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BROWNVILLE, NEB., Aug. 12th, 1878.
MY DEAR SIR-Feeling, as I presume every citizen of this state does, the necessity for a state historical association, after some consultation with persons in several parts of the state, it is thought advisable to call a meeting at Lincoln on some day of the State Fair to effect the organization of a "state historical society." Would like your views, and, if favorably entertained, to use your name to such call. Please advise me at your earliest convenience. Very truly yours,
ROBT. W. FURNAS.
In pursuance of this call the following meetings were held, and the organization perfected:
LINCOLN, NEB., Sept. 25th, 1878. Pursuant to a call heretofore published, the following named gentlemen convened at the Commercial Hotel, Lincoln, Neb.:
Dr. George L. Miller, Chris. Hartman, and J. T. Allan, Douglas county; Gov. Silas Garber and H. S. Kaley, Webster county; S. R. Thompson, T. P. Kennard, W. W. Wilson, and Samuel Aughey, Lancaster county; Rev. J. M. Taggart and J. H. Croxton, Otoe county; C. H. Walker, Franklin county; Hon. L. Crounse and E. N. Grennell, Washington county; Prof. C. D. Wilbur, Saline county; J. Q. Goss, Sarpy county; D. H. Wheeler and Wm. Gilmore, Cass county; O. T. B. Williams, Seward county; L. B. Fifield, Buffalo county; Rev. L. B. W. Shryock and E. Shugart, Gage county; Wm. Adair, Dacotah county; and Robt. W. Furnas, Nemaha county.
Robt. W. Furnas called the meeting to order, and on his nomination Dr. George L. Miller was elected temporary chairman. R. W. Furnas was elected Secretary on motion of D. H. Wheeler.
Dr. Miller on taking the chair delivered a short, appropriate, and pressing address on the importance of forming a historical society, and regretting that it had not been done before.
On motion of S. R. Thompson, the Chair appointed the following gentlemen Committee on Organization: S. R. Thompson, J. Q. Goss, D. H. Wheeler, J. M. Taggart, and Lorenzo Crounse.
The committee in due time made the following report, which was adopted:
Your committee to which was referred the matter of organization,
report favorably, and recommend that the name of the organization be "Nebraska State Historical Society." That the officers be one president, two vice-presidents, treasurer, and secretary. Also a board of five directors. Membership to be elective, upon the payment of a fee and annual assessment to be agreed upon hereafter. Also that committees be appointed on permanent officers and constitution and bylaws.
In compliance with recommendations of the report the Chair appointed the following committees:
On Permanent Officers: T. P. Kennard, Silas Garber, E. N. Grennell, O. T. B. Williams, and C. D. Wilbur.
On Constitution and By-Laws: D. H. Wheeler, J. T. Allan, L. B. W. Shryock, J. H. Croxton, and Samuel Aughey.
On motion, the meeting then adjourned to meet at same place tomorrow evening.
GEO. L. MILLER,
Chairman. ROBT. W. FURNAS,
LINCOLN, NEB., Sept. 26th, 1878.
Pursuant to adjournment the meeting convened with the following additional named gentlemen: H. T. Clark, Sarpy county; J. H. Brown, A. Humphrey, J. H. Ames, John Cadman, and A. G. Hastings, of Lancaster county; J. A. MacMurphy, Cass county; Hiram Craig, Washington county; J. J. Budd, Douglas county; F. J. Hendershot, Thayer county; S. A. Fulton, Richardson county; Theron Nye, Dodge county.
Dr. Miller, chairman, being absent, Gov. Silas Garber was called to the chair.
The Committee on Constitution and By-Laws, through Prof. Aughey, presented a constitution and by-laws, which, after being read in full, were adopted.*
Mr. Kennard, from the Committee on Permanent Officers, reported as follows, which report was adopted, and the officers declared duly elected:
*The constitution and by-laws as then adopted, and since amended, will be found in the Appendix to this report.
President-Ex-Gov. Robt. W. Furnas, Nemaha county.
Secretary-Prof. Samuel Aughey, Lancaster county.
Directors-Gov. Silas Garber, Hon. J. Sterling Morton, Prof. C. D. Wilbur, Dr. G. C. Monell, and Hon. Lorenzo Crounse.
The committee recommend that the President and Secretary be ex-. officio members of the Board of Directors, which by vote was agreed
Meeting adjourned to meet again at the same place September 30th
ROBT. W. FURNAS,
As the annual and quarterly convocations are mere business meetings it is not deemed important that the details be given in an annual report. The proceedings of the first meeting are presented in full because of its historic character. Of all others a mere summary is presented.
ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 23, 1879.
Met at library hall, University building, Lincoln. Old officers reelected. Ordered that Recording Secretary perform duties of both corresponding and Recording Secretary. Matter of Historical block was discussed, and W. W. Wilson, H. T. Clark, and O. T. B. Williams appointed a committee to memorialize the legislature to restore said block to the Historical Society. Secretary ordered to publish in pamphlet form 1000, copies of Constitution and By-Laws, also to have
a book-case made to not exceed in cost $16; $20 appropriated to defray incidental expenses of Secretary's office for the year.
Secretary reported that he had corresponded with various individuals in the state with a view to obtain historical matter and data, and had received fair responses. That he had received also historical documents from other state societies. That he had labeled all books and papers received, and properly filed matter obtained in manuscript form. The secretary asked for authority to purchase letter files. Granted. He reported that room could be had in University building free of cost for book-case and other property of the Society. Accepted with thanks.
ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 20TH, 1880.
Met in University chapel, Lincoln. New members elected: Geo. W. Doane, S. G. Owen, L. A. Kent, H. B. Mathewson, John Heth,
D. Butler, J. Dougherty, V. Vivquain, and J. M. Woolworth; Rev.
Old officers re elected except J. M. Woolworth, who was elected 1st Vice-President in place of Geo. L. Miller.
The question of Historical block was again brought up, and after discussion a committee consisting of C. O. Whedon, J. M. Woolworth, and J. R. Webster was appointed to examine and report on the legal aspect of the case and to obtain unity of action on the part of the old and dormant "Nebraska Historical and Library Association" and this organization.
Robt. W. Furnas, J. M. Woolworth, H. T. Clarke, J. A. MacMurphy, and S. Aughey, appointed a committee to secure the co-operation of County Historical and Old Settlers' Association with this.
By-Laws of the Society were amended providing for quarterly meetings at such places in the state as might be agreed upon. The first was fixed at Omaha, and Judge Savage invited to deliver an address on the "Discovery of Nebraska."
Secretary allowed $25 for incidental expenses of his office and a salary of $100 for the year 1880.
Secretary reported he had, in compliance with instructions, printed Constitution and By-Laws; that the legislature had been memorialized to restore Historical block, but by efforts of citizens of Lincoln the prayer was not granted; that the old society had commenced legal proceedings to obtain said block; that some historical data had been obtained from individuals and county authorities, and filed. The whole number of books and pamphlets received during the year was 83; of manuscripts, 41; of historical newspapers, 51; of those not yet classified, 75. Total, 250.
The Secretary reported considerable feeling in the state as to the diversion of Historical block by the legislature-taking it from the Society and giving it to the city of Lincoln.
ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 11TH, 1881.
Met at University chapel, Lincoln.
Mr. Woolworth presented the following report from the committee appointed to examine the legal status of Historical block matter :
310 SOUTH 13TH STREET, OMAHA, July 21st, 1880.
To the State Historical Society:
Your committee, to whom was referred the matter of the block number twenty-nine, in the city of Lincoln, claimed to have been appropriated by the state of Nebraska to the purposes of the State Historical Society, have had the same under advisement and report as follows:
1. By an act of the legislature of the state entitled "An act to provide for the the seat of government of the state of Nebraska, and for the erection of public buildings thereat," approved June 14, 1867, the commissioners for selecting the site for the capital were required to make three plats thereof, on which, among other blocks, were to be laid out "public squares or reservations for public buildings," and these plats were to be made public records by filing them in certain public offices.