Martha's Chapel in Chatham County, North Carolina

Martha’s Chapel in Chatham County, North Carolina, was established in 1804. It has an historical marker from the North Carolina Society Colonial Dames XVII Century. (Photo from NC Society archives)


Mrs. J. W. Thornton of Dunn, North Carolina, attended the National Conference in April 1949, and was appointed Organizing State President for the new North Carolina Society. She had been a member of the Virginia Society. On October 12, 1949 the nucleus of the North Carolina Society was formed. Sixteen women attended the first meeting with the State President of Virginia as special guest. Mrs. Thornton announced that the books would be kept open for charter members until the National Society had accepted 50 members. After which a formal organizational meeting would be held. After 50 members were approved, the North Carolina Society was officially organized June 21, 1950 at a meeting held at the Woman’s Club of Raleigh. Officers were elected and installed with Mrs. J. W. Thornton as Organizing President.

When the society assembled for its first state society meeting on October 11, 1950 in Fayetteville, the membership had reached 69. On October 3, 1951, in Chapel Hill, NC, Virginia State President, Mrs. C. B. Perrou, presented the charter to the North Carolina Society. In Raleigh, June 5, 1952 a special meeting was called because Mrs. J. W. Thornton had resigned as North Carolina President to assume the office of National President General. A state society meeting was held each year and at the meeting in 1954 a vote was passed to extend an invitation to the National Society to assemble in Raleigh in 1955. This took place April 14-16, 1955, with delegates from 24 states. Mrs. Thornton presided over the meeting.

Mrs. W. C Maxwell organized the Sir Walter Raleigh Chapter on January 30, 1951. This was the only chapter established during the first five years of the North Carolina Society. When elected State President in 1955, Mrs. W. C. Maxwell, appointed four organizing chapter presidents and each organized a new chapter. These chapters were: Sir Richard Grenville, Governor Philip Ludwell, Lord Granville, and Governor James Moore.