The Fort Smith Historical Society met on Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. in the small meeting room at the main library building. Those attending were Joe Wasson, Jo Tillery, Carole Barger, Joanne Swafford, Jerry Hendricks, Jerry Akins, Becky Chancey, JP Chancey, Jimmy Ciulla, Al Whitson, Billy Higgins, Chloe Lamon, and guest, Dr. Greg Armstrong.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Billy Higgins. The minutes of the last meeting were distributed, and there was one correction — the spelling of the word 'their to there.' A motion to accept the corrected minutes was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Joanne Swafford distributed an itemized Treasurer's Report. From Oct. 15, 2006 through Jan. 8, 2007, there was a total income of $1,348.12, total expenses of $1,160.29, with a balance of $187.83. She said that there are still funds coming in. Total assets are $34,041.42 with 0 liabilities. A motion to accept the report as read was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Jo Tillery distributed the membership report. We have a total membership of 331. She mailed 140 membership renewal letters the first week of January, about 20 were returned, and another 20 came in today.A motion to accept the report as read was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

J.P. Chancey gave the nominating committee report. Two of our members have died —- Pryor Cruce, '08 and Ben Stephens, '09. The executive board can appoint members to serve out their terms before being elected to a full three year term. Joe Davis has resigned, and the five remaining members have the choice of serving again. The first recommendation is to fill the vacancies, bringing our membership back to 21.

To replace Joe Davis — Al Whitson '07. He has attended our board meetings, and has been assisting with the work at the museum in building the sound proof booth. By appointing him at this time, he can be nominated again in April for three years.

To replace Pryor Cruce — Nancy Ciulla '08. Nancy's husband, Jimmy is on the board, and he has shown his ability and interest. Nancy is computer literate, runs bookkeeping programs, and has been recommended by Joanne Swafford (who is stepping down) to serve as treasurer.

To replace Ben Stephens — Wincie Hendricks, '09. Wincie too, is excited about FSHS, and her husband is a board member. She will be nominated to become membership chairman, replacing Jo Tillery, who is stepping down.

Jerry Hendricks had talked to Tom Wing and he agreed to go on this board if elected. At that time there was not an opening, but Dorothy Doville called and said that due to personal problems, she would have to resign. The committee's recommendation is that we accept her resignation immediately and appoint Tom to fill the vacancy. This is the only action needed by the board today. A motion was made, seconded, and passed unanaimously to appoint Al Whitson, Nancy Ciulla and Wincie Hendricks.

Billy Higgins thanked Joanne Swafford and Jo Tillery for their many years of service. And, he thanked J.P. Chancey and the nominating committee for their work.

Carole Barger gave a report on the progress of the Journal. She said a good amount of work has been done including book reviews, the Vietnamese resettlement, William Murphy letters, and Jerry Akins' Hanging Times. Joe suggested we might include an article about Fort Smith getting the Marshal's Museum and an article about Parley Pratt. Billy congratulated Carole and Joe on their work on the Journal.

Old Business: There were no World War II interviews during the holidays. They still have a list of about 2000 people to visit. Another camera and another interviewer would help. Requests for another grant were not funded. Carole has no plans to resubmit the request at this time.

Joanne reported that she, Jimmy, Jerry, Floyd, Wincie and Becky took sets of Journals and gave them to all the public vchools, Lutheran schools and Catholic schools. She said the schools sent a truck to deliver them, and that everyone really appreciated them.

New Business: Al Whitson distributed plans which his brother, Mike, drew up for the sound proof booth to be constructed at the museum. Suzie Hestand Laird has approved of the plans. She does need help in moving some things stored in that section. It was suggested that we get someone to help in clearing out that space. Joe suggested that local churches could use the room to record their older members' memoirs.

Joe suggested that we give a set of Journals to the Marshal's Museum. A move was made, seconded, and passed unanimously to do this.

Billy introduced Dr. Greg Armstrong. He spoke of a conference co-sponsored by the Arkansas History Commission, The Fort Smith Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and hosted by the Bicentennial Perspectives Committee. The conference is to be April 20 - 21 at the Fort Smith Convention Center, on missionary Parley Parker Pratt (1807 -
1857) — a man of note among the Mormons. Pratt had 12 wives, lived in Indian Territory at Fort Gibson, and was brought to trial in Van Buren on a larceny charge. One of his wives was charged, too. They were found not guilty - they let his wife go first, then Parley so he could escape her ex- husband, Hector McClain. But Hector caught up with him near Fine Springs, above Alma, and murdered him. He is buried at the Wynn Cemetery north of Alma. Dr. Armstrong would like the FSHS to be a cosponsor and to be a signatory organization to apply for a grant. It would not affect our getting other grants, and would expand the Society's service to others. The grant money would be sent to our treasurer, and she would disperse the funds. A motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously to co sponsor the conference.

The next meeting will be in April. The date and time will be e-mailed to all members.

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

Respectfully submitted, Chloe Lamon, Recording Secretary.

Addendum: Our next meeting is for the general membership and our annual elections for FSHS offices. The meeting will be Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 pm in the River Front Park Events Building. City sponsored Reception and Frontier Achievement Award presentations will follow at 6:30 pm.