A new chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) has been organized in Edmond. The Cordelia Steen Chapter was formed so that working women and those with daytime commitments have the opportunity to be active in one of the most successful and long-standing service organizations in the nation. Final confirmation of the chapter will occur at the National Society's Board of Management Meeting in February.
The chapter's Organizing Meeting was Jan. 12, 2020, at the First Baptist Church of Edmond, 1300 E. 33rd Street, with 77 in attendance including 23 chapter members, numerous state DAR officers and those with national assignments, and officers from chapters across the state. The color guard from the Oklahoma City Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, posted and retired the colors during the event. Edmond City Mayor Dan O'Neil, Councilman Dr. David Chapman, Curator of Collections at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum Derek Lee, and Executive Director of the Edmond Historical Society and Museum Amy Stephens were also in attendance. Mayor O'Neil spoke to the audience about the importance of remembering Edmond's history, and Director Stephens shared her thoughts on Cordelia Steen, the chapter's namesake, and the Steen's indelible mark on Edmond.
Steen, along with her husband John and son Charles, came to Edmond before the Land Run of 1889. John was an engineer with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and was sent to Mile Marker 103 (later named Edmond) in late 1886 to establish a coal and watering station. John and the railway crews dug a 128-foot deep well, a water tower on stilts, and a two-room pump house. One room of the pump house held the boiler and pump, and the other room was the family's home. Cordelia and Charles joined John once the pump house was completed; they were the very first settlers of Edmond. The Steens supported those who made the Land Run in 1889 by providing hams, coffee, and bread to the settlers and the train crews. Cordelia was a strong, enterprising, and courageous woman who enjoyed being a pioneer of Edmond. Yet there is nothing in Edmond named for the Steen Family.
As Cordelia Steen Chapter Regent Andrea Aven stated, "The Cordelia Steen Chapter is proud to be the first entity in Edmond named for the Steen Family, and honored that our namesake was a brave, strong and determined woman who not only made an indelible mark on the history of Edmond, but also who exemplified the same ideals we embrace as Daughters of the American Revolution."
Founded in 1890, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children. With more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world's largest and most active service organizations. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. For more information go to the Oklahoma DAR site at: https://oklahomadar2.weebly.com/, or the National DAR website at: DAR.org.