Ralls County Historical Society

Museum & Library

"Preserving, Honoring, & Celebrating"

Ralls County Historical Society Meets April 13, 2023

Several community members attended the meeting of the Ralls County Historical Society on Thursday, April 13, 2023.  The meeting began with a tour of the Ralls County jail, just across the street from the courthouse. preservation of the jail, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is on the Historical Society’s list of preservation projects throughout the county.  

The membership drive is currently underway, kicking off at the lasagna supper that was held on March 18, 2023.  Membership for the new year begins as of tonight’s meeting and runs until the same time next year.

The checking account history since January 1, 2023, was shared and reviewed.  Approximately $6,200 was raised at the lasagna supper.  The Historical Society is very appreciative of the support it receives from the community it serves.  Attendance and revenue were down from last year’s lasagna supper.  The Historical Society will need to look at an additional fundraiser, probably before the end of the year. Costs to support the current museum and library, which includes rent, utilities, and insurance, are about $1,000 per month.  Those in attendance brainstormed ways to increase the revenue of the Historical Society.  The current balance does not allow for the completion of any preservation projects throughout the county.  The idea of a ⅛ cent sales tax was discussed.  An ⅛ cent sales tax would raise approximately $120,000 each year.  These funds could be used to hire someone to be at the museum and library so it can be open more frequently throughout the year.  Currently, the museum will be open on Saturdays and Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day as long as there are volunteers available for each of these days.  Given current conditions, it is unlikely that the museum will be open all of these days.  A possible sales tax would also provide funds to be used as matching funds for grant opportunities for various preservation projects throughout the county.  This issue will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.  Additionally, information will be shared on Facebook to gather the public’s perception of a possible sales tax to support the Historical Society.

In accordance with the Historical Society’s constitution, an executive committee was formed.  While there are still positions that need to be filled, progress is being made.  Open positions that need volunteers are someone to be the organization’s Historian and individuals to represent the Spencer, Jasper, Saline, and Clay townships.   If you are willing to fill one of the vacant positions, please contact any officer.  While we try to fill the positions according to townships, if that is not possible, we will fill the position with individuals willing to serve, regardless of where they live. 

Current officers and directors, all volunteers, are Ron Leake, President; Delores Woodhurst, Vice-President; Carolyn Trower, Secretary; Sharon Lake, Treasurer; Mary Jackson, Center Township; Cindy Lynn-Drainer, Salt River Township; Scott Tatman, Saverton Township; Richard Flick, Perry; and Linda Miller, Center.  A New London individual is still being confirmed.

The date and time of the next meeting of the Historical Society are still being determined.  The plan is to have the meeting at Garth Mansion.  Delores Woodhurst will work with the owners of Garth Mansion to try to figure out a date and time.  As soon as that date and time are available, it will be shared.  

Sharon Lake shared information about the June 15, 2023, Honor Flight.  This flight will provide an opportunity for veterans, many of which live in Ralls County, to visit our nation’s landmarks in Washington, D.C., and Arlington Cemetery, along with a Welcome Home Rally at Mark Twain High School.  The homecoming is usually held at Hannibal LaGrange University or in Quincy, but this special Honor Flight will end in Ralls County instead.  All community members are invited to attend the homecoming rally at Mark Twain High School that evening.  Look for more information about this experience on the Historical Society’s Facebook page and website.

Ralls County Historical Society will host a networking meeting for area historical societies.  The goal of the meeting is to discuss common issues and concerns of historical societies throughout the area. The date and time will be announced as soon as a venue is secured.  Invitations will be mailed to area historical societies within the week.

Those in attendance were in agreement that the Historical Society should join the State Historical Society.  The cost is $100 and will provide several benefits to the local historical society, including access to a wide variety of research.  

The following project updates were shared and discussed.

Lasagna Supper 2023 a Success

Thanks to the support of the entire county, the Ralls County Historical Society’s lasagna supper fundraiser was a success.  This was an opportunity for those in attendance to renew or begin their membership to the Historical Society. 

After supper, Ron Leake, president of the Historical Society, shared an overview of projects that the Historical Society is currently working on. After thanking the many volunteers and donors that worked to make the event a success, Ron handed the program over to John Wallace to begin the auction. 

These amazing ladies were some of the individuals that baked the donated food and served it at the 2023 Lasagna Supper.

Thank you to the following individuals for their contributions to the auction:

The feature item of the evening was a painting of the Ralls County Courthouse.  The painting will be on display at the museum, and the owners’ names will be shown alongside the painting. Below is the list of this year’s proud co-owners of the painting.

If you want to be involved with the Historical Society, please send an email (rwleake@aol.com) or get in touch with Ron Leake (573-248-6147), Linda Hodges, Sharon Lake, Carolyn Trower, or Delores Woodhurst.  We are hoping that volunteers will continue to spend time organizing the museum and keeping it in good condition. We are always in need of volunteers to be at the museum during the summer hours when it is open.  Also, it’s not too late to become a member of the Ralls County Historical Society. Individual, family, and business memberships are available. A membership form is available on our website (rallscohistoricalsociety.com).

Ralls County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations and memberships are tax deductible. Ralls County Historical Society is a 100% volunteer-run organization that relies on fundraisers, membership dues, and donations to provide ongoing services to the entire county.  All money raised by the Ralls County Historical Society is used to continue to preserve and share local artifacts and our county’s history. 

We appreciate your support!

One way to support the Ralls County Historical Society is to become a member.  Click here to print out a membership form, or if you prefer, click here to complete the form online.  Payments and paperwork can be mailed to the following address:

Ralls County Historical Society

PO Box 463

Perry, MO 63462

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Ron, Sharon, or Delores.

Physical Address:

Ralls County Historical Museum 

105 East Main Street

Perry, MO 63462

Ralls County Historical Library

124 East Main Street

Perry, MO 63462

Mailing Address:

Ralls County, Missouri Historical Society

PO Box 463

Perry, MO 63462