Marshall DAR celebrates 100 yrs with bench dedication ceremony

Monday, October 1, 2012
Marshall Chapter DAR Regent Judy Frerking unveils a bench plaque at Indian Foothills Park with Mayor Mark Gooden (left) and park Director Jeff Stubblefield (right). This was one of two benches donated to the park by the chapter when the main entrance was revitalized a year ago. (Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)

Fabric hangings draped over the backs of two benches that are part of the new entrance design at Indian Foothills Park. Although the fabric would later be removed, it was carefully placed to conceal something more permanent.

During a dedication ceremony Oct. 1, Marshall Chapter DAR members were joined by the Arrow Rock DAR and Marshall city officials for the unveiling of two bench plaques.

"It really is a blessing to be able to do these kinds of things, because we do know that just by cooperating together and doing a little extra, we can make a great difference," Past Regent Elaine Osborn said.

The chapter's donated funds enabled the parks department to purchase and install the benches, which surround the water garden and Sister of Liberty pedestal. During the ceremony, Park Director Jeff Stubblefield thanked members for their work.

"I think (the benches) add a lot to the area," he said. "You do a great job and it's really appreciated.

Stubblefield briefly commented on one woman missing from the ceremony -- the Sister of Liberty statue, which was stolen two months ago.

This plaque was unveiled Monday morning, Oct. 1, at Indian Foothills Park in honor of the Marshall Chapter DAR's 100th anniversary, celebrated this October. (Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)

"I'm in negotiations right now with another municipality that has a ... mold," Stubblefield continued. "Hopefully within the next few weeks we'll have a replacement up of her."

Although the original Lady Liberty wasn't present, her meaning was felt as DAR members noted the importance of serving their community.

"Marshall DAR was very honored to share in this project completion," Chapter Regent Judy Frerking said. "In the coming years ... (we hope to) still serve the community and our country, God and our homes, and have many more years of service."

The ceremony not only celebrated additions to the park, it also acted as a kick-off event for the chapter's month-long 100th anniversary commemoration. The month of October 2012 was proclaimed Marshall DAR Chapter's 100th Anniversary by Mayor Mark Gooden.

The chapter's first official meeting was held Oct. 3, 1912, according to Osborn. In his proclamation, Gooden stated the DAR is "mindful always of the needs of the community." Members have funded the gateway to Ridge Park Cemetery, support student scholarships each year, recognize area veterans, supply materials to the community and schools about Constitution Week, and have helped place permanent flags and poles at Bueker Middle School and Marshall High School, according to the proclamation.

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