The Humble Cemetery has a particular shine to it now. The headstones that honor some 22 veterans from various wars have been cleaned, reset and restored.
Thank Humble’s Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for that.
Local high school seniors are recognized for their good citizenship and awarded with valued scholarships.
Thank Humble’s DAR for that, too.
When health care and other essential workers on the front lines were faced with a medical mask shortage early in the pandemic, Humble’s DAR responded by hand-sewing masks and donating them to local essential workers who needed them the most.
“We always have a special project we are working on,” Jane Thomas told The Tribune. “At this time, it is the preservation of headstones in the old Humble Cemetery, but we also are making mats out of recycled grocery bags for homeless veterans. We completed eight last year. These are very labor intensive to make.”
Most service and community organizations chose one or two major projects as their focus.
Not Humble’s DAR. Their list of accomplishments outshines most community organizations — books drives for veteran-patients, tree plantings at elementary schools, collecting school supplies for Title I elementary schools, setting flags and laying wreaths at the Veteran’s National Cemetery, awarding scholarships to deserving high school graduates and Junior ROTC members, obtaining a Texas State Historical Marker for the Humble Cemetery, donating books to the Humble Museum and the Harris County Library.
There is more: Preparing breakfast boxes for Camp Hope and care packages for active-duty military, distributing food to local food banks, donating clothes for the Dress for Success program.
That is quite the accomplishment for the 93 ladies of the James Tull Chapter, the official name of Humble’s Daughters of the American Revolution, each one a direct, bloodline descendant from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence.
“I could give you quite a list of our activities and accomplishments over the last 50 years,” said Thomas, who holds the Humble chapter’s highest office as chapter regent.
Thomas is a relative newcomer to DAR, becoming a member in 2016 when a couple of her cousins told her that they were all eligible because an ancestor served in the American Revolution.
“I started out as a volunteer mostly with VA activities as I, myself, am a veteran,” said Thomas. “Then I chaired Constitution Week, Service to Veterans and Project Patriot.”
That was just the beginning for Thomas, becoming a deputy representative for the VA volunteer service, helping out at the Conroe VA Clinic, and volunteering at Fisher House where military and veteran families can stay at no charge when a loved one is in the hospital.
“I was hooked on DAR,” said Thomas, “and it has been so rewarding.”
Her service continues as regent, leading the Humble chapter in participating in the Four Chaplains Ceremony at the VA Hospital, holding a Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day last year, and assisting the Blue Star Moms with care packages for active-duty troops.
The James Tull Chapter is named after the ancestor of the Humble chapter’s founder, Mrs. Justice (Nina) Smith, the organizing regent, and 14 additional chapter members. Tull, according to Thomas, was born in 1754 in Maryland, serving as a Maryland regular in the Continental Army, and taking part in major Revolutionary battles including the Battle of Long Island, Battle of White Plains and Battle of Trenton.
The Chapter was founded Feb. 1, 1972. Four of the original members from 1972 survive and were honored at a celebratory tea Feb. 5 at Humble Methodist Church. They are Pat Ford, Nancy Coker, Georgia Fields and Mary Lea Layton Taylor. Humble Mayor Norman Funderburk proclaimed Feb. 5 James Tull Chapter 50th Anniversary Day.
The DAR, now almost a million members strong, is a women’s service organization founded in 1890 to preserve the memory and spirit of those who contributed to securing American independence.
DAR members, just like the James Tull Chapter members, provide millions of hours of community service each year around the world. Their national headquarters in Washington, D.C., is noted for its genealogical library, decorative arts museum, historic document collection and concert hall.
Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove they are a direct descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible to be a member.
“Our mission is threefold — historical preservation, patriotism and education,” explained Regent Thomas. “The future of our James Tull Chapter is so bright. We will keep our focus on our three missions. Rest assured. We will always have so many projects and ways to volunteer. These are all endeavors that are essential to our community.”
Learn more about the James Tull Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, on their webpage, texasdar.org/chapters/JamesTull/preservation.htm.