Ralls County Historical Society

Museum & Library

"Preserving, Honoring, & Celebrating"

Ralls County Historical Society Meets April 17, 2024

Ron Leake, Delores Woodhurst, Sharon Lake, Carolyn Trower, Jeanne Gay, Sandie Storm, Madonna Petitjean, Benny Akers, Dan Peters, and Patti Tinsley attended the meeting of the Ralls County Historical Society on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at Perry City Hall

Center Depot Project:  Sharon Lake provided an update regarding the Center Depot renovation project, which has been completed.  In addition to donations and money provided by the City of Center, Sharon applied for and received a Cole McDonald Impact grant to fund the purchase of a mini-split unit so that the building is climate-controlled.  The depot is owned by the City of Center, and RCHS partnered with them to provide information about the depot, along with providing historical artifacts that will be on display at the depot.  The City anticipates holding a Farmer’s Market at the renovated depot each Sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m.  (NOTE: After the meeting, it was determined that the Farmer’s Market will be held on Friday, after the initial Farmer’s Market on Sunday at the Grand Opening.)  A grand opening will be held for the depot at noon on Sunday, April 28th.  RCHS president Ron Leake will be in attendance, along with CIty of Center officials.  Radio and TV stations and other news outlets will be contacted to attend the event, too.  Hot dogs and some type of drink will be offered at the grand opening, and there will also be door prizes.  The public is encouraged to attend.  Patti Tinsley agreed to post flyers throughout the community.

Combining RCHS’s Library and Museum:  Currently, items from the library on the south side of Main Street in Perry are being moved to the museum, which is located on the north side of Main Street.  The goal is to combine the two buildings into one location at the museum.  Volunteers are needed to move, organize, and clean the museum and library.

John Ralls Donation:  Ron Leake was notified by the family of John Ralls that the family wishes to donate an 1860s gun and a box of Ralls’s documents.  John Ralls is the son of Daniel Ralls, the individual for which the county is named.  Currently, the box of documents is being scanned and deciphered. When complete, the items will be on display at the museum and on RCHS’s website.  Recently, Ron was notified that a second shipment of documents and/or artifacts may also be received by RCHS.

Fort Mason:  Located near Saverton in Ralls County, Fort Mason was a historical outpost during the War of 1812. In recent months, Bill Dexheimer has been working with community members on what has become known as the Fort Mason Monument Project, which is in the funding phase. Many of the foundations and organizations being considered allow applications from governmental bodies; however, some require the

applicant to be a charitable organization. In some cases, the charitable organization can be a sponsor for

the application made by the county, and in other cases, the application must be made directly by the

charitable organization. In all cases, as a part of the application, there needs to be documentation that

the charitable organization voted to support or apply for funding for the Fort Mason monument project.

One of the foundations, The Riedel Foundation, requires that their name be specified in the minutes of

the meeting during which the vote was taken. The Fort Mason Monument Project Committee is requesting that Ralls County Historical Society consider partnering with the committee to recognize the contributions that Fort Mason had, and continues to have, on the county’s history.  This partnership will allow the committee to apply for grants to further the project, using RCHS’s 501c3 status to be eligible for consideration for various funding opportunities.  Some of the grant applications made directly by RCHS will result in the funds, if awarded, coming directly to RCHS. These funds will then need to be sent to the County of Ralls, P.O. Box 400, New London, MO 63459. A memo needs to reflect it is for the Fort Mason Monument Project Fund. The donor needs to be identified on each grant or contribution so a receipt can be mailed back to them from the county. Most of the grant applications require a copy of the W9 form to be included. A copy of this form was provided.  RCHS needs to fill one out and have it available to include with grant requests. Sharon Lake made a motion that Ralls County Historical Society support, as a sponsor, all applications for grants for the Fort Mason Monument Project made by the County of Ralls, if required, including The Riedel Foundation, and to make applications directly for this project if necessary.  Madonna Petitjean seconded.  Motion carried.  

Missouri Mule Museum:  Jeanne Gay shared information about Missouri Mule Museum and her plans for the project.  She requested that RCHS partner with the Missouri Mule Museum. Sharon Lake made a motion, seconded by Carolyn Trower, to explore this partnership in more depth, including securing property for the museum and working in cooperation with the museum..  Motion carried.  A meeting will be held Monday, April 22, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at Perry City Hall to discuss this topic in more detail.

Membership Drive:  Delores Woodhurst shared that health issues delayed the annual membership drive and fundraiser for RCHS.  Various fundraising ideas will be explored.  Individual memberships are $40, family memberships are $50, and business memberships are $100. All work completed by RCHS is volunteer work, and membership fees are used to pay rent, utilities, and insurance on the museum and library, along with other incidental costs.  Patti Tinsley made a motion to begin this year’s membership drive.  Sandie Storm seconded.  Motion passed.

Volunteers:  Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of projects within RCHS.  Several Mark Twain FFA students have been secured for work.  Patti Tinsley will contact the FFA teacher to see when these students can work at RCHS’s museum and library.   

Communication:  An ongoing concern is how to communicate the work of RCHS so that everyone who wants to be in the know and be involved can do so.  Dan Peters shared that the Remind works well for him, and he recommended its use by RCHS.  Delores Woodhurst will establish an account and begin sharing information with this platform.  The only technology requirement to use Remind is a phone that receives text messages. Anyone who would like to receive text updates about RCHS should text the message @chk3kad to the number 81010. If you’re having trouble with 81010, try texting @chk3kad to (415) 749-9891. Standard text message rates apply.

Financial Information:  The following balance statement for 2023 was shared.  As of today, the balance of RCHS’s checking account is $6,443.49.

Next Meeting:  The next meeting of the RCHS will be Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at Perry City Hall.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The meeting adjourned at 11:05 p.m. 

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