State Historical Society board meets Thursday in Jefferson
Tour of Greene County historic sites on itinerary

For immediate release November 13, 2007


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Greene County Historical Museum, 219 E. Lincolnway Street in Jefferson.

The Greene County Historical Society is hosting the board and SHSI staff, and will take the group on a tour of Greene County historical sites Wednesday, including visits to the Greene County Courthouse, Grand Junction and Lincoln Highway Interpretive Site, the Jefferson Depot at the Raccoon River Valley Trailhead, Danger Hill, the Eureka Bridge site, the Gallup House, the Telephone Museum at the Jefferson Telephone Company headquarters and the Lincoln Highway Museum

SHSI board members are Jason Follett (chair) of Ankeny; Greene County native Theresa Weaver-Basye of Sioux City; Jacky Adams of Red Oak; Dr. Lisa Ossian of Des Moines; John Liepa of Indianola; Janet McCannon of Burlington; Rod Scott of Iowa Falls; Louise Thurn of Elkader; Michael Vogt of Des Moines; Tim Walch of West Branch; Peggy Whitworth of Cedar Rapids; and Jo Ann Zimmerman of West Des Moines.

Former SHSI board member Chuck Offenburger of Cooper and Greene County Historical Society President Marilynn Hoskinson are coordinating the events.

SHSI launched its year-long statewide sesquicentennial celebration in February at the Old Capitol Building in Iowa City, where the Iowa Legislature created the State Historical Society as the organization to preserve and protect the history of Iowa.

For 150 years, the SHSI has had a dual mission of preservation and education. As a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy, SHSI identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages, and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. As an advocate of understanding Iowa’s past, SHSI educates Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.

On Jan. 30, 1857, Iowa’s pioneer lawmakers established an institution dedicated to preserving the history of our state. When the constitution for the organization was adopted on Feb. 7, 1857, the State Historical Society of Iowa became the permanent home of the state’s treasures.

SHSI has grown and changed tremendously in the last 150 years but it continues to support humanities scholars with rich historical collections, publications, exhibits, and public programming. Connecting generations and celebrating Iowa’s cultural heritage is its mission as it reaches out to citizens and communities across the state.

Notable individuals have been associated with SHSI, including Benjamin F. Shambaugh, who launched The Iowa Journal of History and Politics and the popular journal, The Palimpsest (now called Iowa Heritage Illustrated).

Located on the third floor of Schaeffer Hall in Iowa City from 1900 until 1957, when the Centennial Building was built at 402 Iowa Avenue, SHSI has been closely affiliated with The University of Iowa. Shambaugh and Ruth Gallaher, Jacob Swisher and Mildred Throne set high standards for research and scholarship, and were among the first generation of public historians in the nation.

The Department of History and Archives was established in Des Moines at the end of the 19th century under the leadership of Edgar R. Harlan and Jack Musgrove, and a major historical museum and research collections were developed.

The growth of the historic preservation movement in the late 1960s led to the creation of the Office of Historic Preservation, formerly housed at Old Brick before moving to Des Moines in the mid-1980s. All three historical organizations were merged in 1974 and all became known as the State Historical Society of Iowa under the administrative unit of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Today, SHSI is a complex organization serving a much broader constituency than originally envisioned by the founders who thought of it as more of a curio cabinet. Visit to learn more about SHSI and the myriad programs and services it offers to the public.

Following is the draft agenda for Thursday’s board of trustees meeting:

November 15, 2007
Jefferson, Iowa
9 a.m

Coffee and doughnuts at 8:30 a.m.
Meeting convenes at 9 a.m.

I. Call to Order
A.     Roll Call
B.     Housekeeping
C.     Approve Agenda
D.     Approve Minutes

II. New Business

A.     Historic Site Preservation Grant Recommendations
B.     Certified Local Government Grant Recommendations
C.     Call for nominations to the elected position
D.     Call for nominations for annual awards

III. Old Business
A.     Committee Appointments
B.     2008 Iowa Studies Focused Symposium/FORUM

IV. Break (10 a.m.)

V. Discussion
A. Iowa Historical Foundation
B.     Iowa Studies Report
C.     Change of January meeting date

VI. Advisory Discussion
A.     Membership Drive

VII. Lunch (11:30 a.m.)

VIII. Reports
A.     Chair’s Report
B.     Director’s Report
C.     Financial Report
D.     Public Trust Division Report
E.      Legislative Report
F.      Iowa Historical Foundation Report
G.     Reports from Our Partners

IX. Comments for the Good of the Order


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. More information about SHSI is available at

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at



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