Betty Washington Chapter was formed 17 October 1896 in Lawrence, Kansas. The Organizing Regent was Miss Mary Lawton Robinson, the niece of Kansas' first governor, Charles Robinson.
The chapter was named to honor the only sister of George Washington, Betty Washington Lewis. Betty Washington was the wife of Colonel Fielding Lewis, who served in the Revolution. Their home was called Kenmore, and was located in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Among the first members of the chapter was Mrs. Lucy Pratt Esterbrook, whose father had served in the Revolution. Mrs. Esterbrook, a "Real Daughter," received a tribute from the National Society: a gold spoon depicting a Colonial woman turning a spinning wheel.
Several "Real Granddaughters" were also charter members and early members of the chapter.
Betty Washington Chapter members have served DAR , their community, and their nation for over 110 years, seeking to fulfill the organization's mission statement: The mission of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism."
The chapter voted at its organization to meet on the third Saturday of each month and has met on this schedule for 110 years. Meetings are held September through May.
What We Do
The chapter's library is housed in the Helen Osma Room at the Lawrence Public Library. Chapter
volunteers work at the library maintaining the books and assisting researchers.
DAR supports six schools in its mission to promote education. One of the projects Betty Washington actively promotes is saving Labels for Education, which helps the schools purchase needed equipment.
DAR has always been proud of the men and women who serve in America's military, and engages in a variety of service projects for active duty servicemen and veterans. Among the chapter's activities for veterans is collecting cancelled commemorative postage stamps, which are used for crafts.
The earth's resources are vital to DAR and chapter members actively recycle household goods, and conserve resources such as fossil fuel products (heating, cooling, gasoline). A long-time favorite project for DAR is planting trees, which beautify the earth and help to cleanse the air.
DAR recognizes citizens for exceptional volunteer service to the community by awarding the Community Service Medal. Betty Washington Chapter actively participates in this program.
Members are encouraged to locate, transcribe, and submit original source records of a genealogical nature to the NSDAR collection through the Genealogical Records Committee. This fine collection is housed in Washington DC. The Kansas volumes are also found at the state DAR Library in Dodge City and at the state historical society library in Topeka.
Throughout the year, the chapter commemorates national holidays and observances. Of particular interest to the chapter is Constitution Week, which is observed the week of September 17-23. We also participate in naturalization ceremonies for new American citizens during this week.