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The DAR in a changing America

The John Hart Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR] held its 112th Birthday Celebration at Kump Education Center on Wednesday, October 9th. DAR members wanted to meet in the home of Edna Scott Kump, a founding member of the local chapter. The DAR has financially supported the historic preservation of the Kump House.

The Birthday Celebration was a good opportunity to think about how much life has changed for women in Elkins since 1907. When Edna and her friends organized the local DAR chapter, women did not have the right to vote, few had careers outside the home, their social standing and personal identity were determined by their fathers and husbands.

Edna was only 19 years old when she served as recording secretary of the local DAR and married Herman Guy Kump in October 1907.

After their wedding trip, Edna and Guy lived at the Gassaway Hotel and ate in a boarding house at 116 Second Street while their first house was being built at 300 Scott Street behind the old Scott building.

She and her stepmother, Emma Logan Scott, were among the 16 founding members of new DAR. She also enjoyed bowling, bridge, and horseback riding. Rearing six children was the central focus of her adult life, but she never sought public recognition.

Women had very little financial or legal standing in the early 20th century. In the book, Elkins, West Virginia: November, Nineteen Six, published by the Board of Trade, there are pictures of prominent men with their fine homes, but women were not named or pictured in that book.

Women have come a long way since 1907. Now they can vote, own businesses, serve in the military, and practice in the professions. Current members of the local DAR have had careers as well as families.

With new computer assisted ancestry research, there may be many Randolph County women who could join the local DAR if they are interested in becoming more active in keeping progress moving in American culture.

In West Virginia we find that many of the names in the history books are still in the phone books.

The last names of DAR founders like Bosworth, Butcher, Harding, Hoover, Kittle, Scott, Wilson, and Yokum appeared in the 1906 Elkins history as well as new local phone books.

There are many descendants of the 25 Revolutionary soldiers buried in Randolph County with names like Chenoweth, Collett, Currence, Daniels, Hornbeck, Isner, Marstiller, Rowan, Ryan, Shaver, Stalnaker, Ward, Whitman, and Wilmoth.

Many more local women may have Revolutionary ancestors from elsewhere.