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125th Anniversary of the NSDAR Afternoon Tea

Elias Kent Kane Chapter, NSDAR History

Organized on May 10, 1988, the Elias Kent Kane Chapter, NSDAR was named for Elias Kent Kane, the first Illinois Secretary of State and one of the first U.S. Senators from Illinois. Chapter members participate in local, state, and national initiatives supporting patriotism, education, and historic preservation. Elias Kent Kane Chapter is a Lantern Chapter, developed from the Aurora Chapter, in 1988.

The chapter annually supports a college scholarship program for graduating high school students. Additional high school seniors are recognized through the DAR Good Citizens program. We have participated in a local Literacy Bee, which assists local adult literacy programs. History programs for children are offered to the community. The chapter also guides the
Shabbona Beeler Society, C.A.R. We support both the President General's and State Regent's projects.


In recent years, preservation efforts have focused on the restoration of the historic Jones Law Office, work at Camp Kane Civil War Cavalry training site and preservation work at Garfield Cemetery. The chapter provides and serves food at an annual concert and reception honoring veterans as well as collects needed items for veteran stand downs. Our members have volunteered their time at the National Gathering of American Indian Veterans within the organizing committee.

NSDAR markers were placed on the gravesites of deceased chapter members, Kathy Walsh, in 2014, Lois Divine and Layla Johnsen in 2018. The chapter researched and marked gravesites which include Revolutionary War Patriots Private William Bennett (Illinois, 1996), William Smallwood (Ohio, 1996), John Gowdy (Illinois, 2004) Martin Henry Keever (Ohio, 2014), and Asa Smith and his wife, Submit Severance Smith (Vermont, 2016).

Elias Kent Kane Chapter, NSDAR members range in age from 18 to 95 years young and represent a broad range of talents and interests. Our members continue the tradition of working to promote NSDAR values for God, Home, and Country.

We are grateful for past opportunities to serve our community and look forward to continuing future assistance in local, state and national historic preservation.

Elias Kent Kane Chapter, NSDAR Member Honors


  • The chapter's first regent, Joan Klinkey served as Illinois DAR State Chairman of Public Relations, Motion Picture, Radio, and Television 1991-1993 and the NSDAR President General's Project Committee 1993-1995.

  • Patricia Winter served the Illinois State Organization DAR as Resolutions Chairman 2005-2013 and Illinois State DAR Bylaws Committee 2019-2021.

  • Jayne Cates served as DAR State Chairman of Conservation 1999-2001, DAR District Director 2003-2005, State Chairman DAR Museum 2005-2007, DAR State Program & Yearbook Committee 2009-2011, DAR Chairman of State Membership Committee 2011-2012 and as DAR State Chairman Commemorative Events 2014-2015.


  • Gayla Steel served as DAR State Chairman of Literacy Promotion 2011-2013, 2013-2015, DAR State Conservation Chairman 2013-2015, DAR State Conference Awards and Certificates (Co-Chair) 2013-2015, and DAR District Director 2015-2017.

  • Heather Simpson, DAR Junior American Citizen Chairman 2012-2014, and NSDAR President General's Project Chairman 2014-2016 and 2016-2018.


  • Shirley Stinsa, DAR District Corresponding Secretary 2002-2005, DAR District American History Chairman 2003-2007, DAR State Awards & Certificates Chair 2004 and 2006-2011, DAR State Ways & Means Co-Chair 2011-2015, DAR State Awards & Certificates Chair and 2013-2020.

  • Diane Eads served as State Conference Marshall 2019-2021.

  • Karalyn Marselle was honored as 2019 VIS of the Year at State Conference in 2020 and served as State Vice-Chair VIS Social Media Compliance 2020-2021.

Elias Kent Kane 1794-1835, IL Secretary of State 1820-1824

Elias Kent Kane

1794 - 1835


Illinois' first Secretary of State 1820-1824,

and one of the first U.S. Senators from Illinois 1825–1835.

On January 16, 1836, the Illinois legislature formed a new county named Kane,
 honor of the recently deceased Senator, Elias Kent Kane. 

His interment in the family cemetery on the old Kane farm, near Fort Gage, Illinois.

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