MCDONALD COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY BOARD ANNUAL SUMMARY
with our last annual report “what a year”— Due to By Law changes we
increased the Board number to 15 and so we welcomed Paul Lewis, Alice
Snodgrass, Nick Spears, Tara Cosgrove & Judy Duncan giving us the
following Board for the year:
Chair; Lynn Tatum, President; Sam Alps, Vice President; Judy Rickett,
Treasurer; Jane Lant, Secretary; Karen Dobbs; Judy Duncan; Alice
Snodgrass; Kathy Underwood; Margarette Mitchell; Nick Spears; Paul
Lewis; Gene Hall; Alberta Anders & Tara Cosgrove
So much has
happened during the year that it is difficult for me to summarize all
but will begin with the transfer of the ownership of the Courthouse
Museum from McDonald County to the Historical Society. This follows the
previous transfer of ownership of the Sheriff’s House from the County
that took place in 2014. As you may recall, in our last annual report
we were just beginning the renovation of the 2nd floor Courtroom. This
has now been completed along with the adjacent “school room” the
Prosecutors Office & the stairway. This allowed Sam and her Design
Committee to complete displays on the 2nd floor. She also established
the 1st in a series of rotational displays—this year being vintage
clothing entitled “100 Years of Clothing Fashions”. In addition, the
Design Team has plans underway to expand the “Strawberry Room” to a
broader based Agriculture room. The intent is to reflect other Ag
industries that have been major factors in our McDonald County History.
transfer of the Courthouse Museum ownership to the Historical Society,
we have had to address a number of major external
renovation/restoration projects necessary to preserve the building. As
reported last year we obtained a grant from the Missouri State Historic
Preservation Office and with those funds we brought in outside
preservation architects to evaluate the building. They also provided us
with information on the status of the stucco and brick exterior. We
were considering whether to remove all the stucco to expose the
original brick fašade. After evaluating all the information, including
the fact that the stucco has been in place for some 70 years, the Board
made the decision this year to retain the stucco. The Board then took
the architects report under consideration and established a list of
priorities based on recommendations by Paul and his
Renovation/Preservation Committee. This included a new roof on the
Courthouse Museum, rebuild the brick chimneys and repair and paint the
existing stucco exterior. The chimney and roof replacement has been
completed and the bid has been accepted by the Board for the repair and
painting of the stucco. In regard to the Courthouse Museum repairs, we
have spent or committed $45,000 this year to the above mentioned
external renovations. The Renovation/Preservation Committee under the
leadership of Paul in concert with Lynn, have steered us through the
maze of acquiring the bids.
Their efforts have led to solid recommendations that assisted the Board in making their decisions.
In order for
us to carry out the above-mentioned renovations the Board voted to
initiate a $100,000 fund raiser, under the leadership of Lynn, to bring
the infrastructure of the Courthouse Museum to the point where it would
safely preserve the numerous artifacts and information displayed there.
At this point, we are half way through our fund raiser. Rather than
waiting until all funds are in hand, knowing how critical it is to
secure water leaks, etc., we are using the funds as they are obtained.
The expenditure of funds on specific projects follows the established
priorities by the Board. We have spent or committed some $36,000 of the
preservation fund leaving a balance as of November 1 of $12,000 for
preservation expenses. As additional funds are raised, we will continue
through the prioritized list of projects.
the Courthouse Museum preservation expenses & not a part of the
fund raiser, Paul and the Renovation/Preservation Committee
recommended, and Board accepted, the spending of some $12,000 on the
Sheriff’s House. This included a new roof, painting & repair to the
outside, new plumbing and bathroom fixtures as well a number of smaller
items. These were all decisions that were necessary to the preservation
of this historical house as well as the artifacts stored there.
As a separate
budget item, the Board voted this year to set aside $10,000 as our
emergency fund. Our operating fund, designed to “keep the doors open”
is, as of November 1, around $18,000.
In addition to
the scrutiny of our financial situation by the Board, the Board
requested that Judy R. bring in an outside person (Melody Wright) to
perform an outside financial review of our records. The Board is
pleased that she found our financial records to be in order. This
process of bringing in an outside financial reviewer will continue on
an annual basis. We are also grateful to Chris Slinkard, CPA for
filling out and filing our annual tax paperwork.
Al and Lynn
met with Mayor Gregg Sweeten, the Pineville Council and the Pineville
City Planning Committee to discuss a way forward to coordinate and work
together in future planning & design of the city square in
Pineville. Alberta will serve on the Pineville Planning Committee as
our representative from the Board. It is our hope that the Museum will
become a major tourist draw for McDonald County.
Publications Committee chaired by Alice is continuing to publish the
James Reed books, Dorothy Salmon Thompson’s book, Dorothy, Her Life and
Times and she’s working on the Stan Fine publications along with a
number of others opportunities set for publication this coming year.
In terms of
our membership, Kathy, our Membership Chair, reported that we now have
214 members including 147 regular members and 67 “Friends” of the
Society. It’s important to point out that continuing to increase our
membership is critical to the wellbeing of the Society.
served as chair of our nominating/election committee this year which
will present the results of our Board/Officers election at the upcoming
November (2016) Society meeting.
Due to the
efforts of Karen, we brought all the 4th graders from McDonald County
school system through the Museum this year and she has already
initiated the process for the upcoming year. We are grateful to all the
teachers that have assisted in this effort. These educational tours are
in line with our Strategic planning process that took place last year,
in part to emphasize education of the public on their McDonald County
the Oral History Project this year under the direction of Phyllis
Chancellor. She has videotaped a number of individuals in the County
who have shared their memories of McDonald County history. These
interviews will be placed in the Courthouse Museum for subsequent
viewing: These include, but not limited to, interviews with: Jim Tatum,
Zella Mae Collie, Mary Ann Bradley, Darlene Stillons as well as Vicki
Babbitt. In addition, she and Bill Martin have continued to tape the
visiting lecture series at our bimonthly Historical Society meetings.
Benefit Dinner at the River Ranch on April 2, 2016, essential to the
Historical Society, would have not happened without the efforts of our
Co-Chairs Jane and Lynn along with numerous individuals who jumped in
to help. This fund raiser brought in $11,642 to the organization,
primarily to our Operating Budget. This year, we were honored to have
Sondra Torchia provide us with a marvelous re-creation of what life was
like during the Civil War in the Ozarks from a women’s perspective.
continues to coordinate the Docents, a group of volunteers, necessary
to keep the Museum open on Fridays and Saturdays over the summer and
fall. To date we have some 36 docents serving this year. She continues
her efforts to increase the numbers in order that we can ensure
& Pat Chapman continue to oversee the countywide events in which
the Historical Society participates. These include: Spring Open House
of the Courthouse Museum, Jesse James Day, X-mas open house and
accompanying parades, October Fest, New Mac meeting, History Alley,
Chamber breakfast, & bimonthly meetings of the Society.
Submitted by: Al Chapman, Board Chair