Volume 8, Number 4, Summer 1983
The close of the 22nd year of the White River Valley Historical Society finds the organization with a paid membership of 274, and six honorary members; plus a healthy and growing interest in its quarterly meetings and its historical publication, past and present.
With the guidance of President Fred Hartman, the program planning of Vice President James E. Powell and the continuing efforts of the secretary-treasurer-editor, Ionamae Rebenstorf, the past year has been marked by many notable developments.
Twenty-eight new members were added to the rolls, 85 were dropped. Members made one revision to the Constitution, voting to remove the limitation on the secretary-treasurers length of tenure. Two changes were approved in the By-laws: to establish a $12.00 "member and spouse" category of dues which includes two voting memberships but only one Quarterly; and, to allow the Executive committee to transact necessary society business between quarterly meetings.
Four quarterly meetings were held, as scheduled, in the Good Memorial College Center Cafeteria at The School of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo. In September, 44 members were present to hear "Early Railroading in the Ozarks" discussed by Springfieldian, Patrick D. Hiatte, the Regional Public Relations Manager for the Burlington Northern Railroad. Galena school teacher and historian Lynn Morrow addressed 65 members at the December meeting, providing a closely documented look at the history and folklore behind "The Case of the Delaware Nation and the Yocum Silver Dollar." In March, with 59 members and guests present, Paul Johns, director of the Christian County Museum at Ozark, told of the "History of Christian County" in slides and narration. For the June meeting, Alan Schmitt, an Ash Grove history teacher who recently has researched and published a "Pictorial History of As Grove," showed a slide version of that book. Twenty-four members were on hand to enjoy the pictures and Schmitts carefully edited and taped narration.
The Society sponsored, for the second successive year, an historical essay contest for area high school students. Judging was done by Dr. Janita Kirk, of The School of the Ozarks. All three winners were on hand at the March meeting to receive their awards and read their essays. The winners: First place, Karen Pridgen, Ash Grove High School, "Springfield Newspapers in the Making"; second place, Rhonda Turner, Glendale High School, "Turners Missouri"; third place, Merrian Copelands grandfather, accompanied the young people to the meeting. The winning essays are being published in the Quarterly.
A number of the best essays submitted in the 1982 contest were included in the Societys Quarterlies this past year. A copy of each of the four editions was sent to the Library of Congress, the State Historical Society of Missouri and The School of the Ozarks Library. Members receiving the Quarterly include 27 libraries, colleges and high schools.
Production costs of the Quarterly continued to rise, totaling $1896.00 for the four editions; the Society spent an additional $96.63 for postage. The treasury balance at the beginning of the year was $1813.90. This years income, in addition to member dues, included $400.50 from the sale for back quarterlies, historical books donated by member and copies of the Topical Index to the Quarterly. When the years bills were all paid, the Society had a bank balance of $276.67, and $2,500 invested in savings.
Four non-monetary gifts were received during the year: A large Bible, inscribed to George W. Wilt from the Herndon Union Sabbath School, 1874, donated by the family of Henry Leroy Pierson, is presently available at members for research purposes; an early copy of Harold Bell Wrights "Shepherd
of the Hills" was sold at auction to a Society member, the proceeds going in the treasury; Historical Records of the McCullough Cemetery and Church, donated by Edna Hazel McCullough and Mildred Lander Roden, were added to the Society files; a copy of "A Voice From the Ozarks," by J.W. Findley, was added to the Societys collection of local historical books.
During the year the Society participated in several projects involving historic preservation. The historic sites committee, chaired by Artie Ayres, read a paper of efforts being made to get the recently rebuilt Swan Creek Bridge, near Forsyth in Taney County, entered on the National Register of Historic Sites. Application was prepared by Viola Hartman and Lynn Morrow, and as the 1982-83 year ended, final determination was expected momentarily.
On October 17, the reconstructed Riverdale Power Plant in Christian County was dedicated, and several WRVHS member attended those ceremonies. The Society also was represented at the dedication, on May 7, of Henning State Park, located on 76 highway about 7 miles West of Branson.
Fifteen members attended the second annual Fall workshop of the Ozarks Genalogical Society, held in Springfield on October 30. The WRVHS had a table display, manned by Lucille Brown, Ionamae Rebenstorf, and Fred Hartman. Sale of our Quarterlies and books that day totaled $102.00
Three special projects brought additional favorable publicity to the Society this year. Through the summer months of 1982, a display concerning area history and the Societys efforts to preserve and record it occupied the window of the Continental Telephone Companys district office on Business Highway 65 in Branson.
The display was designed by Ionamae Rebenstorf and set up by her with the help of Artie Ayres. Secondly, an advertisement concerning our Quarterlies, placed in a large number of inquiries and the sale of many Quarterlies. In the Spring, the Tri-Lakes Newspapers gave a tremendous boost to our efforts when they selected area history, particularly as recorded in the WRVHS Quarterlies, as the focus of their Progress Edition for 1983. The Societys secretary assisted in the selection of material to be included in that edition.
Meetings and activities also benefited greatly from the pre-meeting publicity distributed by the secretary to 14 newspapers and two radio stations in the seven-county area included in the Societys membership. Following each meeting excellent reports of the days events were submitted to area newspapers by Edith McCall, the publicity chairman, or other members who filled the post in her absence.
Finally, the Society continues, through the secretary, to assist many individuals in their genealogical research and writing projects, and maintains information concerning publications, available records and upcoming historical and genealogical meetings. This year a subscription to a new regional historical journal, the Four-State Review, was added to the information files. In order to keep the information in our own quarterlies more easily accessible, the Topical Index, updated through Volume VII (Summer of 1982), is now available through the secretary for $1.50. In addition, Library Chairman Lucille Brown has completed a detailed card file index for Volumes II through VII, to assist the secretary in answering the questions which come to her.
Installation of 1983-84 Officers and County Directors by Lucille Brown concluded the years activities.
Kathleen Van Buskirk
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