For several years prior to 1986, there was interest in establishing a chapter of the SAR in the Brazos Valley. During the winter of 1985 inquires were sent out by the Executive Committee of the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution to all SAR members in the Brazos Valley around Bryan / College Station, Texas. Dr. James L. Boone, Jr. responded to this call and scheduled a meeting of all interested parties to be held in the College Station Civic Center on the evening of March 31, 1986.
Sixteen members of other SAR chapters or individuals who were known to be eligible for membership attended the meeting that evening. Additionally, several members of the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution were in attendance, including Joe Hill (Secretary), Tom Bresnehen (Organizing Secretary). There were also several officers from various chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution in attendance including Nancy Tiner, Eleanor Nance, Madge Wallace, Mary Kathryn Briggs, and Louise Brownlee. After discussing the possibility of having a local chapter and the size of the local area population it was the consensus of the group that a chapter should be formed and several possible names were presented and discussed.
At a meeting held on April 28, 1986, the chapter name was selected, and the number forty (40) was designated as the Texas SAR Chapter number. The first officers elected were Oren Swearingen, President; James L. Boone Jr., Vice President; Glenn E. "Gus" Baker, Secretary / Treasurer; Joseph H. Nance, Chancellor. The first membership certificate was presented to Charles W Geelan. The chapter was established with seven (7) members and fifteen (15) prospective members.
The chapter was formally chartered on June 23, 1986 by four officers of the Texas State Society; Dr. Robert L. Kurth, President; Col. Joe M. Hill, Jr., Secretary / Treasurer; Col. Thomas F. Bresnehen, Jr., Organizing Secretary; and Lt. Gen. John M. Wright, Jr., Senior Vice-President and Master of Ceremonies. The charter was presented to an audience of fifty-three (53) members and guests.
The chapter constitution was ratified and signed on June 29, 1987 by all members present in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the U. S. Constitution, and the first anniversary of the Independence Chapter. Special guests included Nancy Tiner, Vice-President General NSDAR; Dr. Robert Kurth, President, Texas SAR; and Billy Hightower Vice-President, Texas SAR. Thirty-one (31) members and guests were present. The flag flown over the U. S. Capitol on June 23, 1987 was presented to the chapter by Compatriot, Jerry Nance on behalf of Congressman Joe Barton.
The Independence Chapter was the host of the 1989 State Congress of the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Texas SAR.
During the first years of the chapter, several variations in meeting sites and arrangements were tried. Currently, one evening dinner meeting per quarter is favored and usually features a formal speaker and/or the presentation of awards. Award presentations include finalist in the oration contest, Eagle Scout contest, or brief speeches by recipients of the Law Enforcement or the Fire Fighters Medal. The remaining two meetings per quarter are luncheon meetings and often take on a very informal nature. Attendance varies at each meeting, with twelve (12) to fourteen (14) members at a typical luncheon and thirty (30 to forty (40) members and guests at the evening meetings.
|Glenn E. "Gus" Baker|
|James L. Boone (Sr.)|
|James L. Boone, Jr.|
|Coleman M Lloyd|
|Harry J. Portzer, Jr.|
|W. Oren Swearingen, Jr.|
|Claude I. Wood|
|Charlie P. Briggs III|
|Charles W. Geelan (First Full Member)|
|Charles E. Lappert|
|L. A. Maddox, Jr.|
|Jeremiah M. Nance III|
|Joseph Hanover Nance|
|Jack T. Sloan|
|E. A. "Ernie" Wentrcek, Jr.|
The information presented above is the handy work of our Chapter Historian, Glenn E. "Gus" Baker for which we give grateful thanks.