The Ft. Smith Historical Society met at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2007, in the Darby Room at the Museum of  Ft. Smith History.  Preceding the meeting was a reception for board members and guests to tour our recently completed oral history studio.  Those attending were Billy Higgins, Wincie and Jerry Hendricks, Nancy and Jimmy Ciulla, Ben Boulden, Joe and Lynn Wasson, Rena Westbook, JP and Becky Chancey, Clara Jane Rubarth, Carole and Floyd Barger, Joanne Swafford, Al Whitson, Jerry Akins, and Chloe Lamon.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Billy Higgins.Minutes of the last meeting were passed around for members to read.The minutes of the meeting were also posted on the Society home page.Minutes of the July meeting were approved by emailed responses.

Copies of the treasurer's report were handed out by Nancy Ciulla. It included itemized deposits, expenses, and payments. The balance as of 10/15/07 is $10,459.47. Total assets, liabilities, and equity are $30,060.29. A motion to accept the treasurer's report as read was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Copies of the membership report were handed out by Wincie Hendricks. As of October 17, 2007, we have a total of 416 members. So far, only 11 members have paid for next year. She asked if we should send out renewal letters, or should we continue putting the membership forms in the journal. And she asked  for suggestions on a way to do gift memberships. It was suggested that we do a bulk mailing for all except those 11 members — or put it on the website — or create a flier. There was discussion that we do not have any brochures displayed in the museum at this time. Our brochures need to be updated - the phone number is wrong and dollar amount is wrong. There was discussion of how to get publicity in the newspaper. Unless we buy an ad, we probably won't get any publicity. Billy suggested that we consider placing ads for the Society in the local media.  We need to set up a new position on the board just for publicity and look for corporate beneficiaries. There was a suggestion that we sell a large ad on the back of the journal   Some thought that might be detrimental. Joe Wasson and Ben Boulden will compose a letter to target corporations and older businesses. Ben mentioned that the museum is going to do a membership drive, and suggested we swap membership lists. People who are on one board would probably be interested in the other. There will be a big story in ET Ft. Smith. Wincie will call Lynn Wasson. A motion to accept the membership report as read was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Carole, Joe, and Ben reported on work being done on the journal. Possible future topics are coal mining in the area, the history of prostitution in Fort Smith, Chester Nelson, an architect who designed the courthouse, Hardscrabble, etc., Family owned businesses, and Man on the street photographs. Carole asked for any other suggestions.

Old Business:
 Jerry Akins is interested in publishing a book on Hanging Times.  Billy showed a book by Gene McVay, "Top Gun Management", which is self published on "LULU".  It is print on demand, and can be ordered on the internet. There are other publishing options available.  Books a Million would give us space for display. Clara Jane Rubarth volunteered to proof read and act as the copy editor.

New Business:  Ben moved we swap membership lists with the museum. Discussion;  we could create a membership pass which would get a member into either place. The closer we work together, the more beneficial it will be to both orgnizations. We could morph into a common membership, and have joint mailings, and solicitation. We would need to make it clear that we are separate entities. The FSHS has different types of memberships, it would need to be fine tuned. Al Whitson would be willing to work on it and form an ad hoc committee with the museum. The motion to swap memberships was seconded, and passed unanimously.

Carole suggested we establish an advisory committee to work up rules for people wanting to use the studio — perhaps a businessman, lawyer, accountant, etc. Floyd Barger was appointed to head it, Joe Wasson and Jerry Hendricks will work on it. It will be kept under the Historical Society. They will have the rules ready for the next meeting.

The next quarterly meeting will be on January 16 in the Fort Smith Public Library at 5 pm.

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

In emailed responses in the week after the meeting, the board approved in retroaction the expeditures for plaques and signs regarding the construction and location in the museum of the Oral History Studio

Chloe Lamon, recording secretary