Jean Bessac Chapter was organized October 25, 1939 in Alma,
Michigan. It was named for Jean Guilliame Bessac, ancestor of
the Chapter's first regent, Miss Lou Nickerson.
Since its beginning the Jean Bessac Chapter has been active in
patriotic and youth causes. Pledge of Allegiance cards and
flags were distributed to Boy Scouts, local schools, and
newly naturalized citizens. Manuals for citizenship were
distributed at citizenship classes given by a member. The Chapter has
sponsored many 12th grade Good Citizens who have become State
runners-up. Chapter members have also worked with Junior
American Citizen and History contest contestants. Many honors
and winners have resulted.
In 1963, the Jean Torrance Chapter of Ithaca disbanded and several
members of the chapter joined Jean Bessac Chapter. In 1987,
Steven Thompson Mason Chapter of Ionia disbanded and we received
additional transferees. A 50-Year birthday celebration was
held in 1989. Jean Bessac Chapter looks forward to future
service and our members are proud to be Daughters.
Jean Guilliame Bessac (1760 - 1824)
This young Frenchman came to America in 1779, at the age of 19, and
with his brother set up a mercantile business in Jersey City.
When the French fleet arrived with a body of land forces under Count
Rochambeau, Jean Bessac was commissioned as Assistant Surgeon and was
attached to the staff of the Count. In this post he made good
use of medical skills acquired in his earlier years of training, and he
also gave freely of his personal fortune in the cause of American