Oakley was first known as Oak Creek and was thus named from the fact that a nearby canyon was so thickly covered with oaks. Later the name Oakley was sent in as the official name by W.H. Stevens.
The settlement of Oakley was founded along the river bottoms and lower foothills in the center of Rhoades Valley. With rich soils, water from the Weber River and its tributaries, and plenty of timber, this location easily attracted early settlers. Thomas Rhoades, responsible for much of the settlement of Kamas Valley, came to Oakley in 1853 and claimed a parcel of land for grazing his herd of cattle. The early pioneers liked to be near water, there was also plenty of wood for winter use and more protection from the cold winter winds.
Because Oakley lay in an area less prone to frost damage than other parts of the county, the earliest families were able to raise grains and other crops fairly easily. Wood was harvested from Weber Canyon as a secondary cash crop, and eventually ranches were established, especially in the mouths of canyons.
1864--Many settlers lived in dugouts on the banks of the Weber River during the first winter.
1870--First Sawmill; owned by John Taylor.
1903--Oakley church completed; is now the City Hall.
1904--First schoolhouse built.
1934--Incorporated in order to complete a water project that WPA was helping to sponsor.