Old Jefferson Town
where an ongoing record of the past is preserved and recorded for future generations
Jefferson County Historical and Genealogy Society
The Jefferson County Historical Society (JCHS) and Jefferson County Genealogy Society (JCGS) have worked hand in hand for the past 50 years preserving and recording the history of Jefferson County Kansas. The two societies share the responsibilities in maintaining Old Jefferson Town.
Old Jefferson Town consists of 10 buildings and a prairie grassland that preserve and exhibit donated artifacts (objects, documents, photos, books, maps, etc.) It has an extensive genealogy library open to the community on weekends throughout the year and by appointment.
A variety of volunteers keep the museum up and running. Recently the Genealogy and Historical society merged to better meet the needs of Old Jefferson Town. JCHGS meets monthly to hold a business meeting to discuss events and the needs of the facilities. Community members are encouraged to be a part of the meetings.
Volunteers work on accessioning and displaying objects, clipping and filing paperwork (obituaries, maps, family histories, photos etc.), planning events and connecting to the community through the local newspapers and social media. Local school groups and 4H groups help with projects outside keeping the grounds picked up and landscaping maintained.
Annual Meeting Held
President Leanne Chapman led the JCHS annual meeting on November 8, 2020 at the Edmonds Chapel in Old Jefferson Town. The meeting opened with singing the traditional "Thanksgiving Song" accompanied by organist, Cordella Brown. The business meeting followed consisting of the election of board members , officers, community representations, and genealogy committee, meeting minutes, treasurer's report, highlights of the past year and recognition of volunteers. The business meeting closed with singing "Home on the Range."
A presentation by Leo Oliva titled: Railroad: The Industry That Shaped Kansas" followed the meeting. Leo is a Kansas Humanities historian with a research focus on 19th century Kansas. He shared maps and information demonstrating to participants the importance of the railroad during early development of Kansas. Some points made: Railroad replaced trails that slowed travel, provided jobs for settlers, developed cow towns and trade routes, developed a standard time common across the routes, sped up mail and message deliveries which in turn developed mail order systems.
Help Preserve Jefferson County History
Become a Member!
Membership in the Jefferson County Historical and Genealogy Society is available by printing out the membership form and mailing it in or contacting:
Winchester, KS 66097
Annual dues are $25.
The Jefferson County Historical Museum and Genealogy Society is a non-profit organization that maintains Old Jefferson Town. Your dues are used to help with the continuing upkeep of the buildings and grounds at Old Jefferson Town. Your membership will help to maintain and preserve the rich history of Jefferson County and its communities.
As a member, you will receive a digital copy of the quarterly newsletter and the Yesteryears that comes out twice a year. Yesteryears are filled with historical stories and information about the citizens and communities in Jefferson County. (older issues are on this website - go to the Newsletters/Yesteryears tab)
Monthly meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at Old Jefferson Town. Members and non-members are encouraged to attend the meetings.
Become a volunteer!
Old Jefferson Town would not be here if it weren't for its volunteers. For over 50 years, history keepers have helped to preserve Jefferson County history. Come and be a part!
Jefferson County Historical Society
P.O. Box 146
Oskaloosa, KS 66066-0174
Due to COVID, the Genealogy library and building tours are open by appointment only.
It will reopen in January, pending COVID scores.
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