The members of the
Fort William Bent Chapter NSDAR
welcome you to this website!
We are located in
We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to who we are, what we do, how to join us,
and resources to research your own family history, celebrate patriotism, champion education,
and promote historic preservation.
If you would like more information on the Fort William Bent Chapter DAR,
We are members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR). This organization is a non-profit, non-political, volunteer women’s service organization comprising 3,000 chapters and over 185,000 members.
Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence is eligible to join the DAR. She must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage, and death, as well as of the Revolutionary War service of her patriot ancestor.
Are you interested in membership but live outside our area or cannot meet with us locally? That's okay!
You can explore other chapters in Colorado by visiting this Colorado State DAR page
or click here to be connected with a chapter that serves your community.
The Fort William Bent Chapter NSDAR was organized March 5, 1921, by Lucille Landers Garvin of Lamar. The chapter was instituted with 19 members, by Florence M. Stote, Colorado State Regent. First officers were: Eloise Spencer Nowles, regent; Helen Merrill, vice regent; Adelaide Ford Hover, recording secretary; Mary Louise Crary, corresponding secretary; Agnes Mayfield, treasurer; Nan Brownlee, registrar; Sue B. Gordon, chaplain; Mary Allen, historian; Rachel Ford Denning, auditor. Other charter members were Gail Parrish Larrick, Lucille Landers Garvin, Grace Haulk Gilman, Bessie Ratliff, Addie Lee McLeod, Ethel Gordon, Fay Huddleston Butler, Florence Smith Goodale, Lena Sanders Bean, Frances M. Hover, Minnie Koonsman, and Leo McLean.
The choice of the name of Fort William Bent Chapter NSDAR designates the most famous of the three forts built by the Bent brothers. William Bent first came to the upper Arkansas Valley in 1824, settled near the mouth of the Purgatoire River, and built a small picket fort at a point between the present Pueblo and Canon City. This was too far west for trade. In 1828, he began the erection of Fort William, as it was at first called (called Bent's Old Fort), which took four years to complete. After William Bent set fire to Bent's Old Fort in 1849, he moved thirty eight miles down the Arkansas River to Big Timbers where, in a temporary stockade, he attempted to revive Indian Trade. In 1852-53, he built a large stone trading post that became known as Bent's New Fort. The chapter derives its name from the new fort.
The site of Bent's New Fort was sold to the US Government in 1859. Buildings were added one mile west and it was renamed Fort Wise in 1860. In 1861, the fort was renamed Fort Lyon. The fort moved farther west in 1867. There is a Santa Fe Trail Historical marker for Fort Bent located north across the river bridge from the old town of Prowers, then east until the marker is in view to the south, about 3/8th of a mile. Turn south on the first road to a gate on the west side of the road. Walk through the pasture, a distance of about one city block, to the monument. The marker is placed just north of the fort site and is native stone, about 8-10 feet tall. This marker was erected by the State Historical Society of Colorado from Mrs. H.H. Hill Foundation and by the Lamar Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1942. Several yards to the northeast of this tall marker is a smaller marker, on which is inscribed "Ft. Bent, Later Ft. Wise, Santa Fe Trail 1922-1872. Marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution Zebulon Pike Chapter 1908." The information about the Santa Fe Trail marker and the Ft. Bent marker are from Colorado Historical Markers of the Colorado State Society, NSDAR, compiled and edited by Junann J. Stieghorst (1978).
The Madonna of the Trail statues evolved over a period of some nineteen years. The project was begun in 1909 with the idea of marking the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri. In 1911, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) entered the picture, and in 1912 the National Old Trails Road Association came into being. During World War I work was halted, resuming again in 1922.
In 1927, the Daughters of the American Revolution Continental Congress accepted a design by August Leimbach, offered by Mrs. John Trigg Moss, chairwoman of the National Old Trails Committee of the DAR. In 1927, the National Old Trails Association and the NSDAR assigned a special duty to Fort William Bent Chapter NSDAR: guardianship over a large statue erected in Lamar's Santa Fe Park. The last surviving charter member, Fay Huddleston Butler, who died March 22, 1970, was instrumental in the placing of the "Madonna of the Trail" in Lamar.
The Madonna of the Trail Statue was dedicated September 24, 1928. It was the fifth of twelve statues placed on the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway by NSDAR and the National Old Trails Road Association. The Madonna of the Trail is one of the twelve original copies of the statue placed in each of the twelve states along the Ocean-to-Ocean Old Trails Highway from Washington, D.C., to California. Under the leadership of Colorado State Regent Anita Bishop (2001-2003) the Madonna of the Trail statue was restored and rededicated in September 2003 in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary. The chapter members have faithfully fulfilled this trust.
Additional information about the Madonna of the Trail in Colorado can be found on the National DAR Historic Sites and Properties database.
Santa Fe Trail Marker #7, counting from the Kansas/Colorado state line was located about 1/4 mile north of Lamar after crossing the Arkansas River Bridge. It sat on U.S. Highway 287 and U.S. Highway 50 and unfortunately became damaged and sat in an unsafe place for people to view. The area around the marker had many old trucks sitting around it.
The Fort William Bent Chapter NSDAR applied for, and was awarded, a DAR Special Projects Grant to repair and relocate the marker. The marker was moved about 1/4 mile to the north and now sits at the Big Timbers Museum grounds. Here it can be safely viewed as visitors walk around the grounds without fear of fast traveling trucks and vehicles. There are picnic shelters and tables nearby for travelers to sit and reflect or enjoy their lunch.
|First Schoolhouse in Springfield Marker||1978|
|Santa Fe Trail Marker #7 Re-Dedication||2018|
|Anthony Bledsoe||Virginia North Carolina||Colonel, Civil Service, Patriotic Service|
|David Boiler||Pennsylvania||Patriotic Service|
|Casper Branner||Virginia||Private, Patriotic Service|
|Asa Camp||Massachusetts, New York||Corporal, Patriotic Service|
|Joseph Dawson||Virginia||Private, Patriotic Service|
|Israel Higgins, Jr.||Connecticut||Civil Service|
|Edmund Kirby||North Carolina||Patriotic Service|
|William McClintock||South Carolina||Soldier|
|Alexander Miller||South Carolina||Militia|
|Nathaniel Osgood||New York||Private|
|Henry Pitts||North Carolina||Private|
|Robert Pitts||North Carolina||Patriotic Service|
|Robert Smith||New York||Sergeant|
|James Sudduth||Virginia||Patriotic Service|
|Francis Marcus Weatherhead||Virginia||Patriotic Service|
|Simon Whipple||Rhode Island||Private|
|Jacob Whitman||Pennsylvania||Soldier, Patriotic Service|
|Benjamin Wilson||Virginia||Patriotic Service|
|as of February 15, 2019|