Rebecca Emery Chapter

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Biddeford, Maine

Organized January 25, 1897

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Our History

The Founding of the Rebecca Emery Chapter DAR

One day in the winter of 1896, several ladies were invited to meet at the home of Miss Cora Belle Bickford, and over a cup of tea they discussed the possibility of forming a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Biddeford. Twelve members were required to form a chapter, and since many men from this vicinity served in the Revolutionary War, it was not difficult to find twelve eligible women to become members-at-large. Miss Bickford was appointed organizing regent and on January 25, 1897, a chapter was formed at her home. Since five members were descended from Rebecca Emery, it was decided to name the chapter after her.

Miss Cora Bickford automatically became the first regent with authority to appoint the necessary officers who served until an election was held by the chapter.

The officers were:
Vice Regent
Mrs. Susie F. Teel Youland
Secretary
Mrs. Bertha L. Donnell
Treasurer
Miss Georgia Staples
Registrar
Miss Sophie Tarbox
Historian
Mrs. Sarah E.D. Jelleson

Now being a duly organized chapter, a charter was granted by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution on March 20, 1897, signed by President General Letita Green Stevenson, Charlotte Emerson Main, recording secretary, and countersigned by State Regent of Maine, Helen Frye White.

The first meeting of the newly formed chapter was held at the home of Mrs. Sarah E.D. Jelleson on February 13, 1897, at which time the officers were elected. At subsequent meetings, committees and a board of councilors were chosen.

New members were added at yearly meetings. At a meeting held October 2, 1897, it was voted that since no chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution had been formed in Saco, the eligible ladies of that city would be invited to join the Rebecca Emery Chapter.

Charter Members of the Rebecca Emery Chapter DAR

Name
Miss Cora Belle Bickford
Mrs. Lydia Hooper McBride
Mrs. Sisie F. Teel Youland
Miss Sarah C. Littlefield
Miss Sophie Tarbox
Mrs. Luella A. Frey
Mrs. Sarah Gilpatrick Bickford
Miss Georgia Staples
Miss Bertha Littlefield Donnell
Mrs. Lydia A. Whitten Bridges>
Mrs. Elizabeth Bickford Craig
Mrs. Sarah E. Dudley Jelleson

The Life of Rebecca Emery

The woman for whom our chapter is named must have been a very colorful and proud lady. We feel honored to carry her name in our chapter. She had a zest for life and yet was so caring and compassionate to those in her community and to the strangers whom she served in her business. Her motto may truly have been: “There are no real strangers – only friends we have not met.”

Rebecca must have inherited her outgoing personality from the paternal side of her family. Her great-grandfather, Anthony Emery, was born in England and came to America on the ship “James” in 1635. He often held positions such as juryman and selectman in Kittery where he settled. However, in 1680 he was fined for entertaining Quakers and was disfranchised. At that time he moved to Providence, Rhode Island.

Anthony’s son, James, remained in Kittery and his family consisted of seven children. His oldest son, also James, was born in 1658. His wife was Margaret Hitchcock. Of their nine children, Rebecca Emery was their fifth. She was born March 7, 1697, in Berwick, Maine, but no other information is available on her youth. On January 1, 1719, she married Captain Daniel Smith of Biddeford, and from this marriage they had ten children. Little is known of Daniel and Rebecca’s children. One daughter named Rebecca married Dominicus Scammon, the son of a partner in the Pepperell Company. Another daughter married a lawyer. No others are mentioned in the histories available. Captain Smith was formerly of Exeter, New Hampshire, and was one of the earliest settlers in the latter part of the century to come to Biddeford. He was very prosperous and owned a lot of property. In 1738, Daniel and Rebecca ran an inn situated on King’s Highway, which now would be near the corner of Jefferson and South Streets. That year, Daniel paid the fourth highest taxes in the town of Biddeford. He served the town in many capacities such as constable, deer warden, selectman, and as Representative on the General Court, the chief legislative body of Massachusetts.

Daniel Smith died in 1752, and his estate showed that he had accumulated several hundred acres of land, three Negro slaves, four horses, twelve oxen, seventeen cows and calves, and twenty-four sheep. He owned five feather beds, but no books or riding equipment or carriages. Captain and Rebecca must have either walked or ridden on horseback, possibly with Rebecca riding “pillion” behind Daniel.

On May 29, 1755, his widow, Rebecca, married Lt. Nathaniel Ladd from Falmouth, Maine, who originally came from Exeter, New Hampshire. Nathaniel helped Rebecca run the inn, which was now known as “Ladd’s Inn.” It was a famous landmark for more than a full generation. Many stories are available to attest to the fact that the inn was an extremely popular establishment, of the highest repute.

Lt. Ladd died in 1776, and Madame Ladd, as Rebecca was known, survived her second husband by ten years. In these years, she continued to run the inn by herself. On January 27, 1786, Rebecca died in Biddeford at the age of eighty-eight. Rebecca is the only woman to have a personal epitaph in the “Old Biddeford” town records. It reads as follows: "Departed this life in the eighty-ninth year of her age, Mrs. Ladd, a noted mid-wife in this neighborhood. She had ten children (three alive), forty-eight grandchildren (Thirty-three alive), eighty-two great grandchildren (Seventy alive), and four great-great grandchildren (all alive). Total 144…Of whom 110 are now alive.” That certainly makes each and every member of the Rebecca Emery Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, very proud indeed. May it inspire each individual to strive for excellence in all pursuits of life.

FORMER REGENTS
Miss Cora Belle Bickford 1897-1899
Mrs. W.E. Youland 1899-1901
Miss Sophie Tarbox 1901-1903
Mrs. Lydia Bickford McBride 1903-1905
Miss Georgia Staples 1905-1907
Mrs. Kate R.S. Carter 1907-1909
Mrs. Andrew C. Furbush 1909-1911
Mrs. Minnie R.S. Bail 1911-1913
Mrs. Fred C. Morgan 1913-1915
Mrs. Ella T. Dow 1915-1917
Dr. Laura B. Stickney 1917-1919
Mrs. Elizabeth B. Milliken 1919-1921
Mrs. Ella T. Dow 1921-1922
Mrs. Ina K. Wood 1922-1923
Miss Grace M. Goodwin 1923-1925
Dr. Isabella B. Heiserick 1925-1926
Mrs. Alice H. Shields 1926-1928
Mrs. Francis E. Whiton 1928-1930
Mrs. Alice G. Piper 1930-1932
Mrs. Harriet C. Quimby 1932-1934
Miss Grace M. Goodwin 1934-1936
Dr. Isabelle B. Hieseric 1936-1937
Miss Grace M. Goodwin 1937-1938
Mrs. Irving L. Boston 1938-1940
Miss A. Florence Crowley 1940-1942
Miss Ethelyn Libby 1942-1943
Mrs. Ina N. Emery 1943-1945
Mrs. Charles D. Lord 1945-1947
Miss Margaret Strout 1947-1949
Miss Jessie W. Lunt 1949-1951
Mrs. Carol H. MacLean 1951-1953
Mrs. William Beety 1953-1955
Mrs. Mildred Reidel 1955-1956
Mrs. Loyal Grant 1956-1958
Miss A. Florence Crowley 1958-1960
Mrs. Marian G. Clark 1960-1962
Mrs. John P. Tarbox 1962-1964
Mrs. Langdon F. Farwell 1964-1966
Mrs. Frank E. Irish 1966-1968
Miss Elvira Lord 1968-1971
Mrs. John P. Tarbox 1971-1973
Mrs. Martha Hastings 1973-1976
Mrs. William O. Armitage 1976-1977
Miss Virginia H. Bascom 1977-1980
Mrs. Geneve MacCuish 1980-1983
Miss Virginia H. Bascom 1983-1986
Mrs. Clayton King, Sr. 1986-1989
Mrs. Charles H. Reynolds 1989-1991
Mrs. James H. Johnson 1991-1994
Mrs. Arthur M. Scott, Jr. 1994-1998
Mrs. Harry Kinsley 1998-2001
Mrs. Ruth Hammond 2001-2002
Mrs. Helen Newton 2002-2007
Mrs. Valerie Owen 2007-2010
Mrs. Janelle Anderson 2010-2013
Mrs. Valerie Owen 2013-2014

 

 

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