The Fort Smith Historical Society board meeting was held on Jan. 20, 2005, at 2:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Yoes Plaza building.
There were 15 members present.

Jack Arnold, President, called the meeting to order.

Ben Stephens led the group in opening prayer.

The minutes of the last meeting were read by Chloe Lamon, and approved as read.

Joanne Swofford, gave the treasurer's report. The beginning balance was $12,351.42. Income totaled $4,536.60, expenses were $4,109.05, leaving cash on hand at $12,778.97. CD's also total $18,000 in addition.

Jo Tillery gave the membership report. We now have 345 members. She has mailed out second notices to approximately 170 members reminding to renew their membership as well.
Old Business:
There was a question of who will operate the non-profit organization computer software if we get some. Joe Wasson said that membership should be in control of
the software. He said it can be set up to tell who owes dues, who needs renewal, etc. Technology allows many new and easy processes thesedays.

There was discussion of the best way to bill Historical Society members.Joanne said one Society that she knows of has all memberships fall due on Jan. 1. Jo Tillery said other Societies use the same billing procedure we have been using with no problems. It was suggested that a new member is entitled to two journals no matter what time of year that person joins. If we start to mail invoices, the cost of postage will have to be considered. Jo said she mailed 170 renewal notices last week, and couldn't use bulk mailing because we were 30 short of the 200 minimum. She said she has had no problem with our past billing procedures, and would like to continue as we are for the next year. It was decided that we will not make any changes for at least a year until a more thorough analysis can be made. Changes are needed in the future.

Jack said there has been some discussion of changing our office location to the Fort Smith Museum of History. Carole Barger handed out copies of a letter from Suzy Hestand-Laird, Executive Director of the Museum, outlining the proposed agreement. The Historical Society would pay $100.00 a month rent. The Society will not have a key to the building, but will have access during Museum hours,10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (closed on Mondays). We can use the Darby room for board meetings if they are not using it. We can use their phone unless calls become excessive. Then we will have to discuss installation of a separate line. Several members expressed concern about paying and not getting a key; the space was very small, no storage space, members feelings toward the Museum of History, and many members were concerned about the loss of identity for the Society. Jack asked board members to go by the museum and look the rooms over. A called special Board Meeting of the Historical Society is scheduled for next week, Jan. 27, at 3:00 p.m. at the Yoes Building to vote on the matter.

New Business:
Jack said we need to form a nominating committee for the coming election of officers. He asked Jerry Akins and Chuck Raney to serve on that committee. Also, there are four vacancies on the board.

Joe Wasson showed paper samples from Midwest Printing. The ivory cover paper (like we have used in the past) is 110 weight, and the inside pagers are 60 weight. Billy Higgins asked why we need to use such heavy paper, and suggested using lighter weight, white paper on the inside. There was also discussion of adding some color prints and the extra cost. Then there was discussion of getting corporate sponsorship.
There would be extra work in soliciting sponsors, but several members felt it would be fairly easy to obtain sponsors. Midwest printing proposal is nearly $1,500 below what we paid for the last two Journals and half of what was paid in the past.

Carole mentioned that we are working with Martha Coleman at UAFS on preparing an index for the journals that were printed after the last index was completed. Students have made a rough draft, and volunteers are needed to proof read and correct mistakes. When it is completed, it will be placed on our web site, in addition to having printed copies. Rena Westbrook mentioned that there are many mistakes in the first index that need correcting. It was decided that we go ahead with the proof reading now because the university is waiting for them. Then we will look at correcting the first index. Billy mentioned that the Arkansas Historical Association will meet at DeGray Lake on April 14, 15, and 16.

Chuck asked if anyone wanted to offer a nominee for the Frontier Achievement Awards. No names were submitted.

The Annual Membership meeting will be on April 21, 2005, at the River Front Park Events Building following the presentation of the Frontier Achievement Awards at 6:30 PM. Election of officers will be held at that time.

Ben Stephens offered the closing prayer.

The meeting was adjourned by the president.

Chloe Lamon, Recording Secretary