The Naming of Our Chapter

The charter members chose the name “Port Tobacco” for the first chapter ever organized in Charles County, Maryland, to pay tribute to its original county seat, a colonial center of religious life, culture, wealth, commerce, society, and politics. There are few places in the United States where history has been made and lived so vividly and excitingly as in picturesque four-hundred-year-old Port Tobacco. The first recorded visit by the white man was by Captain John Smith in 1608, with Jesuit missionaries arriving in 1634. Port Tobacco was a naval port of entry in colonial days and one of the business seaports in the New World. Its religious heritage is well known. St. Thomas Manor was granted to the Jesuits in 1649, and was the colonial seat of Catholicism in Maryland. The Church of England established Port Tobacco parish in 1692. The first Presbyterian congregation in the United States worshipped here beginning in 1657. Mt. Carmel, the first convent of religious women in the United States was founded in 1790. Many Patriots who helped shape our nation’s history were born or lived in Port Tobacco. A few of these include John Hanson (first elected President of U.S. under the Articles of Confederation in 1781), Thomas Stone (signer of the Declaration of Independence), Doctors James Craik and Gustavus Brown (physicians to George Washington) and General William Smallwood (commander of the Maryland Line).

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Our Chapter Organization

The organizing meeting of the Port Tobacco Chapter, NSDAR, was held in 1964, at "Mulberry Grove" in Port Tobacco, Maryland, the home of the first regent, Mary Edelen.

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The chapter received its charter on December 8, 1965

The organizing officers were:


Edelen, Mary Keech (Edward Joseph)  Regent
Edelen, Mary Susan   Vice Regent
Smith, Helen M. (Francis Marion)    Chaplain
Echols, Carol Ann Smith (Garyton C., Jr.) Recording Secretary
Hyde, Laura Ann Mattingly (Albert Augustine)  Corresponding Secretary
Dodson, Loulie P. (Raymond Isham)    Treasurer
Turner, Louise Boone (Edward Clarence)    Registrar

Other organizing members were:

Belknap, Frances Sutton (Joel R.) Higges, Zora Marie Mattingly (Charles Liecester)
Boone, Martha Forbes (William E.) Kenney, Elsie Brooke Hayden (John Thomas)
Boone, Rebecca Compton (William McKinley) McPhee, Elizabeth LaFond (George Edward)
Boone, Vivian Edelen (Charles Daniel) Manack, Patricia Lillie (John Melvin)
Brown, Margaret Washington Berry (Paul Dennis) Mitchell, Gertrude Wooddy (Walker Jenifer, Jr.)
Caruso, Marybrooke Higgs (Amedeus J.) Moore, Mary Jo VanDerveer (William Burkert, II)
DeMott, Elva Sutton(Henry Vroom) Steffens, Margaret Smith (Dietrich Henry)
Edelen, Nancy Jane Taylor, Edwardina Higgs (Charles Wesley)
Greer, Susanne Montgomery (Thomas Jefferson) Wedding, Suzanne Maria Hyde (Thomas Wilson)


Chapter History

(Updated May 2021)

 As of 2021, there have been 23 regents and membership has grown from 25 to 91 members

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Past Chapter Regents were:

Mary Keech Edelen   1965-1970
Carol Smith Echols 1970-1973
Betty Cavileer Wilson 1973-1976
Mildred O’Callahan 1976-1977
Mary Margaret Hill  1977-1979
Madeline Quigley McGregor  1979-1982
Suzanne Lampkins Butler 1982-1985
Elizabeth McDonald Rowe  1985-1988
Ruby Wax Dyson  1988-1991
Elizabeth Sollars Raymond  1991-1993
Eula Jones Horsman   1993-1995
Adaline Ruble Buchanan 1995-1997
Joyce Burgess Candland  1997-1999
Kaye Allen O’Kelley  1999-2001
Susan Horsman Hummer    2001-2003
Joyce Burgess Candland 2003-2005 
Mary Pat Dutton Berry  2005-2007
Carol Tisdale Whitsell 2007-2009
Robin Tilton Boswell    2009-2011
Diane Newkirk Milstead  2011-2013
Pamela Winslow Donahue     2013-2017
Ann Lillie Chess 2017-2019
Joyce Timmons Edelen 2019-2021


The chapter has received many awards and certificates that are preserved in scrapbooks containing records of its activities the past 56 years. 

Following the National DAR motto, "God, Home and Country," the chapter has marked the graves of nine local Revolutionary War soldiers and the graves of 33 deceased members.