06 October 2018

Saving the Best For Last


Stars of DAR
Two Generations of Service

I have presented a five part series of famous women who are members of DAR.  I saved the last four ladies for a post (pun intended as you will soon see) of their own.  Marjorie Merriweather Post and her three daughters.  It is difficult for us mere mortals to imagine the unlimited means these women had to create and have anything they desired.  Maybe that's why I find their stories fascinating.


MARJORIE MERRIWEATHER POST 
Mary Baker Allen Chapter, Vermont

In 1914, Marjorie was only 27 years old when her father, C. W. Post, died making her the owner of the Post Cereal Company and worth over $250 million making her the wealthiest woman in America at that time.  Marjorie was well qualified to run the company because from a very young age her father had taught her every aspect of running the business.  She was married to her second husband at this time - E. F. Hutton.  Together they developed a larger variety of food products including Birdseye Frozen Foods and by 1929 it became General Foods Corporation.  Her husband was the heir of one of the largest financial investment firms in the U. S. - E. F. Hutton & Company.  

With business doing so well, Marjorie decided she needed a home in Florida. Taking three years to complete (1924-1927), 62,500 sq ft and 126 rooms, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach became a lavish reality.  When she died in 1973, she bequeathed Mar-A-Lago to the National Park Service asking that it be used as a "Winter White House."  In 1981, Congress passed an Act to return the estate to the Post Foundation - it was too expensive for the upkeep and difficult for security as it lies in the flight path of the nearby airport.  In 1985, the Post Foundation sold it to its present owner. (Name withheld on purpose as I hate to even say his name).  Also during this time, Marjorie purchased "Camp Topridge" in the Adirondacks in New York.  This little retreat consisted of 207 acres that had 68 buildings and at the time was only accessible by boat.  In her will, she bequeathed this estate to the State of New York and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

When Marjorie married for the third time to Joseph Davies (Economic Advisor to President Wilson) she owned Sea Cloud.  At 316 feet, it was the largest privately owned sea-going yacht in the world at the time.  In 1937 Davies was the U. S. Ambassador to Russia and the yacht was used as a floating embassy.  In 1942 Marjorie gifted her yacht to President Roosevelt to be used in service by the Coast Guard during WWII.

In 1955, after Marjorie divorced Davies, she purchased the Hillwood Mansion and 25-acre estate in Washington, D.C. and took three years to turn it into a museum that would inspire and educate the public.  She gave it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. when she died.  Some of her jewelry was also left to the Smithsonian. Pieces in the collection include a 275-ct diamond-and-turquoise necklace and tiara set that Napoleon I gave to his second wife, Empress Marie Louise.  A pair of diamond earrings set with pear shapes, weighing 14 ct and 20 ct once belonging to Marie Antoinette. 

Beyond setting his daughter Marjorie up for a life in business, C. W. Post stressed the importance of sharing one’s wealth with others. She would become a committed philanthropist in her adult years, supporting such causes as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts of America, and the National Symphony. She funded Number 8 Base, a U.S. Army hospital in France during World War I, and, decades later, the French government awarded her the Legion of Honor. In 1971, she was among the first three recipients of the Silver Fawn Award, presented by the Boy Scouts of America for her gifts and funding of their camps. 


Marjorie Merriweather Post, one of the richest, most different, least dull women of the century.






ADELAIDE BREVOORT CLOSE RIGGS  

Mary Baker Allen Chapter, Vermont


Adelaide was the eldest daughter of Marjorie and her first husband Edward Close.  She was a very quiet, behind-the-scenes type of person who was more interested in  breeding and racing horses and breeding and showing dogs. She was a member of the Maryland Jockey Club, Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, Metropolitan Club of Washington, Chevy Chase Club, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames of America.  She gave to soup kitchens, halfway houses, Planned Parenthood and was one of the early supporters of the Seeing Eye Foundation of America. It was all done without any recognition expected or desired.  She married three times.  First to Thomas Wells Durant, who was great friends with Spencer Tracy and was a writer for Charlie Chaplin. Second to Merral MacNeile who was a fixture in the Maryland thoroughbred horse world. And third to Augustus Riggs, a Maryland horse breeder.

ELEANOR POST CLOSE BARZIN
Mary Baker Allen Chapter, Vermont

Eleanor was the second daughter of Marjorie and Edward Close.  She was much more like her mother than her older sister.  After WWII ended, Eleanor moved to Europe where she lived the rest of her life.  Much prettier than her older sister, Eleanor married six times! First to playwright and director Preston Sturges, second to polo player Etienne Gautier, third to attorney George Curtis Rand, fourth to author Janos Bekessy, fifth to a staff member at the American Embassy Owen de la Garde.  None of these five marriages lasted over two years.  Her sixth marriage to Leon Eugene Barzin was the love of her life.  Leon was the founding music director of the New York City Ballet.
Civic-minded and a philanthropist, Eleanor served on the board of the American Hospital of Paris Foundation.  She received the French Legion of Honor. She contributed to other organizations, including the American Friends Service Committee; the American Hospital of Paris; Doctors Without Borders; the International Eye Foundation; the National Orchestral Association; the Salvation Army; and the Versailles Foundation.




NEDENIA MARJORIE HUTTON 
Dina Merrill 
Mary Baker Allen Chapter, Vermont


Born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton, Dina was the only child of Marjorie and her second husband Wall Street broker E. F. Hutton.  After graduating from college, she defied her parents and went to Hollywood and became an actress. In 1959, she was called the "New Grace Kelly."  She appeared in over 50 major motion pictures and made several guest appearances on TV.  In 1191 Dina and her third husband Ted Hartley owned RKO Pictures Movie Studios. She was a presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a trustee of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and a vice president of the New York City Mission Society. In 1980, she joined the board of directors of her father's E. F. Hutton & Co., continuing on the board of directors of Lehman Brothers when it acquired Hutton. All of this wonderful life was not without heartache.  In 1973 her 23 year old son David was killed in a boating accident.  A few weeks later, her mother Marjorie passed away.  In 2007, her 38 year old daughter Heather died from ovarian cancer.  Dina married three times.  First to Stanley Rumbough who was heir to the Colgate-Palmolive fortune.  Second to actor Cliff Robertson and third to Ted Hartley.  One of her greatest accomplishments was creating and funding the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.  


I found it necessary to keep a  score card of the women, their marriages and their children:

MARJORIE + EDWARD BENNETT CLOSE = Two daughters, Eleanor and Adelaide
MARJORIE + E. F. HUTTON = one daughter, Nedenia (Dina Merrill)
MARJORIE + JOSEPH EDWARD DAVIES = No children
MARJORIE + HERBERT ARTHUR MAY = No children

ELEANOR + PRESTON STURGES  = No children
ELEANOR + ETIENNE ROBERT GAUTIER  = No children
ELEANOR + GEORGE CURTIS RAND  = No children
ELEANOR + JANOS BEKESSY  = A son, Antal Post Bekessy
ELEANOR + OWEN DENIS DE LA GARDE = No children
ELEANOR + LEON EUGENE BARZIN = No children

ADELAIDE + THOMAS WELLS DURANT  = One daughter, Marjorie Merriweather Durant Dye. 
ADELAIDE + MERRALL MACNEILE =  Two daughters, Ellen Charles and Melissa Cantacuzene.  
ADELAIDE + AUGUSTUS RIGGS = No children.

NEDENIA + STANLEY MADDOX RUMBOUGH = Two sons,  David Rumbaugh and Stanley Rumbough and one daughter, Nedenia Rumbough Roosenberg
NEDENIA + CLIFF ROBERTSON = One daughter, Heather Robertson
NEDENIA + THEODORE HARTLEY = No children

05 October 2018

Famous Women Who Are Members of DAR - Part 5


Stars of DAR - Part 5



GRANDMA MOSES
Anna Mary Robertson Moses
Hoosac-Walloomsac Chapter, New York


She was a renowned American folk artist. A self-taught artist, she didn't begin painting until she was 78 years old.  At first, she charged $3 to $5 for a painting, depending upon its size, and as her fame increased her works were sold for $8,000 to $10,000.  In November 2006, her 1943 work "Sugaring Off" became her highest-selling work at $1.2 million.


ELIZABETH DOLE  
Washington, D.C. Member at Large


Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford "Liddy" Dole is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School. She served as Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan and Secretary of Labor under George H.W. Bush before becoming head of the American Red Cross. She then became North Carolina's first female Senator from 2003 to 2009.


JULIA DENT GRANT  
Washington, D.C. Chapter


The wife of the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, and was First Lady of the United States from 1869 to 1877.


GRACE BREWSTER MURRAY HOPPER
Mary Murray Chapter, New York


Grace was a computer pioneer and naval officer. She earned a master’s degree (1930) and a Ph.D. (1934) in mathematics from Yale.  Nicknamed “Amazing Grace” by her subordinates, she retired from the Navy as a rear admiral at the age of 79—the oldest serving officer in the U.S. armed forces.  


CAROLINE SCOTT HARRISON
Mary Washington Chapter, Washington, D.C.


Caroline Scott Harrison, was a teacher of music, the wife of Benjamin Harrison and mother of two surviving children; after his election as President of the United States, she was First Lady of the United States from 1889 until her death. She secured funding for an extensive renovation of the White House and oversaw the work. Interested in history and preservation, in 1890 she helped found the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and served as its first President General.


MARGARET RHEA SEDDON 
Colonel Hardy Murfree Chapter, Tennessee


Margaret a physician and retired NASA astronaut. After being selected as part of the first group of astronauts to include women, she flew on three Space Shuttle flights.


MARY BAKER EDDY  
Massachusetts State Member at Large


In 1879, Mary founded the Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science).


ROSALYNN SMITH CARTER  
Council of Safety Chapter, Georgia


She is the wife of the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter and in that capacity served as the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981.


MERCY LAVINIA WARREN BUMP STRATTON MAGRI 
Melzingah Chapter, New York


Mrs. Tom Thumb 




JANET WOOD RENO
Coral Gables Chapter, Florida


Janet served as the Attorney General of the United States, from 1993 to 2001. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11, 1993. She was the first woman to serve as Attorney General. 


04 October 2018

Famous Women Who Are Members of DAR - Part 4


Stars of DAR - Part 4


BO DEREK 
California State Member at Large 


Bo Derek is an actress and model, perhaps best known for her role in the movie  "10." 


SUSAN B. ANTHONY
Irondequoit Chapter, New York


Susan Brownell Anthony was a social reformer and feminist who played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement. 



LAURA WELCH BUSH
Colonel Theunis Day Chapter, Texas


Laura is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States,  George W. Bush. 



BARBARA PIERCE BUSH 
Washington, D.C. Member at Large


First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993 as the wife of George H. W. Bush, who served as the 41st President of the United States.



JESSIE BENTON FREMONT  
Los Angeles-Eschscholtzia Chapter, California


Wife of Captain John C. Fremont, 5th governor of Arizona Territory and leader of the Fremont Expeditions.



CLARISSA HARLOWE BARTON 
Washington, D.C. Member at Large


Clara was the founder of the American Red Cross. 



MARGARET CHASE SMITH
Eunice Farnsworth Chapter, Maine


Margaret served as a U.S Representative and a U.S. Senator from Maine. She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress, and the first woman to represent Maine in either.


LUCY MAYNARD SALMON 
Mahwenawasigh Chapter, New York


She was the first woman to be a member of the executive committee of the American Historical Association, serving on the Committee of Seven, which largely defined the way history would be taught at the high school level.  A professor of history at Vassar College from 1889 until her death.




03 October 2018

Famous Women Who Are Members of DAR - Part 3


Stars of DAR - Part 3



ABBY ALDRICH ROCKEFELLER
Williamsburg Chapter, Virginia


Wife of John D. Rockefeller, Abby is referred to as the "woman in the family."  She was known for being the driving force behind the establishment of the Museum of Modern Art.

SUZANNE POWELL BISHOPRIC 
Walter Hines Page Chapter, London, England


From 1999 to 2007, Suzanne was the Treasurer of the United Nations.  2007 until recently she was the Director of the Investment Management division of the United Nations.


SONPHONISBA PRESTON BRECKINRIDGE 
Lexington Chapter, Kentucky


She was a suffragist, a social reformer and an attorney being the first woman to pass Kentucky bar exam.


MARY ELLEN HINAMON WITHROW 
Captain William Hendricks Chapter, Ohio


Mary was the  40th Treasurer of the United States from March 1, 1994 to January 20, 2001 under President Bill Clinton.


ANNA M. JARVIS
Daniel Davisson Chapter, West Virginia


Anna is recognized as the founder of Mother’s Day holiday in the United States.


EDITH KERMIT CAROW ROOSEVELT  
Oyster Bay Chapter, New York


Edith was the second wife of President Theodore Roosevelt and served as the First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1901 to 1909.


ELEANOR ROOSEVELT  
New York State Member at Large


She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest serving First Lady of the United States.  Eleanor was appointed as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952.  In 1939, in a dramatic and celebrated act of conscience, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution when it barred the world-renowned singer Marian Anderson, an African American, from performing at its Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. The DAR has long since apologized and Marian Anderson performed many times in Constitution Hall.


SUSAN LINCOLN TOLMAN MILLS
Sequoia Chapter, California


President and co-founder of Mills College, the first U.S. women’s college on the west coast.



DOROTHY AYER GARDNER FORD
Lucretia Leffingwell Chapter, Illinois

Mother of Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States.


02 October 2018

Famous Women Who Are Members of DAR - Part 2


Stars of DAR - Part 2

PHOEBE APPERSON HEARST
San Francisco Chapter, California

Phoebe was the mother of William Randolph Hearst.  She founded the University of California Museum of Anthropology. A major benefactor of the University of California, Berkeley and its first woman Regent, serving on the board from 1897 until her death. Phoebe died in 1919, during the worldwide influenza epidemic.


JULIE NIXON EISENHOWER
San Clemente Chapter, California

Julie is the youngest daughter of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States. she is married to David Eisenhower, grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


FLORENCE KLING HARDING 
Captain William Hendricks Chapter, Ohio

First Lady of the United States from 1921 to 1923 as the wife of President Warren G. Harding.


BETSY VOGEL BOZE  
Shreveport Chapter, Louisiana

Betsy is CEO of Kent State University and a Senior Fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. 

GINGER ROGERS 
Hollywood Chapter, California

An actress, dancer and singer who appeared in films, and on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century. She made 73 films - 10 of them with Fred Astaire as a dancing partner.

MARIE CORINNE MORRISON CLAIBORNE BOGGS 
Spirit of '76 Chapter, Louisiana

Known as Lindy Boggs, she was the first woman elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from Louisiana, serving for almost 18 years.  From 1997 to 2001 she was the Ambassador to the Vatican.

MARY ANNA MORRISON JACKSON 
Mecklenberg Chapter, North Carolina

She was the wife of Civil War General Stonewall Jackson.  Mary was the first chapter regent for Mecklenberg Chapter in 1898.

NANCY DAVIS REGAN  
California Member at Large

Wife of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. She was the First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

ALICE STOKES PAUL 
Mary Washington Chapter, Washington, D.C.

Alice was a suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and the main leader and strategist of the 1910s campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote.


JULIA WARD HOWE
Massachusetts Member at Large

Julia is the composer of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

LENORE LOVING PRATHER
Horseshoe Robertson Chapter, Mississippi

Lenore was the first female Mississippi Supreme Court Justice.





01 October 2018

Famous Women Who Are Members of DAR



Stars of DAR

I've written before about some notable women who are members of Daughters of the American Revolution.  Since then, I've done additional research about many more women who have made a place for themselves in history.

Today begins a five part series about these women.



JEANNETTE RIDION PICCARD    

Nathan Hale Chapter, Minnesota


Jeannette was a high-altitude balloonist and in later life an Episcopal priest. She held the women's altitude record for thirty years. She was the first licensed female balloon pilot in the United States and the first woman to fly to the stratosphere. 



MAMIE GENEVA DOUD EISENHOWER  
Gettysburg Chapter, Pennsylvania

First Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

LILLIAN GISH 
Massillion Chapter, Ohio


Lillian Diana Gish was an actress, director and writer whose film acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912 to 1987.  She was called "The First Lady of American Cinema."  Lillian was the star in one of the highest grossing films of the Silent Era - D. W. Griffth's "Birth of a Nation."

LILLIE HITCHCOCK COIT
Sequoia Chapter, California


Lillian was a well-known patroness of San Francisco's volunteer firefighters and the benefactor for the construction of the Coit Tower in San Francisco.

NINA MCLEMORE
Cherokee Rose Chapter, Mississippi


In 1980 she founded Liz Claiborne Accessories. She is a fashion industry powerhouse and has even climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Nina’s personal philosophy on life: “I have learned you can get through anything in life, if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and breathe very deeply.”


CLARE BOOTH LUCE
Putnam Hill Chapter, Connecticut


Clare is an author and playwright best known for her 1936 play "The Women" which had an all-female cast.  As Ambassador to Italy, she was the first American woman appointed to a major ambassadorial post abroad. She was the wife of Henry Luce, publisher of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.

SUSAN KILRAIN
Descendant's of '76 Chapter, Washington, D.C.


She is a retired Commander, US Navy, a former NASA test pilot and an astronaut.  Susan has logged in over 3000 flight hours in over 30 different aircraft including an F-14 Tomcat.  As an astronaut, she has over 472 hours in space.



EMILY WARREN ROEBLING
Life Member, State of New York


Emily is known for her contribution to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband Washington Roebling (who had been the chief engineer) developed caisson disease (decompression disease). 

HELEN EILEEN JOHNS CARROLL  
Sumter's Home Chapter, South Carolina


Helen won the gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay event in the 1932 Olympic Games.


TAMMY DUCKWORTH
Captain William Penny Chapter, Illinois


United States Senator from Illinois.  Tammy is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and an Iraq War Veteran.  While serving as a helicopter pilot, a rocket missile hit her helicopter and as a result, she lost both her legs becoming a double amputee.  She was awarded the Purple Heart.