Winnsboro, the "Stars and Stripes Capital of Louisiana," is one of the most patriotic cities in America. In 1991, Governor Buddy Roemer presented this proclamation to the city giving it that title. On Memorial Day, July 4th, Veterans Day, Labor Day, and other special occasions, approximately 350 American flags fly proudly along highway 15. These flags were donated by families of deceased veterans of all wars who were residents of Winnsboro and Franklin Parish. They add an extra beauty to the city and bring a warm feeling to the hearts of the community as well as visitors passing through.
Oakley Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, was organized August 12, 1959. Organizing regent and first chapter regent was Mrs. A. J. Kosmac; other officers were: Miss Luella Snyder, vice regent; Mrs. Edleen Marczak, recording and corresponding secretary; Mrs. B. A. Byargeon, treasurer; Mrs. H. A. Buie, registrar; Mrs. J. N. Bostick, historian; Miss Rowena Ramage, librarian; Mrs. T. E. Williamson, chaplain.
Those who signed the report of organization of chapter were: Elizabeth Bostick, Helen Buie, Eddie B. Byargeon, Margaret Clark, Dorothy Crawford, Alice Gill, Katherine Gunn, Gloria Kosmac, Edleen Marczak, Lillian McCoy, Rowena Ramage, Anna Sandridge, Linda Snyder, Luella Snyder, Corinth Turnbough, and Eleanor Williamson.
Four more were approved for DAR membership during the following year and so are classified as charter members: Paula Hammond Campbell, Ruth Revel Hammond, Willie Belle Pardue, and Margaret Tyler Livesay Reynolds (who transferred from a chapter in Beaumont, TX).
Oakley Chapter was the 50th chapter in Louisiana and was organized during the 50th year of the Louisiana 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.
Oakley has had a long-standing commitment to our DAR Service for Veterans. Every year since our inception we have provided necessities as well as gifts to several veterans during the Christmas season. In addition, we also like to pass the spirit of patriotism on to succeeding generations. So, for the past two years, Oakley has teamed up with the fourth grade students from Franklin Academy to put on a program to honor our veterans at Plantation Manor Nursing Home.
The past ten years Oakley has presented a deserving Franklin Parish (Winnsboro High) High School JROTC graduating senior with a bronze medal and certificate of award at their annual military ball. The students' pictures and a list of their accomplishments are published in the local newspaper.
The Mayor of Winnsboro has joined Oakley’s current regent and flag chairman Marion Johnson for the past fifteen years to sign a proclamation proclaiming September 17-23 as Constitution Week.
It was a glorious day, October 4, 1997, when Oakley Chapter, one of the smallest DAR chapters, made national history by co-sponsoring with the Town of Winnsboro the raising of the largest U.S. Flag in the state and reportedly, the South: a giant 40' x 75" U.S. Flag in Patriot Square, Winnsboro, Louisiana. The dedication ceremonies included Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, NSDAR President General Dorla E. Kemper, LSDAR State Regent Gwen Sealy, Winnsboro Mayor Billy Cobb, other state and national dignitaries, Oakley Chapter Regent Gloria Kosmac, and “Salute Old Glory Project” Chairman Marian Johnson. DAR members from across Louisiana and neighboring states and thousands of citizens attended the magnificent ceremony. At NSDAR’s 107th Continental Congress in Washington, D.C., in April 1998, Oakley Chapter received four National 1st Place Awards for the “Salute to Old Glory Project."
Luella Snyder was presented with the NSDAR Historic Preservation medal on February 2006. Luella, one of the charter members of the Oakley Chapter, has long been a champion of preserving our history. Her projects have included the restoration of her great grandfather’s home, rebuilding the commissary on the family farm, and preserving the contents of her mother’s journals. In our community of Franklin Parish she has been active in the restoration of an old historic department store into the Franklin Parish Library and transforming the old movie theater into a theater for the performing arts. The chapter is proud of Luella and her recognition, especially since there were only three medals given in 2006.
Oakley is pleased to have Mary Belle White as LSDAR’s State Corresponding Secretary 2007-2010.