The Fort Smith Historical Society met on May 15, 2003, in the Community
Building at Creekmore Park.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Jack W. Arnold. In
Attdance were

Mary Lou Jacobsen
Amelia Martin
Joanne Swafford
J.P. Chancey
Becky Chancey
Benjamin Boulden
Carole Barger
Floyd Barger
Billy Higgins
Chuck Raney
Jerry Akins
Gene McVay
Chloe Lamon

Minutes for the last meeting were not available.

Joanne Swofford, Treasurer, Read the treasurer's report: There is $27,298.00 in the checkingf account at Regions Bank. After the printing bill is paid, the balance will be about $22,000.00.

The president mentioned a $20,000 grant that had been received from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. He stressed that this will not be publicized - we must keep it anonymous. He passed around copies of the Grant letter from the Foundation. We, the recipient, must submit to
foundation a brief evaluation of the funded project within 90 days. The president signed a confirmation receipt of the Grant, and set the date of July, 2003, to submit a progress report. Also, he passed around a copy of the letter dated May 3, 2003, sent to Joel Stubblefield at U of A, Ft. Smith.

There was a discussion of the best use of the Grant money, investing in CD's, and how much should be kept in the checking account. Gene McVay suggested that we form a committee to select articles from old Journals, and publish a special hard-back journal. The sale of the book is to be a money making event. Gene McVay will head the selection of the committee, which will meet on Thursday, June 19, 2003, at 2:00 PM at Creekmore Park. The committee selected is composed of:
Carole Barger
Ben Boulden
Billy Higgins

Mr. McVay reminded us that the Grant money is to be used only for storage space for the Journals and to aid in the future production of the Journal.

It was stated that "Reflections of Fort Smith" may be published again. However, Fred Patton will not re-print his book, "History of Fort Smith", but he might donate the copyright.

Mary Lou Jacobsen reported on the Belle Fort Smith Tour.

Chuck Raney mentioned that someone should get listings and put Sebastian County cemeteries on the internet.

Ben Boulden said Ft. will host one page -- maybe someone could
expand it and find a not-for-profit host.

John Bell, The artist, is willing to do a master print, if we will sponsor.

Amelia Martin reported that many of the stored Journals got wet and ruined. She will go with Billy Higgins and Jack Arnold to see what condition they are in. Joanne suggested that every box be examined,organized and inventoried. There was a general discussion of the amount of space needed and how to arrange storage, in order to have access to the Journals. Sandi Sanders, the Provost at UA, Ft. Smith,
has been contacted about space.

Jack Arnold presented Chuck Raney with a framed certificate of appreciation, signed by Board members, for his work as President. The Times Record article about "Tales of the Crypt" was mentioned.

Joanne Swofford reported that Regions Bank had sent a donation of $100.00. We have a Safety Deposit box there.

Billy Higgins reported on the Arkansas Historical Conference at Monticello, which he attended. The conference centered on the Louisiana Purchase. Fort Smith has been chosen host the conference next year, April 14th and 15th, 2004. The headquarters will be at the Holiday Inn Downtown. There will be 2 luncheons, Friday and Saturday. The banquet will be on Friday. The local Historical Society will provide activities, such as tours, etc. In Monticello, these were located near where the papers were to be read. Final plans and a committee to make arrangements will have to be made. Joanne asked how many people we can expect. Billy siad about 250. There will be 40 or 50 who come early. Ramona will halp with registration. Chuck volunteered to chair the committee. Billy is trying to get Larry McMurtrey to speak.

A meeting in regard to an Arkansas Encyclopedia will be held on Tuesday, May 27, 2003, at 5:30 PM at the new library. We will supply cookies and drinks. Becky Chancey and Chloe Lamon volunteered to bring cookies. JP Chancey will bring ice. Soft drinks and cups will be provided.

Chuck advised that the Arkansas Preservation Society will have a walking tour next May and the cemetary will be included. The UAFS now has a History Major. These students may help with the Journal.

The President asked how often we should meet. It was decided that we should meet quarterly, unless there is a need for a called meeting. The next meeting will be on Thursday, Aug. 14th, at 2:00PM at Creekmore Park.

There was no Old Business.

New Business: Jerry Akins mentioned that the National Historic Site now has files on a Web site. Becky Chancey emphasized that we should concentrate on getting new members. Joanne suggested we send a letter to former classmates, such as was sent to the Class of 1951.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Chloe Lamon
Recording Secretary