Daughters of the American Revolution
Cofachique Chapter was organized on January 13, 1950, in Iola, Kansas. Iola is the county seat of Allen County, named for William Allen (1803-1879), Ohio senator and governor.
The chapter's planning meeting was held on December 19, 1949, during one of the biggest snowstorms of the season. Kansas DARs from around the state traveled to Iola to help organize the chapter. When it came time to choose a name, the chapter had several choices, and settled on "Cofaquique," which the members had to learn to prounounce properly: "Ko-fa-chee."
Cofachique was the first town laid out in Allen County, in 1855, and was designated as the first county seat. It was located about two miles south of where Iola now is. It was authorized, under its charter, to lay out as a town site a tract of land not exceeding 900 acres, but it never had use for nearly that much land. Although growth in the town looked promising, the county seat was moved to Humboldt in 1858, and the town floundered. Nothing now remains to show the location.
The name "Cofachique" (often seen "Cofachiqui") appears to have its origins with the Cofachiqui tribe, who were Siouan speakers. The Cofachiqui were visited by De Soto in the spring of 1540 when he traveled through South Carolina. The Osage Indians who settled this area were closely affiliated with the Siouan. The name "Cofachique," as it was used for the town's name, is said to have been the name of an Osage chief known as Cofachique, who was particularly helpful to early settlers, bringing aid to the distressed and homeless.
The chapter supports the Objectives of DAR ~ Historic Preservation, Education, and Patriotic Endeavor ~ however it can. The members annually participate in the Constitutional Flag raising at the Veterans Wall in the courthouse square, and contribute items and money for veterans at the Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth. The chapter recently rededicated a grave marker for a Real Daughter, Elizabeth Swigert Mitchell. A Real Daughter is one whose parent was a Revolutionary patriot. Mrs. Mitchell's grandson, Frederick Funston, became a Major General in the Army at age 35 and was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
The chapter is also very interested in preserving our public records, and compiled a volume called, "Earliest Marriage Records 1856-1866," which is available on LDS Film #0851221. Each meeting has a "Dimes for Seimes" campaign to raise funds to support the Seimes Microfilm Center at our national headquarters. Seimes contains a collection of all available microfilm collections at the federal and state levels relating to the American Revolution, and is currently acquiring county and city-level records.