Fincastle Chapter
Louisville, Kentucky

Kimberly Sue Jones Yunkun, Regent
Regina Dale Bailey White, Vice Regent
Linda Kay Yewell Chaplain
Sharon Kay Bingham Criswell, Recording Secretary
Elise Courtney Hays Markahm, Corresponding Secretary
Regina Dale Bailey White, Treasurer
Margaret Ann Cunningham Taylor, Registrar
Joan Carol Duncan Bishop, Historian
Patricia Ann Wayne Langley, Librarian

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On Tuesday, May 6, 1902, twelve women met at the home of Belle Clay Lyons in Louisville to organize a new DAR chapter. These women were among fourteen who had met the previous Saturday, May 3, 1902 to resign as members of the John Marshall Chapter NSDAR. Reasons for the resignations have not been recorded. According to the minutes of May 6, 1902, the first item on the agenda was to select a name for the chapter. Names of historic significance to Kentucky were suggested, to be voted on at the following meeting. At the second meeting the name Fincastle County was chosen. The newly written constitution was accepted at this meeting, as well.

A notable meeting was held on Saturday, October 25 of that year at the home of Regent Elizabeth Summers Middleton on Third Avenue. Honorary guests included President General Cornelia C. Fairbanks (Mrs. Charles W. Fairbanks, wife of the vice-president of the United States) who acted as sponsor of Fincastle Chapter and Mrs. W.H. Coleman, State Regent, who was to present the Charter to the chapter. News of the event appeared in the Courier-Journal on Sunday morning October 26, 1902. According to the write-up Mrs. Fairbanks made a "graceful" speech concerning the objectives of DAR "which are far above the limitations of ancestry" - those of perpetuating the memory of revolutionary men, deeds, and historic places.

The ideals upon which the NSDAR was founded has had great appeal to the many Fincastle Daughters who sought revolutionary ancestors with a passion. Photographs, newspaper clippings, proclamations, and letters preserved in scrapbooks are testimony to the continued interest and support of the daughters for historic, educational and patriotic service. These documents take us back to times when our ancestors were rebelling against too much control, fighting the British who represented that control, and their Native American allies. Numerous bronze markers have been placed at the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers by Fincastle Chapter; each tribute dignified with a formal ceremony preceded by a march to the grave and led by a color guard.

Fincastle's growth continued well into the new century reflecting the growth of the city of Louisville. The United States entered World War I in 1917 and Camp Zachary Taylor was established south of Louisville as a military training camp for draftees and enlisted men; the Spanish influenza epidemic swept through Camp Taylor and then Louisville. Fincastle members joined other women who were actively engaged in volunteer services relating to the war effort and to the needs of the sick. Camp Henry Knox opened in 1918, thirty miles south of Louisville, originally as an annex to Camp Taylor, later as a permanent military reservation. During these years chapter meetings were held at the Puritan Apartments on South Fourth Avenue.

At a meeting on January 17, 1920, Fincastle voted to mark a large white ash tree located in Camp Zachary Taylor, under which approximately a thousand "aliens" took the oath of allegiance on being inducted into the U.S. Army. On Armistice Day, November 11, 1921 a beautiful service dedicated a bronze tablet to those men. A full report of the occasion has been retained with the chapter minutes. The tablet carried this inscription:

Naturalization Tree Camp Zacha1y Taylor

Fincastle daughters have witnessed, been a part of. stood up to, survived. and remembered, the major events chat have occurred in the city and the nation throughout the twentieth century: the revelry of'·The Roaring Twenties". the hardships of The Great Depression, The 1937 Flood, World War II, the second industrial revolution of the fifties and sixties, the turmoil associated with the order for racial integration. the 1974 tornado, to mention a few.

As Louisville prepared to celebrate its two hundredth birthday on May I, 1980, Fincastle daughters searched for a project with which to commemorate the occasion. The Filson Club suggested that we restore the Trustee's Minutes Book which recorded the City and County history from 1781 to 1825. The book was shopworn, the binding was broken, the paper brittle. The ancient book was sent to the Borrow Laboratory in Richmond, Virginia for de-acidification, re-encapsulating and rebinding, all of which had to be done by hand. Fincastle Chapter presented the Minutes Book to the community in a special Chartering Day Ceremony held to commemorate the creation of the town of Louisville and Jefferson County. The celebration was attended by dignitaries from the state, Jefferson county, and the city of Louisville.

Fincastle Chapter celebrated its Centennial with a celebration on September 29, 2002 at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Louisville. The chapter has enjoyed a century of success under the leadership of many capable Regents. Currently. Regent Freida Freeman (Mrs. Homer C.) is maintaining the standard of excellence, guiding the chapter with much charm and grace. Regular monthly business meetings include interesting programs relating to history, education, or patriotism. most often featuring a guest speaker or a musical program. An afternoon "tea" following the program is an honored tradition.

Monthly meetings are held at the Sam Swope Care Center's chapel in the Masonic Home Kentucky.