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DAR Chapter celebrating members

CELEBRATING HISTORY — Representatives of the Fort Steuben Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution joining in the national society’s celebration of surpassing the 1 million-member mark since its founding in 1890 are, seated, from left, Karen Watson Blanc, past regent, and Nancy Valles, parliamentarian, and, standing, Vickie Valles Joseph, present regent. -- Contributed

This fall the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution will surpass 1 million members who have joined the organization since its founding in 1890.

The DAR is a women’s service organization whose members can trace their lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War.

The Fort Steuben Chapter, based in Steubenville, began as the Steubenville Chapter, its name changed in 2003 to the Fort Steuben Chapter. In the past 98 years, the chapter has welcomed more than 6,000 members since the chapter began.

“The Fort Steuben Chapter is excited to join the national society in celebrating this milestone by spotlighting members through the years,” a spokesperson said. The organizing regent was Mary Donaldson Sinclair, the wife of noted industrialist Dohrman Sinclair. Her family founded the Steubenville Pottery.

“There have always been many teachers, nurses, a physician and other professional women in the Fort Steuben Chapter,” the spokesperson noted.

“Throughout the chapter’s history, its membership has included many remarkable women from the community, including two ladies who passed away this year,” the spokesperson said. “Patricia Wherry Albaugh was 90 years old when she died, and she had been a lifelong DAR member. She was a well-known teacher who never missed a Big Red ball game for 50 years and continued to come to the DAR meetings.

“Francis Elizabeth King lived 90 years and was very active in the community. A well-respected teacher, she and her husband, Richard, were the driving force of the original committee in 1986 that founded Old Fort Steuben Project Inc. and built historic Fort Steuben and Fort Steuben Park. She also continued to attend DAR meetings,” the spokesperson said.

“Our past regent, Karen Watson Blanc, is a 20-year member of the DAR. She served our chapter well in various projects, such as the Wreaths Across America project. Our present regent, 20-year member Vickie Valles Joseph, also is an associate member in Wheeling, Italy and Germany. She joins active family members in service to the DAR, as her mother, Nancy Valles, is a 28-year member, and her aunt, Jo Ann Morrison, is a 25-year member. Her daughter, Lauren Joseph, is a junior member.

“These are just a few of the 1 million women who have joined DAR since 1890. Each DAR member has a unique story but all share a passion for historic preservation, education and patriotism and a dedication to her local community,” the spokesperson added.

The Fort Steuben DAR Chapter focuses much of its efforts on service for veterans projects such as the Stars for our Troops project headed by Jeanne Vega; women’s issues; DAR supported schools; Junior American Citizens; scholarships; and Good Citizen projects.

Prospective members can attend meetings, which are held on the second Saturday of the month at Giovanni’s in Weirton. For information, contact Joseph at vjvj@msn.com.

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