Breckenridge Texan

Local DAR chapter honors patriots with America 250 Patriot Marker at Stephens County Courthouse

Local DAR chapter honors patriots with America 250 Patriot Marker at Stephens County Courthouse
September 30
08:05 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

A new marker was recently unveiled on the lawn of the Stephens County Courthouse, honoring the men and women who fought for American independence almost 250 years ago.

Installed by the Lee’s Legion Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the America 250 Patriot Marker is part of a nationwide project to honor the Revolutionary War heroes in all 50 states. The Stephens County marker is the sixth one in Texas.

Diann Morris, Second Vice-Regent with the Lee’s Legion Chapter of the DAR, explains the history of the America 250 Patriot Marker project at the dedication ceremony on Sept. 13, 2023, at the Stephens County Courthouse. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The DAR project was launched in 2020 as part of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America in 1776. The U.S. Semiquincentennial — aka America 250 — will be celebrated on July 4, 2026.

The Sept. 13 ceremony at the Stephens County Courthouse included local and state elected officials, as well as DAR representatives and the Breckenridge High School marching band, playing the National Anthem.

“July 4, 2026, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence. The Daughters of the American Revolution organization are proud to be involved in the planning and celebrating of this 250th anniversary,” said Diann Morris, the 2nd Vice Regent with the Lee’s Legion Chapter of the DAR, during the dedication ceremony. “This semiquincentennial event coincides with our chapter’s 100th anniversary.”

When National DAR organization announced plans for the marker project, the Lee’s Legion Regent, Mary Thompson, recommended that the local DAR chapter have an America 250 Patriot Marker in the area.

“Since we’re a small chapter, we knew we would need to find a way to raise money for this,” Morris explained. “One of our members, Leiza Morales McTasney, stepped up and designed and made a quilt for our organization to raise money. This raffle, along with some individual donations, allowed us to be able to purchase and install this marker. This marker is not cheap — it was about $5,500. And our small organization was able to do that. We’re very proud to be the first individual chapter to place a marker and to dedicate the sixth marker placed in the state of Texas.”

The marker is located near the sidewalk in front of the courthouse, just to the east of the walkway that leads to the main entrance on Walker Street.

The wording on the marker is:

Revolutionary War Patriots
This marker commemorates the men and women who achieved American independence. These Patriots, believing in the noble cause of liberty, fought valiantly to found a new nation.
1775 – 1783
Presented by
Lee’s Legion Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
in honor of the 250th anniversary of the United States

Stephens County Judge Michael Roach said that the County was honored to provide the place in front of the courthouse for the marker. “This is one of the first rural counties to have one, so we’re thankful for that. We’re also thankful for what it represents for our country,” he said. “It’s a privilege to have this marker here at the courthouse.”

The Lee’s Legion Chapter of the DAR includes members from the surrounding area, including Breckenridge, Albany, Moran and Cisco, and Shackelford County Judge John Viertel attended the ceremony and also addressed the crowd.

“I just want to recognize, on behalf of Shackleford County, the work of these ladies and their efforts, and commend them for that,” he said. “But even looking beyond that, to their recognition of those who have given great amounts — even their lives — for the freedom that we enjoy. Of course, we’re reminded that freedom is one of those things we need to be educated in. It’s not more than a generation away, as one recent popular politician said. But the DAR is dedicated to that. … I want to commend you on your work and commend those who have sacrificed. For theirs, let us continue to be educated in that realm, so that we can remain the home of the free.”

State Representative Glenn Rogers, who represented Texas’ District 60, which includes Stephens County, also spoke at the ceremony.

Carolyn Vick Kennedy and Leiza Morales McTasney unveil the America 250 Patriot Marker in front of the Stephens County Courthouse. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

“My mother was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, so this is a very special organization to me. Also, my mother-in-law is a member of DAR,” Rogers said. “I’d like to thank the Lee’s Legion chapter of the DAR for the honor of being able to participate in the ceremony today. And I congratulate them for one of the first DAR chapters in Texas to dedicate an American 250 Patriot Marker. The marker memorializes the sacrifices made by the patriots who gained our freedom in the Revolutionary War. These sacrifices and their dedication to the cause of liberty must never be taken for granted by Americans.

“I also want to recognize the DAR’s ongoing dedication to their guiding principles of education, historical preservation, and patriotism,” Rogers continued. “Today’s ceremony reflects all three of those guiding principles, in that it educates this and future generations regarding the price paid for our freedoms, preserves the memory of our shared history, and lifts up the very noble attribute of patriotism. It was good to see young people here today; the Breckinridge band did a great job. … They need to realize the 250-year-old gift of American freedom is being passed on to them to be memorialized and maintained for future generations. History has taught us that freedom is never free. And honoring the memory of our original patriots honors the sacrifices made in the cause of liberty for all succeeding generations. I’m proud to be here today to honor their memory. May God bless America, and may God bless Texas.”

The marker was unveiled by Lee’s Legion members Carolyn Kennedy and Leiza Morales McTasney. Several members of the Texas DAR were on hand for the ceremony, including Texas DAR Chaplain GeorgiAnne Brochstein, who provided the opening prayer and benediction for the event.

The ceremony also included a welcome by Mary Thompson, the Pledge of Allegiance led by First Vice Regent Margie Thompson, the reading of the American’s Creed by Ashley Thompson, the Pledge to the Texas Flag by Recording Secretary Barbara Trammell, and introduction of the guest speakers by Lisa Echols, South Central Division Vice Chair, DAR Good Citizens Committee and Texas DAR Good Citizens Committee Co-Chair.

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery from the dedication ceremony.

Mary Thompson, Regent of the Lee’s Legion Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, welcomes guests to the dedication ceremony of the America 250 Patriot Marker at the Stephens County Courthouse. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo:  State Rep. Glenn Rogers and several of those attending the dedication ceremony posed for a picture with the new America 250 Patriot Marker in front of the Stephens County Courthouse. Pictured, from left, are Glenn Rogers, Judy Wolfe, Barbara Trammell, Nancy Coody Morales, Mary Thompson, TXDAR Librarian Paula Owen, Lisa Echols, TXDAR Historian Betty Bird, TXDAR Chaplain GeorgiAnne Brochstein, Helen Haddock, Becky Payne, Carolyn Vick Kennedy, Kay Jurecek, Margie Thompson, Jean Edwards, Diann Morris, Ashley Thompson, Leiza Morales McTasney, Becky Downing, Cat O’Neal Brazile and Billie O’Neal. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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