Sept. 16, 1957 was the date. The Brown County Art Gallery was the place. About 30 people gathered for a meeting to discuss organizing a Brown County Historical Society.
Leonard Welsh, acting as temporary chairman, opened the meeting and explained the project had been thought about and talked about for awhile; however, no action had been taken to date.
Joe Schreiner had also spoken to several people that summer about the idea and had gathered a list of names of those interested. Then in August, Hubert Hawkins came to Brown County to discuss the project with Joe and was given the list of names. Nothing seemed to materialize until the first week in September when Mr. Hawkins went to the Brown County Democrat office where he talked with Helen Johnson. Helen then contacted Joe Schreiner. This meeting resulted in naming a date on which the organization meeting was to take place.
Through the efforts of many personal invitations there were some 30 people attending this first meeting. Mr. Welsh introduced Mr. Hawkins, director of the state historical society. Mr. Hawkins explained the purpose of the society and how it could be of service to the community. He spoke of the educational values to the school children and future possibilities of having an authentic Brown County museum. There the children might see, not just read about the history of the county. The young people would become interested in the society as well as the older folks. Mr. Hawkins then said, “We are today making the history of tomorrow” for our children and grandchildren.
A paper was passed to all present and Mr. Welsh asked that all who were interested to write their names on it. All were in agreement that the project was well worthwhile. It was then voted by raised hands to organize.
Nominations were then taken for all officers. Nominations for president were Grover Brown, former superintendent of Brown County Schools; Virginia Weddle, teacher in the Nashville School; and Karl Ehrneschwender. For vice president, Mrs. Chester Miller, Eudora Kelley and Dr. Culbertson were nominated; for secretary, Helen Johnson and for treasurer, Ida Anderson.
The results were President Karl Ehrnschwender and Vice President Eudora Kelley. Since there was only one nomination each for secretary and treasurer, they were declared elected by acclamation.
The Brown County Historical Society will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Sunday, April 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. We hope you will plan to come celebrate with us this special occasion. The society has progressed a long way from those early beginnings; however the society’s mission remains sincere.
— Pauline Hoover, Brown County Historical Society