Welcome to the Lewis and Clark Chapter, ILLSAR



Emily Gastro
The Lewis & Clark Chapter presented the $500 Jim Lattig Scholarship to Emily Gastro of Waterloo High School. Emily is the daughter of Mike and Dawn Gastro. She plans to attend Harding University in Searcy, Ark., to study pharmacy.

The Lattig Scholarship is provided by the family of the late Jim Lattig, a former chapter member and WHS math teacher. For the past decade, the family has given the scholarship to the WHS winner of the SAR Outstanding Citizenship Award. The Lewis & Clark Chapter administers the award.

Jim was also a bugler who played “Taps” at military funerals at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery.


The Lewis & Clark Chapter named Monroe County Deputy Sheriff Larry Gardner Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for his dedication to the Backstoppers, an organization that supports families in need after the loss of their first responder in the line of duty.

Gardner has served for 12 years on the committee that raised more than $231,000 for the Backstoppers. Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said Gardner has been vital in making Backstoppers Trivia Night a success.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing accepted the SAR Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award for Deputy Larry Gardner. Left to right are Rex Egelston, chairman of the chapter's law enforcement award committee, Rohlfing, Lynden Prange, president of the county Backstoppers, and Lt. James Lansing. 

Left to right are  Eric Waszak, David Heine, Gary Craig, Dave Landmann and Courtney Ross. Lt. Gary Brewer also received the SAR Heroism Award.

On January 3, a house fire call went out in Cahokia. Five Cahokia policemen were the first to respond and they rescued an elderly couple. For their actions, the Lewis & Clark Chapter of the Illinois Society of Sons of the American Revolution has presented each an Award for Heroism.

The officers are Lt. Gary Brewer and Patrolmen David Heine, Gary Craig, Eric Waszak and Courtney Ross.

Police Chief Dave Landmann said Lt. Brewer was first on the scene. He found the front door unlocked and open.

“He entered the residence and found thick smoke, with visibility being less than one foot. Lt. Brewer discovered an elderly disabled female in the living room. Canine Officer Heine arrived and entered the residence. They carried the female from the residence and began treating her for smoke inhalation and minor burns.”

Canine Officer Craig, Officer Waszak and Officer Ross arrived and were advised there was a second victim inside the residence, Chief Landmann said. They entered the residence and began searching for the elderly man. Officers called for the man but received no answer. The officers exited the residence to get fresh air. Officer Craig broke a window to vent smoke from the residence. The three went back into the residence.

“Officer Craig located the man in the bedroom, lying between a wall and the bed. Confused and disoriented, the man was uncooperative and refused to exit the burning residence. Officer Craig was able to drag the victim to the hallway, where Officer Waszak and Officer Ross assisted him in removing the man from the burning home.”


The Lewis & Clark Chapter presented Outstanding Citizenship Awards to students from the 26 high schools in the six counties the chapter serves. The students were chosen by faculty members at each's school. The chapter also presented Junior ROTC Awards to six cadets.

Three of the Outstanding Citizens earned $400 scholarships in the chapter's Revolutionary War essay contest. They are Christopher J. Leshikar of Althoff Catholic, Sam Geiger of Belleville West and Sarah Culp of Mascoutah. The chapter awarded the $500 Jim Lattig Scholarship, which goes to Waterloo High School's Outstanding Citizen, to Emily Gastro.

The other Outstanding Citizens are: Stone W. Allen, Belleville East; K'taria Haynes, Cahokia; Landon Michael; Carlyle; Elizabeth Hefferman, Chester; Kalli Farmer, Columbia; Abbey Knope, Coulterville;

Spencer Hulsey, Farina South Center; Dylan Rainbolt, Freeburg; Adam Zeveski, Gibault Catholic, Waterloo; Kara Candler, Governor French Academy, Belleville; JC Villmer, Lebanon; Montez Penn, Lovejoy Technology Academy;

Taylor Schrieber, Marissa; Sam Krebs, Mater Dei Catholic; Michael Wright, Mt. Vernon; Bryce Paszkiewicz, Nashville; Amanda Catherine Bergmann, New Athens;

Kendall Lintker, Okawville; Justin Garykal Juelfs, Red Bud; William Price, Sparta; Averey Lubbes, Valmeyer; and Quinn Belva, Wesclin.

The Junior ROTC Award winners are: Capt. Ryan Palmer, Mascoutah; Scott Bovee, Cahokia; Briana Leesmann, Dupo; Andrew Maxwell, O'Fallon; Jada Smith, East St. Louis; Commander Joseph Heard, Belleville East and West.

Honoring PVT Millington Couch
Preston Cemetery, Randolph County IL
November 14, 2015

Millington Couch
Couch Ceremony
Members of the General George Rogers Clark and Long Knives chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution and the George E. Dixon Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans march to the grave of Revolutionary War veteran Millington Couch. They fired a musket volley, which was followed by a rifle salute and "Taps" by members of the Prairie Du Rocher, Baldwin and Chester American Legion posts. Family members unveiled the new headstone. The event was sponsored by the Lewis & Clark SAR Chapter and the Liberty Bell of the West DAR Chapter.

Shiloh VAlley Cemetery, Shiloh, IL
September 27, 2015
Color Guard
color guard
color guard
sword salute
chapter chaplain and president
The Lewis and Clark Chapter was proud to be a sponsor of the marking along with the Ogle/Ogles Family Association and the Belleville Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. Members of the Genl George Rogers Clark and Long Knife SAR Chapters also participated.

Kristin Strubhart
Kristin Strubhart (center) was presented the Illinois Sons of the American Revolution History Teacher of the Year award at a luncheon in Springfield in May 2015. Jim DeGroff (left) and Lewis and Clark Chapter president Dan Crafton presented the award. The Lewis and Clark Chapter sponsored Ms Strubhart for the award.

Law Enforcement award
The chapter presented its 2015 Law Enforcement Commendation medal to Dave Davis (right), supervisory deputy for U.S. Marshall Service, Southern District of Illinois. Presenting the award is Rex Egleston, chapter chairman.

Fire Safety
The Lewis & Clark Chapter of the Illinois Society of Sons of the American Revolution recently presented its Fire Safety Commendation Medal to the Belleville Fire Department. Bob Blanchard (left) presented the award to Fire Chief Tom Pour at the chapter's award ceremony on june 9th.

Chapter president congratulates Eagle Scout Garrett Blanchard of Centralia on becoming an Eagle.
new members
These are eight of the 12 the new members of the Lewis & Clark Chapter with chapter president Dan Crafton. Left to right in front are Jon Ernst and Eric Funkhouser, Crafton, Kenneth Kruta and Victor Long. Behind them (L-R) are Kyle Blanchard, Jeffery Elder, Richard Sauget and Ronald Obernier. Alex Elder, Fay DeLeary, Larry Garland and John Wills were not present.  
Nancy Hoppe
Nancy Hoppe from the National Park Service presented a wonderful program on Sacagawea and Seamon. The event was the chapter Christmas party at Our Lady of the Snows on December 15th.

James McRoberts Dedication
Members of the Whiteside Station Chapter, NSDAR, posed with Color Guard members from the Lewis and Clark and Genl George Rogers Clark SAR Chapters following a Plaque Dedication honoring Revolutionary War soldier James McRoberts.  The event took place at the Moore Cemetry, Waterloo, IL, on July 19, 2014.

group at John Thomas marking
Chapter president at John Thomas
Dan Crafton (right) and Bob Blanchard were part of the many groups serving as color guard for the Belleville DAR chapter grave marking honoring Col. John Thomas on May 24, 2014 at the Shiloh Cemetery in Shiloh, Illinois.

2014 officers
Left to right are Lewis & Clark SAR chapter officers for 2014: Jack Firse, ROTC chairman; Ron Peck, registrar; Bob Blanchard, secretary; Dan Crafton, president; Russell Hunter, chaplain; and John Meacham, historian. Other officers are Brian Cutler of DuBois, treasurer; and Jim Jones of Belleville, sergeant-at-arms. 
Martha Washington
At the February 2014 annual meeting, Martha Washington, portrayed by Barbara Kay, told her audience that Mrs. Washington organized women who lived near her Mt. Vernon plantation home to make bandages, blankets for the colonial soldiers. She personally delivered these, along with food, medicine, clothing, shoes and other supplies to Valley Forge.

Chapter member Robert Blanchard portrayed General Douglas MacArthur at the chapter's Christmas luncheon on December 11, 2013, at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

DAR donation
A Lewis and Clark Chapter member donated this framed 1782 Connecticut Payroll IOU for a line soldier through the Illinois State Organization, NSDAR to the DAR Museum in Washington, DC.

The official presentation took place in July 2012 during the DAR Continental Congress in Washington, DC. The gift was given in the name of Sons of the American Revolution, State Society and Illinois Society War of 1812 in honor of Eleanor Schweizer. Before her death on October 21, 2011, Mrs. Schweizer was a strong supporter of the SAR and Illinois Society of the War of 1812, two men’s organizations, and her husband, Charles, was past state president of both. Mrs. Schweizer was also a member and past regent of the Edwardsville DAR chapter (now Edwardsville-Drusilla Andrews Chapter).  

This generous gift will be placed in the Americana Room in the DAR Museum. Ann Hunter, Historian General, believes that there is no other Revolutionary War document such as this in the collection.

Monument dedication at McKendree University, Lebanon IL, on May 18, 2012. The event took place outside the Bothwell Chapel.  Lewis and Clark Chapter member Kent Worley designed and donated the three-piece monument.

Presentation to SAR HQ
The Illinois SAR donated several items for the SAR Library and CAAH to the National Society during the Leadership meeting in Louisville on March 3, 2012.  Shown are (left to right) President General Larry J. Magerkurth, Stephen Bradley, Jim DeGroff, and Jim Say.  Magerkurth and DeGroff are holding a framed charcoal lithograph of the early colonial forests of America by prominent national artist, Richard Harrington of South Lima, New York.  Also donated were two framed Connecticut payroll notes signed by the state treasurer for a  soldier's service during the Revolutionary War.  Volumes of several books from the early 1800s on The Life of Washington were donated to the SAR Library.  These generous gifts were made from the Illinois SAR through the generousity of Compatriot Kent Worley of the Lewis and Clark Chapter.

Some of the items donated for the Illinois Ladies Auxillary auction held at the State Awards dinner in May 2012 in Springfield, Illinois.

color guard
Members of the Lewis and Clark Chapter provide color guard for state and local events.
dedication plaque
This bronze marker honors Cahokia men and women who aided George Rogers Clark in his defet of the British during the American Revolution.  The dedication was part of the Cahokia Tercentennial Celebration.

Award Recipients2009 Outstanding Citizenship Award recipients along with Compatriot Bob Blanchard
chapter officers
Lewis and Clark chapter officers are sworn in by Regional Director Karl Reed.
grave marking
The chapter held a ceremony to mark the grave of Revolutionary War patriot Pvt. David Phillips near Belleville.  Private Phillips is the ancestor of Elinor Egelston, spouse of chapter member Rex Egelston.
revolutionary war period
Chapter President Jack Firse and his wife Shirley are both descended from Revolutionary War soldiers and involved in patriotic events throughout the state.
Ladies Auxillary
Members of the Lewis and Clark Chapter Ladies Auxillary