Presidents Update #10

During this long winter with repeated snowfalls unlike any we have seen for years in Iowa it may seem hard to think of spring. It is however quickly approaching.

It is important that we all are making plans and refining them for successful implementation in the coming weeks.

Perhaps of greatest need to this great organization of ours is to find those that are willing to serve and lead us as officers of the IASSAR.

If you have the interest, ability, conviction and desire to make sure the IASSAR be an organization that serves its members and our community then please contact me.

Here is the activities that I have been involved with or been made aware of over the last month.

January 21, 2008

21st Sent out President’s Update #9

21st Received first feedback on update #9 from Western Iowa IASSAR member

21st Received memo from member that dues check not cashed and membership card not received. I responded and forwarded to IASSAR Secretary.

21st I responded to member request for information on when next informal breakfast would be held. As always the time and place is, 8:30 AM 3rd Saturday of each month, Country Kitchen on NE 14th St. in Des Moines. Are there any other informal gatherings of IASSAR members in Iowa that I should be aware of? I would like to join you if possible.

21st Spoke with Registrar and forwarded is request for check for new application from the Treasurer.

21st Sent additional request to response to questions to the IASSAR Secretary.

21st Sent request to Treasurer in regard to on-line banking questions.

21st Exchanged e-mails with a member in regard to how to improve President’s Updates. Considered a “member’s only section” but decided against it at this time, to allow open communication on the activities of our organization to those considering joining. The Treasurer’s reports will now be available to members on request instead of posted in President’s Updates.

22nd I assisted an IASSAR member in tracking done his ancestor’s Civil War service.

22nd I discussed the ROTC program with the Fran Keith, Chairman.

22nd I exchanged e-mails with the IASSAR Chaplain.

23rd Banker verified on-line, however still unverified by Treasurer.

23rd I received a request from a potential applicant in Burlington, Iowa. I responded and copied Registrar.

23rd I received a brief update from the Treasurer but no information about on-line question.

23rd I sent request to SAR-Talk and also a DAR contact to assist me with genealogy information for the potential applicant from Burlington.

23rd I was notified by another applicant that he was unable to reach Secretary.

23rd I received multiple responses for genealogical help from both DAR contact and SAR members that monitor SAR-Talk. I forwarded on the responses to potential applicants.

24th Banker requested e-mail for Treasurer. I sent it to her and copied Treasurer.

24th Made arrangements with Fran Keith to meet and sign the ROTC certificates. He could use some assistance from those around the State of Iowa from those that might present these in their hometowns.

24th I received notification from the editor of the DSM Register that they might publish my opinion/editorial article.

25th I received information from Maurice Barboza on some related news articles in VA.

25th I forwarded a potential applicant’s request for assistance to Registrar, Bill Lees.

25th I received the latest Iowa Society/Children of American Revolution, newsletter. It is posted on our website and exceptionally well done (by Kathy Ehmke, spouse of our IASSAR Chancellor Lance). I highly recommend looking it over.

25th I received a request for information on how to transfer or be a dual member, from a gentleman who is a Texas SAR member that has now moved to Ogden, Iowa.

26th Sent my voting preference to VPG for the Iowa, NE, ND, SD and MN area.

27th Sent second request to BOM members for their vote on Eagle Scout awards issue. Historian had already responded and chaplain responded today.

27th I sent a request for a check to be sent to the Registrar for yet another new application.

28th I received an update from an IASSAR member that his dues renewal check from October was just cashed.

28th I received vote from Chancellor Lance Ehmke and Registrar Bill Lees.

29th I sent a 3rd request to Treasurer for his vote on Eagle Scout awards issue.

29th I asked webmaster to add Update #9 to website.

29th I received 60th IASSAR member response to last President’s Update.

30th I received information from another member that his October checked to IASSAR now cashed.

30th I asked Audit Committee to begin.

30th Working with a family in Cedar Rapids area that would like to join IASSAR and would be a great addition. I know many of them from their tireless work at the local, state and national level of a Civil War group. I am helping them document their lineage.

31st Received message via sar-talk from Executive Director.

From: Executive Director, Joe Harris

Dear Compatriots,

In this season of American politics, remember that the SAR is a
Non-political organization. Chapters and State Societies must never
endorse or recommend any candidate for public office, nor may meetings
include the discussion of merits or demerits of such candidates.
The merit of any public question involving social, economic, moral or
physical welfare of the people may be fairly and intelligently studied
and discussed at a meeting for the enlightenment of those attending.
SAR may take a position on any bill or measure which may be submitted to
a vote of the elected representative of the people or to the vote of the

Joe Harris,
Executive Director, NSSAR

31st Reported available vote to Eagle Scout Chair, David Shannon. It was 4-1 in favor.
Those never responding to vote requests were 1st VP, 2nd VP, Treasurer, and Secretary.

31st Sent request to find out when the DAR State spring conference was scheduled.

February 1st

1st I received another request from member for information on membership card.

3rd Request to Treasurer for Registrar for additional check for new applications.

4th Op/ED article published in the Des Moines Register.

February 4, 2008

Learn forgotten histories of black soldiers

Mike Rowley

When you think of an Iowan who was in the Civil War, what do you see? Do you see a young private, a somewhat emaciated man, with perhaps tinted cheeks on an old tintype? Perhaps you see an officer astride his horse on the Capitol grounds memorial.

When you think of a Revolutionary War solider, what do you see? A snow-covered man with a tricorn hat and a blue colonial-style coat with red facings and cuffs? If you are a history buff, you may even hear soldiers with English, Irish or German accents. It is unlikely that you visualized a black man.

This is one reason why in 2008 we may still need a Black History Month. The countless stories and histories of tens of thousands of African-American soldiers from both the Civil War and the Revolutionary War continue to remain untold.

When was the last time you saw a Civil War monument in Iowa that depicted an African-American? How many Iowans are aware of the service record of Cato Mead, the Revolutionary War veteran and African-American whose grave is in Montrose, Iowa?

It takes more than renaming a street from some nearly forgotten president – Quick, what does W.G. stand for in W.G. Harding? (Warren Gamaliel) – to a civil-rights leader (M.L. King).

Tip O’Neill used to say, “All politics are local.” The same could be said for history.

The next time you are driving past Woodland Cemetery, glance over at the Grand Army of the Republic section and think of Henry Tolliver, who is buried there alongside his white compatriots. Henry enlisted at the age of 21 into Company D, 60th U.S. Colored Infantry. He was born to a mother who was a slave and, after moving to Iowa, served as an officer in the Kinsman GAR post.

Think of Samuel Davis, another black soldier buried in the same plot. He enlisted in Company E of the 68th U.S. Colored Regiment.

Think of James Daniel Gardner, a black Civil War soldier who was issued the Medal of Honor and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Ottumwa.

Sixteen years ago, when my oldest son was in kindergarten, he came home after a Black History Month presentation at school and asked if we knew any African-Americans. The question caught me by surprise.

Dr. Kevin Moore, an African-American, lived two houses down from us and spoke to my sons in the neighborhood almost daily. Stanley Thomas, also a kindergartner and African-American, lived across the street and was a frequent friend in our home. My 5-year-old did not see the color or the bias of others; he saw only his neighbor and friend.

As long as the rest of the nation refers to Iowa as a “snow white” state and is shocked that we could vote for a black candidate in our most recent caucus, then we must continue to preserve and share the history of all Iowans. If it means that in 2008, we still need a Black History Month, then so be it.

MIKE ROWLEY of Clive is president of the Iowa Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and secretary of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Dodge Camp #75.

4th Discussion with Cato Mead, Montrose, Iowa historical group on plans to mark and commemorate Revolutionary War veteran buried in Iowa.

4th Request from individual in Mo. about joining. Forwarded to registrar and responded.

5th Submitted completed research, documentation, photographs and government forms from the project group for 40 granite gravestones for unmarked Civil War veteran’s graves in G.A.R. north section of Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa.

6th DAR State Spring Conference determined to be May 1-3.

6th Exchanged ideas with Eagle Scout chairman.

7th I received a request for information on a members renewal dues check and responded.

8th Sent request to Joe Dooley information and assistance on applying for GWF funds
for Cato Mead memorial program.

9th Sent information on article writing to a member in IL.

11th I spoke with VPG John Scarpino about IASSAR issues.

11th I attended a program at the Iowa Historical Building to mark the start of the 200th anniversary of A. Lincoln’s birthday. Additional information can be seen at, and

IALBC gave an overview of the Commission and announce the availability of community event endorsements at 7 p.m. at the State Historical Building. A Civil War Musical Interlude followed by a costumed performance by Lincoln Presenter, Lee Williams.

Both events were free and open to the public. The State Historical Building is at 600 E. Locust Street in the heart of Des Moines’ Historic East Village.

11th Received monthly meet and great (3rd Saturday of each month 8:30AM) reminder from Chaplain. Responded I had to work a conference and unable to attend this month.

13th Forwarded request on to Treasurer to complete IRS form. I received his response on plans to complete after Leadership meeting.


14th Reviewed information from ROTC Chair on Good Citizenship Award and directed him to list of holding published in President’s Update #5 (under August 27th). These are items currently in the possession of the 1VP. If what he needs is there I asked that Registrar contact 1st VP about picking them up since they live in the same town.

14th Sent an e-mail request and postal copies to those without e-mail to
IASSAR Board Members, Past Presidents, Editor, Webmaster and Eagle Scout Chairman, asking 2nd VP and 1st VP to make arrangements for BOM meeting in the Waterloo area and to notify all when arrangements set.

14th I responded to suggestions and ideas from Treasurer.

14th Received inquiry from members asking about the appropriateness of non-members attending Board of Managers meetings.

15th Received information from John Scarpino on the IASSAR breakfast in Des Moines. Thank you to all attendees.

17th Received and responded to member Richard Martin’s request for information on when he might expect his certificate of membership.

18th I corresponded with the Audit Committee chairman.

19th The 2nd VP Tom Heit made arrangements for our Board of Managers meeting to be held Saturday, March 1st, 2008 11:30AM at HWY 63 Diner 319-232-0635—-Easy to find – right on highway 63 as you enter Waterloo. THANKS TOM!!

20th I received response back from past presidents, Wilkins and Millett that weather permitting they will attend BOM. They can provide insight as we re-activate the Herbert Hoover Chapter in Eastern Iowa.

20th The IASSAR Woodlands Cemetery project group clarified information on 4 of the 51 Civil War veteran’s graves that we are getting granite stones installed this spring.

20th I heard from the IASSAR Chaplain, who is attending an SAR Leadership conference in KY, that he will be at BOM meeting.
20th Attended Des Moines Civil War Roundtable speaker program and updated group on the IASSAR Woodlands Cemetery Project group success.

21st I asked IASSAR Chaplain to purchase 300 membership cards for Iowa members who have renewed this year. I will send out immediately after the March 1st BOM meeting, assuming resolution of current officer position openings.

21st I received an invitation to attend the Iowa Children of the American Revolution State meeting. I am honored to be invited and plan to attend to thank this organization for their excellent activities and convey to them importance we feel they are to the long term success of the IASSAR.

21st Only 1 response from BOM to request for agenda items, so I will make agenda so that it might be sent out a week in advance as per the by-laws.

Respectfully your,

Mike Rowley
President, IASSAR

Update #9
Update #8
Update #7
Update #6
Update #5
Update #4
Update #3
Update #2
Update #1

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