In May of 1922, a group of women came together to organize a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In December of the same year, the women selected Mrs. Sarah Divine Cooke to become their regent. The chapter was then endorsed by the Tennessee State Society, and Mrs. Cooke was officially appointed by the state regent as chapter regent. The chapter name was declared Chief John Ross, after the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Indians. On April 14, 1923, the National Society made it official by recognizing the newly formed group as an official chapter of the NSDAR. Our National Society was founded on October 11, 1890, in Washington, D.C. Over one million women have joined since the founding of our National Society.
On January 10, 1933, the chapter had the honor of placing an American flag, chapter yearbook for 1932-33, and a short history of the National Society in the cornerstone of the Post Office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1934, the chapter’s Girls Homemaking Committee led the National Society in its activities. In 1938, Chief John Ross Chapter, NSDAR, assisted the city of Rossville, Georgia, in publishing a historical book. The restoration of the Brainerd Mission Cemetery, a historical preservation project, took place during this time with the local DAR and SAR chapters.
Examples of our members serving to meet the National and State Society objectives are present throughout our chapter’s history. During World War II, the Chief John Ross Chapter, NSDAR, worked with the American Red Cross by sewing, knitting, making surgical dressings, and working at hospitals. In more recent years, the chapter has collected flags at the Fallen Five memorials in Chattanooga in 2015. Flags were picked up, cleaned, and properly stored. The flags were distributed back into the community through special events. Members also hosted a 50th Vietnam Veteran “Welcome Home” event with the city of Chattanooga in 2016, and sewed masks for those in need during the pandemic of 2020.