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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 State Chairman of Public Relations, Motion Picture, Radio, and Television 1991-1993, and the President General’s Project Committee 1993-1995.

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

  • Patricia Winter served the State Organization as Resolutions Chairman 2005-2013.

  • Gayla Steel served as State Chairman of Literacy Promotion 2011-2013, 2013-2015; State Conservation Chairman 2013-2018; District IV Ways & Means Chairman 2013-2014, Co-Chair 2014-2015; District IV Director 2015-2017; American History Chair 2018-2019.

  • Heather Simpson served as State Chairman JAC 2011-2013; President General’s State Project 2013-2019.

  • Shirley Stinsa served as Co-Chair State Conference Awards and Certificates 2013-2021; State Conference Awards and Certificates Advisor for 2021-2023.

  • Diane Eads served as State Conference Marshall 2019-2021, 2023-2025; State Conference Awards and Certificates Chairman for 2021-2025; District IV Treasurer 2023-2025.

  • Kara 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.

  • DeeAnn Carlson is currently serving as the Chair of the Illinois State Application team for 2023-2025.

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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