Volume 6, Number 8, Summer 1978
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your president for the coming year. Since many of you, especially those living outside the Ozarks, never heard of me, perhaps a word of introduction is in order. Maybe you wonder, what a person from Hickory County is doing in the White River Valley Historical Society, so let me give you a brief history of myself and my family.
I was born on a farm at the head of Goff Creek, near Spokane, Mo. and lived in Christian County many years. My parents, T. R. Welch and Annie E. Young Welch were members of pioneer families who settled in Stone and Christian Counties soon after the Civil War and I have many relatives and friends in those counties. I married Omer E. Brown, a lawyer at Ozark, Missouri, who was born and raised in Ozark County. He had many relatives and friends in Ozark and Douglas Counties. At the time of his death at Sedalia, Missouri on January 31, 1971, we had an abstract company and law office there, which I operated until 1974, when I established a home on Lake Pomme de Terre near Hermitage, Mo. I have three children living in Kansas City and one in California and my home on the lake is a convenient meeting place for the family, yet close enough for me to keep in close contact with my relatives and friends in South Missouri. My church membership is in Ozark Presbyterian Church and my husband and infant son lie in Ozark City Cemetery, so I have close ties in the Ozarks.
The White River Valley Historical Society was organized in 1961 for the purpose of preserving the historical heritage of this part of the Ozarks by whatever means necessary and expedient. We have made great progress thus far but the task is just begun. We have a wonderful opportunity to preserve and protect this heritage through the pages of our Quarterly, but to do that the history, stories, legends and folklore handed down from generation to generation must be written. We have an enthusiastic new editor, Ruth Asher, a charter member of the Society, but she can only publish what is sent to her. This region is rich in history. Our ancestors came here with little more than a team and wagon, a milk cow, a gun, an axe and a Bible. They established homes, schools, churches, local governments, mills, trading centers, roads and bridges. Now we are reaping the harvest of their labors. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those brave early settlers. Now let us honor them by preserving the heritage they left us. There is much to be done: family histories to be researched, written and published; historical sites to be marked and commemorated; cemeteries and family burying grounds to be located and enumerated; abandoned churches and school houses to be investigated and their histories written.
I solicit your cooperation in furthering the work of the Society, in obtaining new members and recovering old members who have dropped out, in writing up the stories and other historical matter for publication.
I shall do my best, as your president, to serve the interests of the White River Valley Historical Society to the best of my ability, to listen to suggestions for the betterment of the organization, to become acquainted with all members and to visit all counties in the area during my term. Now it is up to each of us to contribute our talents and efforts to make this a banner year for the society. Let each of us become a committee of one, using as our motto these ten little two-letter words:
"IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME."
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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