The Harney Peak Chapter NSDAR was organized on January 19, 1949, in Custer, SD. The chapter is named for the highest natural point in South Dakota. The peak was named in the late 1850s in honor of General William S. Harney, who was the commander of the military in the late 1870s.

Mrs. Dorothy Ziolkowski, of Crazy Horse, near Custer, South Dakota, wanted to organize a DAR Chapter for this area. Dorothy was a member of the Ruth Wylls Chapter NSDAR of West Hartford, Connecticut. Dorothy was very knowledgeable about DAR and she actually had eight supplemental ancestor papers to add to her own original application. She was granted a membership-at-large on March 20, 1948, and appointed organizing regent with a time limit of one year in which to form the new chapter.

The original application for our chapter's name was "Annie Donna Tallent"; however, that name was rejected by National headquarters. The names of chapters were confined to the period preceding 1825 and Annie Tallent was not born until 1827. The new chapter was then named "Harney Peak."

The Ziolkowski's (Dorothy and Korcsak) hosted a District DAR meeting at Crazy Horse on October 10, 1948. There were 59 sign-ins (singles and couples, etc.) on the guest register. They came from Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Rapid City, Sturgis, Lead, Hill City, Fort Meade, Custer, Keystone, Deadwood, Newell, Trojan, Hot Springs, Spearfish, Castlewood, and Wall, South Dakota, as well as from Alliance, Nebraska.

Dorothy had a list of about 40 persons whom she considered candidates for prospective membership. She was required to have at least twelve members-at-large from other chapters in order to start a new chapter.

Dorothy Ziolkowski actually had twelve members-at-large plus three new member applicants who were approved for NSDAR membership on December 8, 1948. Dorothy received notice on December 18, 1948, that the new chapter could now be formed and the next meeting for that approval of the formation of the chapter would be held in January 1949. She hastened to get all the necessary papers forwarded before the January meeting and the "Harney Peak" Chapter NSDAR was actually approved and formed on January 19, 1949. This was written in 1994 which was 46 years and several months later. In 1994, there were still two charter members in the chapter: Mrs. Carrie Lee Kendall and Mrs. Edith Varin.

The organizing members were: Mrs. Esther Aalseth, Mrs. Bess Aune, Mrs. Blanche Brittain, Mrs. Alice Brosius, Mrs. Dorothy Coe, Mrs. Seth Comstock, Mrs. F. R. Donovan, Mrs. Lee Harvey, Mrs. Olive Mahnke, Mrs. Mae Nevin, Mrs. Bea Starr, Mrs. R. W. Stoll, Mrs. George Thompson, Mrs. Young, and Mrs. Dorothy Ziolkowski. There were five other member applications in the process for approval and those that the NSDAR approved during the year of 1949 were considered Charter Members. Those five names were: Mrs. Helen Borgen, Mrs. Lucy Broyles, Mrs. Carrie Lee Kendall, Mrs. Lucille Manning, and Mrs. Edith Varin.

The new chapter grew with seven new members during 1950. Those names were: Mrs. Arlene Lippman, Miss Genevieve Ray, Mrs. Erma Loertz, Mrs. Ellen Lloyd, Mrs. Jennie Quinn, Mrs. Jessie Ashton, and Mrs. Martha Tinsley.