Daughters of the American Colonists papers, 1937-1996

Overview of the Collection

Daughters of the American Colonists. Utah Society. Matthias Farnsworth Chapter
Daughters of the American Colonists papers
1937-1996 (inclusive)
10 boxes, (8 linear feet)
Collection Number
MS 0223
The Daughters of the American Colonists papers (1937-1996) contain a variety of information and materials about the local and national groups and information on other similar societies. The materials include: minutes, history, reports, expenditures, yearbooks, memorials, and general materials.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Plans to organize a Utah chapter of Daughters of American Colonists began early in 1936 under the direction of Mrs. Ralph E. Bristol. Her resignation caused the National Society to appoint Lida Farnsworth Wire as organizing regent at the April 1936 convention. When Mrs. Wire died her daughter, Edith Louise Wire, took over the work and finally and officially opened the Matthias Farnsworth Chapter, Utah State Society, Daughters of American Colonists at a meeting in her home on 8 November 1937. Wire became the first state regent of the thirteen charter members and continued to be very active in the group until her death in 1973.

Soon after their organization, the group began work on civic improvement projects. Early in 1938 Secretary of State E. E. Monson placed the northeast lawn of the capitol under the care of the Daughters of American Colonists for beautification. They christened the area "Colonists Park" and began a project of tree planting. To commemorate the original thirteen colonies and thirteen charter members, thirteen Paul Scarlet Hawthorne trees we placed at the edge of the park. In an area know as "Regent's Grove" each out-going state regent planted a cut-leaf weeping birch. Flowering trees such as the white chestnut were planted as memorials to members. This project continued until an addition to the capitol building was made which necessitated removal of all trees in the area.

Other beautification projects occupied the members of the Daughters o American Colonists. They planted wildflowers and other hardy plants in the City Creek Canyon area above Memory Grove. In 1946 they began a campaign to clean up and plant the area around a monument to Governor George H Dern in Parley's Canyon. They did succeed in getting the state to remove weeds and debris from the area.

Between 1952 and 1957 the Matthias Farnsworth Chapter co-operated with the Colonial Dames of the XVII Century to sponsor a colonial building in the proposed historic park to be made on a part of the old prison grounds in the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake City. The project became uncertain of completion and the group decided they were without sufficient funds to endow a building. The project was dropped in 1957.

Aside from their civic and beautification programs, as a patriotic organization the Daughters of American Colonists were involved in many projects in the interest of civil and national defense. They were the first state organization to sponsor patriotic programs on local radio stations. Beginning in 1937, this continuing project offered speeches on national and local history, and interviews with military personnel dealing with national pride.

During the war years of the 1940s the group had many projects designed to aid servicemen and veterans. Members donated money for a "cookie fund" and magazines to the United Service Organization (USO). Individually and as a group the ladies of the Daughters of the American Colonists offered their assistance at the Veterans' Hospital. This interest in members of the military service continued throughout the years. Beginning in the 1950s the group gave a yearly award to the outstanding Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) student at the University of Utah. During the 1960s the Utah Society began to honor women "Angel Flight" members of the ROTC program with this award.

Perhaps the most lasting and notable contribution to the state by the Daughters of American Colonists was their donation of a permanent display for the United States Constitution. The case and special copies of the United States Constitution were finally dedicated in 1958.

The Utah Society, Daughters of American Colonists was very much a part of the national organization. They continually gave support and assistance to projects of national interest and importance. They supported such projects as the reconstruction of Tryon's Palace, the North Carolina Colonial Governor's mansion; the building of a Valley Forge Monument by becoming part of the Valley Forge Historical Society in 1949; preservation of the Midway Church; and microfilming of national records. They continued this interest in preservation of records by donating copies of their "lineage Books" and Microfilmed records to the Genealogical Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Daughters of the American Colonists papers (1937-1996) were donated to the University of Utah libraries in 1978. The records begin with material from the founding meeting in 1937 and run through 1976, although not all portions of the record are complete for every year.

Divided into four sections, the papers contain a variety of information and materials about the local and national groups. The first section consists of papers dealing with the Utah Society. Official minutes and reports have been separated by type of item and arranged chronologically. The regular minutes and Executive Board minutes from October 1937 to May 1951 are contained in a large, bound volume. Those from June 1951 to February 1974, written on loose-leaf paper, have been placed into acid-free folders. Also found in the minute book are some auditors' reports and remarks about the tree planting project on the lawns of the State Capitol. A brief history of the state organization written in 1941 by Edith Louise Wire has been included with the collection. Resolutions made on issues of importance to Utah and the nation in 1956 is found in a separate folder.

The second large portion of the official Utah Society records is separated into Financial and Treasurers' Reports, and Yearly Reports. Spanning the years 1950 to 1975, the Financial and Treasurers' reports are arranged chronologically. Some of these reports are for monthly expenditures while others cover yearly credits and debits. The Yearly Reports include summaries from club officers, reports on special projects, committee reports, and lists of officers for the years 1940 to 1976.

Utah Society Yearbooks date from 1937 to 1972. The run seems incomplete as not all years are represented. However, it is possible that the group did not publish the yearbook annually. Yearbooks contain lists of officers and members, committee membership, the scheduled yearly program, and in 1937, 1939, and 1953, the society's by-laws. The small amount of correspondence donated with the collection ranges in date from 1940 to 1963 with some undated letters. The majority of the correspondence is with the National Society and concerns Yearly activities and projects.

Sixteen folders labeled "Genealogy" contain family lineage records, biographical sketches, genealogical essays, Stories about colonial history and ancestors, and other miscellaneous records. These were presented to the society as proofs of eligibility for membership or as points of interest. In some cases these were sent on to the National Society as a part of the permanent lineage records.

Memorials written as eulogies to Mattie Bracken Prosser (1951) and Edith Louise Wire (1973) are followed by newspaper clippings. The Clippings span the years 1960 to 1970, although most are undated. Speeches about Colonial American history given at regular society meetings and texts of radio speeches on patriotic subjects sponsored by the Utah Society have been included with the collection.

Other Miscellaneous material has been donated with the papers. Included with the Utah items are notes about possible new members, pamphlets about correct use and display of the United States flag, and information on volunteer service with the Veterans Administration. A Spanish flag included was possibly used for a celebration of the Utah Society's annual Escalante Day. A book on the United States Constitution given to organizing regent, Edith Louise Wire, at the organizational meeting, and information on the restoration of Tyron's Palace in North Carolina are a part of the collection. Two partially used World War II ration books, issued to Florence Kimball complete the miscellaneous materials.

The Second section of the collection consists of materials related to the National Society. Beginning with the eighth year-book for 1936 there are only four missing volumes through 1964. These twenty-five national yearbooks include lists of national and state officers, national officers' reports, and yearly summaries for the state organizations. There is also one yearbook form 1950 which lists members and bylaws of the National Officers' Club of the Daughters of American Colonists.

The minutes of the national board are from the years 1941 to 1973. There are mimeographed copies for scattered years in that time period. Information pamphlets for 1944 and 1946 compiled by the National Society explain the objects and projects of the society as well as the functions of officers and committees. Resolutions and information bulletins issued by the national society and proposed amendments to the National Society Constitution and bylaws are also included. Colonial Courier, the national magazine, was issued four times yearly. Some copies of the magazine for the years 1957 to 1962 form the final portion of the National Society records.

Section three consists of pieces of miscellaneous information from four other patriotic groups. Edith L. Wire organized the National Society of Children of the American Colonists in 1939 with ten Utah children as charter members. This group was a division of the Daughters of American Colonists. The members could apply to membership in the DAC when they reached the age of eighteen. Some national minutes from 1957 to 1962, four yearbooks and few miscellaneous notices are all that is included for this group. Comprising the record for the Arizona State Society, Daughters of American Colonists is a yearbook form 1944-1945. The Colonial Dames of the XVII Century, a chapter of which was organized in Utah by Edith L. wire in 1949, is represented by the National Board of Management minutes. Finally, the quarterly bulletins from 1957 to 1961 of the Crossnore School in North Carolina represent the Daughters of the American Revolution, which helped support this institution.

The final section of the collection consists of four oversize scrapbooks that are dated between 1936 and 1948. The books contain newspaper clippings, magazine articles, typed articles, programs, and speeches about colonial history, historical figures, and the State and National Societies. There are also reports and numerous photographs from the Utah Society contained in the four scrapbooks.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Processing Note

Processed by Marlene Lewis in 1980.

Addendum processed by Matt Weathered in 2014.

Related Materials

Forms part of the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archive.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

I:  Utah Society: Mathius Farnsworth ChapterReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Minutes and Reports
Box Volume
1 1
This volume contains handwritten minutes. Including regular, annual, and executive board meeting minutes, as well as audit reports on the status of trees in the Capitol's Colonists Park which are pasted into place.
1 1-22
These folders contain handwritten and typed minutes on loose sheets. Included are the regular and executive board meeting minutes.
1 23
This folder contains a brief, typed organization history written by Edith Wire
1 24
1 25-27
Financial and Treasurers' Reports
This folder contains handwritten and typed accounts of reciepts and disbursements for both annual and monthly periods.
1 28-35
Yearly Reports
Handwritten and typed reports from officers and committees do not cover all years. These reports include annual reports of the historian and regent, membership records, committee reports and miscellaneous material. Some years may be represented by only one report while others may include a number of different kinds. There are no reports from 1937-1939, 1944, 1947-1948 and 1964.
Yearbooks, Correspondence, Genealogy, Memorials, Newspaper Clippings, Speeches, Miscellaneous
Box Folder
2 1-3
Yearbooks and Membership Rosters
These folders contain lists of officers and members, yearly programs, and occasionally club by-laws. There are no yearbooks for the years 1941-1942, 1942-1943, 1952-1953, 1956-1957, and 1963-1971.
2 4-5
These folders contain correspondence from the National Society, Mrs. L. M. Nottage, and various state organizations.
2 6
Abigail Smith Adams Biographical Sketch
This folder contains a Biographical Sketch arranged for presentation by Mariam Hubbard Burt
2 7
George H. Atkins List of Descendants
2 8
Anne Dudley Bradstreet Biographical Sketch
2 9
Brewster Line of Descent
This folder contains a list of descendants William Brewster.
2 10
Dean Family
This folder contains a letter about the descendants and ancestry of the Dean Family
2 11
Given Family
This folder contains list of births, marriages, and deaths
2 12
Gustin, LeRosignol and Browne Families
This folder contains lists of descendants of the Gustin line, remarks showing the relationships of the Gustin, LeRosidnol and Brown families prepared by Blanche Hall Neff.
2 13
Locke Family
This folder contains a story about Eunice Locke and the American Revolutionary War presented by Edith Wire
2 14
Peter S. Lynch
2 15
Makepeace Family
This folder contains lists of descendants and a Genealogical essay written by William Makepeace
2 16
Patillo Family
This folder contains genealogical essay with lists of births.
2 17
Robert Slaughter
This folder contains a Will, Essex County, Virginia.
2 18
Robert Slaughter II
This folder contains a Will, Culpepper County, Virginia
2 19
Umholtz Family
This folder contains a genealogical essay with chart.
2 20
Andrew Warner
This folder contains a Will, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.
2 21
"The English Ancestry of Washington"
This folder contains copies from Harpers Magazine of May 1891 about the ancestry of George Washington.
2 22
This folder contains Eulogies written about Mattie Bracken Prosser and Edith Louise Wire
2 23
Newspaper Clippings
2 24-26
These folders contain talks about Colonial American history given at regular society meetings and texts of radio speeches on patriotic subjects sponsored by the Utah Society, Daughters of American Colonists.
2 27
This folder contains handwritten and typed notes which include lists of people invited to meetings or to become members, and other materials.
2 28
This folder contains pamphlets on the United States flag, The Utah Official Roster, and pamphlets about the United States Bicentennial.
2 29
Veterans Administrations Volunteer Service
This folder contains information about the service of the Utah Society Daughters of American Colonists and about the Veterans programs for volunteer service.
2 30
Spanish Flag
2 31
Bloom, Sol The Story of the Constitution
This folder contains an inscribed version of the book presented to Edith Wire by the Daughters of the American Colonists, Inscribed by Gertrude Clough Smither, National Vice President of the Pacific Coast Section.
2 32
Tryon's Palace, North Carolina
This folder contains and address by Kenneth Chorley explaining why the restoration of this colonial governor's mansion is important, and remarks about the history of Tryon's Palace
2 33
Ration Books
This folder contains two partially used books issued to Florence Kimball. Some informational news clippings are included.

II:  National Society, Daughters of American ColonistsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Yearbooks, Officers Club
Box Volume
3 1-25
These volumes include lists of National and state officers, National officers reports and remarks on state societies. Beginning with the eighth yearbook of 1936 these run through the thirty-sixth volume for 1964. Missing are books for the years 1952, 1956, 1962, and 1963.
3 26
National Officers' Club
This volume contains information on the Daughters of American Colonists National Officers' Club which includes the bylaws and lists of members.
National Society Materials, Other Groups
Box Folder
4 1-6
National Board Meeting minutes
4 7
Information Pamphlets
This folder contains pamphlets explaining the object and projects of the Daughters of the American Colonists as well as the internal function of each officer and committee.
4 8
This folder contains resolutions issued by the Daughters of the American Colonists concerning issues of national importance.
4 9
This folder contains information about national programs and issues the call to national conventions.
4 10
Constitution and Bylaws
This folder contains proposed amendments to the national documents.
4 11-14
Colonial Courier
4 15-18
National Society, Children of the American Colonists
These folders contain information on the group that was organized in Utah in 1939 as a division of the Daughters of American Colonists for children up to eighteen years-of-age. Included here are national meeting minutes, yearbooks, and miscellaneous notices.
4 19
Arizona State Society John Thurman Chapter
This folder contains a yearbook for this chapter
4 20
National Society of Colonial Dames of XVII Century
This folder contains information on the Utah group organized in 1949 by Edith Louise Wire. Included here are the Board of Management Meeting Minutes for 17 April 1948 of the National Society.
4 21
Daughters of the American Revolution
This folder contains quarterly bulletins for the Crossnore School in North Carolina. The Daughters of the American Revolution helped support the institution as a national project.
Utah Society Scrapbooks, 1-5
These scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings from local sources as well as a few from national papers which discuss people and events related to the Utah and National Societies. Articles from magazines and typed articles, programs and speeches about colonial history or historical figures have been included. There are some reports and numerous photographs contained in the scrapbooks.

III:  AddendumReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Lineage Books
1949; 1951; 1955; 1957
Lineage Books
1961; 1963; 1964; 1971
Lineage Books, Cookbook and Microfilm

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Women--Utah--Societies and clubs

Personal Names

  • Wire, Edith L.
  • Wire, Lida Farnsworth

Corporate Names

  • Daughters of the American Colonists. Utah Society.--Archives

Form or Genre Terms

  • Histories
  • Minutes