Breckenridge Texan

Picketville Chapter of Daughters of the Republic of Texas celebrates 10th anniversary

Picketville Chapter of Daughters of the Republic of Texas celebrates 10th anniversary
April 18
07:07 2022

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Ten years ago, Billie O’Neal and Judy Wolfe worked together to get the Picketville Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas organized, and last week, the group celebrated its 10th anniversary with an event that included everyone from Breckenridge seventh-graders to a college history professor and even a Texas State Representative.

The anniversary event was held at the Breckenridge Woman’s Forum on April 11. The organization’s president, Barbara Thompson, welcomed those attending, and Wolfe told the history of the group. Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery from the event.

“We didn’t know how, but, by golly, we learned,” Wolfe said about how she and O’Neal started the local organization. “We thought, ‘We’ll never get nine people’ (to join the chapter). Well, we started with 35 people, and we were determined to come into this organization and let them know we meant business.”

Picketville-DRT President Barbara Thompson listens as Dr. Stephen L. Hardin speaks on “The Runaway Scrape” on April 11. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas is an organization that seeks to educate, research, preserve, and protect the history of the Republic of Texas for future generations. Members must be direct descendants of someone who “rendered loyal service for Texas” before February 19, 1846, the date of the formal ceremony at which the Republic of Texas ended and Texas was incorporated into the United States.

Over the years, the Picketville Chapter of the DRT has raised more than $50,000 that they donated for the Republic of Texas History Center, which the state organization is building in Austin. Additionally, the members contributed to the fundraising by purchasing brick pavers engraved with their names and/or the names of their ancestors.

Wolfe told the audience how the local DRT chapter was excited to hear about a fundraising contest in which the chapters that raised the most money in their category (small, medium and large) would get their name on the base of the flagpoles to be installed at the History Center.

“Well, we called up Amelia Perry, Rick Perry’s mom, and she made this gorgeous quilt and embroidered on it the ‘Texas, Our Texas’ song. And that is what we used to fundraise,” Wolfe said. “And, we raised $12,521, and Nancy put a penny in there just to make sure that we won. So we did win, and if you go there, we will be the DRT flagpole, and our name will be around the bottom of it.”

The Picketville DRT members take their organization seriously and do everything they can to make it the best chapter possible, she said.

“Our chapter has been a six-star chapter — which is the best you can be — for nine years,” Wolfe said. “And we’ve been on the board four years. We’ve won several awards for publicity and scrapbook. Our (Children of the Republic of Texas) chapter … is ‘Clear Fork of the Brazos,’ and we have won the Four Star Chapter Award, which is the highest you can get, for nine years. And we’ve had five children to be on the board there.”

The current officers of the DRT Picketville Chapter are:

  • Barbara R. Thompson – President
  • Darla Wise McLeod – Vice President
  • Keron Robinson Kinyon – Recording Secretary
  • Sarah Black Thompson – Treasurer
  • Barbara McKeller Trammell – Chaplain
  • Billie Walker O’Neal, assisted by Donna Irby – Registrar
  • Mary Frances Thompson – Historian
  • Donna Irby – CRT sponsor

Past Presidents include Wolfe, who was the Organizing President in 2012, as well as the President from 2013 to 2015; Irby, 2015-2017; Trammell, 2017-2019; and Linda Boose, 2019-2021.

During the anniversary event, O’Neal provided some details on the Picketville Chapter’s cemetery research. “We researched all 44 rural cemeteries in Stephens County and the Breckenridge Cemetery,” she said. “The purpose was to locate and identify local pioneers who lived and died in Texas when it was a republic. Today, there’s 12 early pioneers in the rural cemeteries and two in the Breckenridge Cemetery. Each pioneer will be honored and their grave marked with a Republic of Texas citizen medallion, and that will take place in the near future.”

Following O’Neal’s presentation, Dr. Stephen L. Hardin, a history professor at McMurry University in Abilene, spoke to the group. Seventh-grade students from Breckenridge Junior High School attended the celebration, since Texas history is taught in the seventh grade in Texas public schools.

Hardin spoke on the topic of “The Runaway Scrape,” which is also the topic of a book he’s writing. The Runaway Scrape refers to the time period during the Texas Revolution in early 1836 when Texans fled their homes and Antonio López de Santa Anna and his army made their way into the area to try and stop the revolution. The settlers eventually returned to their homes after Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Texas State Rep. Glenn Rogers planned to attend the celebration but was delayed until it was almost over, because his daughter was participating in the district track meet.

The meeting wrapped up with Kay Jurecek leading the group in “Texas, Our Texas.”

Breckenridge seventh-graders attended the Picketville-DRT 10th anniversary celebration last week. Judy Wolfe, organizing president of the local chapter, talked about how the organization was founded in 2012. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Judy Wolfe, the organizing president of the Picketville Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, talks to the crowd gathered for the organization’s 10th anniversary. She and Billie O’Neal started the group with 35 members in 2012. Click here to see more photos from the anniversary celebration. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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