|The Fort Smith Historical Society had its regular meeting on October 19, 2005, at 2:00 p.m. at the library. There were 12 members and one guest, Pryor Cruce, present.
President, Billy Higgins, called the meeting to order. He stated that
the date for election of officers was incorrect, and will be scheduled
for the April meeting. The April Journal will have ballots for board
The minutes of the last meeting were read by Chloe Lamon, and approved as read.
Joanne Swafford gave the treasurer's report and handed out detailed
copies. Higgins complimented Joanne on her well organized presentation
and record keeping. The Society has overall assets of $30,587.35, but
we were 'in the red' last year $197.27. There was discussion on how to
reverse the trend. We gain about 25 to 50 new members each year, but
lose 80 to 100 old members. Suggestions for making production of the
journal more profitable are: sell more journals, send out a newsletter
in December with a reminder that it is time to pay dues, and suggest
giving memberships as Christmas presents...... Joanne mentioned that
an $8,000 CD is coming up, and asked if we want to roll it over. There were two life memberships in 2005, which are to be added to the CD. There was a question about the interest rate. It is 2.77% per year at
Regions Bank. She will shop and see if she can find a better rate. And then it was agreed that we roll it over. That concluded the treasurer's
J.P. Chancey moved that we send two newsletters a year, in July and
December and have the same editorial board. The move was seconded by Joanne. It was voted in unanimously. Suggested topics were: a review
of current events which would leave more room in the journal for
historical articles, a "Would You Identify" column with historical
pictures and post cards, and a reminder to renew memberships.
Committee reports: Carole Barger reported on the photo contest. They
had a table at UAFS with student volunteers recruiting. She talked
with Bedfords and they will put up a sign to start pushing it. The contest
ends in January or February.
Joe Wasson reported on the progress of the next journal. Possible
topics are the other half of the article on the Boy Rangers, and the
Berry, Gearheart, and Constantino families. There was discussion on
future articles for journals. We already have much information on such
topics as a story on the depression, the TB Sanatorium at Booneville,
the Grotto near Mountainburg, the Luke Smith Steakhouse on Highway 59,
the furniture business, the Fort Smith Pickle Co., Peabody School and
Adult Education, and Bob Wills.
Old Business: Higgins congratulated Ben Boulden on how great the web
site looks. The new constitution and by-laws are on the website.......
Joe Davis reported on the Historic Alliance, and efforts to focus all
groups on the Heritage Festival to be held on Memorial Day weekend,
2006. It will be concluded by Tales the Crypt. No single group will
be featured - it will include all interested groups in Ft. Smith. Claude
Legris will promote it. Fran Hall said the Sheriff's office will
provide security. The next meeting will be Nov. 9th at the Clayton
House, and will continue to meet the second Wednesday of every month.
There is grant money available to help with expenses of the Festival.
He asked that we E-mail him the names and addresses of organizations
that are interested in particpating.
New Business: Ben Boulden would like to redesign the web site. He
hopes to get help from a designer if the board is willing to hire him.
He will get an estimate to bring to the next meeting. Though the
Historical Society Web site has the Chamber of Commerce listed, the
Chamber won't list us unless we pay them. The cost would be around
$150. The Chamber is a sustaining member of the Historical Society.
It was suggested that we ask them to become lifetime members, and then
reciprocate Web sites.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by the
Chloe Lamon, Recording Secretary