Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter DAR History




Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter DAR

Worcester, Massachusetts

spinning wheel image



During the chapter's fiftieth anniversary, Mildred Carver Carpenter, the 1950-1952 chapter vice regent, wrote and published a booklet on the chapter’s history entitled, “1898-1948, Fifty Year Review of Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.” We also recognize and honor the memory of our chapter member, Jean, whose mother was the 1950-1952 chapter regent. Jean provided the chapter with the booklet for reference. Please enjoy edited highlights from the original booklet:

Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter was organized December 17, 1898, in the home of Mrs. Theodore C. Bates, 29 Harvard Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. The organizing regent was Mrs. Bernard Peel Chenoweth. Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Chenoweth, and Mrs. Daniel H. Eames were the pioneers in the movement for organization, and the first four or five meetings were held in the home of Mrs. Bates.

Our chapter was chartered on August 9, 1899, by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

Original Charter Members 

Mrs. Bernard Peel (Caroline Van Deusen) Chenoweth Mrs. Rufus Brown (Mary Perry) Dodge
Mrs. Theodore C. (Emma Francis Duncan) Bates Mrs. Daniel (Georgia Tyler) Kent
Mrs. Daniel H. (Mary Greenleaf Cole) Eames Mrs. Theodore S. (Amanda Allen) Johnson 
Mrs. Charles A. (Caroline Allen) Peabody  Mrs. James B. (Abby Annah Locke) Stone
Mrs. Albert Edward (Anjeannette Kenney) Smith  Mrs. Charles Clinton (Ella L.T. Peckman) Baldwin 
Mrs. John Waldo (Ella Maria Eames) Bisco Mrs. Joseph Bradford (Annie Louise Bisco) Sargent
Mrs. Richard (Mary Lee) Mitchell Mrs. James S. (Ida Peck) Aborn

Col. Timothy Bigelow was chosen because of his unfailing service to the cause of American independence. It was on the Worcester Common that Colonel Bigelow trained and led his company of minutemen for the march from Worcester to Cambridge in 1775.

Please visit our Colonel Timothy Bigelow history page for more information on the Colonel Bigelow’s life and service.

Mrs. Chenoweth served as our chapter regent until 1901, when she resigned to organize the Colonel Henshaw Chapter of Leicester. Later she served Massachusetts State Society as historian and was invited to become the state vice regent, which honor she declined because of other urgent duties. She inaugurated the work of appropriately marking Revolutionary War soldiers' graves  on May 30, 1900.

Mrs. Bates was elected National Vice President General in 1908 and Honorary Vice President General for life in 1913. She died October 5, 1929. Our chapter has two other members who have been honored by the National Society for their distinguished services, Miss Isabel Wyman Gordon and Mrs. Frank B. Hall, each of whom was elected National Vice President General.

From its organization, our chapter grew rapidly and soon it was necessary to hold the meetings in the rooms of the Society of Antiquity (now the Worcester Historical Society). In 1903, it was again necessary to have larger quarters, and the chapter began to hold its meetings in the newly constructed Women's Club. There the group met until the opportunity presented itself in 1913 of buying the old Paine Mansion, ”The Oaks,” for a chapter house.

In the beginning of the chapter’s history, members included eight Real Daughters (Real Daughters are DAR members who were the daughters of patriots who served in the American Revolution). Each received a golden spoon from the National Society, and these presentations were delightful occasions.  

Our Chapter Real Daughters

Susan C. Brigham Harriet S. Elkins Cady
Joanna White Beaman Fletcher Elmira Pierce Johnson
Elizabeth Brown Morse Ann Rebecca Monroe Randall
Alice E. Frink Taft Clara Branscome Walker

In 1902, when our chapter was in its fourth year, Continental Hall was but a dream and a hope. The National Society was still young and in that year the site was purchased at a cost of $50,000 and the ground was broken for our first National Headquarters in Washington. In 1909, our chapter donation to the Continental Hall fund was the largest in the state for our size, and pledges for a certain amount until the Hall was a reality were made annually. Soon afterwards Mrs. Fairbanks was instrumental, in the name of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in persuading the Treasury Department to issue the Martha Washington postage stamp. In addition, our chapter has funded and placed many historical markers and has published books and pamphlets in the aid of historic preservation.


Mrs. Caroline Van Deusen Chenoweth

Organizing Regent, Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1898
Organizing Regent, Colonel Henshaw Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1901 

Mrs. Caroline Van Deusen Chenoweth was born in New Albany, Indiana, daughter of Charles Van Deusen and Mary Huntington Cole. She was educated at St. Charles Institute in New Orleans, earning her A.M. degree. She married Colonel Bernard Peel Chenoweth of Virginia. They had two sons, one graduated Harvard College, Class of 1888, as a journalist. Their other son became an artist in California. 

Her RevolutionaryWar ancestor was Lieutenant Nathaniel Callender. She served the DAR for three years as our regent and two years as state historian. She was also quite active with other civic responsibilities.... Vice Consul of China; Professor of English Literature, Smith College; Editor of Medico Legal Journal, New York; Worcester author of many books. She resided in Worcester, with a summer home in Leicester. 

Caroline died May 12, 1917, in Worcester. Following services at "The Oaks" she was interred in a family lot at Rural Cemetery. Her grave has been placed in perpetual care by Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter, which also provided a suitable monument. Many friends from the various chapters she had served attended her funeral, showing the high esteem in which she was held. She was included in the Rural Cemetery brochure of prominent persons buried there.

Chapter Members

photograph, circa June 8, 1908 - 1909

The above picture was taken, circa June 8, 1908-1909, by Mrs. William T. Forbes at a meeting of Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter in the country home of Mrs. Theodore C. Bates (seated, third from left), Honorary Vice President General, at North Brookfield, Massachusetts.
In the picture are, seated, left to right, Mrs. W. H. Crawford, Mrs. John H. Orr, Mrs. Bates, unidentified lady, Mrs. Caroline Van Deusen Chenoweth, (organizing regent), Mrs. Charles S. Baldwin, Miss Emma S. Taylor and Mrs. Charles F. Stevens. Those standing are Mrs. William B. Howe, Mrs. Isaac Hildreth, next two ladies unidentified, Mrs. Dana Mellen, unidentified lady, Mrs. Franklin B. White, next two unidentified, and Mrs. W. A. Williams.

From the Fifty Year Review by Mildred Carver Carpenter 1948


Our chapter has a splendid service record for the two World War periods. During the years of both wars, members gathered each week at the chapter house for Red Cross bandage making and sewing, and a PX mobile unit was presented to Cushing Memorial Hospital. At Christmas, a substantial gift was sent to the veterans hospital at Rutland. The restoration of Valley Forge was of great interest to members as a Memorial to World War I Patriots. The World War II project has been the raising of funds for a Memorial Bell Tower at Valley Forge. Our chapter leads the state in the amount of money collected for this project.

During World War II, under the leadership of Mrs. Alfred N. Graham, our chapter was in charge of a group of women's organizations on duty at "Bond House," which sold United States bonds during the entire war period, to the excess of one million dollars. For this patriotic service many of our members received United States treasury citations.