Oakley Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, celebrates the organization’s 60th anniversary this year.
In honor of the occasion, and in celebration of the recent election of the chapter’s past regent, Charlotte White, to the office of state regent of the Louisiana Daughters of the American Revolution, members gathered at the home of Tami Boyd for a reception on Sept. 21.
White will serve a three-year term as regent of the state society which is made up of 42 chapters and includes more than 3,000 members. She has served as state historian and state treasurer. The state theme is “Formed Through Service, Building Up in Love.”
Oakley Chapter was organized Aug. 12, 1959. Gloria Desha Kosmac was the organizing regent. Other charter officers were Luella Snyder, vice regent; Edleen Marczak, recording and corresponding treasurer; Helen Buie, registrar; Elizabeth Bostic historian; Eleanor Williamson, chaplain; and Rowena Ramage, librarian.
Those signing the Report of Organization of Chapter form in addition to those mentioned, included Margaret Clark, Dorothy Crawford, Alice Gill, Katherine Gunn, Lillian McCoy, Anna Sandridge Linda Snyder, Corinth Turnbough and Eleanor Williamson.
Four more who were approved for membership during the following year and were classified as charter members were Paula Hammond Campbell, Ruth Revel Hamond, Willie Belle Pardue and Margaret Tyler Reynolds who had transferred from a chapter in Beaumont, Texas.
Oakley was the 50th chapter for Louisiana and was organized during the 50th year of the Louisiana State Society. The name “Oakley” honors an early settlement located on Bayou Macon in what is now Southeast Franklin Parish. First known as The Lower Settlement and later Oakley, the name survives in the name of Oakley Cemetery near the site of the original community.
Throughout the Chapter’s history, members have been actively involved in projects aimed at preserving history, honoring the service of veterans and promoting patriotism.
Oakley has had a long-standing commitment to DAR Service to Veterans. Every year since the chapter was organized, they provided necessities as well as gifts to several veterans during the Christmas season. In addition, the organization likes to pass the spirit of patriotism on to succeeding generations. For the past two years, Oakley has teamed up with the fourth-grade students at Franklin Academy to put on a program to honor veterans at Plantation Manor nursing home.
For the past 10 years, Oakley has presented a deserving Franklin Parish High School Junior JROTC graduating senior with a bronze medal and certificate of award at the annual military bill. The student’s picture and a list of accomplishments are published in The Franklin Sun.
Winnsboro Mayor Sonny Dumas joined Oakley’s regent and Flag Chairman Marian Johnson in signing a proclamation declaring Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week. The Constitution Week observance has been a celebrated community event for the past 15 years with past mayors taking part in the ceremony.
In 1997, Oakley Chapter, in cooperation with the Town of Winnsboro, and then Mayor Billy Cobb made national history by co-sponsoring the raising of the largest U.S. Flag in the state, and reportedly at the time, the South. The flag measured 40 x 75 feet, and was raised in Patriot Square during an event which was attended by Gov. Mike Foster and well as a host of other state and local dignitaries.
Other noteworthy events in Oakley Chapter’s history include the presentation of the NSDAR Historic Preservation Medal to Luella Snyder in February, 2006. Snyder was long a champion of preserving history. Her projects included the restoration of her great-grandfathers’s home, rebuilding the commissary on the family farm and preserving the contents of her mother’s journals. In the Franklin Parish community, she was active in the restoration of the former Walter’s Department Store for the current home of the Franklin Parish Library. She also played an integral part in transforming the Princess Theatre building in downtown Winnsboro into what is today a performing arts venue.
Snyder was one of only three recipients of the Historic Preservation Medal in 2006.
Other past regents of Oakley in addition to the first regent include Ruth R. Hammond, Edleen G. Marczak, Luella Snyder, Frank Ray Berry, Margaret G. Murphy, Routh B. Lee, Irene G. Brent, Beatrice S. Moore, Gladys B. Shipp, Opal B. Jones, Bobbie M. Blackmon and Tami W. Boyd.