Since being revived in 1986, this society has made tremendous strides in its ability to gather and disseminate information. The staff began working with two old manual typewriters, an old electric typewriter and a borrowed building. From that building to one the Society purchased on the north side of the square in Hartville, the county seat, to its current location in the old Wright County Bank building on the northeast corner of the insection of MO State Highways 5 and 38.
Originally built in 1890 by E. C. Steele, the building passed out of the family's hands in 1977. Twenty years later the great-grandchildren of Mr. Steele acquired the property in order to get it back in the family's ownership. It was later given to the Society and is now the property of the Industrial Development Authority. As long as the historical and genealogical society remains active and maintains its operation in the old bank, the 90 member organization will stay in this location.
The Society has published two volumes of county history and family stories which include valuable genealogical information. In addition to these two publications, several "in-house" publications of information from old county newspapers have been compiled. In 1996 permission was given to copy and sell a 75-minute video made from 8mm film taken during the 1940s in Hartville by longtime pharmacist Tommy Farmer. This video was featured in an article in "The Kansas City Star" and also on the "Jim Leher News Hour."
In March 1998 the Society was hooked up to the world and now handles email requests and queries. The current email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current officers are: President Lois Bowman; Vice-President Billie Jo Mitchem; Secretary Virginia Long; Treasurer Mary Helsley. Board Members are: Jerry Williams, Paul "Bud" Hickman, Leo Dowden, Wanda Cope, Virginia Hoover and Judy Hutchison.
In 1998, Clyde Rowen was nominated by the Society to be considered for an award from the Missouri State Genealogical Association. The Awards Committee selected him to receive an Award of Merit for his leadership of the Society, his role in publishing Volume I of county history, and many other activities beneficial to genealogists in Wright County and the Show-Me State.
In 2000, Phyllis Rippee, who does the Wright County, MO website for the USGenWeb Project, was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Missouri State Genealogical Association for her work on behalf of the genealogical community.
The Wright County Historical and Genealogical Society is staffed by volunteers and is currently open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The hours are 9:30 to 3:30. The Society has a small office library of genealogical materials, historical artifacts and paintings.
The Society extends a gracious invitation for you to drop in and visit when you are in the area.
Wright County Bank early 1900s