The Mary Chilton Chapter NSDAR was organized in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Thirty-nine members were present on June 17, 1915. The chapter was chartered a year later on June 10, 1916, and finally incorporated on November 20, 1957. The chapter is named for Mary Chilton, the first woman to step ashore off the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts in 1620.

Our motto is: "Virtue, not ancestry, makes one noble"

From the beginning of the chapter's history, our efforts to represent the best of NSDAR were centered on the three objectives of the daughters:  patriotism, education, and historical preservation.

In 1915, F. M. Mills, president of the state society of the Sons of the American Revolution persuaded Mrs E. St. Claire Synder, the State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution of South Dakota, to come to Sioux Falls to organize a chapter in Sioux Falls.  Mrs. Mills graciously opened her home to the founding members of the chapter. On Patriots Day (April 19), plans were set in motion for the organization of the Mary Chilton Chapter. The first officers were: 

Mrs. E. W. Coughran, Regent
Mrs. Geo. Iles, Vice Regent
Mrs. Wm. L. Baker, 2nd Vice Regent
Mrs. Amos E. Ayres, Secretary
Mrs. C. C. Crandall, Treasurer
Miss Catherine Coughran, Registrar
Mrs. J. H. Cumbow, Historian
Mrs. J. H. Brennan, Chaplain

The chapter's promotion of patriotism took many forms during WWI and WWII as the Daughters raised money for an ambulance and supported orphans in France. The women prepared bandages along with the Red Cross and planned social events for soldiers stationed at the base. Boxes of material were sent to Ellis Island to help new arrivals with clothing and household needs.  War brides were welcomed along with foreign-born families new to Sioux Falls. The chapter provided materials and support for people seeking to become citizens of the United States. In the early years, the chapter gifted flags to new Eagle Scouts, and offered classes in American history and civics. Today, we continue to support new citizens by welcoming them at the naturalization ceremonies in Sioux Falls.

The Mary Chilton Chapter NSDAR provided the leadership in the state to fund the Memorial Endowment Fund for the benefit of children of soldiers, sailors, and marines of WWI living in the State of South Dakota. Flags, materials, and DAR magazines are given to school classrooms and libraries. Lcal essay contests have been sponsored since the formation of the chapter. Saint Mary's School for Indian Girls, the DAR Good Citizens, and Girl Homemaker awards were promoted.

The chapter has placed historical markers in and around Sioux Falls and cooperated with the Minnehaha County Historical Society in placing more. The first centennial statue in the State Capitol Rotunda was given by the Mary Chilton Chapter NSDAR. The chapter also provided support for restoring the interiors of both the Pettigrew and the Siouxland Heritage museums in Sioux Falls. The financial assets to complete much of the chapter's projects comes from a legacy from Dorothy Day Davenport and is provided through the Mary Chilton DAR Foundation. The foundation has also provided assistance to other grant recipients throughout South Dakota.

The Mary Chilton Chapter NSDAR celebrated its centennial anniversary on June 17, 2015. We had a beautiful celebration to honor all the women who founded our organization. Today, the chapter continues to provide assistance for several essay contests, DAR Good Citizens awards and provides scholarships at both Augustana and the University of South Dakota. Our chapter is dedicated to our veterans and we support them by collecting necessary items / clothing, visiting and working with our local VA. Active soldiers are also part of our mission. We attend activation and welcome home ceremonies, support activities for their families at home and send care packages and letters to those serving overseas. Our members regularly participate in local events such as Independence Day parade as well as Memorial and Veterans Day events.

 

Founders of the Mary Chilton Chapter

Sarah Elizabeth Wiswall Baker Florence Wiswall Baker Siegfried
Mary Celestia Dyer Grout Hattie Grout Doolittle
Mari Waterhouse Williams Grace Doolittle Graham
Ruth Whittemore Pendar Bessie Maclay Johnston
Margaret Maude Wade Harlan Mary Hadden Sharpe
Mira E Dewey Beveridge Belle Beveridge Marshall
 Mary Bailey Morcom Anna Elida Bailey Gregg
Eva H Hollister Helen Foster Wheeler
Myrtle Fairbanks Lanning Harriet Deane Tufts
Laura Foote Lillian Foote Mallaney
Mary Lanning Elliott Maynard  Gertrude Williams Norton
Grace Edith Perlee Howe Mary Eleanora Elliott
Jennie Slocum Crandall Addie Stearns Pettigrew Fay
Eudora Stearns Pettigrew Lucy Margaret Hoskins Ayres
Juanita Mary Parks Minnie B Palmer Coughran
Susan B Bryant Iles Catherine C Coughran
Mildred Mills Patton Josephine Hodges Shurtleff
Katherine Sessions Holmes Caroline M Cumbow
Eva Cook Gillett Beech Dorothy Day Davenport