The Fort Smith Historical Society met at the Fort Smith Public Library on July 18, 2007, at 5 p.m. in the small meeting room. Those attending were Charles Raney, Gene McVay, Joanne Swafford, Jerry Akins, Jerry and Wincie Hendricks, Jimmy and Nancy Ciulla, Joe Wasson, Carole and Floyd Barger, J.P. and Becky Chancey, Ben Boulden, Billy Higgins, Al Whitson, Tom Wing, Rene Westbrook, and Jo Ann Campbell.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Billy Higgins. A motion was made by Jerry Hendricks to accept the minutes from the April meeting, seconded by Tom Wing, and passed unanimously.

Treasurer Nancy Ciulla distributed copies of the treasurer's report. Nancy described the quarterly expenditures and revenues. A motion to accept the treasurer's report was made by J. P. Chancey, seconded by Charles Raney, and passed unanimously.

Wincie Hendricks, the membership secretary, distributed copies of the membership report. We have a total of 412 members. The Journal editors asked for a list of members and members remiss on dues. Jerry Akins made a motion to accept the membership report, seconded by Floyd Barger, and passed unanimously.

Carol Barger reported on the Oral History studio at the Museum. Al Whitson and his two brothers have been engaged in a “labor of love” in constructing a fine, state-of-the-art facility for interviews. Members of the board were invited to visit the premises. Financing of the project has been boosted by a gift from Melaney Speer Wiggins and a grant from the Community Foundation. The World War II project now has fifty-eight interviews on digital, the last being conducted in the new studio by Joe Wasson. Discussion over future projects in the studio ranged over possibilities of self-sustaining equipment and self-directed and self-conducted interviews. In accordance, a suggestion was made by Joe to set up a sub-committee to formulate a policy for use of the studio.

Carole Barger gave the report on The Journal Vol. 31 no. 2 about to go to publisher for the September release. She said we have book reviews, an article on the 1898 tornado, the Bill Ursey interview, a Creek Indian letter, Isaac Parker’s 1885 testimony to Congress, and a short story by Bill England. She asked for submission of topics from the group for The Journal Vol 32 no. 1 (April 2008).

Old Business: Carole Barger brought up the possibility of the FSHS publishing a manuscript being prepared by Jerry Akins based on his “Hanging Times” articles and new research. Several approaches to meeting the anticipated cost were voiced, including getting Fort Smith corporate help, getting the Marshals’ Museum committed to it, and inquiring about Eastern National funding.

Gene McVay described his recent experience in getting his book, entitled Top Gun Management, published by an on line company, That also was noted as a possibility for the Akins manuscript. Bill Higgins said that his sense from the discussion was that the board was receptive and favorable to publishing the book and asked Jerry Akins to present a proposal to the board in the October meeting.

Rena Westbrook mentioned that the web site or the Journal might be used to solicit appropriate documents or photographs to be used with the manuscript.

New business: Dr. J. P. Chancey offered to email the current list of board members.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by the president. For Chloe Lamon, recording secretary