The Founding of Our Chapter

It was the fall of 1949 when Mrs. Thomas B. Kennedy of Patience Wright Chapter DAR in Laguna Beach learned that Mrs. Charles K. Boardman of Balboa Island was a DAR member from Iowa. After consulting with her daughter, Mrs. Kennedy asked Mrs. Boardman to assist in establishing a DAR chapter in the Newport Beach area.  Mrs. H.G. Rider, past regent of Patience Wright Chapter and past state organizing secretary, offered to help. From this beginning, the Colonel William Cabell Chapter became a reality in less than a year's time.

The organization luncheon meeting on August 1, 1950, was a very special occasion held on the dock of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Mrs. Boardman, who had become organizing regent, presided. Special guests that day were: Mrs. Edgar A. Fuller, new State Regent, officiating at her first organization; Mrs. Edwin H. Glass, state organizing secretary; Mrs. John H. Kinkaid, past junior regent of Patience Wright Chapter; and Mrs. Thomas B. Kennedy, present regent, who were the sponsors for the new chapter. Also introduced were Mrs. H. G. Rider, past state organizing secretary, and Mrs. C. H. McKellips, Arizona state historian. 

Twenty-four women became charter members: Mrs. Charles K. Boardman, regent; Mrs. Challen F. Landers, vice regent; Mrs. Jess B. Wolfe, chaplain; Mrs. H. P. Yarnett, (H. F. Schullhof), recording secretary; Mrs. A. E. Stockton, corresponding secretary; Mrs. James M. Webster, treasurer; Miss Besse Lee Skinner, registrar; Mrs. F. H. Seamon, historian; Mrs. Tevia T. Westgate, librarian; Mrs. J. L. Beach, Mrs. Warren E. Blinn, Mrs. A. J. Dearborn, Mrs. Braden L. Finch, Mrs. William E. Fisher, Mrs. Carl H. Hanna, Mrs. F. I. Morris, Mrs. Ward H. Porter, Mrs. Ro O. Rae, Mrs. Louis Sands, Mrs. William B. Tritt, Mrs. W. W. Poore, Mrs. Lester Vierling, Mrs. Harry Walch, and Mrs. Converse V. Wurdemann. 

The name Colonel William Cabell was chosen to honor the distinguished ancestor of two chapter charter members – Mrs. F. H. Seamon and her daughter, Mrs. Braden L. Finch, who were also related to Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell, wife of a grandson of Colonel William Cabell. Colonel William Cabell was one of four men of a Committee of Safety, who gave outstanding service in civil duties during the Revolutionary War period. Mrs. Mary Cabell was one of the eighteen charter members of the first chapter of DAR, which often met in her Washington, D. C. home in 1890. Though Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, wife of the President of the United States, was elected first President of the Society, it was with the understanding that Mrs. Cabell would perform the heavier duties of the office. For this reason, the titles of Vice President General Presiding, and later, President Presiding (after Mrs. Harrison’s death) were conferred upon Mrs. Cabell – the only Daughter ever so honored.

We are very proud of the women who worked to start this chapter; knowing that they, like we, led very busy lives with their families and obligations, and we hope to continue the tradition of this chapter for many years to come.