Monroe County Historical Society - About Us

Monroe County Historical Society
Monroe County, Missouri

PO Box 131, Paris, MO 65275


About Us

  • The Monroe County Historical Society is a nonprofit corporation, with perpetual duration, founded September 11, 1967. The purposes of the Society shall be of a nonprofit nature and shall be exclusively historical, scientific, educational and charitable.
  • The leading purposes shall be to record, collect, receive, preserve, study, exhibit and share things pertaining to county history.
  • The Society shall also receive and hold property or real estate for the purposes of preserving and exhibiting the materials of county history.
  • It shall disseminate and publish knowledge of county historical things and be empowered to engage in all activities and programs relating to a historical society.
  • The Society shall have the following specific purposes and powers: to gather and preserve information relative to objects and events of Monroe County; to assume responsibility for proper recognition and preservation of various historical landmarks, relics, souvenirs, antiques, cemeteries, buildings and documents pertaining to county history and to arrange and promote anniversary celebrations and meetings and other social functions to promote anniversary celebrations and meetings and other social functions to honor and preserve the memory of things and persons of the county's past.
  • It shall be concerned to establish and maintain a Monroe County Museum (currently located in the Monroe County Court House) and to cooperate or affiliate with other associations having like interests. The museum is open during regular business hours of the courthouse. Donations to the museum are considered permanent gifts. To avoid confusion, loans of articles are not accepted.
  • The society's historical, genealogical, and cemetery record collection is available in the Research Center.
  • Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month except July, August and December. For dates please view our Calendar.
  • The annual dues, payable in October, are $10.00 for an individual or $15.00 for a family. To become a member please print and mail the Membership Form.
  • Members will receive the Monroe County Quarterly by postal mail 4 times per year. One article per issue is available in our Online Archive.

  • President's Letter, Monroe County Quarterly, Vol. 2, Issue 3, Fall 2005

    Dear Members,

    This is the first anniversary issue of the Monroe County Historical Society's newsletter. Thanks to the boundless energy of our Editor, Rhonda Johnson, and your support, the newsletter provides a benefit to members across the country that seldom have an opportunity to attend our meetings. The newsletter is only a beginning. There is much yet to be done if we are to preserve the memories and artifacts of 175 years of Monroe County history.

    When the Society was chartered September 11, 1967, there was a core group of charter members who recognized the need to preserve memories and artifacts that might soon be lost to change. Local residents knew that Mark Twain Lake would cover many of our cemeteries and displace pioneer families from land they had farmed for generations. The Bi-Centennial celebration of the United States was fast approaching and both events gave a sense of urgency to the preservation of our history.

    The nearly 200 men and women who became members of the Monroe County Historical Society in the next few years, spent countless hours identifying and cataloging cemeteries, encouraging families to research and preserve their family histories, and collecting material that was representative of our legacy. Today only, our Recording Secretary, Zelma Menefee, is an active Charter Member. We are indebted to those whose time and energy formed this organization and are poised to continue their work.

    In April 2004, the 28 surviving members of the Monroe County Historical Society voted to publish an updated countywide history--"Monroe County…Then and Now 1831-2006." The response to that project opened our eyes to the number of individuals with strong ties to Monroe County but with addresses across the United States and Canada. Today we have over 60 members and are still growing. Our challenge in the years ahead will be to work together so all can share and preserve the information, documents and artifacts that tell the story of our collective past for future generations.

    As a compliment to the newsletter, and a necessity in today's world of electronic communication, Rhonda Johnson also created a Monroe County Historical Society web site ( that is hosted by RootsWeb. She also acts as administrator for the Monroe County Ancestry/RootsWeb message board and Monroe County RootsWeb mailing list.

    Our organization has a good working relationship with two very enthusiastic ladies, Lisa Perry and MaryLynne Perkins-Ellis, who have made the Monroe County MOGenWeb informational site one of the best in the nation. ( Tom Ely hosts the web site for the City of Paris ( and has been supportive of the Historical Society. The three sites link to each other, but are distinct in nature, sponsorship and purpose. All are free sites and together provide anyone searching the web with access to Monroe County history. For those members without a home computer, access is readily available through a nearby library.

    As a dues-paying member of the Monroe County Historical Society, you receive four newsletters annually. Rhonda and I try to offer you information that is distinct to that publication. Your $10 individual membership allows us to participate in activities that further an interest in Monroe County history. Our membership year is October 1-September 30 and we appreciate your financial support. Please use the form in this newsletter to mail your 2005-2006 dues so you will continue to receive the newsletter.

    The challenge in the months and years ahead will be to meet the needs of those members who rely on face-to-face contact as well as those who participate via email. Some information is only available in Monroe County. The excitement of walking the land your ancestors trod can only come from either visiting Monroe County or developing a network of contacts with similar interests. We hope to help you do both.

    The Monroe County Historical Society is a non-profit 503(c) 3 corporation. That status offers a variety of opportunities for growth. If we are to properly preserve the material donations in our museum and research collection (and be able to accept more), we need your continued financial support and ideas to achieve those goals and make them sustainable. Your contributions are tax deductible. You can also help further the interest and support we have begun this year by encouraging your personal network of genealogy contacts and Monroe County descendants to join the Historical Society. There is strength in numbers, particularly as we investigate the possibility of grants to further our goals.

    Some current projects are presented in this newsletter. Others, such as expanded facilities for our collections, are a frequent topic of conversation. There are possibilities for workshops, educational seminars, and preservation that will hopefully involve many of you in the months ahead. We welcome your suggestions on ways to improve and strengthen our organization.

    Nancy Stone, President

This page last edited on 11 Sep 2018.

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