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Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR
Eldora, Iowa

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Welcome to Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) is a non-profit, non-political patriotic women's service organization. The Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR, was organized November 15, 1915, in Eldora, Iowa. The name Open Fire, suggested by the Organizing Regent, Mrs. J. D. Newcomer, was selected from a proposed list for the sentiment expressed in the following: "Open Fire-emblematic of comradeship and cheer, Of early days when brave men knew no fear."

Site of Benson-Union Mill
Early settlers sought out the flour mills operating along Iowa's rivers and streams to grind their grains for flour for their daily bread. Such a mill was built on the Iowa River near Union in 1856 and operated until 1926. Also located in Long Memorial Park is the oldest landmark in Hardin County—an Iron Bridge in use from 1886 to 1919. Both sites are memorialized on a plaque mounted on a boulder taken from the old dam that was once in this area. The marker is located in southeast Hardin County. From Eldora, take State Highway 218 southeast to Union. An inscribed plaque mounted on a boulder marks the sites in Daisy and Charles Long Memorial Park east of Union. The plaque was dedicated by the Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR, in 1972.

Memorial to Eldora Pioneers
The town of Eldora was named by a woman—Mrs. Lois Edgerton. In 1971, an inscribed bronze marker memorializing Mrs. Edgerton and the pioneers was affixed to a native boulder and placed on the courthouse grounds by the Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR. The marker is located in the town of Eldora on the grounds of the Hardin County Courthouse. The marker is at the northeast corner of the Courthouse square.

Edgington Land Patent
The original land patent dated March 1, 1854, written on sheepskin, designates 40 acres in the southeast part of Eldora that was given to the Hardin County Board of Supervisors by Colonel S.R. Edgington. The land patent now hangs in the courthouse rotunda. Colonel Edgington was born in Ohio, served in the Mexican War, and moved to Iowa where he enlisted to serve in the Civil War. A collection of Colonel Edgington's memorabilia was presented to the Hardin County Board of Supervisors along with the original land patent. The patent was marked by the Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR, on October 25, 1971. The marker is located in Eldora in the Hardin County courthouse rotunda near the auditor's office.

First Church and Cemetery in Hardin County
Pleasant Chapel Church and cemetery was one of the first churches in Pleasant Township. It was established first in 1853 as the Duke Cemetery Church and built in 1965. The Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR, erected a commemoration marker on September 19, 1984. The church and cemetery are located in Hardin County near Eldora, in Pleasant Township. From Eldora, take State Highway 175 west about 4 miles. Turn left (south) on State Highway 299 and drive until you see a lone country elevator. This should be what is left of the settlement of Lawn Hill. It is not marked on the Iowa map. The church and cemetery are about 1 1/2 miles northwest of the elevator, but it is best to get directions.

Grave of Eli Hoover
Eli Hoover, buried in the Hubbard Cemetery, was the grandfather of Herbert C. Hoover, 31st President of the United States. A marker on Eli Hoover's grave was dedicated by the Open Fire Chapter, NSDAR, on June 16, 1990. The marker is located in southwest Hardin County where U.S. Highway 65 and State Highway 175 meet at Hubbard, Iowa.

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Last Updated 13 November 2023
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