Annie Poage is  Honored by the DAR

Annie Poage is Honored by the DAR

Pamela Hall

The Ashland Beacon


   The Poage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution organization does many things in the Ashland area. One of the tasks that they see to -in addition to fulfilling their mission for historic preservation, is keeping the monuments of the Poage family in the Ashland Cemetery clean and looking presentable. 

   While accomplishing this task one day in 2020, Cheryl Spriggs, Regent of the Poage Chapter, and Deborah Everman, Chair of the Historic Preservation Committee for the Chapter, began looking for the headstone of Annie Poage. Annie was a charter member of the Poage Chapter of DAR in 1909, and a great-granddaughter of one of the founders of Ashland, George Poage. 

   The only thing Cheryl and Deborah found was a small footstone with Annie’s name and the DAR symbol to mark her grave. They decided to rectify the fact that she had no headstone. 

   “We decided that day,” Cheryl said, “that the Poage Chapter would erect a headstone for Annie to honor this remarkable woman.”

   After two years of research and work, they began to see that decision come to fruition. The more facts they unearthed about Annie’s life, the more remarkable they found her to be. 

   Margaret Ann “Annie” Poage, was born in Ashland on February 23,1857 to Hugh Calvin and Sarah Davenport Poage. She attended Ashland Normal public schools and Professor Soper’s School of Oratory in Chicago. Graduating as the valedictorian of her class, she was prepared for a teaching career. Although the 1880 census lists her as a teacher, sly spent most of her life in the journalism profession, a profession mainly dominated by men at that time. 

   She began writing for the Ashland Daily News, later called Ashland Independent, in the 1890s. By 1906, she was writing ads for a large department store in Pittsburgh, Boggs and Buhl. She was hired as a correspondent in 1914. She also wrote for two other Louisville newspapers, several newspapers in Cincinnati, as well as the Ironton Independent. 

   Annie was a member of, and often held positions of leadership in several organizations in addition to the DAR. Those include the Kentucky Associated Press, the Daughters of the War of 1812, the Ashland Women’s Club, and the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, just to name a few. She also was chairperson for the Food Administration for Boyd County. 

   She was instrumental in organizing several important organizations for the community, such as the Northeastern Kentucky Defense Council and the Ashland Advertising Club. When she and a dozen other women saw the need for a better hospital in Ashland, they helped organize King’s Daughters Hospital. The health care we receive today at King’s Daughters Medical Center is a direct result of their efforts. 

   In 1919, Annie received the honor of which she was most proud. Former Governor James D. Black honored her as a Kentucky Colonel, making her the first woman to receive the designation. She preferred to be called Colonel Annie Poage after receiving the honor. 

   Annie passed away on June 22, 1938. 

   Receiving the Kentucky Colonel designation played an integral part in the Poage Chapter of the DAR being able to accomplish the goal of getting Annie a headstone. After gaining permission from the Poage family to proceed, they were able to receive funding from a grant from the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels for the headstone. 

   The Dedication Ceremony for the placement of the headstone was held on September 17 during the annual Poage Landing Days celebration. Employees of the Ashland Park Board were able to set the stone and prepare the site for the ceremony. The event was attended by about 60 people, including 16 members of the Poage family. 

   The research done by Cheryl Spriggs, Deborah Everman, and the Poage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, has allowed us to be able to learn more about a truly remarkable woman who blazed a trail to make Ashland a better place. Thank you, Annie, for your efforts. They have not gone unnoticed!

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