On January 22, 2011, the Chartering Ceremony for the newly formed "Llano Pioneers Chapter" of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas was held at the First Christian Church in Llano.
The "Llano Chapter" of the DRT was previously chartered on November 2, 1984, with Karen Thompson as the Organizing President and their meetings were held in the Red Top Jail, but due to health related reasons of some of its members, the chapter disbanded on May 2, 2009. In compliance with the DRT Bylaws, a new chapter would be required to charter under a different name, and the "Llano Pioneers Chapter" was formed with Arlene Garey as Organizing President.
In the welcoming address, Llano Pioneers Chapter Vice-President Patty Pfister gave the following history:
"Llano County had it’s beginning in 1847 when the first two German pioneers who came to the Republic of Texas and settled along the banks of the Llano River at Leiningen near Castell in what is now western Llano County, and I am so proud to say that one of those pioneers was my great great grandfather along with his two young sons.
Freedom and opportunity was the driving force among the German immigrants who settled in Llano and surrounding counties. They were searching for a fair and just society in which to make a new home for themselves and their families. They wanted to experience for themselves the democracy in America that they had only heard about while living in Germany, but their dream of liberty and freedom did not come cheap in their struggle for survival.
At that time Llano County was nothing more than an untamed, undeveloped, isolated frontier wilderness inhabited by hostile Indian tribes and marauders. There were no settled areas anywhere nearby, no supplies to speak of and no transportation in or out of the County, but those early German pioneers persevered, and it was their strength and courage that blazed the trail of civilization for others to follow.
Despite the Comanches and the many other adversities, settlers from all other parts of Texas and other states and countries were soon moving into the area, and the town of Llano was settled along with numerous rural communities that began to spring up all over the County.
In 1856 the County of Llano was created by an Act of the Texas State Legislature, and the pioneers from all over the County carved out a government for our citizens and were the ones who began the development of Llano County that we enjoy today.
In 1880 a group of the early pioneers, all of whom came to Llano before the Civil War, attended a gathering at the Llano Courthouse, and all the men’s photographs were taken and the men gave the dates they settled in Llano County and that date was printed just above their names. A photo composite named "Pioneers of Llano County Texas" was made and it is still proudly displayed in several locations in Llano County today. Later there were many more Republic of Texas pioneers that came to Llano County.
Llano County is abundant with history and we are all very proud of our heritage, and nothing reflects it more than the pride we feel for all of our "Llano Pioneers", and with that reverence and admiration, we chose the name for our Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, "Llano Pioneers".
The newly installed Llano Pioneers Chapter Charter Members are Arlene Garey President, Patty Pfister Vice-President, Wendy Jordan Secretary, Jaqueline McCollum Corresponding Secretary, Myrna Mund Treasurer, Linda Woods Registrar, Patricia Wagner Chaplain, Sherie Pfister, Kristy Ratliff, Leslie Mitchell, Leslie Woods, Sarah Woods, Nancy Shanks, Cara Shanks, Geneva Hahn and Bessie Spann.
DRT State Officers present and participating in the ceremony were Nelma Wilkinson, Past President General, Helen Kelso, Past President General and present First Vice President General, Patti Atkins, President General, Marjorie Burnett, Registrar General. Evelyn Reininger, Chaplain General, Karen Thompson, Historian General, Carolyn Reed, District VIII Representative. Lorraine Buster, District V Representative.
DRT Chapters from all over Texas represented at the service were The Joshua D. Brown Chapter from Kerrville, Texas, The Elizabeth Kent Chapter from Smiley, Texas, The Dr. Wilhelm Keidel Chapter from Fredericksburg, Texas, The John Berry Chapter from Georgetown, Texas, The Heart of Texas Chapter from Brady, Texas, The Sterling C. Robertson Chapter and The Village of Salado Chapter from Salado, Texas.
The Llano Pioneers Chapter will meet the 3rd Monday of each month at 10 a.m. in the annex of the First Christian Church in Llano. Anyone interested in the DRT are invited to attend the meetings. For additional information contact 325-247-5024 or 830-598-7700.