History of The Richland County Genealogical and Historical Society

In April 1977 a four week genealogy class was offered by Olney Central College thru the Community Service Division. The instructor was Jan Doan. Sixteen students were enrolled. The fourth week Mrs. Doan asked how many of the students enrolled would be interested in organizing a local genealogical society. Most were. The next week on May 16, 1977 an organizational meeting for the Richland County Genealogical Society was held in the library at Olney Central College.

The charter enrollment was kept open until January 1, 1979. We had 77 charter members. During 1979 the membership voted to add Historical to our title and we became the Richland County Genealogical and Historical Society on October 11, 1979.

In July of 1982 the Richland County Board gave our society permission to establish a museum in the lobby of the Richland County Courthouse. Display cases given to the society by the disbanded Richland Historical Center have displayed many interesting exhibits thru the years. The Courthouse museum was officially dedicated October 11, 1982.

Our membership has remained stable for the past several years. We have about 250 members. We count a husband and wife as one member so we actually have several more individual members but our publications are mailed to about 250 addresses. As a society we have published several genealogical books. The profits from our publications are used to purchase books for our library housed in the Anderson Library at Olney Central College.

Membership in the society is $20.00 per calendar year. A newsletter is issued bi-monthly and four quarterlies are published yearly. Inquiries regarding membership may be made to the society. Richland County Genealogical and Historical Society, P.O. Box 202 Olney, Illinois 62450