Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter
When Stanley A. Evans Sr., an official in the National Sons of the American Revolution, retired to Cleveland, Tennessee, he attended meetings of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) chapters in Chattanooga (Colonel John Sevier Chapter) and Knoxville (Stephen Holsten Chapter). He became concerned that there was no chapter between these two metropolitan communities in early 2003. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) had a chapter in Cleveland since 1909, but no one had stepped forward to organize a SAR chapter.
He met with some SAR members from Cleveland and Chattanooga and decided there was enough interest in the Cleveland area to form its own Chapter. Stan, a veteran of forming chapters, had already worked to form 5 chapters while he was residing in Florida and was president of the Ocala, Fla., chapter and part of the Color Guard, before moving to Cleveland. Stan was also Chairman of the Veterans Committee of the national organization, headquartered in Louisville, Ky.
To belong to the Sons of the American Revolution, you must have someone in your family history who was connected with the founding of America. It is often a long, drawn-out process of tracing your family history to find that connection.
To charter a Cleveland chapter, Stan needed about 15-20 individuals who would qualify. He had already found several members eligible and started immediately recruiting and tracing the histories of several local residents who have expressed an interest. A few of these individuals had already traced their family lineage and knew they would qualify for the SAR chapter. Stan addressed the Bradley County Historical Society, the local DAR chapter meeting, family reunions, other community events, local and national SAR rosters, and publicized his efforts, courtesy of the Cleveland Daily Banner, in an effort to recruit members for the SAR chapter. As of June 2003, Stan had nine members with national numbers, and nine who had submitted application papers and were awaiting approval.
This was not an easy task. Just as it is for the DAR, a person must first establish a bloodline lineage to someone who served in the Revolutionary War period supporting American Independence. That person can be a soldier, someone performing a patriotic service, or someone who simply signed an oath of allegiance to the colonies against the British. Once the line is established, application papers are submitted and have to be approved by the genealogy staff at the SAR National Headquarters. Once approved, that person becomes a member and national and state numbers are assigned.
For those who want to belong to the chapter and if you've gotten your line partially completed and need help with its completion, Stan assists at no charge. There is usually 20 stages in tracing your line back to the Revolutionary War period. Over 250,000 patriots were involved in the Revolutionary War, so many folks do not even realize they could be descended from one of these patriots and are eligible to belong to the SAR or DAR.
The mission of the SAR, like the Daughters of the American Revolution, is to assist veterans and veteran organizations; to assist with youth-oriented programs such as the Eagle Scouts; written and oral competitions with scholarship awards; good-citizen programs for youth; high school and higher education ROTC programs; recognition of law enforcement agencies; chapter projects such as parades, community programs, patriot gravesite markings, educational programs for our schools; and fellowship among modern day patriot descendants, veterans, schools, and the community. The SAR organization emphasizes patriotism, history and education.
It wasn't long before Stan had identified and certified the number of individuals needed to begin a Cleveland SAR Chapter, so he applied to the Tennessee State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution for a charter in the fall of 2003.
An organizational meeting was held on Saturday, September 20, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. at Porter's Restaurant in Cleveland, Tennessee to begin the process of choosing a name for the chapter, chapter officers, and committees for the new chapter even before the chapter was chartered.
The name of the chapter was unanimously chosen to be the Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter of the Tennessee Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (TNSSAR). The town of Cleveland was named in his honor. Colonel Cleveland was an OverMountain man who served during the early years of the Revolutionary War in the Watauga area of what is now northeastern Tennessee. He was also a hero at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Stan's wife, Maggie Evans, is related to Colonel Cleveland.
Even though the chapter had not been officially formed yet, the local Cleveland chapter member elects, participated with the Colonel John Sevier Chapter from Chattanooga, and Cleveland and Chattanooga DAR chapters in the landscaping project for the Nancy Ward gravesite in Benton, Tennessee on Highway 411 on Saturday, November 8, 2003.
The charter meeting of the Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter TNSSAR was held on Friday, December 5, 2003 at 7 p.m. at Porters Restaurant in Cleveland, Tennessee. The meeting was attended by officers from local and state chapters and organizations and all new members of the chapter. The Call to Order was done by President Elect Stan Evans. The presentation of colors was conducted by Ross Amos, TNSSAR Regional V.P. East and Rick Williams, American Legion Post #81. The invocation was done by Chaplain Elect Larry Puckett. The Pledge of Allegiance was conducted by TNSSAR President Paul Jordan. The pledge to the SAR flag was conducted by past TNSSAR President Robert Hughes.
After singing the national anthem, and a fine dinner by Porters Restaurant, opening remarks and recognition of guests was done by President Elect Stan Evans. DAR Regent of the Ocoee Chapter Katy Tippens presented the chapter with a flag. Past National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution President General and Society of Colonial Wars member Larry McClanahan addressed the chapter as speaker. TNSSAR President Paul Jordan presented a gavel and the chapter charter to President Elect Stan Evans. President Elect Stanley A. Evans, Sr. was sworn in by TNSSAR president Paul Jordan as the first president of the Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter TNSSAR. The other nominated chapter officers, Vice-President Elect Richard Carpenter, Secretary Elect Douglas Carpenter, Treasurer Elect David Hicks, and Chaplain Elect Larry Puckett were sworn in by past TNSSAR President and National Trustee Robert Hughes.
New member certificates were presented by the Colonel John Sevier Chapter President Jim Moore. Other acknowledgements and greetings were given by:
Joe Hamilton - Curator Museum Center at Five Points
Bob George - Bradley County Historical Society
Helen Malmquist - Daughters of Colonial Ancestors & Order of the Magna Charta
Maggie Evans - 2nd V.P. SAR Ladies National Auxiliary
John Cahoon - Emerald Coast Chapter FLSSAR
Ross Amos - V.P. Stephen Holsten Chapter and East Region TNSSAR
Rod Hildreth - Vice President General Southern District NSSAR
John Echerd - Past TNSSAR President & Registrar Colonel John Sevier and Colonel Benjamin Cleveland TNSSAR Chapters
Closing remarks were presented by chapter president Stan Evans. recessional by Registrar J0hn Echerd, benediction by Chaplain Larry Puckett, and the meeting was adjourned.
Since the chartering of the chapter, members have participated in events with our brother chapter, the Colonel John Sevier Chapter such as the Raid at Martin's Station, the Battle of Ramsour's Mill, Nancy Ward Landscaping Project, the Brainerd Mission Cemetery, chartering the Joseph Martin Chapter in the Cumberland Gap area, honoring local police, Eagle Scouts, educational programs, and other activities. Many of the current members are dual members of other chapters as well.
All members of the chapter during the 2003-2004 calendar year will be considered charter members of the chapter. The Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter meets typically the 3rd Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at a local restaurant. Please see the Events page for the latest meeting and upcoming events.
Anyone interested in belonging to the Cleveland Sons of the American Revolution Chapter can call Stan Evans at 614-0014 or e-mail Stan. We would love to have you in our chapter!
Last Update: Sunday January 04, 2009 02:39:13 PM -0500
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