By Effie W. Thoms, reprinted from the Daughter of the American Revolution Magazine, May 1937

For eleven years, South Dakota held the unique position of having state regents, but no chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Members of the National Society in South Dakota were members at large or members of chapters in other states.  Mrs. Walter Burleigh of Yankton was the first State Regent.

Eleven years later, May 1, 1905, Paha Wakan, the first chapter, was organized at Vermillion with fifteen members.

 

Although there had been several state meetings, there was no State Organization until 1919 when the six chapters sent delegates to a meeting with Daniel Newcomb Chapter at Yankton. They organized the South Dakota State Conference, elected state officers and adopted bylaws. Mrs. Amos E Ayres of Mary Chilton Chapter was elected state regent and under her able administration, the active work of South Dakota DAR began.  The first objective of the State Organization was the raising of money for French orphans in cooperation with the National Society.  South Dakota Daughters, aided by friends, though with only 294 members, sent the sum of $15,108.00 to the Treasurer General for the Fatherless Children of France.

The first State Project was the Endowment Fund for Education. In 1920, the South Dakota Society voted to raise $5,000 in five years, the interest to be used for the benefit of children of soldiers, sailors and marines of the World War living within the state of South Dakota.  At the Continental Congress of 1920, the National Chairman of Patriotic Education said in her report:  "South Dakota led the States in raising money for a scholarship endowment for the children of veterans of the World War."  Besides the outright gift from the Endowment Fund, South Dakota maintains a DAR Student Loan Fund.

Nancy Peabody Chapter of Mitchell began the good work of furnishing boooks and other facilities for recreation to the State Training School.

The work for the Approved Schools has been of special interest to South Dakota Daughters.  For a gift of $100 the State Society holds a Tamassee Founders Certificate.  Besides other gifts to Tamassee the State this year is completing a scholarship of $100 a year for four years for a Tamassee student.

The first chapter of the C.A.R. was organized in 1919.

When the building of Constitution Hall was undertaken, South Dakota's State Regent, Mrs. Mabel K Richardson, led the way with her own gift of one thousand dollars.  The chapters of the state paid for a State Box, two memorial chairs and gave additional money and furnishings.

State flags have been presented both to Memorial Continental Hall and to Constitution Hall.

Good Citizenship medals have been given in most junior and senior high schools and in rural schools.  This year (1937), we are sending our second winner of the Good Citizenship Pilgrimage to Washington.