A Brief History of the
John Wade Keyes Chapter NSDAR
Organized 6 October 1900. Chartered 6 November 1900.
Officially disbanded 25 October 1939. Reorganized 13 February 1947.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was organized in Washington, DC, in the 1890's. By 1900 the patriotic women of Athens, Alabama, had a chapter of their own, the John Wade Keyes Chapter, named for the Revoluntionary War Patriot, John Wade Keyes.
John Wade Keyes was born in Mystic, Massachusetts, near Boston, on September 25, 1752. He was the son of Captain Humphrey Keyes and Marcella Wade Keyes. His father, a sea Captain of Boston, after many successful voyages was shipwrecked and taken captive by the Algerines. Captain Humphrey Keyes was a prisoner for years, but finally made his escape. Upon his return to Boston, he took John, his oldest son, and went to Virginia. An old family record shows that Captain Humphrey Keyes was proprietor of "Keyes Ferry" on the Shenandoah River in 1775.
Early in the Revoluntionary War, John enlisted in Virginia and served as a Captain under General John Thomas. He fought in the battles of Bunker Hill, Lexington, Trenton, White Plains, Princeton, Brandywine, and King's Mountain. As a war veteran he chose not to apply for his pension, stating, "I fought for patriotism not pensions".
After th war, John moved from near Alexandria, Virginia, to Sullivan County, Tennessee, then later to Athens, Alabama.
John married Louisa Talbott on January 27, 1773. She was born April 20, 1756, and died November 6, 1836, in Athens. Louisa was a niece of President James Monroe. The couple had fourteen children. John died February 13, 1839, in Athens. The John Wade Keyes Chapter DAR moved his grave in 1912, from the Keyes farm, east of Athens, to the Athens City Cemetery #2 on East Washington Street. John Wade Keyes was one of the founders of Athens.
The founder and first Regent of the John Wade Keyes Chapter DAR, Aurora Pryor McClellan (Mrs. Robert Anderson McClellan), was the Vice Regent of the Alabama Society DAR from 1903-1910. In 1907 she presided over the 9th Alaabma State Conference in Founders Hall at Athens Female College, presently known as Athens State University. In 1972 when the John Wade Keyes Chapter hosted the 74th Alabama State Conference at the present day Athens State University, Mrs. McClellan's grave marker was unveiled at the memorial service in Athens City Cemetery #2.