President’s Reports

Bolivar County Historical Society Annual Meeting

President’s Report

8 October 2012

Historic Sketch
The Bolivar County Historical Society was suggested during the term of Charles Jacobs, Jr. as President of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. Jack W. Gunn, Jr. was chairman of the Community Facilities Committee in the Chamber and one of this committee’s objectives was to establish a historical society.  The committee was made up of Jack Gunn (chairman), S.R. Blakeman, Eades Houge, Curt Lamar, Mrs. Warwick Smith, Charles Whittington, Hubert Boykin and Lavell Hendricks.  Once the committee approved a constitution establishing the society, they presented their constitution and recommendation to hold an organizational meeting for the public in February 1972.  The Board of Directors of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce approved these two actions and on 17 February 1972 at 7:30 pm, the first organizational meeting for the Bolivar County Historical Society was held  in the Mississippi Power and Light Company auditorium in Cleveland.  Meetings were held quarterly with the next scheduled meeting set for May 17, 1972.  Considered the first official meeting of the BCHS, the society met on Wednesday, 17 May to dedicate a highway marker to indicate the location of the first police court in Bolivar County.  By 1975, the Society was listed as a member in good standing with the IRS and was a non-profit corporation.  However, by the late 1990’s, membership in the Society had waned and the organization disbanded in 1999.

In 2010, it was discussed that perhaps Bolivar County needed the historical society to be reborn.  With the energetic assistance of Ned Mitchell, Lisa Miller and Emily Jones, an initial investigation meeting was held in May 2011 at the Cleveland High School library for the community to attend and gage the response of the community for such an organization.  All in attendance at that meeting agreed that a historical society would benefit the community as well as visitors touring through our county.  Emily Jones and Lisa Miller served as co-chairs for the first several meetings while Ned Mitchell served as acting treasurer and Drew Swanson served as secretary.

As of 8 October 2012, Emily Jones serves as President; Lisa Miller as Vice President; Ned Mitchell as Treasurer and Drew Swanson as Secretary.  Standing Committees and their memberships are as follows:
·    Research Committee – Mission: To generate & field research related to the history of Bolivar County.
o    Goals for 2011-2012:
§    Generate a list of local historic resources, most likely an annotated bibliography
§    Generate a geographic bibliography of resources (how to find resources based on locations)
§    Develop and host a workshop within the next year.
Lisa Miller
Debbie Leftwich
Emily Jones
Drew Swanson
Pat Brown
Jonett Valentine
·    Museum Committee – Mission: To build a network between museums and individuals interested in supporting the missions of the various museums throughout the MS Delta.
Emily Jones
·    Cemeteries Committee – Mission: To survey cemeteries, gathering historic information to assist with research requests, preserve local history, protect historic cemeteries and to discover unrecorded cemetery locations.
Linda Bassie
Lisa Miller
Debbie Leftwich
Jonett Valentine
Prissy Aguzzi
·    Publications Committee –
Charles Clark
Noel Funchess
Margaret Swanson
·    Membership Committee –
Matt Jones
Billy Nowell
Hilda Povall
·    Historic Sites Committee – This committee is designed to keep an open line of communication between the Heritage Preservation Committee and the BCHS.
Micki Thompson
Cheryl Line (chair)
·    Program Committee – Mission – To bring the history of Bolivar County into the present and preserve it, while making it come alive for the community.
Ned Mitchell
Bettye Mitchell (chair)
Cam McMillen
·    Publicity –
Matt Jones
Kay Bullock
Meetings are held the second Monday of every month with a break during the summer months.  For the academic year, 2011-2012, lunch has been provided at no cost to membership during noon meetings and desserts and coffee have been provided during evening meetings.  Every other month, meetings are held at either the noon hour or 6:30 pm.  This is an attempt to allow more members to attend meetings at least every other month.

We have a Facebook page and a WordPress web page to try to advertise our events and encourage membership.  Our dues are $10.00 per person.

Respectfully Submitted by Emily Jones__________________________________Date_____________________

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