What is now known as the Oakdale Women’s Club began its existence in April of 1907 as the Ladies Improvement Club of Oakdale with an initial membership of nearly 30.
The club’s stated objective was to clean and beautify the newly-incorporated City of Oakdale wherever help was needed, including streets, cemeteries, parks, schoolyards, and buildings.
In its earliest days, the club served in a social capacity, sponsoring many community affairs, such as a Fall Fair in 1908 and a Rose Carnival in 1911.
From its beginning, the club was instrumental in the creation of many Oakdale landmarks. Club members sponsored beautification projects in the form of multiple tree-planting projects. Even today, Oakdale is known for the Dogwood trees which flourish each spring.
In 1909, the club gathered enough money to build a dance platform for the Fourth of July celebration. That dance floor was moved to the newly-established Dorada Park. Improvements and additions were made as time and money allowed, so that by 1924, the Dorada Clubhouse was finally completed. These same women were also responsible for creating the original landscaping of Dorada Park.
The club’s literary committee began fundraising in 1915 and secured an Andrew Carnegie Grant for the Oakdale Public Library. By 1916, they had organized a city-wide cleanup project, which helped to further enhance the beauty and serenity of Oakdale.
In 1926, the club staged its most successful fundraiser, securing $2,500 towards the building of the town’s new swimming pool.
The gardening segment of the club grew to such an extent that by 1929, it separated and became an independent entity, now known as the Oakdale Garden Club. Another offshoot of the club in the 1930s was a Junior Auxiliary. Though short-lived, the Auxiliary sponsored social and charitable activities and helped form a local Girl Scout troop.
Sometime in the 1930s, the club changed its name to the Oakdale Women’s Club. To this day, its members continue to meet and carry out the original objectives begun so long ago by the Ladies Improvement Club.