Daughters of the American Revolution in Kansas
The Daughters of the American Revolution (or DAR) was founded in 1890. Headquartered in Washington D.C., the DAR is a volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and educating children.
The DAR was established in Kansas in 1896 and has helped promote history throughout the state from its 19th century beginning through the present. The DAR has completed many projects and is involved in current ones that help tell the story of Kansas history.
In 1902 the Kansas chapter kicked off a campaign to place historical markers along the Santa Fe Trail in Kansas. They acquired red granite stones for the markers and by 1906 were installing them. One hundred years later the DAR surveyed all the Santa Fe markers and made repairs. Bases for deteriorated markers were replaced and the lettering was repainted. One of the largest markers along the Santa Fe Trail was at the very prominent Pawnee Rock in Barton County. This rock formation was a natural high point used by all passing by, and it marked the halfway point on the trail. Travelers considered Pawnee Rock as one of the most dangerous spots on the trail. The DAR erected a 30-foot granite obelisk to commemorate the site, which is now operated as a state historic site by the Kansas Historical Society .
In 1922 the DAR acquired a two-thirds acre tract of land containing the Pueblo ruins, known as El Cuatelejo in Lake Scott State Park, Scott County, Kansas. This is an extremely valuable historic site as it is the furthest north pueblo in North America. It was settled around 1656 by a group of Taos Indians that escaped their Spanish occupiers where they were used as slaves to work the Spanish plantations in New Mexico. The Taos fled north to stay with a group of Plains Apaches where they built a seven-room pueblo along with irrigation ditches for their crops. Twenty years after the Taos escaped, the Spanish located them and returned them to New Mexico. Another group of Pueblo Indians, the Picuris, later fled the Spanish and resettled El Cuartelejo until they also were forced to return to New Mexico in 1706. The pueblo then fell into ruin until all that was left was the foundation and artifacts.
In 1925 the DAR installed a 12-foot granite obelisk to mark the site. In 1970 the Kansas State Historical Society performed archeological work at the site and stabilized the pueblo foundation. The elements have eroded and damaged the site and the DAR, the Kansas Historical Society, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks have partnered to develop a plan to preserve and interpret the site.
The DAR also installed a monument called “Madonna of the Trail” in Council Grove in 1928 to provide a symbol of the courage of the women who helped settle the American frontier. There were Madonna of the Trail statues erected in 12 states by the DAR. There is a smaller version on the Kansas State Capitol grounds in Topeka.
The Daughters of the American Revolution Kansas chapter also has a research library located in Dodge City, Kansas. The library is open to the public.
Entry: Daughters of the American Revolution in Kansas
Author: Teresa Jenkins
Date Created: December 2011
Date Modified: February 2013
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.