Chapter History

The Nancy Ross Chapter was organized October 3, 1923.  This was the first chapter to be organized in Pike County, Illinois.

Illinois State Regent Mrs. Charles E. Herrick came to Rockport to meet with 12 ladies at Elizabeth Shaw Jett's home. Prior to organizing the Nancy Ross Chapter, Mrs. Jett had been a charter member of the Pike County, Missouri, chapter. She was appointed organizing regent of the newly formed Nancy Ross Chapter. Chapter officers were elected, plans discussed and annual dues were set at $3.00.

It wasn't long before chapter membership increased to 42.  Chapter members collected boxes of supplies which they sent to Ellis Island. Histories were assembled and contributed to the Illinois Historical Society and Lincoln Museum. The chapter established an Atlas Marker Fund to purchase a marker to be placed at the site of the First Court House. 

In 1933, ten Revolutionary soldiers' graves were found in Pike County.  Their daughters and granddaughters were all helped with small pensions from the National Society.  Our local chapter honored them on their birthdays and Christmas, and marked their graves upon their deaths.

The Ross descendants placed a bronze marker on the grave of Nancy Ross for whom the chapter was named, during a ceremony at the Adams-Dustin Cemetery near Atlas.  Through the years, the Nancy Ross Chapter has participated in many county functions, portraying their love of "God, Home, and Country."  In 1935, a large native boulder was placed to mark the historic spot of the first log court house in Atlas. It was built in 1822 when Pike County was a military tract and included all of the territory north and west of the Illinois River, including the present site of Chicago, Peoria, Quincy and Galena. The bronze plaque reads "Site of Atlas First Permanent Seat of Justice in Pike County---etc."

The tradition of placing bronze markers on the graves of all departed members began in 1934.  The Nancy Ross Chapter now meets nine times annually throughout the county in homes and various civic centers to accommodate the attendance.  We now host both boys and girls DAR Good Citizen Award winners and their mothers from our area schools.  Often the mothers had received the same honor!  

The chapter has enjoyed many interesting and educational programs. One meeting was held in a home in Atlas, Illinois, which was erected in 1822 and was, for many years, the only brick building between Quincy, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. The house was used as a trading post for Indians and is still used as a home.  

Members of the Nancy Ross Chapter are proud that two members have served as pages at Continental Congress and one member served as Illinois state vice regent.

Throughout the years, the chapter has grown and interests and programs have expanded.  But some things never change. Chapter members still observe Arbor Day  by planting trees in memory of deceased members. We place small flags on the graves of soldiers in all the Pike County cemeteries on Memorial Day.  We observe Flag Day, distribute DAR Flag Code pamphlets to high schools in the area, recognize DAR Good Citizens, and celebrate Constitution Week.  We collect items for veterans and we support DAR schools.