Mary Patton Chapter
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Erwin, Tennessee

Welcome to the Mary Patton Chapter, NSDAR website!  We are excited that you are interested in learning more about our organization. We are the newest chapter in Tennessee!

Membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honors your Patriot ancestor and preserves your Patriot's legacy.  As a member of DAR and through your participation in the Society's programs and activities, you too can continue the legacy of those who dreamed of the country we all celebrate today.  I invite you to visit the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution website for information on becoming a member.

You are welcome to visit our chapter! We meet at 2:00 pm on the second Wednesday of the month. Please email us and let us know of your interest.



Reasons for Joining DAR

Incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1896, the NSDAR is a non-profit, non-political, volunteer service organization with nearly 180,000 women in some 3,000 chapters across the United States and in nine foreign countries. The Society was founded in Washington, DC, on October 11, 1890, and has celebrated almost 120 years of service to the nation.

The Tennessee Society (TSDAR), with almost 6,000 members, has 98 active chapters within the state.
  • Are you interested in genealogy?
  • Do you have a love for education, for patriotism, or for historical preservation?
  • Does American History fascinate you?
  • Do you like to volunteer?
  • Do you want to be involved with service organizations and the community?
  • Do you enjoy programs and speakers?
  • Do you love to socialize and meet new people?

If you answered "yes" to some of the questions listed above, we invite you to pursue membership in the DAR.  For more information on membership, please visit the NSDAR membership requirements web page.


Chapter Name - Its History & Significance

Mary McKeehan Patton

(1751 - 1836)

Gunpowder Maker

             Mary Patton was an early settler who came to the area presently in Carter County with her husband, John.  She had learned how to make gun powder as an apprentice in England.  When Nathaniel Taylor, who had married Mary's cousin, settled in Carter County, he built a powder mill.  Here Mary Patton worked making gun powder. 

The Overmountain Men are justly famed for their rugged strength in marching and their unrelenting courage in fighting and winning the critical battle of King's Mountain. Yet, without the skill of a woman, their task could never have been completed. On September 24,1780, when the men departed to fight the British at the Battle of King's Mountain, it was Mary who furnished the vital 500 pounds of gunpowder from her mill.  The men planned a surprise attack on the British to prevent the British from coming across the mountains and raiding Watauga and the other settlements.    The mountain men defeated the British at King's Mountain and returned to Watauga to protect their homes and families from the British and the Indians. 

She continued to make powder for many years, furnishing the necessity to folks living as far away as South Carolina. Although Mary Patton gave the expedition to King's Mountain the powder, she normally sold it in the East for one dollar a pound at a time when land sold for from 50 cents to a dollar an acre. At the time of her death, she owned 3000 acres of land.

When Mary Patton died on December 15, 1836, she was buried on a hillside overlooking the beautiful hills where she had lived for 60 years. The Patton-Simmons Cemetery holds her remains, which lie under a large memorial stone erected by her descendants. The epitaph says: "One of that heroic band who established a civilization in the wilderness. She made the powder used by John Sevier's troops in the Battle of King's Mountain."

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Site by Stephanie Bohrman, River City Chapter


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