Benjamin Franklin Chapter
Sons of the American Revolution


The Benjamin Franklin Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution

  Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778

On October 5, 1896 two dedicated Compatriots, Henry Parker Ward and Kenneth Dodge Wood and several S.A.R. members in the Columbus, OH area met at the State House. The specific purpose of the meeting was to form a local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. After the idea was approved, a petition was prepared for a Charter covering, Delaware, Franklin and Madison Counties Ohio, and including Officers of the State and National Government who might at that time be residing in those Counties. The Charter was granted on October 10th, 1896.

Charter Members

Capt. George Andrews, USA
Lt. Edward Chynoweth, USA
Colonel A.B. Coit
Edward Evert Cole (Registrar)
Colonel W.N. Darrow
Perry O. Gath (Historian)
H.R. Gill
Dr. L.C. Herrick
Rev. Dr. W.E. Moore
Major H.M.W. Moore (Secretary)

Rev. W. R. Parsons
Capt. James E. Flicher, USA
Capt. Cyrus S. Roberts, USA (V-President)
Capt. Thomas Sharp, USA
Frederick Shedd
Major Harry Parker Ward
Kenneth D. Wood
Lt. William C. Wren, USA (Treasurer)
General George B. Wright (President)

Past President Generals
from the Benjamin Franklin Chapter

1959-60 Charles A. Jones

1971-72 Eugene C. McGuire

Past State Presidents
from the Benjamin Franklin Chapter

1889 William Alexander Taylor
1894 Orlando W. Alrich
1901 Emilius Oviatt Randall
1903 James Kilbourne
1908 Harry Parker Ward
1914 Henrie Edmund Buck
1915 Charles C. Pavey
1920 Henry Archer Williams
1924 Marshall A. Smith
1930 Erdis G. Robinson

1937 William H. Alexander
1944 William C. Graham
1951 Daniel D. Hubbell
1959 J. Boyd Davis
1965 Eugene McGuire
1971 Judge Charles Petree
1977 Robert H. Ewing
1980 John Patterson Dean
1985 Duward B. Frampton, Jr.
1989 Charles Gene Rousculp

The Chapter was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, Statesman, Diplomat, Scientist and Philanthropist, whose service in securing the Independence of the United States of America were surpassed by none. Franklin's labors as Delegate to the Continental Congress, member of the Committee which drafted the Declaration of Independence, Representative of the Colony of Pennsylvania before the British government, Commissioner and Planipotentary to France (where his presence was so important to the securing and implementing of the French Alliance). He was the first postmaster general and member of the Constitutional Convention with a pivotal and inspirational role in the framing of that singular historic document- all these vital efforts and accomplishments "render possible the Foundation of the Republic." Franklin's birthday- 17th January- became the official Anniversary Day of the Chapter and was observed for many years (at least into the 1930's). This date annually featured a major business meeting, annual election of Chapter Officers and a Banquet, (it must be noted that for many years the Secretary, Treasurer and Register were separate offices and there was only one vice-president.

By the end of 1896, the Chapter numbered about 40 members, and by 1907 the membership had grown to 92, (contrast this 300% growth in the Chapter's first decade with scant 100% growth in the 80 years since. And this early membership was clearly and energetic and zealous group. Some of the most through records in the Chapter History were maintained during the years extending from 1907 to 1925, during which one member- Hugh Huntington served as Secretary and Treasurer.

In the early years of the Chapter it's meetings were regularly held in a "Chapter Room" at the Old Memorial Hall on East Broad street, and at the February, 1906, meeting reference was made to a engrossed copy of the Benjamin Franklin Chapter's Charter "which has since become lost" being properly framed and mounted somewhere inside this building. For a time beginning in 1906, bimonthly meetings were held on the first and third Wednesday's of each month, and often these were directed toward commemorating specific Battles of the Revolution. Banquets, special meetings, and other functions were frequently held in such settings as Begg's Restaurant, Chamber of Commerce Auditorium, the Virginia Hotel (especially for Chapter Anniversity meetings), the Columbus Club and the Chittenden Hotel and other noted eateries.

That the Benjamin Franklin Chapter was from the outcast concerned for the welfare and naturalization of newly arrived immigrants is regularly seen in it's records of activities- e.g. A reception held on 17th June 1915 for 36 new citizens and their families. Specific help for the Hebrew Society on the immigrant question appeared on the Chapter's agenda of February 7, 1906 meeting and on June 5 1914, Rabbi Joseph Korn addressed the Chapter on the subject of "the Jew and the Revolution." Indeed there is much evidence to refute any charges by outsiders or critics of the S.A.R. has ever been guided by any cultural bias other than- that we are committed to honoring and preserving our National Heritage and to ensuring that all Americans may partake of our country's blessings.

Many of central Ohio's and the Nation's most distinguished citizens have appeared on the Benjamin Franklin Chapter's roster over the years- people representing every profession, industry, trade and nearly every segment of our American social spectrum.

Sometimes the entries in the old, musty, yellowed pages of the ledgers of yesterday may surprise us or cause us to smile- debits showing that once upon a time the Chapter picked up the expense of a box of cigars for each meeting. Occasionally, the opening of some of the recorded speeches (taken out of context of course) may sound amusing. For example "We have met to celebrate the evacuation of Boston." (Anyone who has driven through Boston in recent years may be tempted to applaud.) But, taken as a whole the archives of the Benjamin Franklin Chapter provide an interesting and moving kaleidescope of a Chapter's past at once a reassurance and an inspiration to those who work in behalf of the S.A.R. today and who will take up that opportunity to serve in the years ahead.


The above information is taken from the "Blue Book" a history of the chapter from 1896 to 1996 by past president Joseph F. Carvin. The chapter president has a copy of this book.