Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©2002 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Barry Cleveland, editor, "The Carmi Times."

So this is good-bye . . .

Saying good-bye is always difficult, but surely writing good-bye is twice as hard. I expect this to be my last column. I have determined it is time for me to leave the library.

The library was begun in the mid-1980s, when Bob Wylie gave us half of his one-room office space in the Ratcliff Inn. Janet Armstrong and Janet Pritchet were the ones with the vision to start a genealogy library, and it
was started basically with what the volunteers could scrounge up and with the blessings of the Historical Society. Janet Armstrong paid for bookcases and brought in a typewriter. Others of us pitched in with buying smaller
items. It was a shoestring operation.

Later, my cousin Mary Smith Fay, a Carmi native living in Houston and a dedicated genealogist, helped us out financially. The city gave the old Carnegie building to the Historical Society for us to house our ever-expanding operation. Mary Fay visited in my home each year and always visited the library. She was delighted with our endeavors. At her death two years ago, we learned she had left a considerable bequest to the library. Since then we have bought a great deal of microfilm, CDs, books and equipment. Dozens of volunteers have put in thousands of hours in doing research for people away from here and in helping get the enlarging library organized. We always had a dozen projects going. We are all immensely proud of the library.

Recent developments at the library have convinced me that it's time for me to leave. Janet Armstrong is quitting, also, and the librarian has resigned. Now, if I may borrow a phrase from Ray Mitchell, "'Nuff Said."

One of the tasks I've most enjoyed during the past several years has been writing this little column. I've enjoyed the input and comments from readers. I shall miss you, and perhaps a few of you will miss me, too. After having spent most of my spare time for the past 14 years working on some library project, I'm looking for a new hobby. Anyone have one of those little looms? Maybe I could start weaving pot holders.

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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

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