Black Partridge is a small chapter with members from Woodford and Tazewell Counties. Our highlight for each year is honoring our DAR Good Citizens from six area high schools. During the February meeting DAR Good Citizens are awarded with certificates, pins, and flags. We also honor essay winners, history teachers, and service award winners for the year. The highlight of 1998, was the rededication of the Lincoln Circuit Memorial on the Woodford McLean County lines. The original dedication ceremony by the DAR was in 1923. The Black Partridge Chapter also maintains the Lincoln marker on the blacktop road between Metamora and Washington. This 87 year old marker was rededicated on September 19, 2000. Guest speaker was Helen Mitchler, State Regent. The marker, one of 14 located across Central Illinois in the Eighth Judicial Circuit. In 2009, the Lincoln marker north of Carlock, in Woodford County, was restored by the DAR. In 2019, the fence and landscaping timbers were removed at the Lincoln Circuit Marker due to deterioration. A Boy Scout replaced the fence and spread mulch on the ground for his Eagle Project. In 2020, Daughters placed rocks around the area to hold the mulch in place. Black Partridge continues to care for the marker and vegetation we have planted.
In the early 2000's a luncheon meeting was held at the site of the village of Chief Black Partridge. A local historian gave an account of the 1812 incident. Twenty-six members and guests attended, including State Regent Joyce Hinshaw, State Parliamentarian Mary Ann Middleton, and State Historian Sharon Stenzel. DAR recognition was given for our chapter's namesake, Chief Black Partridge.
Black Partridge Chapter participates in and attends District 1 meetings, DAR Days, Illinois State Conferences, and Continental Congress. In 1980-83, H.L. McAdams was State Membership Chairman and served on the State Biennial Proceedings Sales Committee. Mary Jury served on the State Membership Committee. Laura Delicath served as a Page at State Conference in 1982, and 1983, and Continental Congress in 1983. Kenda Bond served as District I DAR Good Citizen Chairman and District I Director, as well as JAC Chairman and District Americanism Chairman. Nancy Bullard served as District 1 Scholarship Chairman. Members have toured DEA schools. Annually, we donate items, gift cards, and money these schools.
Black Partridge supports veterans in Danville with annual donations of personal items and money. Knitted and crocheted items have been sent to veterans and to those in active duty as well as Christmas cards. A money collection has been taken for the Honor Flag project. Our members have attended Honor Flight homecoming ceremonies in Peoria. We honor veterans by annually participating in "Stand Down for Veterans.” We distribute items to homeless veterans at Stand Down and have made waterproof mats for distribution to them.
During the NSDAR Centennial the chapter celebrated by showing "Portrait of a Daughter” and also had a program "NSDAR: A Century of Service” presented by two members. Two grave marking ceremonies have been held. On September 28, 1985, a ceremony was held at Boder Cemetery, Schuyler County, for the grave of Mary Agnes Wakefield Henderson, an ancestor of Black Partridge Chapter member Mrs. Elmer Wernsman. On September 27, 2007, a ceremony was held at the grave site of Mary Harshbarger at the Olio Cemetery in Eureka. Mrs. Harshbarger had been a member of the Peoria Chapter NSDAR and the Black Partridge Chapter NSDAR. The honorary guest was Mary Ann Middleton, Past Illinois State Regent. Mrs. Harshbarger"s daughter, Mary Alice Pulfer, unveiled the NSDAR marker on the grave. A reception was held at the Fireside Lounge in the Eureka Christian Church.
Informational articles and photographs have been published in the American Spirit Magazine and in the Illinois DAR Newsletter. Five quilts, submitted by chapter members, were displayed at the 2004, DAR State Conference. One "linsey-woolsey” sheet that belonged to patriot Robert Jamison I (ca. 1800) was also inscluded in the quilt exhibition. Members have entered the American Heritage Contest. Black Partridge donates books to the DAR State Library as well as many local libraries.
The chapter's silver anniversary meeting included guest speaker State Regent, Jane Hooe. Other guests included State Parliamentarian, Mary Ann Middleton, State Constitution Chairman, Sharon Stenzel, and District I Director, Doris Larke. The chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary on October 13, 2008, with State Regent, Betty Ford, giving us a lesson entitled, "Exhilarating, Energizing, Enthusiasm”. We celebrated our 40th anniversary October 8, 2018. State Regent Gloria Perkins Flathom gave the program entitled, "Until You Spread Your Wings, You Have No Idea How Far You Can Fly.”
Origin of Chapter Name
By the close of the 18th century, the Potawatomi Indians, originally from the north, had moved into Illinois with numerous villages along the Illinois River. Black Partridge was chief of a village that consisted of thirty to forty wigwams scattered between Partridge and Richland creeks in what is now the western part of Woodford County. Refusing to succumb to English attempts to take part in Indian uprisings during the War of 1812, Chief Black Partridge remained friendly to American settlers.
In October of 1812, while Chief Black Partridge was on a mission of mercy to rescue Lieutenant Helm from the Indians after the Fort Dearborn Massacre, Illinois Governor Edwards and three hundred Illinois rangers attacked the Potawatomi village. Returning to his village, Chief Black Partridge found his village had been burned. In December 1813, he signed a peace treaty in St. Louis. Chief Black Partridge remained loyal to his vow of peace until his death in 1819.
Photography courtesy of Kenda Bond