The Robert Raines Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) couldn’t have found a more fitting venue to celebrate its 110th anniversary Saturday, Aug. 12! The ceremony and tea at the historic P.A. Smith Hotel concluded with a guided tour by hotel owner Steve Scheve and staff. The event epitomized the Robert Raines Chapter and national DAR commitment to educate, preserve history and promote patriotism.
The 75 attendees included Robert Raines Chapter members, the Texas and Pocahontas Societies of Children of the American Revolution (CAR), Texas Society DAR dignitaries, elected officials and other guests. Past Regent Kathy Cave Wells and new Chapter Regent Vanessa Burzynski shared host duties.
A highlight of the ceremony was the National Anthem sung by guest Carolee Botkin and Texas Society CAR Treasurer Kenzi Stewart. State Recording Secretary Shirley Bland presented a summary of the Texas DAR leadership, activities and accomplishments in 1913 when Robert Raines was formed. Also available for viewing were the fragile 110-year-old minutes from the chapter’s first meeting. Pocahontas Society President Marley Lawrence introduced their group’s young members and officers.
Navasota Mayor Bert Miller presented Burzynski and Wells with a Proclamation recognizing this special day in Robert Raines history and encouraging “all citizens to affirm the ideals of liberty which those who fought bravely for American Independence sought to establish.”
A proclamation signed by Grimes County Judge Joe Fauth also acknowledging the Chapter’s effort “to keep patriotism from being lost forever.”
From past to present
The first meeting of the Robert Raines Chapter of the DAR was held in the home of Annie Foster Templeman Aug. 16, 1913. The 15 women in attendance chose to name the chapter after Major Robert Raines, an ancestor of Mrs. Templeman.
Of the Chapter’s many accomplishments during its 110-year history, some of the most notable are the dedication and unveiling of the LaSalle statue on Washington Avenue March 6, 1930, an event attended by representatives of the French government, and the 2019 unveiling of the World War I monument at Historic Anderson Park commemorating the WWI Centennial. In 2022, the monument was moved to the Grimes County Justice and Business Center and a rededication ceremony was held.
Any woman 18 years or older regardless of race, religion or ethnic background who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. Over 1 million members have been proven, with a current membership of 180,000-plus in 3,000 chapters in all 50 states, Washington, DC and overseas in Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain