In 1895 Utah began the process of becoming a state organization with a single chapter. The first chapter was to be called the “Jennie McNeal Chapter” after a Revolutionary War heroine from the famous poem, “The Ride of Jennie McNeal.”However, as Jennie was a fictional heroine, it was suggested a new name be selected.
Harriet Wetmore Sells, a “Real Daughter” (a daughter of a Patriot and a member of DAR), suggested the name “Spirit of Liberty.” Her father was Bela Wetmore, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Harriet was married to Elija B. Sells, a lumber merchant. The name was accepted and the organization was officially formed on 17 January 1897.
Margaret Blaine Walker Salisbury (c1865 -1921) was elected Utah’s first State Regent. She was the daughter of Robert C. Walker and Elizabeth Blaine. Margaret was the niece of James G. Blaine, Secretary of State under President Garfield in 1880, and President Harrison in 1888. In 1884, her Uncle James ran against Grover Cleveland for United States President, but was defeated. Margaret was married to Orange J. Salisbury. Today, nine DAR chapters serve throughout the state of Utah to promote education, historic preservation, and patriotism.
NSDAR Motto – God, Home, and Country
The 2013-2016 National Administration Theme – Honoring Our Heritage, Focusing on the Future, Celebrating America
2014-2016 Utah State Theme – Blooming with Service