2017 is the 45th anniversary of the Johnson County Genealogical Society! The occasion was recognized with a cake at our January meeting.
I was curious about our society’s beginnings and noticed that a copy of the first edition of the Johnson County Genealogist quarterly magazine that was published in the March 1973 was available on our website. So here is some information about how our society came to be that I have taken from that first, typewritten quarterly magazine.
“Our organization was created as a result of a genealogical workshop held last September at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library, and co-sponsored by the Johnson County Junior College. On November 18, 1972, an organizational meeting was held to create a Genealogical Society here in Johnson County. We were incorporated under the State laws of Kansas, December 29. 1972. At the January meeting all of the organizational officers were elected as regular officers of the Corporation, and three new officers were elected, as specified by the By-laws, which were also adopted.”
There were 98 charter members. The original elected officers were President, Leland Adams; First Vice-president, Nancy Grimme; Second Vice-President, Carolyn Jennett; Recording Secretary, Linda Bacon; Corresponding Secretary, Robert F. Cell; Treasurer, Anita Cole; Librarian, Clyde Rinker; Registrar, Lois Scott Parenteau.
Annual dues were $5.00. Meetings were held on the fourth Friday evening of odd numbered months at the Corinth Branch of the Johnson County Library System and the fourth Saturday morning of even numbered months at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library System.
The Society’s genealogical collection was housed in the Kansas Room at the Antioch Library. Donations of Books, manuscripts, magazines or pamphlets were welcome.
Contributions for the quarterly magazine – The Johnson County Genealogist were also encouraged. It was published quarterly during the first week of March, June, September and December.
The objectives of the Society were very similar to our objectives currently –
- To preserve and perpetuate the records of our ancestors.
- To locate, preserve, index and publish public and private genealogical records.
- To acquire a collection of genealogical and historical material for our library.
- To encourage and instruct members in the art and practice of genealogical research and compilation.
- To maintain and elevate genealogical standards.
A little piece of local history that I discovered in that first quarterly magazine was that Johnson County, Kansas was organized August 30, 1855. It was named after the Reverend Thomas Johnson, a Methodist minister who was murdered January 2, 1865 by bushwhackers.
How thankful we are for the vision and ambition that these first members had in establishing the Johnson County Genealogical Society. We are continuing a great legacy. Happy Anniversary JCGS!