Carroll County Historical and Genealogical Society

On September 6, 1955, a group of citizens consisting of Alice Baker Gentry, Ruth Trimble, Lois Stubbs, Cora Pinkley Call, Frances McClelland, Coy Logan, Boyd W. Johnson, and Edwin L. Chaplin met in the Methodist church in Berryville (Carroll County) with Ted Worley, executive secretary of the Arkansas History Commission (now called the Arkansas State Archives). The purpose of this meeting was to make plans for organizing a historical society in Carroll County.

During this meeting, Worley discussed the early history of Carroll County, the importance of preserving early records of the county, and how other county historical societies had been organized and managed. The next meeting was set for September 29, 1955, at the county library for the purpose of organizing the society. At this meeting, Logan was voted chairman and Chaplin secretary.

At the next meeting, on October 27, Boyd W. Johnson was elected as editor of the historical society’s bulletin, with the first one to be published before the end of the charter enrollment period. After the charter member period concluded, the constitution and by-laws of the society were drafted and approved by the membership. The society has operated since then on the same by-laws, with minor changes to board meeting times and membership dues. As of 2012, the society has 1,000 members in almost all of the fifty states. In 1955, the society began publishing the Carroll County Historical Quarterly.

The society also runs the Heritage Center, which is housed in the 1880 Carroll County Courthouse on the Berryville public square and is leased by the society on a ninety-nine-year lease. The Heritage Center consists of a three-floor museum of items collected from the families of Carroll County, as well as a genealogical library with records of the county, microfilmed records, family histories, family genealogy files, and picture files, to help people trace the county roots. At the minimum, the society has general membership evening meetings with programs for members as well as visitors.

For additional information:
Champlin, Edwin, “Organizing the Carroll County Historical Society.” Carroll County Historical Quarterly 1 (1955): 4–5.

Gordon Hale
Carroll County Historical and Genealogical Society


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