The Grateful Daughters Circle of The King’s Daughters Organization is next to the oldest circle still in existence. It is believed to be the fourth circle organized in the year of 1893. Mrs. James W. Patton, one of the first invited members, suggested the name of Grateful Daughters which expressed their gratitude in being the daughters of their distinguished pioneer mothers. Like the Willing Circle, it too has ties with Abraham Lincoln.
There was a time when the membership consisted of mothers, daughters, daughters-in-law, etc. The Governor’s wife was always asked to be an honorary member as well. The Grateful Daughters circle supported many charities in the early years financially, sewing for them, and in other ways. The many organizations supported include: Anti-Tuberculosis Society, Lincoln Colored Home, Social Welfare, The Day Nursery, Traveler’s Aid, YWCA, the Home of the Friendless, the Springfield Hospital and of course the King’s Daughters Home. When the home first opened, the circle helped furnish the kitchen and two of its members furnished one of the rooms. As you can see the circle had many fundraisers including style shows and events. This historic circle continues to meet monthly, September through April. If you are interested in learning more about KDO or would like to join a circle, please take a look at our different Circles of Friendship page for more information.
For more information on the interesting Travelers Aid that Grateful Daughters contributed often to: https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/organizations/travelers-aid/
GRATEFUL DAUGHTERS CIRCLE
OF THE KING’S DAUGHTERS ORGANIZATION
Grateful Daughters Circle of The King’s Daughters Organization is next to the oldest circle in existence. It is quite possible it was the fourth circle organized in 1893. Mrs. James W. Patton, one of the first invited members, suggested the name of Grateful Daughters which expressed their gratitude in being the daughters of their distinguished pioneer mothers.
When the home first opened, the circle helped furnish the kitchen and two of its members furnished one of the rooms. There was a time when the membership consisted of mothers, daughters, daughters-in-law, etc. The governor’s wife was always asked to be an honorary member. This ended after the Ryan administration.
Over the years we have done various fund raising activities such as children and adult style shows and salad luncheons with bake sales. In 1985, because our membership was dwindling, a motion was made to increase the dues and no longer have a fund raising project. We turn over any surplus to the Community Foundation of the Land of Lincoln.
At the present time we have 39 active members, 1 honorary member and 10 sustaining members. Our meetings are held from September through April, excluding January, with the May meeting being the Annual Corporation Meeting. Members are encouraged to attend and help with the Progress Circle Benefit.
In 2008 Leda Thorpe became our circle’s lady, and sadly, we lost Leda on December 24, 2016. Leda attended many of our circle meetings as well as the annual corporate meeting. Four circle members took her to church every Sunday for four years. We remembered her with gifts and special greetings on her birthday and Christmas.
We collect food for the First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, a recipient of a grant in 2014, 2015 and 2016. We also write notes of appreciation for those participating in Honor Flight. Our members are involved in a variety of volunteer projects outside of King’s Daughters. Our motto for action, adopted in 1886 when “The King’s Daughters” was named, is “Look forward and not back (Hope), Look out and not in (Charity), Look up and not down (Faith) and Lend a hand (Fraternity),” seems to hold true today.
Mary Lou Booker
Grateful Daughters Circle
A sweet story that was written of several different times in the minutes 1925-1929, was of Mrs. Josephine Helen VanCleve’s flowers. She had a summer home in Alexandria, Minnesota where she would sell flowers grown in her garden there. She would then upon returning give the proceeds to the endowment for the Aged Women as she preferred to call it. It was also noted in the minutes that she told of all of this in a most interesting manner. Mrs. Van Cleve passed away in 1949 and she was listed as an active Grateful Daughters member.
Another notable was that in 1933 they had a motion and a vote at the March meeting, to communicate with Senator Earl Searcy that the circle was in favor of Bill 161, to treat newborn infants eyes with silver nitrate. See the attached article showing that this did pass and the results in 1939 showed incidence the disease had fallen so low the infirmary officials found it unnecessary to maintain a special ward.