February 4, 2020


The Spencer County Historical Society met on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, in the Rockport Library Genealogy Room.


The meeting was called to order by the president at 6:30 PM with 14 members and two guests present.


The minutes from the last meeting were read and approved with corrections.


The treasurer’s report was given. 


The secretary reported on the following communications she had received since the November meeting:

·         Nov. 11:  Received e-mail about proposed construction of communications tower at Hwy 231 & Hwy 62.

·         Nov. 13:  Received a donation in memory of Nancy Fulks.  Sent ‘Thank You’ note.

·         Nov. 26:  Received e-mail about historical markers in southwest Indiana

·         Nov. 27:  Received donation from a member.  Sent ‘Thank You’ note.

·         Dec. 4:  Historian of the Year program - 48 people in attendance

·         Dec. 7:  Received note from a member.

·         Dec. 7:  Sent “Thank You’ note to a member for recruiting over seven new members for the Society.

·         Dec. 7:  Sent “Thank You’ note to The Rustic for making the Dec. 4 program special.

·         Dec. 12:  Received e-mail about INDOT proposing to proceed with a new terrain roadway project

·         Dec. 13:  Received card from a member of Louisville, KY

·         Dec. 13:  Received letter from Indiana Historical Society seeking nomination for Spencer County Historian.  Position has been vacant since 2014.

·         Dec. 16:  Sent e-mail about having to pay for filing IRS tax for 990-N (e-Postcard)

·         Dec. 16:  Received gift to Society from a member of Palm Beach, FL.

·         Dec 18:  Sent ‘Thank You’ note for her gift.

·         Member:  Washington County and Dubois County newsletters

·         Received letter January 6, 2020, at the library from INDOT about a meeting January 29, 2020, at South Spencer High School concerning the Highway 66 in front of the school. 

·         Received a notice January 21, 2020, about the grand re-opening of the John Hay Center in Salem, Indiana, on January 25, 2020.  This is the part of the Washington County Historical Society.

·         Received notification about Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference at South Bend, Indiana, on April 14-17, 2020.

·         John Hargis has written a book, The Wrath of Judge Lynch:  Race Wars.  He is having a book signing on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 6:30 PM.

·         Member:  Historian of the Year wall plaque & Christmas sign


The president gave a brief history of how the Society read all the cemeteries in the county and developed the readings into the three cemetery books which they had printed in 1987.  People were very glad that the project had been done to help preserve the history of the cemeteries. 


Several people stated some cemeteries have had none or very little work done to maintain them.  A member asked if a cemetery was on private property, can you go to it.  He was told that you have to ask permission first.


A member mentioned he had done dowsing on land where a house was being built, and the landowners were bulldozing over tombstones.  The game warden was contacted and he said they could do what they wanted.


The president wanted to create a cemetery committee to see how some of the money from a recent gift donation could be used.  Several members were appointed.


A member requested the Society look into fixing up the McCoy cemetery located off County Road 500 North, just east of County Road 150 West.  To get access to the cemetery, the Society would need 2 culverts (one at the edge of 500 North and one 50’ back), signage at the road and at the cemetery, and 700’ of gravel for a road and a turnaround.  He said the landowner was agreeable with this and he was going to get a quote on the cost.


Two members looked at a cornerstone from the South Central School which was built in 1922.  Several people showed an interest in obtaining the stone.  The stone was given to the Society and they felt that it should be placed on the grounds where the school once stood which is now the location of Larkin Baptist Church near Patronville on Highway 45.  A member is to get wording for a plaque to be placed with the stone telling of its importance.


John Hargis reported he had given a copy of his recent book, The Wrath of Judge Lynch:  Race Wars to the Genealogy Room.  He is going to have a book signing on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the Rockport Library.


A member mentioned the plaques on the wall in the Genealogy Room that have the names of the Historians of the Year are now full.  He asked if the Society wanted to purchase another plaque for future names.  A motion was made and seconded to purchase a new plaque.  The motion carried.


A member brought up the Christmas signs that are displayed in Rockport and the City Park during the Christmas season.  They are made by Midwest Graphics.  Many businesses in the county have one advertising their company.  They can be stored by Rockport.  A motion was made and seconded to purchase a sign.  The motion carried.  A member will present several designs for a selection at the next meeting   


The president mentioned a member had talked to the new Rockport Mayor about putting up a plaque at the Langford cave.  This project has been on hold for some time.  The mayor gave the Society permission to put up the sign.  The sign had already been designed and a cost had been given. The president had checked with Schum Monuments and there had been a slight price increase.   Since the project had already been approved by the Society, the president told Schum to go ahead and make the plaque.  They will also install the plaque.


A member told the Lincoln Pioneer Village is in the process of rechinking the log cabins.  They have a small budget, but the caretaker has really worked on improving the Village.  The member would like to have her come to the next meeting and tell the Society her plans for the Village.  A member suggested she also bring in some cost proposals for her projects.


A member announced there was going to be a free World War II history course presented at South Spencer High School on three consecutive Wednesday evenings:  February 12, 19 and 26 from 6-8 PM


A member gave an update on making a book of Society newsletters from 1986-1999.  There are 428 pages and they will need a cover sheet. They will also have a plastic binding so copies can be made easily without ruining the book.   A motion was made and seconded to print 100 copies of the book.  The motion carried.


The president read a letter from a member who has written a book about Richland and her family.  She was wanting information on how to proceed to get a book published.


What to do with the donations given in memory of Ferman Yearby II was discussed.  The general consensus was to check with his son to see if the Society could help in his project to make several books of photographs that his father had taken over the years.  It was suggested to ask him to attend a future meeting.


A member announced the library has ordered a new microfilm machine for the Genealogy Room.  It will be a reader-printer and have the capability to allow you to transfer images to a thumb drive.  This will be a great improvement.


A member also mentioned that he had happily found old basketball scorebooks from Rockport High School, some go back to 1948.


A member had a picture of the 1930 Chautauqua which was part of the eighth grade graduation for the County.  It was given to the Society by Robert Suhrheinrich.  It was his mother’s -- Roberta Axton Suhrheinrich.


The president announced the Lincoln Day Celebration at the Lincoln Boyhood National Park, will be on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at 2:00 PM.


A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried.  The meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.


The next meeting will be March 3, 2020 at 6:30 PM in the Genealogy Room.