Our Chapter History

Two Historic California DAR Chapters Come Together

In the fall of 2004, it was proposed that the Los Angeles, Chapter, NSDAR, and the Eschscholtzia Chapter, NSDAR, once again merge. It was voted on by the membership of both chapters and passed by more than two-thirds majority in favor of the merger. At the National Board of Management meeting on April 9, 2005, this merger was approved. Today the chapter has 143 members and is listed as the second chapter in the state of California.


The Eschscholtzia Chapter, NSDAR

The Eschscholtzia Chapter, NSDAR, organized in Los Angeles in 1894, and was the second chapter in the state of California; Sequoia Chapter, NSDAR, founded in San Francisco in 1892, was the first. Eschscholtzia derives its name from the California state flower, the Golden Poppy – scientific name, Eschscholtzia Californica. Louis Charles de Chamisso, botanist on a world voyage of discovery (1815-1818), first described the Golden Poppy and classified it in honor of his friend, Dr. Johann Frederick Eschscholtzia, who was a naturalist and physician of the expedition.

Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont, the chapter’s first chapter member and first regent suggested the name “Eschscholtzia”. Mrs. Fremont was the widow of John Charles Fremont, a western explorer, first American governor and first United States senator from California. Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont was the daughter of Thomas Hart Benton, United States senator from Missouri. Senator Benton was an early supporter of a transcontinental railroad and of John Fremont’s searches for the best route.

On June 18, 1994, Eschscholtzia celebrated its 100th birthday at the California State Society DAR (CSSDAR) headquarters with a reception tea for honored guests, members, and friends.

Following the tea, Chapter Regent Mrs. Marion W. Postel, State Regent Mrs. Robert G. Herr, and Vice President General Mrs. John D. Hanley participated in the dedication of a bronze plaque on the exterior wall of the state headquarters building. The plaque reads:


This home for all California Daughters
was made possible through the many contributions of the Eschscholtzia Chapter, DAR,
and the generous bequest of chapter member. Grace Edgar Coe (1871-1960)
Dedicated 18 June 1994


The Los Angeles Chapter, NSDAR

The Los Angeles Chapter, NSDAR, was organized on December 6, 1911, by a group of Eschscholtzia Chapter, NSDAR, members who believed that their chapter had grown very large and wanted to establish a new chapter for more effective participation.

In its first year, the Los Angeles Chapter, NSDAR, had 52 members, including Mrs. Charles Crail, who was chapter regent from 1921-1922. She became known to future members as the grandmother of Mary Evans Morton, an honorary chapter regent. Also among the founding members was Mrs. Casius C. Cottle, grandmother of Elizabeth Gibbon Strange, a long-time member. Mrs. Cottle later became state regent as well as vice president general. By 1927, the chapter had grown to 112 members. The silver coffee urn that we use today at our chapter teas was presented to the chapter by Mary Evans Morton, Honorary Chapter Regent, and daughter of
Mrs. Gladys Crail Evans, and granddaughter of Mrs. Charles Crail.

Most of the projects begun in the early years continue on today, even as new ones are added. Projects during the 1940s included American Red Cross volunteerism, a history essay contest in junior high schools, book donations to the Los Angeles public libraries, tree plantings, clothes donations to schools, distributions of Flag Codes, and DAR Good Citizens Award presentations. Beginning in the 1960s, attracting new members to the chapter became a challenge, but most of the projects were sustained even with a smaller membership. Today the chapter continues to support the patients at veteran hospitals as well as to hand out hundreds of flags to new citizens, schools, libraries, and public and non-profit institutions. DAR Good Citizens and ROTC medals are awarded annually to outstanding high school seniors and cadets in the Los Angeles area. Awards have been presented for many years to local participants and winners of the National American History Essay Contest. We continue to sponsor DAR scholarship applicants; and, we have a vital society of the Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.). One of our ongoing projects is Big Sunday, which brings many groups in the community together to perform a variety of services to help the needy and the underprivileged. Throughout the years the chapter has been the beneficiary of many state and national awards. Along with the 21st century has come a renewed interest in the DAR and its objectives of historic preservation, promotion of education, and patriotic endeavor.

Most women join as new members, some wish to be re-instated, and others have become re-invigorated. A larger membership allows us to reach more people and to participate in more projects.