Women Serving in the Tradition of Their Patriot Ancestors

Annabelle Nesbit Anderson, like all Daughters of the American Revolution, traces her ancestry to a patriot who fought in the Revolutionary War. She knew she had come from a long line of strong men and women, but on that day in 1961, with the tragic death of her husband, she had to muster all of that inherent strength to care for and support her four children, all under the age of 6. Though tragedy is not unusual for many women, the knowledge that her ancestors were leaders in the American Revolution provided her the confidence she needed to forge ahead. Researching and learning where she came from, and how her ancestry shaped her life, empowered Annabelle to recog-nize that virtually nothing could hold her down.

“I loved discovering who my ancestors were,” remarked Annabelle. “I never knew how fascinating our family history was until I started uncovering the stories….it made me so proud to know where I came from and how I could shape the future for my children.” 

“I have always admired my mother for her strength and perseverance,” Annabelle’s daughter Karen Howe reminisced. She worked hard to raise us and provide for not only our wellbeing but opportunities that have allowed each of us to be leaders in our fields.”  

The women of the American Revolution were often leaders in their own right serving our country. That leadership helped shape our nation, and like their male counterparts they took risks that threatened their lives and livelihoods. They held a deep commitment to ensuring future generations had the rule of law and freedoms that exemplify a functional democracy and serve as a model for others.
Succeeding generations of “Daughters” were some of the Foun-ding Mothers of Montana. “Many of the founding families of Montana were the founding families of our country,” said Iverna Lincoln Huntsman, Vice-President General of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, and longtime member of the Mount Hyalite Chapter.

Mount Hyalite Historian and Park County Genealogy Society President Carol Hunter Woodley remarked, “Agreed, take Emma Ware Scheuber, for example, Regent of the Yellowstone Chapter of NSDAR in Park County from 1907 to 1917, who led in founding our Livingston Carnegie Library and was known as the leading botanist on wildflowers in the Treasure State.”

Today, the Daughters of the Mount Hyalite Chapter exemplify the commitment of our Founding Fathers and Mothers as they continue to lead in the present. Committed to volunteer community service though promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future by ensuring better education, the Mount Hyalite Chapter has been led by the women of Madison, Gallatin, Park and Sweetgrass Counties now for a century.

“It is a mystery unfolding to discover your family history…it makes the story of our country personal and rele-vant, and that much more important to making decisions moving forward,” said Elizabeth Schuyler Scholl, Mount Hyalite Chapter Regent, NSDAR. Her ancestor was Elizabeth Schuyler, wife of Alexan-der Hamilton, who helped shape our democracy from behind the scenes and define volunteerism and community service. “That knowledge of knowing where I came from shapes who I am and provides comfort knowing I am not leading alone. It supports a confidence in me that if my ancestors could create and build a solid democracy, then, at the very least, I can help to sustain it. Our commitment to volunteer community service through NSDAR and our efforts through the local Mount Hyalite Chapter is to do just that.”

To celebrate their 100th Anni-versary the Daughters of the Mount Hyalite Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, will participate in this year's Livingston Round-Up Parade. The Daughters will be driven by members of the Montana Street Rod Association, a non-profit whose similar commitment to education provides scholarships to Montana students studying in the automotive trades. This year's parade theme is Women of the American Revolution! Annabelle Nesbit Anderson and Carol Hunter Woodley, Mount Hyalite Chapter members, will serve as Co-Grand Marshalls of the parade. “We welcome one and all to celebrate our Centennial with us and to celebrate the ancestors that brought us our democracy and helped us to estab-lish the privilege to live in the great state of Montana,” said Carol Hunter Woodley.

Annabelle Nesbit Anderson was born in 1927 to Millard and Emma Nesbit. Her grandfather was Sam Nesbit, a rancher in Paradise Valley.  Her father was an engineer for a mining company and she lived in Mexico as a child, although her mother insisted she be an American citizen, so she was born in El Paso, Texas. Annabelle speaks fluent Spanish and learned to swim and play tennis in Mexico. The family returned to ranch in Park County. After graduating from high school, she went to Montana State College, then the University of Montana, where she graduated with an education degree. Annabelle taught school in the Big Timber area where she met her husband, Lee Anderson, who was working for Montana Power. They returned to Bozeman and had four children (Bob, Karen, Carol, and Kenneth). When Lee was tragically killed in a railroad accident, she returned to teaching while raising the children. Annabelle taught third grade for more than 15 years at Longfellow Elementary School. 

The family has grown to include 6 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, and numerous cousins and other family members. Annabelle has done a lot of family genealogy on the Nesbit family.  She has been a member of the Mount Hyalite Chapter since 1963, and currently serves as the Librarian. Annabelle  has traveled extensively, collects stamps, and loves flowers. 

Carol Hunter Woodley was born November 8, 1935, the daughter of Thomas “Tom” and Nancy “Betty” Hunter, in Livingston. When she was one year old, the family moved from Elton (near current Springdale) to the family ranch on Cottonwood Creek, and then Mary, Margery, Thomas and Suzanne joined the family. Carol attended Sumner School through the eighth grade and graduated from Clyde Park High School in 1954. She married Carrol W. Noyd in 1954 and is the mother of David, Debra, Leslie and twins Marlon and Marcy. Carrol Noyd died in 1969 at Loma, Montana, where he was employed as a grain elevator agent, and the family moved back to live at the ranch on Cottonwood Creek, near Clyde Park. The children went to school, graduated, and are now married. Carol was married to Jim Romsa in 1972 and drove a school bus for the Livingston Schools and ran the Park County Fair for seven years. After her divorce, she went to work for the Swandal, Douglass Law Firm, as a water rights specialist, for over 20 years, while raising her family. She married David Clark in 1981, and he passed away in 1983. She later married Morris Woodley and worked with him in their wood working shop until 2002.

Carol began doing genealogy while at the law firm and continued doing that for family and others. She has 12 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, is active in her community and church, works as a volunteer Archivist for Park County, serves as President of the Park County Genealogy Society, and is treasurer of the Montana State Genealogical Society. She became a member of the Mount Hyalite Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, in 2009 and serves as their Historian.







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