The Fort Smith Historical Society Board meeting was held at 2:30 pm, July 22, 2004, in the meeting room at the Yoes Allstate Plaza building, where our new office is located at 422 No. B Street. There were 8 members present.

Jack Arnold, President, called the meeting to order.

The minutes of the last meeting were read by Chloe Lamon, Recording Secretary. There was a correction to the minutes. Only Joanne Swofford has a key to the safety deposit box. Becky Chancey's key is to the storage area at the library.

Joanne Swofford gave the Treasurer's Report. The beginning balance was $12,973.35. Income totaled $5,133.84. Expenses were $4,551.38. Cash on hand is $13,555.81.

The membership secretary was not present, and no report was given.

Old business: There is a need to update our roster. Chuck Raney volunteered to do this. Also, he has signed a contract for our new office for the next 6 months. We will pay insurance and utilities.

There was a question about what procedure is used when a member doesn't renew his or her membership. Jo Tillery sends out reminders and a renewal form is enclosed with each journal. Also, who is responsible for writing thank you notes for memorials? Joanne wrote them for donations for Mary Lou and Amelia, and has a list on her computer.

Joanne said a woman from the museum called and wanted some journals. So she took them and an index down to the museum.

New Business: Our new board members were introduced: Rena Westbrook is an architect and has been active in volunteer organizations in Ft. Smith. She has served on boards at Habitat and at Clayton House, and volunteers in the genealogy department at the Library.

Ben Stephens is a chaplain with the Ft. Smith Police Department, and pastors a church here. His great great grandfather, Samuel Brooken Stephens, was the first sheriff of Sebastian County. Both are very interested in Ft. Smith history, and enthused about working with the Historical Society.

Parking for our new office is allowed on the southeast corner of 5th and North B Streets, across from Yoes Plaza. The lot is owned by Bennie Westphal and he has given us permission to park there.

Joanne mentioned that our CD comes up in September. A motion to extend the CD for 6 months was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Jack has talked with the mayor about funding from the city. Mayor said he would support our request to the Board for $2000. Approval to be by Boardof Directors.

There was discussion on the need to increase membership and suggestions on how best to achieve growth. Joe suggested sending Indexes as 'bait' to colleges, etc. Rena suggested placing a band on the library journals, saying journals can be purchased there.

There was mention of the "Genealogy at the Fort" Ancestor Fair to be held at the Bethel Lutheran Church, 5400 Euper Lane, on August 21 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. We will have a table there and will need volunteers.

Joe Wasson said that the journal is coming along ahead of schedule. Everything is to be assembled on August 9th.

Joanne receives books from other historical societies, and takes them down to the library.

Chuck said that Carole is working with University students to index each journal. The motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously to give each student the journal that he or she is working on, to make their work easier.

Chuck told of an interview conducted with Bill and Ann (Whitlow) England. The Englands owned the Goldman Hotel and KFPW radio station. There is a very interesting story about a baby who died on a stagecoach in 1881, and was buried in the Whitlow yard on No. 7th Street. Birnie Funeral Home made the casket.

Also, he mentioned an Atkinson-Williams Hardware transaction book that had been donated to the Historical Society. It starts from 1837 and has many interesting entries by the founders of Fort Smith.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 21, 2004, at 2:30 PM
in the meeting room at the Yoes Plaza Buuilding.

The meeting was adjourned by the President. As we left the building, we were shown the warehouse, break room, and our office. We will be notified when we will get together to clean, move furnishings around, etc.

Chloe Lamon, Recording Secretary