The collection was acquired in 2004. It was processed in 2009 by Meghan Walters and Jessica Bennett. Additional accessions will be added as they become available.
The collection is unrestricted. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be obtained from the Department of Special Collections and Archives. Citations should be as follows: Identification of the item, box and folder number, Greene County Historical Society Records, [M038], Department of Special Collections and Archives, Missouri State University.
After unsuccessful attempts in 1933 and 1946 to organize a historical society, the Greene County Historical Society was organized on June 2, 1954. The purpose of the Society is to foster and maintain an interest in the history of Springfield and Greene County through programs, publications, projects, and observances.
Through the years the Society has been involved in a number of projects, either alone or in cooperation with other groups. Committees were appointed to locate and record historical sites. This eventually led to the formation of the City and County Historical Sites Boards. A push for the establishment of a room in the public library designated for historical materials resulted in the dedication of the Shepard Room in 1961. The Society was involved in the establishment of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, as well as the establishment in 1975 of the Bicentennial Historical Museum (now The History Museum for Springfield-Greene County.)
This collection is comprised of materials related to the creation and workings of the Greene County Historical Society. Included in the records are publications, financial records, meeting minutes, and other information related to the Society. Also in the collection are archival research materials that were given to the GCHS, but do not specifically relate to the history or work of GCHS. There are seven series in the collection: Articles and By-Laws, Meeting Minutes, Legal/Financials, Membership Information, Publications, Subject Files, and Research Files.
Series I: Articles and By-Laws: This series contains the framework for the Greene County Historical Society. Included is the GCHS Constitution (created June 30, 1954), amendments to the Constitution, proposed committees and goals, and by-laws for the organization. The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically, and the information inside each folder is arranged chronologically.
Series II: Meeting Minutes: This series contains the meeting minutes of the GCHS beginning in 1954 (with some gaps). Also included are presentations given at GCHS meeting. While there are a few presentation texts, the presentations are primarily audio recordings, both cassette tapes and magnetic tape. Presentation topics ranged from general Missouri subjects to detailed looks at local individuals and places. Many of the speakers, such as Duane G. Meyer and John K. Hulston, are well-known for their knowledge of regional history. There is also some information regarding programs put together by the GCHS, and guest speakers. The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically, and the information inside each folder is arranged chronologically.
Series III: Legal/Financials: This series contains annual statements, including financial reports, receipts and disbursements, various contracts, and information regarding donations and gifts. The GCHS Endowment Fund reports are in this series, as well as the tax exemption application filled out by the GCHS, and the determination letter they received. The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically, and the information inside each folder is arranged chronologically.
Series IV: Membership Information: This series consists of information relating to members of the Greene County Historical Society. The documents included are membership applications, membership cards, membership records, membership solicitations, and memorials and obituaries. Also in the series are reports by GCHS Presidents (1996-2001), nominating committee reports, the officers and board members of the GCHS, and a listing of the officers’ responsibilities. The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically, and the information inside each folder is arranged chronologically.
Series V: Publications: This series is comprised of publications put out by the GCHS. The bulk of the series are the bulletins (newsletters), beginning in 1954 (with some missing issues). The GCHS also published three books; “ An Account of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek”; “The Civil War Letters of Albert Demuth and Roster Eighth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry”; and “Nine Months in the Infantry Service: The Civil War Journal of R.P. Matthews”. The marketing material and other related documents for the books are also included. The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically, and everything inside the folders is arranged chronologically.
Series VI: Subject Files: This series consists of miscellaneous items that did not fit within the scope of the other series, but that relate directly to the GCHS and its activities. Included in this series: materials related to the Constitution Bicentennial Celebration; information about the Downtown Historical Walking Tour; GCHS correspondence; GCHS handwritten notes; GCHS history, logo, mallet, member photographs, and newspaper clippings; GCHS public service announcements (VHS); GCHS webpage (CD); materials regarding the Greene County Sesquicentennial Celebration; History Day information; Painter Rifle documents; and President’s correspondence (1959-2003). In this series, the folders are arranged alphabetically, and the information in each folder is arranged chronologically.
Series VII: Research Files: This series contains archival materials that were given to the Greene County Historical Society, but do not specifically relate to the history or work of the GCHS. The series consists of items that relate to the history of Springfield-Greene County. Included in the series are: articles related to Wilson’s Creek; typed memoirs of early Springfield; correspondence concerning Springfield’s founders; interviews (both text and audio) with Charles Sheppard, John L. Draheim, L.E. Meador, Louise Knox Hull, Vera Kathleen Price Chandler, and York Johnson; various letters (including a love letter from 1909); magazines; newspapers from Springfield, Ash Grove, and Walnut Grove; papers; photographs; poetry; presentations, topics including the Shepard Memorial Dedication, Historic Preservation, and the Zagonyi Commemoration; research materials on Springfield court houses, historical Springfield doctors, history of Park Central Square, and the Lyon Monument in Springfield; and two videos about the Ozarks. In this series, the folders are arranged alphabetically, and the information in each folder is arranged chronologically.