State Society History

Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861. Thirty-one years later, a handful of these pioneers were chartered as the Kansas Society, Sons of the American Revolution. The Kansas Society’s organizational meeting took place on March 31, 1892, in Topeka, KS, with Avery Washburn elected as its first President. Judge Franklin G. Adams, as secretary for many years, was the motivating force for the new organization. The Kansas Society was admitted as the thirtieth Society. In 1892 the Kansas Society sent Judge Adams, Edward Wilder and Henry J. Adams to New York City as delegates to the third National Congress.

Arthur M. King was the lone Compatriot of the Kansas Society to serve as President General (1980). Sixteen members of Kansas SAR are on record as having served as Vice President General of the South Central District. Barnett Ellis is recognized as President Emeritus of the SAR Foundation.

KSSSAR Chapters have included:

  • Washington (Wichita, 1897-)
  • Thomas Jefferson (Topeka, 1924-)
  • Santa Fe (Dodge City, late 1950s-late 1960s)
  • Delaware Crossing (Johnson County, 1960-)
  • Benjamin Franklin (southeast Kansas, 1976-late 1980s)
  • Capt. Meriwether Lewis (Leavenworth, early 1980s-late 1980s)
  • Bennington (Salina, 1982-)
  • Bluestem (Emporia, 1984-early 1990s)
  • Coronado (Great Bend, 1984-early 1990s)
  • Sons of the Plains (Hutchinson, 1984-)
  • Charles Robinson (Lawrence, 1985-)
  • Fort Hays (Hays, 1985-)
  • Fort Scott (Ft. Scott, 1985-)
  • Konza Prairie (Manhattan, 1997-)
  • Monticello (NW Johnson County, 2006-)
  • Henry Leavenworth (Leavenworth, 2008-)
  • John Seward (Liberal)
  • Prairie Minutemen (Ellsworth, 2019-)

The growth rate during the 1890s was not surpassed until the 1970s. After a brisk start, growth slumped in the second decade. Growth was good during the years after World War I, perhaps because of a new patriotism. The Kansas SAR has always been centered around Topeka, but with the advent of the Thomas Jefferson Chapter in 1924, growth really took off. Most growth ceased during the depression years. Growth picked up a bit during World War II and the post war years, but nothing spectacular happened until the 1960s, when the Delaware Crossing Chapter appeared on the scene. With patriotism renewed during the Bicentennial, coupled with a nationwide interest in genealogy, growth really took off. The leadership of President General Arthur M. King, Augustus di Zerega, V, and Ralph H. Goodell brought membership growth to the forefront. This set the stage for the 1980s, when growth reached its all-time high. The recruitment activities of Robert E. Burt, Herrick H. Kesler, and Lee W. Patrick contributed to much of this growth. Things slowed down a bit in the 1990s and Konza Prairie was the only new chapter to be chartered. A resurgence took place in the new millennium with the creation of four new chapters: Monticello, Henry Leavenworth, John Seward and the Prairie Minutemen plus the revival of the Bennington and Fort Hays chapters.

The Kansas Society is recognized nationally for its efforts to promote patriotism and an interest in the American Revolution. Much of this is accomplished through Youth Programs. The Arthur M. and Berdena King Eagle Scout Scholarship program originated with the Kansas Society through the efforts of Arthur M. King and Robert Burt. Kansan Kris Kobach was the first national winner and was recognized at the Congress in Portland, Oregon. Robert Burt’s efforts to blend Boy Scouts and the SAR resulted in the Burt Award to Scouters incorporating the SAR into activities. For more than a decade, the Kansas Society has sent a youth to the Rumbaugh Orations contest at Congress. This Society is active with the Knight Essay, Poster Contest, and similar activities. For the 2015 program year, the Kansas Society was the only society to participate in all eight youth or education related programs.

“Remembering our obligations to our forefathers” continues to propel the energies of Kansas compatriots. The last two decades have seen great additions to the Kansas Society and the future is full of potential to tell the story of America’s founding.

The founding members of the Kansas State Society Sons of the American Revolution organized on March 31, 1892. The founding members included:

Franklin George Adams
Born 1824 In Rodman, NY
Age 68
Resident of Topeka
Occupation – Secretary of Kansas Historical Society
Position – Secretary, Delegate to National Convention
Patriot Ancestor – Samuel Adams, Pvt, Nh Regiment

Henry Joseph Adams, Jr.
Born 1861 In Lecompton
Age 31
Resident of Topeka
Occupation -Attorney at Law
Position – N/A
Patriot Ancestor – Samuel Adams, Pvt. Nh Regiment

Frank Holyoke Betton
Born 1835 In Derry, Rockingham Co, NH
Age 57
Resident of Pomeroy, Wyandotte County
Occupation – Farmer
Position – VP 2nd Congressional District
Patriot Ancestor – Matthew Thornton, Delegate Continental Congress Nh

A.J. Borrows
Thomas Elliott Bowman
Born 1834 In Westford, VT
Age 58
Resident of Topeka
Position – Registrar
Patriot Ancestor – James Taylor, Pvt. NY

W. Curtis

E. Edwards

Dr. John Loring Furber, MD
Born 1836 In Portsmouth, NH
Age 56
Resident of Topeka
Occupation -Physician and Surgeon
Position – VP 4th Congressional District
Patriot Ancestor – Richard Furber, Sgt. NH Troops

George Dennison Hale

Born 1829 In Rockport, MA
Age 63
Resident of Topeka
Position – Treasurer
Patriot Ancestor -John Hale, Committee of Safety, Gloucester, Ma

Nathan F, Handy

Born 1832 In Colesville, NY
Age 60
Resident of Topeka Occupation -Lawyer
Position – N/A
Patriot Ancestor – Paul Handy, Pvt. MA

Allen Hollcraft
Born 1829 Clinton Co, OH
Age 63
Resident of Topeka
Occupation – Plasterer
Position – N/A
Patriot Ancestor – Nathan Mendenhall, South Carolina Troops

Isaac Crum Hogue
Born 1834 In PA
Age 58
Resident of Topeka
Position – Treasurer
Patriot Ancestor – James Hogue, Pvt. Pa Rifle Company

A. Holcraft

Ulysses C. Spencer
Born 1846
Age 46
Resident of Emporia
Position – Historian
Patriot Ancestor – Joel Spencer, Pvt. 2 Nd Ct Regiment

Albert Duane Washburn
Born 1859 In Donaldsonville, LA
Age 33
Resident of Topeka
Position — N/A
Patriot Ancestor – Nathan Washburn, Musician Pvt. Ct Regiment

Avery Washburn
Born 1818 In Stafford, Tolland Co, CT
Age 74
Resident of Topeka
Occupation – Farmer and Cashier, Kansas National Bank
Position – President, Delegate to National Convention
Patriot Ancestor – Nathan Washburn Musician, Pvt. 2 Nd Regiment Ct Line

S. J. Woodman