SAR flagArizona State flagArizona Society

Sons of the American Revolution

Organized June 13, 1896

 

 

The Arizona Society Early History

June 13, 1896 - June 13, 1996

A brief review of the beginnings of the National Society of the American Revolution is in order to frame our Arizona story. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution came into existence after a number of State Societies had already been formed. "Preceded by The Sons of Revolutionary Sires, formed in California July 4, 1876." The National Society Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) was established April 30, 1889.  For details see The History of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, by John St. Paul, Jr., Historian General, published 1962. Revolutionary War Ancestors are known as "Patriots." Descendent members of the NSSAR are know as "Compatriots." " True" or "Real" sons refer to first generation sons of the Patriot.
 
Residing in the Arizona Territory, before June 13, 1896, were members of Sons of Revolutionary Sires and of other state Societies of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution.  These Territorial men found they shared many common interests including a strong love for their country and of their American Revolutionary ancestor heritage.
 
There were at least three charters of the Arizona Society Sons of the American Revolution (AZSSAR).  The first charter was signed on June 13, 1896 by President General Horace Porter of New York and Secretary General Franklin Murphy of New Jersey. A second charter was signed on May 23, 1934 by President General Arthur M. McGrillis of Rhode Island and Secretary General Frank B. Steele of New York.  A third charter was a "Memorial Charter", signed May 15, 1950, by President General Wallace C. Hall of Michigan and Secretary General Edgar Williamson, Jr. of New Jersey.
 
First Charter" members were Herbert Fulwiler Robinson, William Henry Robinson, Omar Asa Turney, Lewis Wilfred Coggins, John Ernest Walker, J. Frank Elwell, George W. Christian, Harry Roswell Barden, Charles Bennett Christy, Lemuel Campbell Butler, George Dorr Christy, Lloyd Bennett Christy, Shirley Addison Christy, Alfred Perry Walbridge, James W. Benham, Samuel Seay Stout, Prosper Powell Parker, Henry Adelbert Thompson, John Dennett, Jr., and Rev. Lewis Halsey, DD.
 
The 20 signers of the June 13, 1896 First Charter may be inferred from the records of their applications as being in three categories: a. "certain," b. "probable" and c. "possible" in modern usage only.  Arizona membership numbers 1-8 were assigned prior to the charter date.  Arizona numbers 9-17 were assigned on 27 June 1896, after the charter date. Arizona numbers 18, 19, and 20 were assigned prior to June 13, 1897 anniversary date. Current custom is for the Charter to be left open for signers until the first anniversary date.
 
The "Second Charter", was signed by 40 AZSSAR Compatriots in the following order: G. M. Butler, Evan L. Stallcup, J. Rockwood Jenkins, Franklin D. Lane, Lewis W. Coggins, Walter L. Ingalls, Frank T. Alkire, M. B. Hazeltine, R. G. Lanmeade, Corydon R. Dusenberry, Elkanah A. Babcock, III, Charles A. Carson, John Dennett, Jr., Howard S. Reed, George W. P. Hunt, Lloyd B. Christy, Everett E. Ellinwood, Harold Baxter, L. J. Taylor, H. Greenway Albert, Kenneth G. Freeland, Julian Dorsey, R. Lyle Thomas, P. W. Hodges, Robert A. Greene, G. N. Burcham, T. Carlyle Roberts, Jr., James R. Ahl, E. D. Ball, A. E. Douglas, Talbot T. Smith, A. H. Caldwell, Jr., Leonard J. Curtis, K. E. Parke, Dr. Laurel W. Moffitt, Frederick E. Johnson, Wyatt W. Jones, A. R. Buehman, Frank C. Kelton, and E. D. Gardner.
 
Note that Lloyd Bennet Christy, Lewis Wilfred Coggins and John Dennett, Jr. all signed the "First Charter" and the "Second Charter"
 
No copy of the First Charter has been found. The Second Charter is in the custody of the AZSSAR Historian. Mounted in a frame behind glass, the condition is very faded and very brittle. Charter 3, a "memorial" charter signed May 15, 1950 by President General Wallace C. Hall of Michigan and Secretary General Edgar Williamson Jr. of New Jersey, contains no member names.  A copy is in custody of the AZSSAR Historian.
 
The above information was compiled by Compatriot John A. Williams as he prepared to publish "The Arizona Society Sons of the American Revolution Centennial Register June 13, 1896 - June 13, 1996". He worked in conjunction with the Chairman of the AZSSAR Centennial Activities Committee Compatriot L. Bernard Schmidt who provided historical personalities of early Arizona figures, many of whom were Arizona SAR members. These articles were written for publication or speeches in preparation for the 103rd National Congress, NSSAR, held in Phoenix, Arizona in June 1993.

 

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