The Idaho Society of the
Sons of the American Revolution

           

 

Historical Documents of the Idaho Society, SAR

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Founding
The Idaho Society
of the
Sons of the American Revolution

Just a few days less than twenty years elapsed between the founding of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, on April 30, 1889, and the Chartering of the Idaho Society, in Boise, on April 8, 1909. Idaho, as a State, was the yet a "teenager", having been admitted to the Union less than 19 years earlier, on July 3, 1890. The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Idaho Society was observed at its Annual Meeting held in the Hotel Boise, Boise, Idaho, February 22 1959.

Fourteen Compatriot, all transfers from other State Societies, plus an additional seven new prospective members, whose applications were pending, comprised the original Charter membership when the Idaho Society was Chartered by three Compatriots from Denver, Colorado, namely, Dr. Clarkson N. Guyer chairman, Frank Merriam Keezer secretary, and Joseph M. Tuttle who was a member of the National Society's "Committee on Organization for the North and West".

The IDAHO DAILY STATESMAN, Boise, on April 9, 1909, thus recorded the proceedings, "The dining room of the Commercial Club breathed patriotism last night upon the occasion of the banquet in honor of the distinguished guests who are in the city from Denver to assist in organizing an Idaho Chapter (of the Sons of the American Revolution) *** long tables were arranged in the form of a letter "U" with covers for 60 guests *** ." The reporter quoted Dr. Guyer as saying, "The work of our ancestors is not done." *** One of the practical objects of the Society is to instruct immigrants coming to this country. *** The teaching of patriotism in the schools is another work of the order." "Plymouth Rock," he explained, "is no longer on the bleak shores of Massachusetts, but at the base of the Rockies." Compatriot Tuttle described the west as "an apostle of hope whose face wears tomorrow's smile." Compatriot Keezer, then Secretary of the Colorado Society, emphasized the fact that the Society was "not a secret order, had no ritual, but simply represented loyalty to the Constitution and the Flag and was organized for the purpose of aiding in making the country grander and better."

The newspaper continues, "The ladies present were excused at the conclusion of the addresses and a permanent organization was effected. The new society starts out with the following list of officers: President - Col. M. W. Wood of Boise, Vice President - Nelson S. Kimball of Weiser, Registrar - F. S. Harding of Boise, Secretary-Treasurer - F. S. Appleman of Boise, Chaplain and Historian - Rev. W. S Hawkes of Caldwell; Member of the Board of Managers - R. W. Stubblefield of Boise; Delegate to National Convention - B. L. Stayner of Boise. Other Idaho Chapter Members listed were: Dr. J. C. Davis, A. J. Hoffliger, both of Boise; Rev. F. C. Smith, Rev. W. H. Woodhull, and D. W. Church, all of Pocatello; A. H. Keller of Weiser, E. P. Holtenhouse of Payette, A. A. Getchell of Silver City, E. V. Eberhardt of Lenia, Richard H. Johnson, Ivar G. Holliday, James L. S. Stewart, John Henry Meyer, all of Boise, and Stanley A. Easton of Kellogg. Other than Idaho new resident members, the transfers from other State Societies included Colorado 3, Iowa 3, Maine 2, and one each from Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Utah.

Although they were named as Charter Members in the newspaper account, the record nor the file of applications (which is complete) do not include an A. J. Hoffliger of Boise nor an E. V. Eberhardt of Lenia. Neither is there a Rev. W. H. Woodhull of Pocatello, but there was a Rev. William S. Woodhull of Twin Falls whose application was accepted February 5, 1914. Contributing the assumption that either he had difficulty with the required proofs for membership, or he procrastinated about 5 years, assuming that he is the same individual. It is also interesting to note that the newspaper account omitted George Helmer Shellenberger (Idaho #4), David Abraham Stubblefield (Idaho #15), and Charles Thorndyke Hawkes (Idaho #21), all of whom should have been considered among the organizing members.

Others whose applications were received during the ensuing 12 months, making them also Charter Members, were: Marion Harold Brownell, Judson Spofford, William James Tate, Harry Keyser, Willard White, Frederick Irwin, Wilmot Henry Gibson, and Charles Ainsworth Hastings.

Interesting letters of that organizing period included several letters from various State Society Secretaries and Treasurers objecting to the transfer of some of the Idaho Charter members because they were delinquent in dues to the transferring Societies.