History of the
Tippecanoe County Area Genealogical Society

In the fall of 1969, the Tippecanoe County Clerk gave courthouse records, which included marriage certificates and marriage applications, to the Tippecanoe County Historical Association.  Due to the small quarters in the basement of the Fowler House, where the library was housed at that time, the acquisition of such a large amount of records and documents created a problem.  Miss Alameda McCollough came up with the idea to create an organization to help organize these documents.  A meeting was held with interested persons and the Tippecanoe County Area Genealogical Society, a.k.a. TIPCOA, was formed.  At the first meeting a collection was taken for the purpose of buying supplies.  Under the direction of Lyda Hilt, at this first meeting they began the work on the records. 

TIPCOA was to be a working group organizing, indexing and cleaning the collection. Their first project was to work on the marriage documents. The next project was organizing the wills. Next they started the family files with the work they were doing for out of town research requests.  A modest fee was charged to be used for supplies and equipment. 

TIPCOA purchased file cabinets for the marriage records as soon as enough money became available.   A book committee was named to purchase books, and they established guidelines to acquire printed material that would be most helpful to the researchers.  Materials they chose related to Tippecanoe County and the surrounding counties, then Indiana, border states east of the Mississippi river, especially those along the migratory route from the East. 

The genealogy collection had outgrown the basement of Fowler House and was moved to the Wetherill building with the help of many volunteers.  TIPCOA continued to staff the library, purchase books, microfilm reader/printers, filing cabinets, drawers for microfilm and cemetery records, a copier, assisted with repair of equipment and added over 2000 obituaries per year to the collection. In 1987, a plaque was presented to TIPCOA by TCHA for donating $12,000.00 along with 2424 volunteer hours to the library.  In 2002 when the library was remodeled, TIPCOA helped with the project by giving money for new lighting.  We are very proud of the new look in the library.

TIPCOA members staffed the library and operated the organization without bylaws until 1980.   In 1981 the director of TCHA suggested TIPCOA either become a part of TCHA or become incorporated; TIPCOA decided to incorporate.  Bylaws were written and the organization had its own Board of Management.  The Letter of Incorporation signed by TIPCOA gave the genealogical material to TCHA. 

Source of information was taken from the Minutes of TIPCOA and a History of TIPCOA written by Mildred Paarlberg who was a charter member.

In the year 2003 the TCHA governing board made changes; they no longer want a relationship with TIPCOA.   Thus has ended TIPCOA'S  35 year involvement with the library.   We leave the library with an outstanding collection of genealogical records and indexes.  We as a genealogy society will continue to find new ways to build Tippecanoe County's genealogy history. 

In the Spring of 2010 we were asked once again to staff the research library.  We were more than happy to except the challenge.  Limited hours were set, but it is open Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 pm each week.Plus the 1st and 3rd Saturday's from 10 am to 2 pm.


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