Saturday, August 30, 2014

Society Saturday - Secrets of U.S.D. 1812

The John Kinzie Chapter of the U.S. Daughters of 1812 was honored to host the President National for our recent Chapter meeting.

Normally, the President National conducts state visits, but we are fortunate that her sister lives in our area and is an associate member of our chapter.

We met over lunch at a local Italian restaurant.  After lunch, PN Virginia "Ginger" Apyar gave us a very interesting program on "Little Known Pearls of U.S.D. 1812".



The Society itself was founded in 1892 by Flora Adams Darling.  Ginger told us of Mrs. Darling's life - she lost her husband in the civil war and her son at an early age.  She had all her possessions taken from her during the war, and grew increasingly deaf throughout her life.  This could explain why she is never smiling in any of her portraits.

Our membership certificates have a picture of the stained glass window from St. Michael's church in Devon, England.  Ginger told of the long history between our organization and that church.  The church was built by prisoners of war housed at nearby Dartmoor prison.  These POW's were from the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars.

Chapter Historian Kathy Haas, President National Ginger Apyar, Chapter President Kimberly Nagy
Ginger gave many other anecdotes about our Society.  She concluded by saying "1812 is everywhere".

http://www.usdaughters1812.org/home.html

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Society Saturday - Continental Congress

Once again, thousands of patriotic women converge on Washington DC at the end of June for the annual meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Unfortunately, I was only able to attend for 3 days, but it was fun anyway.

This is the 123rd Continental Congress of this organization that is nearing its 125th birthday.

Opening night had the usual long procession of pages, flags, and National Officers to the sounds of the US Marine Corps band.  At the end of the procession, a large flag drops from the ceiling of Constitution Hall.


The keynote speaker for the evening was Alexander Rose.  He is the author of "Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring".  He gave an entertaining talk about some of his research into the Culper spy ring.  If this sounds familiar, his book forms the basis for the TV show "Turn" about the Culper Spy Ring.  Following Mr. Rose's talk, the executive producer of "Turn", Barry Josephson, accepted the DAR Media Award.



The next day, we attended the Units Overseas Luncheon.  Since my daughter is an organizing member of the Mariana Islands Chapter in Guam, and none of their regular members were able to attend, we always help them out with their sales at the International Bazaar.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Grandma Hill's Poetry, Week 50

This is the last of the poems that have been transcribed.  It is fitting that this week's poem is about her son Victor Hill who was born on August 19, 1897. This is one of the few poems that I can date, but it clearly was written on August 19, 1945.


His Birthday

August 19: Forty eight years ago today he was born
And forty eight years ago tonight, the tiny form 
Lay safe in my proud protecting arm
'Twas my job, through shine and storm
To keep him safe from any harm.

Of the three, it seemed, he was my choice
And I was always cheered to hear his laughing voice
He was always happy, lively, helpful and gay
So passed sixteen years of his youth away.

Then work took him from our home away
For more than a year, I thought "not gone to stay"
When I heard the sad news he was on a foreign shore
The thought came to me "I'll never see him more".

He had gone to help our neighbor country in her dire need
Never thinking of the sacrifice to be exacted for the deed.
He gave his young life to make this world a better place
And I've ever thought 'twas his wish, I should keep a smiling face.

No one knows the sorrow, only another mother so bereft
Nor how this sorrow makes us cling to those who are left.
We can only be thankful to be near them day by day
'Till life is done and our sorrow is ended forever and aye.





Nancy Jane Wiley Hill (1875-1960) was always writing something.  Many of those poems are now in the possession of her granddaughter Shirley Kern.  Shirley, with the help of her sister-in-law Ruth Ormsby, transcribed these poems in 1996 for a Hill-Ormsby-Kern family reunion.  I am going to post many of these poems so that they may be enjoyed by all.

These are copyright 1996 and reprinted with permission.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Society Saturday - Cruising the Rock River

The Chicago Chapter of Colonial Dames of America recently met in Oregon, Illinois.  This is a small town on the Rock River in north central Illinois.


Our meeting took place aboard a Paddlewheel boat, the "Pride of Oregon".  During and after lunch, we enjoyed a cruise along the river.


This part of the state is still fairly undeveloped.  It was the location of former Indian lands that had disputed ownership during the early 1800's.  In 1832, Chief Blackhawk returned from exile in Iowa to reclaim these lands for his Sauk people.  This set off a series of battles and raids known as the Blackhawk war.


The highlight of the cruise was the statue of BlackHawk at Lowden state park.  It was created in 1911 by Laredo Taft and is 50 feet tall.  From the river, one has the sense that BlackHawk is still surveying his former lands.


www.cdany.org

Monday, August 11, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Grandma Hill's Poetry, Week 49

The White Cross

Yes, he is gone, his name is written there
In jet-black letters, staring from the white.
And yet, because I yield not to despair, You look
askance, and think my grief is slight.

I felt the greatest depths of mortal pain
The day I know, from Canada he'd sailed away.
Surely, such anguish could not come again; And
life, in any human heart, holds sway.

All that was mortal of that boy of mine
Now lies afar beneath the war scarred earth.
But that which gave him life, the spark divine,
His spirit, was set free, a second birth.

And when often I give up and think can't go on,
'tis useless to try.
It seems I can feel him near me saying,
"Please mother, don't cry."

And so, I go my way, with proud head high,
Knowing full well that he's all mine once more,
A close companionship that can not die, Sweeter
than any we'd ever known before.

He gave his beautiful young life away, that others,
in this torn world might be free
His soul died not, and it belongs today, To no one
else, but just his God and me.



Nancy Jane Wiley Hill (1875-1960) was always writing something.  Many of those poems are now in the possession of her granddaughter Shirley Kern.  Shirley, with the help of her sister-in-law Ruth Ormsby, transcribed these poems in 1996 for a Hill-Ormsby-Kern family reunion.  I am going to post many of these poems so that they may be enjoyed by all.

These are copyright 1996 and reprinted with permission.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Society Saturday - Mr. Jefferson's Home

The Business meeting of the Children of American Colonists was held on Saturday morning.  National President Mitchell C. presided and a lot of business was accomplished.


That afternoon, we toured Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  It is an estate on top of a mountain overlooking Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Inside were objects sent to Jefferson from Lewis & Clark, some inventions of his, his book collection, and artwork he brought from France.

Mitchell's National Project was to help fund the Mountaintop Activity Center there.  This is a hands on area for children to learn more about Jefferson.  We were shown a replica of his traveling desktop.


Then, everyone signed their own copy of the Declaration of Independence with a quill pen.


After touring the mansion and Activity Center, we walked down to the cemetery.  Only descendants of Thomas Jefferson are buried there, and the family maintains the graves.  We were given a brief tour by one of his 5th great-grandsons.


Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for the candlelight dinner.  Accomplishments were celebrated and new officers were installed.


The 74th General Assembly of NSCAC was a success.

www.nsdac.org/nscac






Monday, August 04, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Grandma Hill's Poetry, Week 48

I dream not of that lonely grave in France
Wherein your battle wearied frame finds rest.
I know you found the sweetness of God's glance
The day he called your brave soul West.

I cannot think your race is wholly run
Tho' dark as night, the intervening veils
Somewhere beyond the setting sun,
Your valiant barque still sails.

I cannot look into your pictured face
And think of you as lying still and cold.
Rather, I see you wiser grown in grace,
Courageous as of old.

I think of you, as in some other sphere
Rounding your talents in some task divine,
Loving the ones you left behind you here,
Ever growing, through love more fine.

Just as you are, with loyal heart, and true
Waiting my coming, tho' the years seem slow,
Praying for our eternal rendezvous,
Nearer than we may know.



Nancy Jane Wiley Hill (1875-1960) was always writing something.  Many of those poems are now in the possession of her granddaughter Shirley Kern.  Shirley, with the help of her sister-in-law Ruth Ormsby, transcribed these poems in 1996 for a Hill-Ormsby-Kern family reunion.  I am going to post many of these poems so that they may be enjoyed by all.

These are copyright 1996 and reprinted with permission.