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Chief Senachwine DAR chapter hosts drive-through re-dedication at cemetery

HENRY — The Chief Senachwine Chapter honored three generations of one family, buried in the Henry Cemetery, on Sept. 5 during a drive-through re-dedication, due to COVID.

Honorary Chapter Regent Nancy Gillfillan announced the beginning of the ceremony with a Native American wooden flute call.

With some members remaining in their cars and others wearing masks and observing social distancing, Chapter Regent Dolores Dace named the honorees and introduced Chaplain Diana Williamson who provided the Invocation.

Illinois State Recording Secretary Sharon Bittner recited the history of Elizabeth Bainbridge Wikoff, daughter of New Jersey Revolutionary soldier Sgt. John Bainbridge. Elizabeth married William Wikoff in 1817 and moved with their family from New Jersey to Fulton County, Ill., and then to the Henry, Ill., area in 1849, where they farmed. The chapter members re-dedicated the NSDAR marker at her grave and recognized this daughter of a Revolutionary War solder.

The group also recognized the son of William and Elizabeth B. Wikoff, Lt. Peter Wikoff, who served in the Civil War from 1862 to the end of the war. He participated in numerous battles in the Western theater of war and even traveled with Gen. Sherman on his “March to the Sea.” He survived the Civil War and was buried in 1888 in the Henry Cemetery near his parents and three wives.

A daughter of Peter Wikoff and his third wife was also honored. Elizabeth Wyckoff (with the spelling now changed) Dewey was honored as a great-granddaughter of Revolutionary soldier, John Bainbridge. Elizabeth married Benjamin Dewey in 1909 in Henry and in 1910 helped organize a DAR chapter in Henry, the Christopher Lobingier Chapter. She served as regent of the chapter in 1925 and helped raise funds to build and furnish DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Dewey served two years on the IL Ellis Island Committee and two years later attended the DAR National Congress in Washington, D.C. Upon her return she presented the local chapter with a gavel made from wood cut from a tree at Jamestown. If anyone has news of this gavel, the Chief Senachwine Chapter would be interested in its location. Mrs. Dewey passed in 1971 and is interred in the Henry Cemetery.

The group also honored Real Daughter Clarissa McManners with a floral tribute and words of remembrance. MIss McManners was the daughter of a Revolutionary soldier as well as a member of a DAR chapter and was previously honored by a re-dedication by the Chief Senachwine Chapter.

The ceremony closed with prayers and a tribute for men and women serving our country in a variety of ways plus “Amazing Grace” played by Gillfillan.

Following the commemoration at the cemetery, members re-located to the shelter at Stoner Park for their business meeting called to order by Regent Dolores Dace. After opening ceremonies, the group heard reports of officers and chairmen, adopted the proposed 2020-21 budget, complimented Sheila Schrowang, Constitution Week chair, on her news coverage, and discussed the Illinois State Organization’s first virtual state conference on Aug. 14-16.

Oct. 11 was announced as the NSDAR Day of Prayer and this year is also the NSDAR Day of Service. Donating to a local food pantry was decided as the chapter’s service project.

The next meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at the First Presbyterian Church of Henry with presenter Terry Johnson featuring “Quilts of Valor” that are given to service veterans.

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