February 25, 2020

Women in American History Awards Presented by NSDAR

(Franklin, GA) — March is Women’s History Month and the James Stewart Chapter NSDAR chose to present two NSDAR Women in American History Awards at their March meeting.

DAR chapters are encouraged to select notable women from their state or community to honor with this award which emphasizes the role of women, past and present, in American history.

Women chosen for this recognition are women who have made a contribution or a difference in their communities. They are, or have been, intellectual, educational, social, religious, political, scientific, or cultural innovators.

The James Stewart Chapter is pleased to announce that we have bestowed this award upon Lela Whitley Craft (in absentia) and Hollis Awbrey Crockett, naming them our 2018 NSDAR Women in American History Award recipients.

Both ladies were born in Heard County and can trace their roots back to the 1600s. They both became very interested in genealogy after their children were grown and they had time to devote to it.

Lela Craft was a driving force in the continuing development of the Heard County Historical Center and Museum. She began working at the museum in 1992, and during her 12 years, the library and museum artifacts increased greatly.

Her vast knowledge of Heard County and the families who settled here along with her willingness to help sparked the genealogy bug in others.  She was always there to help anyone with their research and still remembers most of it today!

Lela joined the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in LaGrange. When several local ladies suggested that that there needed to be a DAR chapter in Franklin, Lela agreed and started recruiting new members and researching ancestors.

She was on a mission to find enough ladies in Heard County to make a chapter, and on September 9th of 2000, the James Stewart Chapter DAR was chartered with Lela as the organizing regent.

Lela researched and hand wrote most of those original applications, and the chapter is still here today thanks to Lela’s dedication to helping prospective members.

But she did not stop at the DAR. Lela has been quite involved with the organization of many lineage and held many positions not only in the James Stewart Chapter NSDAR, but also in the Heard County Historical Society, Heard County Chapter 2587 United Daughters of the Confederacy, the William Wofford Chapter Colonial Dames XVII Century, and the National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons.

Even today at 90 years young, she is still sharing her knowledge of Heard County and the families who settled here as well as helping others create their family coat of arms and guiding them on the trail to find their ancestors.

Woman in American History Hollis Crockett with James Stewart Chapter DAR Regent Carla Brown (Photo: Eliza Chapman)

Hollis Crockett loves genealogy and joined Lela in recruiting prospective members for the DAR chapter.

She was an organizing member of James Stewart DAR chapter and an organizing member of Heard County Chapter 2587 United Daughters of the Confederacy.

She was a charter member of William Wofford Colonial Dames XVII Chapter.

She is a member of the Heard County Historical Society and a member of the National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons.

She has held many offices in these organizations and has helped each to grow. She loves finding old ancestors!!

Hollis has also made a difference in her community. She has served Mt. Zion Methodist Church as secretary/treasurer for over 50 years.

She is always there for any one in need, shown by her support of the Heard County Food Pantry, the sheriff’s Christmas toy drive, the local schools and the DAR schools, and the Georgia DAR’s Meadow Garden Museum, the home of George Walton – one of Georgia’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Hollis has been active in the “Red Hat Society,” a social group of ladies in her community who get together for trips and social events. She is often called the “Queen Mother.” Hollis’ continued support of her community and its needs has made her a leader in her community. Her service to God, her church, her family, her community, her county, and her country has made her a friend to many and loved by all.

The James Stewart Chapter NSDAR is so pleased to add Hollis Awbrey Crockett and Lela Whitley Craft to the national Women in American History book at the DAR library in Washington, D.C.

The Daughters of the American Revolution, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.

DAR members volunteer millions of service hours annually in their local communities including supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veteran patients, awarding scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and supporting schools for underserved children.

As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally.

Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. Please contact us at jamesstewartchapterdar@gmail.com or go to dar.org.

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