Sibbil's home in Warren, Massachusetts
Back in 1896, before the trolley car era, the people of Suffield traveled either by train or by horse and carriage. In the spring of 1896, Mr. E.A. Fuller, a very prominent and esteemed citizen of Suffield, met on a train with Mrs. Sara T. McKinney, the state regent of the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. McKinney spoke to Mr. Fuller about starting a Chapter in Suffield. A few days later, Mrs. McKinney was invited to Aldenheim, the Fuller home, by Mrs. Fuller. The following item appeared in the Windsor Locks Journal the next week after their meeting:
“All women interested in forming a Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Suffield are cordially invited to meet the State Regent, Mrs. Sara T. McKinney, who will address them on Wednesday, June 10, at half past four at Aldenheim, the residence of E.A. Fuller.”
The meeting took place as planned. About thirty ladies from Suffield and Windsor Locks were present and listened to Mrs. McKinney’s informal and glowing account of the aims and work of the National Society. There and then, these ladies subscribed to the formation of a chapter in Suffield. They chose a regent, Miss Helen Lavinia Archer, and a vice regent, Mrs. Emily Schwartz.
On a hot afternoon on August 5, 1896, at Miss Archer’s home, these ladies met and decided on the name Sibbil Dwight Kent for their chapter. Sibbil Dwight Kent was the daughter of Colonel Simeon Dwight. She was born in Warren, Massachusetts, in 1744 and married Major Elihu Kent in 1774. She was his third wife. Within twenty four hours of the alarm sounded at Lexington, Major Kent and a company of minutemen (which Suffield had secretly raised) marched to the defense of Boston, Massachusetts. In November of that year, the chapter was admitted into membership of the National Society. The first meeting was held at Brookside, the home of Mrs. Schwartz, the vice regent.
One member, Miss Louise Hatheway, journeyed to Sibbil Dwight Kent's former home in Warren, Massachusetts, which was once Washington's headquarters. There, she arranged with the occupants to exchange one of the original doors for a new one. From this door a frame for a new charter would be made. She also obtained a photograph of the house (seen here to the left). On June 29, 1897, the new chapter was formally presented at a state meeting held in the Second Baptist Church in Suffield.
The chapter charter now hangs in the Alexander King House Museum, a property of the Suffield Historical Society. The DAR Good Citizens Award presentation and reception is held there each year.