Chapter History

Chapter History

The Elizabeth Ludington Hagans - Col. John Evans Chapter, NSDAR, was the result of a merger in April 1993 of two chapters with a long and proud history in Monongalia County, West Virginia.

The Elizabeth Ludington Hagans Chapter was named for the first native West Virginia woman to join the NSDAR as a member-at-large in 1893.  It was one of the first five DAR chapters in West Virginia, with its charter issued June 11, 1904.  The organizing Regent was Mrs. Harriet Codwise Edmondson, who had moved to West Virginia from New York and was already a DAR member.  Four of the original seventeen members of the chapter were relatives of Elizabeth Hagans: these included her two sisters, Lily Bunker Hagans and Mary Virginia Hagans Hartigan; her niece, Elizabeth Willey Hartigan; and her aunt, Julia Hagans McGrew. Other charter members included: 

  • Edith Worley Beatty
  • Ruth Cassandra Wood
  • Eleanor Brown Moreland
  • Olive Hite Morris
  • Clara Hough
  • Lizzie Lee Hite Courtney
  • Mary Dille Emory
  • Verdie Brown McNeill
  • Adah Lee Mapel
  • Ida Bigler Mapel
  • Marion Hite-Smith White
  • Helen James Worley

The Hagans Chapter was very active from the beginning, becoming involved in the formation of the local chapter of the Red Cross and sponsoring programs in Morgantown such as a speech by Amelia Earhart.  The Chapter celebrated its Centennial in 2004-2005.

The Colonel John Evans Chapter was named for a Virginia Revolutionary War Officer from Monongalia County who served both his state and his nation with distinction.   It was organized October 5, 1909, with its charter issued exactly one month later.   The organizing Regent was Mrs. Parks Fisher.  Charter members included:

  • Mary Morehead White
  • Virginia M. Schley
  • Louise Evans Donley
  • Alice John Morehead
  • Martha Boughner
  • Emma Jane Protzman
  • Nell White Maxwell
  • Elizabeth Coyle Hennen
  • Mary Evans Pickenpaugh
  • Daise Wood Mitchell
  • Jesse Morehead Jackson
  • Emma Boughner
  • Amy Bonner Patterson
  • M. Antoinette S. Fisher
  • Myrtle Phillips Nolan
  • Emily White Mills Fisher
  • Blanche Wood Wintringer
  • Rosalie B. Collier
  • Margaret Casselberry
  • Gillie Evans Dille


About Our Namesakes

Elizabeth Ludington Hagans, known as "Bessie" to her family and friends, was born August 2, 1874 at Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV and died at age 25 on June 2, 1900.  She was the daughter of John Marshall Hagans and Sarah Barnes Willey, who was a daughter of West Virginia's first senator, Waitman T. Willey.  Elizabeth's affiliation with the DAR extended from her great-grandfather, Daniel McCollum, whose daughter Jane married Harrison Hagans.  Harrison and Jane Hagans had eight children, the youngest of whom was John Marshall, who was a prominent judge in Monongalia County and was instrumental in the formation of the State of West Virginia.  Elizabeth was one of the first ten women to attend  West Virginia University when she enrolled at the age of sixteen in September of 1890.  She was reported to be an excellent elocutionist as well as a fine musician.  Bessie was a very patriotic young woman and was the first in West Virginia to join the Daughters of the American Revolution as a member-at-large.  A member of the First Methodist Church of Morgantown, her favorite hymn was Abide with Me.  She was a great lover of flowers, especially the pink clover.   At the time of her death, several tributes to her appeared in the local papers.  She is buried in the Hagans family plot at Oak Grove Cemetery in Morgantown, WV.

Colonel John Evans was born December 9, 1737 near Alexandria, VA in Fairfax or Loudoun County where his father had settled and married after emigrating from Wales.  He attended school in Alexandria and subsequently married Ann Martin, born in 1733.  According to tradition, he first crossed the mountains between 1763 and 1765 and secured a tomahawk right, and again visited his land in 1765 at which time he built a cabin.  In 1766, he started to move his family to their new home, but learning of the danger of Indian invasions, he selected a temporary home for his family at Fort Cumberland where they remained for three years.  In 1769, he moved with his family to his new lands north of Morgantown, which he named Walnut Hill.  He was always active in public affairs.  In Dunmore's War of 1774, he was a lieutenant, and in the American Revolution, he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel.  From 1782 to 1807, he served as clerk of the Monongalia County court.  He encouraged education and aided in the establishment of the Monongalia Academy.  He died at the age of 96 in May 1834.  He is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Morgantown, WV, and his tombstone is marked with a plaque from the Col. John Evans Chapter, NSDAR.   Many members of the Hagans-Evans Chapter are directly descended from Colonel John Evans.

                             Source:  History of the Making of Morgantown/James Morton Callahan. 
                                            Morgantown, W. Va.:  West Virginia University, 1926.