The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was founded on October 11, 1890. To commemorate this anniversary, DAR chapters across the country participate in a Day of Service in their local communities on or about October 11.
The James K. Polk Chapter, NSDAR, met at Pinecrest Cemetery on October 14, to clean the headstone of Mary Evelyn Jones; to honor the founding members of the original DAR chapter in Polk County; and to remember some of Polk County's early history.
The first DAR chapter was known as the James Polk Chapter. It was founded in the 1930s, but dissolved in the late 1960s or early 1970s.
Mary Evelyn Henderson Jones and her younger sister, Ethel Henderson, were two of the founding members of the original chapter. Evelyn served as Treasurer/Registrar in 1958-59, and Ethel served as Regent at the same time.
Regent Dotty Kinnun leading the memorial for Mary Evelyn Henderson Jones.
The girls moved to Mena with their parents and older brother sometime after 1900. They were originally from Columbia, Missouri. Evelyn married in 1914, but had no children. She died May 1, 1960.
Little sister Ethel never married. She died in Mena in 1966.
The original chapter members were some of the "movers and shakers" of early Polk County life. Meetings were usually held at a member's home and would include refreshments or luncheon. It was sometimes a friendly competition over who had the nicest meal and/or decorations! The hostess would usually present a program, or they would perform a community service project, such as rolling bandages during the war years.
In an unexpected twist to the research on Evelyn, James K Polk Chapter Secretary, Brenda Cunningham, visited a yard sale near her home. While going through a box of old books, she found 2 text books belonging to Evelyn and Ethel! The books were signed by both girls and dated October 29, 1903, making these books at least 119 years old.
Brenda Cunningham poses with Mary Evelyn Henderson Jones and Ethel Henderson text book at Evelyn 's headstone.