The Noah Coleman Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Phelps County welcomed six new members. For more than a century, the members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution have been devoted to historical preservation, promotion of education and encouragement of patriotic endeavor.

The Noah Coleman Chapter is a Centennial Chapter founded in 1906 which still cherishes the values of its founding members. Today the chapter follows the same rituals and beliefs of its charter members; to be a part of communities, to support and help families in need, youth, educators, veterans, and service members through volunteerism, donations, scholarships, correspondence and awareness.  

Locally, the chapter supports youth through essay contests promoting American History, good citizenship, scholarships and recognition of outstanding students who are making a difference within their communities. 

Through volunteering and donations the chapter’s members show their appreciation of area veterans and active-duty military. Members also support local shelters for women and their children by donating personal hygiene and clothing items. 

There are a number of other projects members are involved in. The Noah Coleman Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution welcomes new ideas from members which promote the goals and objectives of the organization. 

Get to know Noah Coleman Chapter’s new members —  Tracy Wilson, Vicki Hunter Black, Mary Jane Carey, Blanche Jernigan, Laura Gabel Castle and Viola Mathews Huitt, who’ve answered questions about their journey leading up to joining the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

Tracy Wilson is a Junior Member of Noah Coleman Daughters of the American Revolution and the granddaughter of Etheleen Armstrong. Wilson said Armstrong was Noah Coleman Regent from 1984 to 1986. Wilson said she is active in high school sports, a Jazz Choir soloist on youtube and is a published Amazon Kindle author of “Quiet Commotion.” She will be starting college this fall.

Vicki Black was born in Rolla but married a man who was career Army. “For years we were stationed out of state and overseas. During that time we had three children. In 1987 we returned to Rolla and I worked for Rolla Public Schools and St. John's Mercy until I retired,” Black said. They currently attend First Assembly of God.

Mary Carey lives in St. James with her husband, Jim, a Vietnam veteran. “We have three children and nine grandchildren,” Mary said. Mary enjoys scrapbooking, reading, genealogy and traveling. Mary and Jim have been to all of the states throughout the U.S. except Alaska. Mary said she was able to trace her linage to Daughters of the American Revolution ancestor Captain Benjamin Harrison, Virginia and Pennsylvania. 

Blanche Jernigan was born in Cookeville, Tennessee where she lived for 21 years. Blanche said she met her husband, Floyd, in college. Upon receiving their degrees, the couple moved first to Fort Monmouth in New Jersey and then to Fort Gordon in Georgia. Blanche said, after his service, Floyd accepted a position at Burroughs Corporation in Louisville, Kentucky where they settled in Pewee Valley. Blanche and Floyd have one son and four grandchildren. After living in Kentucky for 65 years, Blanche moved to Rolla in July of 2018. Blanche said she was able to trace her lineage to Daughters of the American Revolution ancestor William Hargis and has twelve additional ancestors verified by the national society. Blanche has recently transferred from her nearly 40 years Peter Foree Chapter of Daughters of America membership in La Grange, Kentucky to the Noah Coleman Chapter.

Laura Castle is originally from Rolla. Laura and her husband, James, and two daughters, moved back to the area from St. Charles five years ago. Laura said she is a graduate of Rolla High School and Missouri University of Science and Technology. She is involved with Rolla Public Schools as a volunteer and also serves in leadership roles with Christian Life Center in Rolla. Laura said she is excited and honored to join her mother, Cindy Woodin, and 185,000 other patriotic women in this long standing and esteemed service organization.

Viola Huitt is the daughter of Elasco and June Woodruff Mathews — Noah Coleman Chapter 40-year member. Viola has been married to her husband, Jim, for 44 years. They have two grown sons, one daughter in-law and three grandchildren. Viola said she works full time as a school secretary at Bourbon Elementary School in Bourbon. Viola and Jim have lived all but five years of their married life in Missouri. Viola’s Revolutionary War Ancestor is Abednego Inman, but she said she can also trace her roots back to James Walker and Peter Matthews. In their free time, Viola said she and Jim enjoy their family and traveling. Jim also has a Revolutionary War Ancestor, she said.

Any woman, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove her lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible to join the Noah Coleman Chapter. Membership in the chapter is based upon membership eligibility requirements established by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

The chapter holds luncheon meetings the third Saturday of the month from January through May and August through October. The December meeting is held on the first Saturday of the month, and there are no regular scheduled meetings in June, July and November.  

Meetings are open to the public where prospective members, guests and family members are welcome to join the meetings and special events. During the chapter’s meetings, programs are presented by a variety of guest speakers to promote the overall objectives of the Daughters of the American Revolution relating to historic preservation, education and patriotism.

The Noah Coleman Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was organized Oct. 30, 1909, and was granted its charter on Dec. 21 of the same year. The chapter was named for the Revolutionary War ancestor of the first chapter regent Harriet Coleman Forbes. 

Forbes was the granddaughter of Surgeon Noah Coleman, III, who served in the infantry during the Revolutionary War from 1777 until 1781, in the 2nd Regiment from Connecticut. His honorable discharge was signed by George Washington.

On Oct. 30, 1909, State Regent Samuel Green visited the chapter at the home of Forbes to install the first officers. The first yearbook was dated 1909 to 1911 and had 20 chapter members listed.