Santa Monica Chapter, NSDAR
Santa Monica, CA

The Santa Monica Chapter, NSDAR, was organized on May 17, 1906, with Matilda Brooks Dudley as the chapter's first regent. She was born in San Francisco on August 29, 1860 and her patriot was Captain William Wickoff of Freehold, New Jersey (16 Mar 1708-18 Sept 1782).  Miss Marie E. Abbot was the historian of our chapter from 1906 to 1923 and gave a program at the regular monthly meetings in Santa Monica that consisted of historical papers on our patriots. Mrs. Louise M.F. Emery was the treasurer for the first 17 years. Meetings were held the 3rd Wednesday of every month.

In 1915, the chapter donated funds to the French Red Cross Society of New York for a memorial to Lafayette. In April 1916, donations were made to NSDAR for the purchase of the lot adjoining Continental Hall. The chapter also contributed a U.S. flag for Company E, 7th Regiment of Militia to guard the Mexican border. Once the U.S. entered WWI in 1917, members knitted or sewed for the local Red Cross during the meetings with members providing their own materials. These ladies donated about 200 pieces until the end of the war, and gave more to the Tubercular Ward of the Soldiers Home at Sawtelle, California after the war. They also helped with the Third Liberty Loan. Since 1916, the chapter had limited membership to 25, but in 1918, the NSDAR rule was that in order for a new chapter to be formed, it had to have 50 members, so the Santa Monica Chapter upped their membership numbers. 

In 1922, the chapter regent’s project was to promote patriotism, the proper use of the flag, forestry and bird conservation. At that time, they began their subscription to the D.A.R. Magazine, one copy to be placed in the public library. In 1932, our chapter marked the 200th birthday of George Washington with a marker in Santa Monica.  

On May 2, 1933, a new chapter broke off to form the San Vicente Chapter, NSDAR, which is no longer in existence. Meanwhile, over in the Pacific Palisades, the Temescal Chapter, NSDAR, was organized on May 15, 1955. On June 13, 2016, they merged with the Santa Monica Chapter, NSDAR. On May 17, 2019, we celebrated our 113th anniversary. 









*Matilda Brooks Dudley 1906-1908 *Mrs. Percy W. Bonfoey 1944-1944  *Mrs. Stuart J. Blashill 1970-1972  Deborah C. Sharp 2004-2013
*Guilford Wiley Wells 1908-1911 *Mrs. Walter L. Pridler 1944-1946  *Mrs. William R. Saenger 1972-74  Laura D. Houlihan 2013-2014
*Matilda Brooks Dudley 1911-1912  *Mrs. George W. McCoy 1946-1950 *Mrs. George C. Sherman 1974-76  Susan M. Rosenthal 2014-2018
*Mrs. Allan Muir Jamison 1912-1924  *Mrs. Edgar Swan Weirs 1950-1952 *Mrs. William P. Saenger 1976-78  *Donna L. Grogan 2018-2020
*Lizzie Belle Cowles 1924-27   *Mrs. Walter B. Clausen 1952-1954 *Mrs. Maurice L. LaVine 1978-1980  Diane Jenkins 2020-2022
*Mrs. Edwin C. Wilkinson 1927-1930  *Susan A. Cough 1954-1956 *Mrs. Robert W. Thomas 1980-82  
*Mrs. William James Brown 1930-32 *Mrs. John J. O’Donnell 1956-58 *Mrs. Stuart J. Blashill 1982-84  
*Mrs. James Westervelt 1932-34  *Mrs. Wilson Fergusson 1958-1960 *Mrs. Richard H. Keagy 1984-88  
*Mrs. John Parkinson 1934-1935  *Mrs. C. Victor Johnson 1960-62 *Mrs. Robert O. Ragland 1988-1992  
*Mrs. Frank Edgar Lee 1935-1938  *Gail Mills Dimmitt 1962-1964 *Mrs. Raymond H. Martin, Jr.1992-96  
*Mrs. John A. Hull 1938-1940  *Mrs. Richard J. Friend 1964-1966 *Mrs. Richard H. Keagy 1996-2000  
*Edith Rice Durand 1940-1941  *Mrs. William R. Saenger 1966-1968 *Mrs. Raymond H. Martin, Jr. 2000-02  
*Mrs. Jacob D. Funk 1941-1944  *Mrs. Fredric W. McCassy 1968-1970 *Mrs. Harold Boston 2002-2004  







*Ruth I. Dillon 1955-1957  *June Mingins 1967-1969  *Mrs. Lyle Harper, Jr. 1984-1986 *Mrs. John C. Shepard 2001-2002 
*Mrs. Francis C. Fordz 1957-1959 *Mrs. Robert G. Hocker 1969-1971   Harriet Ellen Hatch 1986-1987 Mrs. Lloyd Koenig 2002-2004 
*Mrs. Eugene R. Crilly 1959-1961  *Mrs. Joseph W. Hull 1971-1974  *Mrs. Francisco N. Rodriguez 1987-1990 Mrs. Lee E. Bishop, Jr. 2004-2008 
*Mrs. Donald Waller 1961-1963  *Mrs. Lyle Harper, Jr. 1974-1978  Mrs. Lee E. Bishop, Jr. 1990-1994 Carol Craft 2008-2014 
*Mrs. Gene Bunstine 1963-1965  *Mrs. Foster M. Hagmann 1978-1980  *Mrs. John C. Shepard 1994-1996 Sharon Dyer 2014-2016 
 *Mrs. R. Theodore Throckmorton 1965-1967  Mrs. Luciano Morra 1980-1984 Kathleen D. MacLennan 1996-2001   



Santa Monica History

The original land grant for Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica was awarded by Governor Alvarado to Don Francisco Sepulveda on December 20, 1839. Eventually, the original 31,000 acres were divided into many cities, encompassing the communities of Santa Monica, Brentwood, and West Los Angeles before the City of Santa Monica was incorporated in 1886; consisting today of almost 5400 acres.



Perhaps the most fundamental misconception about our organization is that it is right-wing and intolerant of others, especially because of Marian Anderson being denied the ability to sing at the DAR Constitution Hall in 1939.  

This blog post written by NSDAR President General, Denise Doring VanBuren on January 11, 2021 examines that part of our history and the number one event people remember the most about our organization.  Please read.

Here is an excerpt:

"Marian Anderson’s iconic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939, resulted from a decision by the DAR National Board of Management to enforce a “White Artist Only” policy for our Constitution Hall. Segregation was not required in the District of Columbia at that time; our Society’s leadership chose to refuse the concert. It is painfully obvious for us to acknowledge this in 2021, but we must also realize that they were acting in what they believed to be the best interest of the National Society at a very different time in American history.

It also saddens me that so many people know this story – and seemingly only this story – about our National Society. Far too few Americans appreciate the vibrant service of our organization today because they have allowed only the events of 1939 to shape their impression of who we are and for what we stand. I know that is incredibly frustrating to all of us.

But in truth, DAR has been – and forever will be – linked to Marian Anderson, and we must accept this part of our history. Therefore, we must do all that we can to demonstrate to the public that the DAR of today is a vibrant, relevant and tolerant organization of American women who are united by Patriot ancestors who founded our nation on the concept that all men (and women!) are created equal. When we rise in service and we shine through public outreach, we demonstrate the true spirit of DAR today – that is how we will change public conceptions about our organization."


Photo courtesy of chapter archives

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.