Jane Knox Polk Chapter History




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During April 1895, the Jane Knox Chapter was organized in Columbia, Tennessee, being the ninth chapter in the state.  It was named for Jane Knox, a Real Daughter, whose father, James Knox, was a Captain in the Revolutionary War. She was the mother of James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States, who was a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a Governor of Tennessee.  As her son preceded her in death, she was witness to his entire illustrious career. 

There were 13 charter members whose names were: Mary Baird, Lucia Branch, Amelia Gwyen Brown, Marie Louise Herndon, Sara Parrott Pillow, Annie Pickett Robinson, Katie Wilkes, Mary Wilkes, Nancy Lee Williams, and Mamie Yeatman.  Nancy Lee Williams (later Mrs. William P. Morgan) was the Organizing Regent. The chapter was short-lived and voted to disband rather than seek new applications.  This was a result of its membership being reduced by marriages which took its members to live in other cities. 

In March 1939, the Jane Knox Chapter was reorganized to continue the work of the 1895 chapter.  Its purpose was to adhere to the objectives of the National Society, and its project was to restore the neglected and desecrated Greenwood Cemetery where Jane Knox, her husband Samuel Polk, and other members of the immediate family were buried.  A member of the 1895 Chapter, Mary Harris Owen McKennon (Mrs. George) was the Re-organizing Regent who lived to see Greenwood returned to a sacred and beautiful cemetery.  ( History of the Tennessee Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1892-1990; p. 257)