DAR celebrates Mrs. Thomas Lorraine Campbell

By Kay Pruitt

As we celebrate Women’s History month, the Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution would like to honor our past Regent Mrs. Thomas Lorraine Campbell who was very active in DAR as well as several other heritage societies.  In addition to being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she was a member of National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, United Daughters of the Confederacy, National Society United States  Daughters of  1812, Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy, Huguenot Society of America, Society of Boonesborough, Louisiana Historical Association, North Louisiana Historical Association and The State Historical Society of Missouri. Furthermore, she was instrumental in getting a chapter of the Children of the American Revolution started in Minden. 

Mrs. Campbell was born in Missouri.  Her mother was a member of DAR in Missouri and had verified nine ancestors who were involved in the American Revolution. Of particular note was Colonel Frederick Hambright who was a hero at the Battle of Kings Mountain. With the exception of the Korean War, her family has served in every conflict this country has participated in. Her mother engendered a passion for history in her daughter, and she became the keeper of the history of her family and the history of Minden and Webster Parish. Mrs. Campbell graduated from Steven’s College in Missouri with a degree in public school music and then attended the University of Missouri earning a degree in journalism. As a possible reflection of her study of journalism she was interested in the why and how of history not just the who.  She was a student of the history and significance of the American Revolution recognizing these were living people who were products of the time period. She had a love of her country and was very patriotic flying the United States flag to mark days pertinent to our history.

In 1979 she was named Woman of the Year an award that was well earned.  She initiated the effort to save the old Rose-Neath Funeral Home which she hoped to use as a museum for the Dorcheat Historical Association. She wrote a number of articles for the Minden Press-Herald in 1979 which were quizzes about local history that she hoped would motivate interest in saving the structure. Because of her efforts to create a museum, the Dorcheat Historical Association was begun, and she served on the board. As a member of the North Louisiana Historical Association, she served as president and secretary at one time.  Her writings were published in the North Louisiana Historical Journal and other historical journals and magazines. Mrs. Campbell was awarded a lifetime honorary board membership in the North Louisiana Historical Association; in addition, she was a member of the State Genealogical Society and the Ark- La-Tex Genealogical Society. Her love of history encompassed so many things pertaining to Minden; for example, in 1964 she became the Dorcheat DAR Chapter’s American History Month Chairman and issued the first request for Minden to engage in the national observance.  She encouraged local schools to participate in an annual historical essay contest during American History Month and urged organizations and libraries to observe the month of February with special regard to our historical heritage. Her interests extended to many other organizations. Mrs. Campbell was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, an organizing member of the Minden Study Club, the Department Club and the Minden Garden Club. She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church where she was the organist for 25 Years. She shared her love of history by working in Expanding Horizons (a program for the academically gifted) at Minden High School where she guided students in researching and preparing a map of Minden in 1900. 

The Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are grateful to Mrs. Campbell for the many years of service to our town of Minden and our parish of Webster. Her efforts touched the lives of many and made Minden a better place.