at the home of Mrs. Robbins, 25 Broad Street.  It opened with a prayer from the DAR ritual and the singing of “America”, led by Miss Josephine Lambie.  Twenty-seven members answered the roll call.

Mrs. Robbins announced that the time had come to name the Chapter, and she requested that it be named “Lucy Wolcott Barnum”.  The motion was made and carried unanimously.  The Regent was deeply touched and thanked them for the honor and distinction conferred upon her, in naming the Chapter after her great-grandmother, a woman whose father, Samuel Wolcott, and brother, Samuel, Jr., and husband, Stephen Barnum were Revolutionary soldiers.

The first two meetings have special meaning in the history of the Chapter, since they record its organization and naming.  The first year was spent in deciding what their specific aims would be, and how they could carry out the
directives of the National Society.

The Chapter’s First Birthday

At the April 19, 1910 meeting, celebrating the first birthday of the Chapter, it was announced that, although at the organizational meeting 47 qualified as Charter members, a National rule adopted a few months before stated “that Charters could be held open for a year, and those admitted during that time would be considered Charter Members.”  As of April 19, 1910, the Lucy Wolcott Barnum Chapter had 66 members. Time passed and the
Chapter flourished, although they were not always able to meet with regularity.

By  the anniversary of their second birthday, membership had nearly doubled from the original 47 Charter members (apparently they decided not to count those who had joined after the original organizational meeting).  There had been 2 deaths and 1 withdrawal.  They had their first delegate attend the Continental Congress, Mrs. Elizabeth Benner Barrett.  60 essays for the History Essay Contest were received.

The announcement of illness, death, births and marriages of the members and their families show that they appeared to be a fairly close knit group.  The location of the homes where the early meetings were held was within the relatively confined area of Broad, Front, Toledo, Locust, State, South Main and East and West Maumee Streets.  The relationship of the members reinforces this thought.  There were 4 sets of 3 sisters, along with mother, daughter and granddaughter combinations.  The Chapter was honored to have as members 2 granddaughters of General U. S. Grant: Mrs. Miriam Grant Macy and Miss Julia Dent Grant.  Their mother Miss Fanny Chaffee, who married U. S. Grant, Jr., was born and reared in Adrian.

For information on membership, contact our Registrar, Linda Hartley.

For general information, contact our Regent, Marianne Vykydal.




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