MEIGS COUNTY — Monday is the Fourth of July, a day the United States celebrates its independence and honors the sacrifices of men and women who fought for our freedom.
One group of women do so on a daily basis.
The Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 with the mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism.
Throughout the years, the group has given women a voice in areas that were formerly a male purview. A non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization, it engages in a variety of projects. Many benefit men and women currently serving in the military, all to remember the sacrifices made to form this country.
DAR is the most inclusive genealogical society in the country. Membership requirements include women 18 years or older (regardless of race, religion or ethnic background) who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution.
The Return Jonathan Meigs chapter is part of the national society and celebrated its 108th anniversary by honoring a group of local women.
Patricia Holter and Mary Powell were honored for being key people in founding the Chester Shade Historical Association. The group acknowledged Holter has been a driving force in the restoration of Ohio’s oldest-standing courthouse and the Chester Academy. She has served on the Meigs County Library Board for 50 years, seeing the library move from the original Carnegie building to the current location, along with the expansion of the current building, and the addition of Eastern High School and Racine community libraries.
Powell and her husband, Pat, worked with Holter to form the Chester Shade Historical Association. Powell has been instrumental writing grants to help with the cost of restoration. She was also acknowledged as a driving force and continues to support the association. She actively promotes Meigs County, bringing the Ohio State Harmonica Contest to Chester and the educational and entertaining Chautauqua and Yesteryear programs to local schools.
Dean Barnitz was honored for her years of dedication to repairing, mending and reinforcing many flags and has been coined as a “modern-day Betsy Ross” in articles. Her needlework grace many sites, including the Ohio entrance to the Bridge of Honor. When Barnitz is not working on flags, she enjoys making “Little Dresses for Africa.” She says her goal is to stay busy and help others in the process.
Dixie Wolfe works in easing the stress and worries of families who have had a cancer experience by preparing and providing meals for these families.
“Comfort food and a warm smile, one less worry to deal with,” Wolfe said of the support she gives to families dealing with cancer and chemotherapy.
Ada Nease is known as the “Fabric Shop Lady,” but little known for her career in the U.S. Navy WAVES. Nease served in the Navy for 27 months during World War II, stationed in Washington, D.C., as a decoder of war messages. The DAR stressed the importance of accuracy in her job and said they were grateful for her service.
Dixie Circle is known for her love of animals and has worked for and supported the Humane Society for many years. The DAR acknowledged her dedication and said a new facility (The Meigs County Canine Rescue and Adoption Center) would not have occurred with out people like Circle.
Margaret Parker’s name has been synonymous with the Meigs County Pioneer and Historical Society and Museum on Butternut Street in Pomeroy since the mid 1970s. The award went to Parker for her many hours supporting the organization. The DAR said without Parker, the museum and buildings may not have existed.
Rae Gwiazdowsky is a registered nurse whose career has included varied ages, from children to the elderly in the nursing home. She worked in many departments at Holzer Medical Center and retired from Urgent Care. The DAR honored her for her military service; she served as a nurse in during Operation: Desert Storm.
The Meigs Chapter meets monthly at one of the county’s public libraries.
Check The Daily Sentinel community calender for times, dates and locations.
For more information on the National DAR visit www.dar.org.