Franklin Countys First News

DAR honor past state regent and Farmington resident

Colonial Daughters Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution recently marked the grave of Past State Regent Alice Barrell Bradbury Steele in Greene.

 L-R: Nancy Barrows Kading, Barbara Barrows Martin, Joyce Lander Barrows, Tom Barrows and Colonial Daughters Chapter Regent Marcia White.

Chapter Regent Marcia White of Rangeley welcomed those in attendance, including State Regent Vrege Murray of Portland, State Vice Regent Virginia Spiller and her husband Dexter of York, Past Vice President General Ann Thomas. In addition to four of Mrs. Steele's family members, Tom Barrows and his wife Joyce Barrows, Nancy Kading and Barbara Martin, many other DAR members were in attendance.

They came from Koussinoc Chapter, Augusta; Mary Dillingham Chapter, Lewiston; Esther Eayers Chapter, Orono; Eunice Farnsworth-Ruth Heald Cragin Chapter, Skowhegan; Penobscot Expedition Chapter, Searsport; Silence Howard Hayden Chapter, Waterville; Tisbury Manor Chapter, Monson as well as NH State Recording Secretary Jane Lasselle. Granddaughter Carolyn Pratt was unable to attend.

State Chaplain Beverly Robbins of Auburn conducted the ceremony. Colonial Daughters Chapter Regent Marcia White of Rangeley greeted the family and friends. Chapter members Wilma Rector of Upton and Melanie Farmer of Temple told about Mrs. Steele's life and work.

Alice Steele was born Greene June 26, 1869, daughter of Charles A. and Lillie Barrell Bradbury. She married Oct 23, 1900 Mr. Charles W. Steele, a Portland man who had been a seaman and policeman. They lived in Portland for a time and moved to Farmington about 1910 where Mr. Steele was a conductor on the railroad, later operating a successful fuel business. Alice continued to run this business after his death in 1938.

She was a graduate of a business school in Augusta. She taught commercial subjects at Abbott School in Farmington. She was a member of the Baptist Church in Farmington and Greene, to which she made many gifts. Mrs. Steele was the first court stenographer in the State of Maine and at one time secretary to Admiral Peary, assisting him in writing and publishing. Her granddaughter, Barbara Martin shared the fact that, because she was at the dock to receive and then hand deliver the message to his wife, Alice was the first to receive word that Peary had reached the North Pole.

Mrs. Steele was a member of Colonial Daughters Chapter DAR, accepted into DAR on June 3, 1908. She served as chapter regent from 1910-1912. The following year she served the State Society DAR as Recording Secretary. Then from 1913-1915 she served as State Vice Regent, becoming the Eleventh State Regent in 1915-1917. Ten years later she again served the State Society as Chaplain. She was a member of the Monday Club and Willing Workers.

Alice Steele died Jan 1, 1950. The Steeles had two daughters who died in infancy but they brought up several children as their own, among them Clyde Barrows, who lived with them until his marriage in 1928.

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