Oliver Wiley Chapter DAR celebrates 100 years

Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Oliver Wiley Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month.

The local chapter of the DAR was organized Jan. 22, 1914.

In the summer of 1913, Ella Wiley Smith of Austin, Texas was a guest in the home of her cousin, the late Oliver C. Wiley on College Street in Troy.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Smith was ardent and enthusiastic member of the DAR and a zealous worker in her hometown Chapter and in the state DAR.

She had recently returned from Concord, North Carolina where she had visited an old cemetery, which was located on the summit of one of the highest hills in Cabarrus County. Many pioneers and soldiers of the American Revolution were buried there. Among the graves was that of Oliver Wiley who served as captain of the First Battalion of Mecklenburg.

While Smith was visiting in Troy, a small group of relatives was inspired by Smith and decided to for a local DAR Chapter.

Elizabeth Wiley Davids agreed to take responsibility for the organization of the local Chapter and sent an application to the state regent.

Davids was accepted as an at-large member of the DAR and appointed organizing regent of the local Chapter.

After several weeks, the number of members required to form a chapter was reached. Then, on January 22, 1914, a called meeting was held at the home of W.L. Davids on College Street. Nineteen charter members were enrolled.

A name for the Chapter was discussed. Because the lineal descendants of the patriot, Oliver Wiley were the original and moving spirits in the organization of the Chapter and in appreciation of their efforts, the Chapter unanimously voted that the Chapter be named Oliver Wiley Chapter DAR.

On Smith’s return to Troy, she brought with her a short length of wood from an oak tree growing next to the grave of Oliver Wiley. She requested that a gavel for the Chapter be made from the wood.

However, two gavels were made from the wood. One gavel as given to the First Regent Olive Wiley and the other to the Chapter.

Called meetings were held to draw up bylaws and rules of order in accordance with the National Society. The members also chose the Chapter flower, the golden rod, and adopted the motto, “God, Home and Country.”

The first regular meeting was held on Oct. 14, 1914. The Chapter’s purpose was to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence, to promote the of an enlightened public opinion and to foster patriotic citizenship.

To be eligible for membership in the DAR, a woman must be a descendant of one with unfailing loyalty to the cause of American Independence and served in one of the Colonial States or was recognized as a patriot.

Oliver Wiley 2013-2014 Chapter officers are Mimi Dorrill, regent; Mabeth Gibson and Jean Laliberte, vice regents; Juanita Bush, chaplain; Patsy Folmar, recording secretary; Mary Alice Sanders, corresponding secretary; Rita Moore, treasurer; Karen Bullard, registrar; Jacqueline Floyd, historian; Sara Lee Dunbar, librarian; and Rebecca Skibba, parliamentarian.