The Fort Smith Historical Society had a regular meeting on Jan. 18,
2006, at the main library.
There were 12 members present.

The president, Billy Higgins, called the meeting to order. He dispensed with reading the minutes of the last meeting.

Joanne Swafford gave the treasurer's report and handed out detailed copies. She said that postage was high because of the newsletter. The Society had a total income of $3,704.48, total expenses of $3,184.67, and a total bank balance of $33,772.02. Web site expenses have not been included yet. Ben Boulden will furnish the statement - he thinks it is about $130.00. Ben volunteers his time. The motion that we accept the treasurer's report was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Membership secretary Jo Tillery reported that as of May 2005 we had a total membership of 473. In January 2006 we had a total membership of 338.

Committee Reports: Carole Barger reported on the photo contest sponsored by the Historical Society and Bedford Camera and Video. She handed out a printed report that tells about the purpose of the contest, the rules, and the prizes to be offered. January 31 is the deadline to turn in photos and not many have been received yet. Most people wait until the last minute to turn them in. We will need a place to display them. The library or the bank were suggested as possible display sites. We will need several judges and they need to get together on February 1st or 3rd. Winners will be announced on February 15. Carole asked for names of people who might serve as judges. She will get in touch with them to see if they are available. She said that Channel 2 at First Baptist Church wanted tointerview her, but they haven't been able to get toether yet.

Clara Jane Rubarth reported on the Nominating Committee. Suggestions for officers are as follows:

President - Billy Higgins
Vice President - Ben Boulden
Treasurer - Joanne Swafford
Corresponding Secretary -
Membership Secretary - Jo Tillery

Board Members:
Jerry Akins
Floyd Barger
Jimmy Ciulla
Jerry Hendricks
Billy Higgins
Gene McVay

It was suggested that we keep a roll of board members who attend the meetings. If three consecutive meetings are missed (without prior notification) then that Board membership is terminated. Ballots will be inserted with the Journals. Blank spaces will be left for write-ins. The deadline to return the ballots will have to be before the election to be held on April 20 at the Riverfront Park Events Building following the Frontier Achievement Awards. The Historical Society will furnish cold drinks, plates, cups, and napkins.

Carole reported on the World War II Veteran's History Project. She handed out flyers that encourage vets who are willing to participate to call her or Libby Orendorff. Joe Wasson pointed out that these veterans are dying at a rapid rate, and we need to record their stories while they are still around. The Historical Society will host a workshop on May 28. About 200 vets are expected. Carole thought that we might show a tape that JoAnn Gedosh and her husband have made on her father's experiences. ( After the war, Jack Rinn was to transport Japanee soldiers back to Japan. He was so kind to them that an officer gave him a Samurai sword that had been in their family for generations.) We discussed purchasing a camera to video tape these men, and to tape other interviews. There is still money left after we purchased the computer and table. Joe has shopped at Bedfords, and on line where he found a Sony HDR-HC1d HDV Camcorder for $999.00. It has an external mike jack and uses mini DVD tapes which can be recorded over and over. These tapes can be put on DVD's. J.P. Chancey moved that we purchase the camera. Billy Higgins warned that we would be getting into archival work, and it could become a big job. Fort Smith has never had an archival system. We would need transcription, access, storage, etc. Rena Westbrook felt that the library would have room for the DVD's. Some of the board members had to leave the meeting and there weren't enough members left for a quorum. Billy said he would send notices to board members and we could vote by mail or E-mail.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by the
president, Billy Higgins

Chloe Lamon, recording secretary

Additional business from the January meeting: The cost of the camera and accessories will come to $1165.00. The motion has been made by Dr. J. P. Chancey that the Society purchase the equipment. Joe explained the need and the choice at the meeting.

New business that did not get coverered in the meeting of the 18th.

There is a veteran's Memorial Wall under construction in Maumelle, Arkansas, a central location. If you would like to purchase a commemorative brick with name and dates of service it costs $100 and I have forms. It is a beautiful garden.

UA Fort Smith will hold its American Heritage Week beginning on Presidents' Day, Feb 20. This year the speaker is Shirley Christian author of "Before Lewis and Clark." She is a Pulitizer Prize-winning author.

The Arkansas Historical Association will have its Annual Conference in Mountain View on April 6-8, 2006. Our Journal is up for awards at this conference. I have membership forms if any wish to join the AHA and receive the Quarterly.