Jefferson County Historical Society

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The emphasis of our organization is to collect and preserve historical material, reprint historical books and pamphlets, continue to record cemeteries, and to make the public aware of the rich heritage in Jefferson County, Missouri. The following will give you a little history of the Jefferson County Historical Society from our humble beginnings to what we are today.

The History of the Jefferson County Historical Society

The association known as Jefferson Heritage and Landmark Corporation (JHLC) was founded in December 1968. Following a program held on the courthouse steps commemorating the 150th anniversary of the formation of Jefferson County, Missouri, a group of 85 interested people met to attend the organizational meeting.

The articles of incorporation for JHLC were filed February 26, 1969 with the following Board of directors:

R. K. Barton Jr.

Frank Magre

Gretchen Ray

Jean O'Brien

Father Benedict Ellis

Zoe Booth Rutledge

Andrew England

 Other individuals that have served on the board of directors through the years include Jeremiah Nixon, Elizabeth Golterman, Marian Piper, Sue Mueller, Barney Schubel, Catherine Jones, Herbert  Moss, Vivian Martin, Leon Hall, Jeanne Cook, Betty Mueller, Martin Mall, Barry Ellis, Blanche Fallet, Ray Henry, Betty Olson, Jules Porchey, Catherine Crawford, Mary Ann Boyer, John Anderson, Tim Patterson, Martha Dodson, Nancy Hollingsworth, Della Lang, Lisa Thompson-Gendron, Becky Gagnon, Glee Heiligtag-Naes, Kay Clerc-Fakhar, Carole Goggin and Dave Hallemann.

 JHLC began by raising funds to purchase and restore the first home built by the first native born Governor of Missouri, Thomas Clement Fletcher. An option to buy the Hillsboro home was signed April 10, 1969 and final purchase papers were dated February 1972. In December 1973, ownership of the Fletcher House was transferred to the Jefferson County Planning and Recreation Commission, who later transferred it to the State Department of Natural Resources.

 Other projects that appear in the minutes of the corporation include a resolution to the State Highway Commission opposing the sale of 429 acres of land in northern Jefferson County that had previously yielded significant mastodon remains, working to save and restore Sandy Creek Bridge, helping in funding local authors to publish various histories of the county and its cities, and providing substantial grants to the county libraries for the purchase of genealogical materials.

In 1979, Jefferson Heritage and Landmark Corporation began working with Jefferson College in Hillsboro to establish a History Center on their campus as a repository for significant historical documents.  An advisory board was set up to help organize the new center. Fireproof cabinets, a copy machine, files, books, and microfilm were among the items purchased by JHLC, and an agreement was officially made with the county government to use the new center to house records of historical value to the county.

Laborious work began in the early 1980's to locate and document the many cemeteries in the county. That project is extensive and still ongoing.  

In 1984, JHLC conducted a very successful tour of Selma Hall (Kennett's Castle) owned by Union Pacific. The castle had not been open to the public for over 25 years, and there has not been any public access since that time.

In 1985, the name was changed to Jefferson Heritage and Landmarks Society.  In 1997, the name was changed again to Jefferson County Historical Society.  The Society's website now spotlights countless hours of research and is one of the best sources of free historical and genealogical information in the state.


The following  were listed as charter members in the record books of December 1968

Mr. & Mrs. W.H.S. O'Brien

Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Donnell

Zoe Booth Rutledge

Mr. & Mrs. Norval Seeley

Mr. & Mrs. John Els

John Els (student)

Dennis Els (student)

Mr. Elmer Fisk

Mr. & Mrs. Victor E. Medley

Rev. Mrs. Betty L. Shirley

Mr. A.A. Heinze

Mrs. A. A. Heinze

Shirley Boyer

Mary Joan Boyer

Daisy Pat Stockwell

Mayor & Mrs. Leon Hall (Life member)

C. Dean Burk

Bro. David McKillan

Fra. Benedict Ellis

Judge & Mrs. Herbert K. Moss

Mr. & Mrs. Norvel Kidd

Mr. & Mrs. R.K. Barton Jr. (Founder-Patron)

Jefferson Co. Abstract Co. (Founder-Patron)

Mr. & Mrs. Melvin Carpenter

Mr. & Mrs. Leslie Jones (Founder-Patron)

Leona R. Gasche

Vernon & Mrs. Marion K. Piper (Founder-Patron)


These members were added in the first quarter of 1969

Col. & Mrs. Joseph E. Vollmar Sr. (Founder-Patron)

Mr. & Mrs. Dwight Milfeld (Founder-Patron)

Alice C. Vinyard

Mrs. Amelia C. Weier

Mrs. Bernice M. Freeman

Mrs. Ben F. Lucas

Dr. & Mrs. Charles McClain

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew England (Founder-Patron)

Mrs. Helen Minner

Mrs. J.H. Sutherland (Founder-Patron)

Walter Steinbuck

Norma Martin (student)

Helen Church

Mary Sue Miller

Dr. V.E. Mueller

Mr. & Mrs. Clarence M. Boemler

Mr. & Mrs. Larry Ray

Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce (Donation)

Gertrude Stockstrom (Founder-Patron)

M.C. (Charles) & Mildred Matthes (Founder-Patron)

Isabelle Burn

Ethel Holdinghaus

Roop Printing Company (Founder-Patron)

Mrs. Vivian Martin

Nellie Althauser

Mrs. Harry J. Fitzgibbon

Peter J. Bach III

H. Hearst Kingsland

Gary J. Ellis Jr.

Emily W. Winter (Founder-Patron)

Dennis Emerson (student)


Members added during the rest of 1969:

Mr. & Mrs. Herbert K. Moss (Founder-Patron)

Mr. & Mrs. Fred G. Reinheimer (Founder-Patron)

Harriet S. McMillan

Claude J. & Jeanne Cook

Malcolm K. & Marguerite Miller

Frank Magre

Robert L. O'Brien (student)

Catherine E. Commerford

R.M. Conley

Linda Sue Nolan

Arthur R. Chappue

Alberta B. Dickman (Life)

Mr. & Mrs. W.C. Guse


New members in 1970:

Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Heiligtag (Founder-Patron)

Dr. Harry Yoskit

Dr. & Mrs. Victor Mueller

Mr. & Mrs. William Pagano

Mr. & Mrs. R.M. Conley

Dr. & Mrs. Roger Allbee (Founder-Patron)

Mr. & Mrs. Charles A. Zimmerman (Life)

Mr. & Mrs. Wm. Pannell



Elmer Fiske


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