Ireland Historical Society, Inc. 

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          In May of 1996, the Ireland Historical Society, Inc., was formed in Ireland, Indiana. The society gained ownership of the building (formerly the Ireland Methodist Church) on August 2, 1996.  The deed is recorded in the Dubois County Recorders office in book  233, page 97, recorded on August 9, 1996 at 9:45 AM local time.  It is located on the corner of James and Walnut Streets. For 911 purposes the address for the society is: 5173W Walnut Street, Jasper, IN, 47546. Ireland does not have rural mail delivery. This is the reason for the Jasper address.  However, there was the first Post Office named Alder Creek and some of the eary Ireland Post Offices carried rural mail delivery with horse and buggy. More history on the beginning of the Ireland Historical Society--after the last servicce in the Ireland Methodist Church, Delbert "Junie" Himsel went to the Vincennes District Superintendent, Alan Amstutz and asked him if he would agree to allow a historical society to be formed to benefit the Ireland area. He did agree.  Himsel then went to fellow 1953 Ireland High School graduates Tom and Esther (Bartley) Kellams, Jeanie (Murry) Wagner and his wife Sharon (Perkins) Himsel to form the Board of Directores for the new 501-C-3 entity. That is how it started and the rest is History!!

 

     A significant feature of the Museum part of the society is its "Walls of History" in the basement of the building.  There are more than 1000 pictures of the area described on said walls.  Each picture has a piece of the area history written and displayed with it.  If anyone has a picture(s) they think may qualify for the walls, please let us know by contacting us. The picture will be copied and returned to the owner if it is not given to the society. The society has erected four historical markers in locations in Ireland describing a different segment of the town.  The society has donated several historical items to the Dubois County Museum.  In October of 2003 the society filled the Ireland High School portion of the historical display case in the Jasper High School designated for the high schools of the area. Click on Ireland High School on this website for the schools history.  The society also has many artifacts on display including the original doctors case used by Dr. E.A. Glezen in 1846.  Glezen was Ireland's first doctor.

   PURPOSE: The society is a public benefit corporation organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and more specifically: to discover and memorialize the history of Ireland, Indiana and Dubois County Townships of Boone and Madison Townships.  To do this the corporation will collect, preserve,, research, and interpert the history and materials of this area, to secure and document that our historic archives are properly cared for and thereby to cause a better understanding and appreciation of our areas history, art and natural environment.  Also to hold meetings for the instruction and information of members and the public.

    A replica of early Ireland buildings is also on display.  The town is laid out as the streets were around 1914.  These miniture replicas were built by member Mike Schmitt of Ireland.

    We repaired our basement during the summer of 2012 with the help on many donation from the public.  Over the years our 1878 buildings basement became badly in need of waterproofing.  Not only the floor but also the walls were letting water through and destroying our displays.  This project started in early May, 2012.  Over 1200 hours of volunteer labor and some donated materials has helped us to complete te project.. We had some funds on hand and the Ireland Lions Club gave us a great boost so  that we could go ahead and waterproof the basement.  The Dubois County Community Foundation Grant greatly helped us in this project.  The renovation now included putting back the walls and pictures.  A restroom for the basement was completed. Our society is a 501-3-C organization.  Any contributions or questions may be sent to: Ireland Historical Society, P.O. Box 71, Ireland, IN 47545. For any other information call: 812-639-7646.

Our society is run by volunteers.  No one is paid.  We had a fund raising event on September 22, 2012.  Our first annual "Irish Spaghetti Dinner" was held on that date.  Coupled with this event was an open house to show our many pictures and displays.  

The basement is used for our regular meetings.  The building may be used by other public entities for their meetings.  Madison Townships' Conservancy District holds their regular monthly meetings there.  The Dubois County Historical Society, The Dubois County Museum, Dubois County AARP, Jasper German Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution have held meetings in our building.  The 5th grade of the Ireland Elementary School tours the building each year in the spring.  The Ireland High School class of 1953 held their 50th class reunion there also. Since then several other Ireland High School reunions have been held there also.   The chapel of the church building remains unchanged and is available for weddings, baptisms, funerals and regular religious services. Many other class reunions have been held here.  The DAR has met here.  Many weddings have been held here. The donation amount is $200, this includes a Friday rehershal. The weddings were in the Ireland Historical Chapel.  The chapel holds as many as 220.  More weddings are scheduled for 2011.  Would you like to get married in Ireland (Indiana) and never could afford it?  Just e-mail the name on the home page for details.  Get married in Ireland! Go to the gallery on this page to see how the building looks today.  For scheduling a wedding go to: we2knies@hotmail.com or junebug@fullnet.com.

     For a real pioneer wedding near Ireland, you can also get married at the Shiloh Meeting House or Lemmons Church.  Go to those respective sites to see those churches. (capacity 200 +/-) and locations. For pioneer weddings e-mail: junebug@fullnet.com .

 (photo by Charlie Treadway)

  

    As stated above, the structure was built in 1878. It is the oldest building in Ireland.  Since 1996 it has been nicely refurbished. However, the building keeps it's old (new) look charm in the town of Ireland, Indiana. The inside of the Ireland Historical Chapel is seen above (capacity 200). Come to Ireland, Indiana and see for yourself! Click here for directions and a map!

     The society's regular meetings are held in September, October, January, February, March and April.  The meetings for September and October are held on the fourth Sunday at 1:30 EST.  In all other months listed, the meetings are on the 3rd Sundays (unless notice is given otherwise) at 1:30 EST. Meeting notices are always sent out previous to our meetings.  Various historical subjects highlight the meetings.  The January meeting  always features the 5th grade students of Ireland Elementary School.  The students give an oral and pictorial biography of one of their ancestors. 

   

     The October 2009-2010 meeting was held with John Keusch of the Dubois REA give a report on the proposed "Cap & Trade" bill and what it could do to our electrical rates, etc.  He also showed 2 videos of the history and the workings of the REMC (Rural Electric).

     On November 25, 2009, the duties of the Dubois County GenWeb coordinater were presented.  The job is done on a volunteer basis.  Charles Treadway of Goshen, Indiana is our county coordinater.  If you have any county information you would like to share with him, his e-mail is: charlie31141@comcast.net.  Charlie has spent much time in doing the job.  The rest of the meeting was on old times in Ireland with Tom Kellams, Mike Schmitt and D. "Junie" Himsel presiding.

     PORTERSVILLE/BOONE TOWNSHIP MURALwas unveiled at the Dubois County Museum.  The Ireland Historical Society was in charge of the meetings.  The meeting was held on January 10th at 1:30 pm EST at the museum.  The Birch Creek Boys from the St. Johns Church in Boone Township provided musical entertainment. Refreshments were served.

     The earliest history of Dubois County was explained visually and verbally.  This meeting brought to a close Ireland Historical Societys Mural Project that saw the society raise the funds, put together the historic models for both the Ireland and the Boone Township/Portersville Murals.  Thanks to all of those who helped.  Go to the museum and enjoy these two 16ft. X 20ft. murals.  Also please view all of the other murals that the museum professionally displays. 

     IRELAND FIRE DEPARTMENT MEETING, on February 21, 2010 at 1;30pm, the Ireland Historical Society met at the fire department building in Ireland.  The department explained their equipment and give helpful information on how to prevent fires and what to do in case of a fire.  

     ST. PATRICK'S CELEBRATION REPORT:  The historical society participated in the celebration by having open houses on Saturday and Sunday the 13th and 14th of March.  In addition the society provided space for the pie bake-off contest on Saturday.  On Sunday the society welcomed the overflow of the K Of C dinner patrons by letting them use our space as needed.  The combination of the pie bake-off and the KC crowd did bring more people to our open houses making it a win-win for all.   The historical society won 3rd place in the float entries of the large 2010 St. Patrick's Parade. 

     THE ANNUAL IRELAND 5TH GRADE BIOGRAPHY OF AN ANCESTOR PROGRAM was held on April 18th at 1:30pm at the historical society on James & Walnut Sts. in Ireland.  Students gave a short presentation of one of their relatives in the past that they would have liked to meet.  This  was the 30th annual presentation, it was started by members of the historical society in 1980.  It was in existance prior to the society being formed. The society took the project under it's wing and has carried on.  

     2010-2011 MEETINGS

    The SEPTEMBER meeting of the historical society will be on September 26, 2010 at 1;30 pm EDT.  The St. Patrick's committee will give their views on the historic Road Bowling event held on September 18.  Forty-six 4 person teams entered this initial event.  Road Bowling is an ancient sport that is said to be centered in the County Armagh in the Republic of Ireland.  The originial settlers of Ireland, Indiana came from this county!  It was only fitting that this event be held near Ireland, Indiana.  We believe the event was the first organized Road Bowling in Indiana.

     Tom Kellams presented some historic handed down stories of Ireland.

    

     The OCTOBER 24, 2010 meeting featured Major Ron Himsel (Retired).  Ron spoke on some of his experiences while he gave service to his country in Viet Nam.  Veterans were especially invited to this meeting.  The meeting was in the society building, the TIME of the meeting was at at 2:30 pm EDT.

     

       Meetings are all held at the Ireland Historical Society at James & Walnut in Ireland unless otherwise stated.

      Our January 16, 2011 meeting featured the Destination Imagination teams from the Ireland Elementary School.  These teams are coached by volunteers.  The teams and their coaches demonstrated and explained what "Destination Imagination" is all about.  The meeting began at 1:30 EST. 

       February was President's month and the meeting featured George Washington.  George was protrayed by Sites Historian of the Indiana State Museum Vincennes State Historic Sites, Richard Day from Vincenness.  Richard does a fine job on many of the United States greats of the past.   Many came to enjoy the meeting of February 20, 2011 at 1:30 EST at the historical society's building on James and Walnut Streets in Ireland.  

      March:  In keeping with the St. Patrick's Celebration Committee's festivities, the Ireland Historical Society had their open house on Saturday, March 12, and Sunday March 13, from 10am to 3pm .  Features Ireland's History and Ireland Village replicas--also free Irish water and free Irish O'Coffee.   Saturdays event were on EST and Sundays on EDT. 

      April:  The Ireland Elementary 5th Grade students gave biographys at 1:30pm EDT at the society building on Walnut Street on April 17. Approximately 15 students  gave a biography of one of their relatives that they wish they could have met.  This program has been an on going program for over 30 years.  It is an interesting program and helps the students to research the lineage of their families.  The refreshments after the meeting were served by some of our members who also are on the St. Pat's Celebration, Inc. Committee.

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For the year of 2011-2012

        The September 2011 meeting was held in conjunction with the Lemmons Church's Tri-  Annual Gathering.  It was at the Lemmons Church on September 18 at 1:30pm EDT.  Featured at the meeting was Dennis Latta, a historian for the DNR from  Verne, Indiana near Vincennes.  He came to us as Ben Franklin.  Ben's colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement and his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers came to life once more through Mr. Latta.  Music was provided by Roger Craig and Friends.  This group is from nearby Otwell.  A dessert fellowship was enjoyed after the meeting. 

     October 23rd, 2011 meeting was held at the Historical Society at 1pm edt.  Art Nordhoff, Dubois County Historian, gave a talk on the Civil War.  2011 is the 150th anniversary of the war.  Art did a great job of explaining many aspects of said war.  Prior to the Civil War talk, a group performed "Johnny Comes Marching Home".  The group included Maddie, Ben and Josie Arlender and Nick Freyberger.  A couple of other very special  life saving awards were given.  The first one was to Gary Sermersheim for saving the life of David Jacob.  This occured 38 years ago in 1973 when Gary pulled David out of an overturned car that burst into flame seconds later.  The second was to Paul Schitter for saving the life of Daniel Ring.  This occured 24 years ago in 1987.  Paul saved Daniel from being pulled though a 12 inch sewer that water from a lake opening was rushing.  There was 60 people at the meeting. 

     January 15, 2012 meeting was held in the society's building at 1:30pm EST.  The Ireland High School Basketball Queens of the past were the focus of our meeting.  Invitations had been sent out to all the former queens to attend the meeting.  Ireland High School was closed in 1970, over 40 years ago. The meeting was quite successful with the queens singing the Ireland High School fight song at the end.  Included in the singing was the schools first basketball queen of 1935, Viola Schwenk Burger, this was a mere 77 years ago.  The meeting was held in  the chapel with over 125 attending. 

    On February 19, 2012 our meeting was highlighted by 99 year ol Ariel Green giving us a walk back through Ireland High School from 1925 to 1929.  She is the oldest survinving graduate of the school.  Many others present joined in later with short remeninces of their school days at Ireland.  A full house attended and a lot of old friends met.

    March: The society had their annual open house during the St. Patrick's Celebration weekend. We had open house on Saturday and Sunday.  It was well attended.  An added attraction on Sunday was the annual parade.  The society took Judges Choice with their farming entry entitled-"Let us shock your crops"- there were over 25 walkers and riders with the proper attire and tools of brooms, pitch forks, shovels and an added attraction of wooden walking dogs.  The center of the float was an authentic antique 18ft. hay wagon featuring a working dinner bell. 

    Our next meeting was held on April 15th 2012 st 1:30 pm.  The meeting featured some members of the 5th grade of Ireland Elementary giving a biography of one of their ancestors.  This is always a informative meeting.  A report on new and old happenings at the Dubois County Museum was presented by Tom Kellams.

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For the current year 2012-2013

   On September 22, 2012, we had an open house to show off our newly renovated facility. Coupled with the open house was our first annual "Irish Spaghetti Dinner".  The event was a success.  The Irish Spaghetti was great.   The renovation was accomplished by grants from The Dubois County Community Foundation, The "Round Up" grant from Dubois REC. the Ireland Lions Club and many other businesses and individuals.

   On October  21, 2012, at 1:30pm EST, a program on our Southwestern Indiana Pioneers was given by Dr. Ralph Gray of Bloomington.  Dr. Gray, is a noted Indiana Historical Society speaker.  Previous to Dr. Gray, Danny Brescher and Gary Love, both of Ireland, spoke of their experiences while serving their country in Iraq.  Note. Go to Amazon.com to order some great books written by Dr. Gray.  Also during the meeting, Rev. Wm. Harris, presented a hand loomed blanket carried by his ancestor, Samuel Harris in the Civil War. Samuel was killed in battle, the blanket was returned to Portersville, Indiana with Samuel's blood stains on it.  Rev. Harris has given the blanket to the Dubois County Museum.

  On January 20, 2013, our meeting featured former cheerleaders for the Ireland Spuds.  The last Ireland team prior to consolidation was in 1970.  The oldest cheerleader living is Geneva (Brittain) Himsel, class of 1935 .  78 years will have passed since she cheered the Spuds to victory. The meeting was held at 1:30pm and was enjoyed by all.  Special thanks to Ireland Youth Sports for the use of their popcorn machine and for furnishing the popcorn as well.

  The February meeting wason the 17th at 1:30pm EST at the society's building on Walnut Street.  The meeting  featured Gary Love and other veterans giving their military experiences while in Iraq.  Also, some information on their training.  Tom Kellams gave a short update on the new animal display at the museum called "Safari."  

   March 2013-The society held its annual weekend open house during the St. Patrick's Celebration weekend. The event again featured our "Walls of History" and the minature early 1900's replica of the village of Ireland.  This year w also had curly-fries Irish Nachos for sale. In addition, the society welcomed the 1963 Ireland Spuds basketball team sectional and regional winners of that year.  The event featured members of the team and a formal session with speakers talking about the event and their own experiences. A history of basketball of Ireland High School was also given.  A very attractive plaque  recognizing the 1963 team is on display on the outside wall of the Chicken Place restraunt in Ireland. The event was part of the 50th year celebration of the teams accomplishments.  The team was also named "Mayor-For-A-Day".  Click on St. Patrick's Celebration on our side bar for more information.  Also, a book entitled-"One Small Town-One Crazy Coach", about the happenings 50 yrs ago, will be published in the near future by author, Mike Roos. Mike's dad Jim Roos was principal of the school in 1963.

   April 2013-Our meeting on April 21st  featured the Ireland Elementary 5th Grade studenta who wished to participate. They gave family biographies at 1;30 EDT. The meeting was held at the society building on the corner of Walnut and James Streets. The students gave a biography of one of their direct ancestors that they wished they could have met.  The program has been an on going event for over 32 years.  It is an interesting and informative meeting as well as helping the students and parents to research family lineage. 

    This completed the early 2013 portion of our schedule, see you again in September.  Thanks again to those who helped with the renovation. The Dubois County Community Foundaton and the Dubois REC grants were very helpful to completing the project for the society and our many members and visitors.

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For the year 2013-2014

  September 2013-The title of our meeting was "Holy Hoops".  The Ireland high school team name was the Ireland Spuds.  From 1942-1948 the Spuds played basketball in the old 1885 Ireland Presbyterian Church which had disbanded and the congregation went to Jasper.  The Madison Township bought the premises and used the building as its gym. We invited the old Spuds and some of their rivals from Dubois and Cuzco to share their experiences to us.  It was a good meeting with the sharing of their memories to the crowd.

  October 2013-To begin our meeting we gave our 3rd life saving award. Reagan Hochmeister saved a life of a North Korean 15 yr. old youth.  This was at a hotel swimming pool in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Reagan was 11 and weighed 90 lbs. the young man weighed 150 lbs.. Reagan dove to the bottom of the pool and brought him up, thus saving his life. Our featured speaker was Gib Young from Huntington, Indiana.  Gib is famous for his protrayl of Teddy Roosevelt. He also looks the part.  We felt like the real Teddy was among us as he gave some life experiences of our 16th president.

 January 2014-Ireland about Ireland--The meeting was held on January 19th at 1:30 EST at the historical society building.  Many people from Ireland, Indiana made a trip to the Republic of Ireland, the topic will be Ireland about Ireland. 

  February 2014--The meeting was held on Feb. 23 at 1:30 EST.  We had a Memorial program to honor Ruth (Schwenk) Waller. Many memories of Ruth were shared in person and letters from them who knew, lived and worked with  her.  One such person has shared: I met Ruth a little more than a year before her death when I knew of her retiring from USI. It's one of my grestest regrets that I didn't meet her earlier.  She was a wonderful person who never made a big deal out of the fact that she was a pioneer in women's sports, not just at USI but in  this country.  I don't know how she endured all the disrespect she faced simply trying to give women the chance to play sports collegiately.  But I wasn't surprised she persevered, either.  There was a steely calm about her, a quite but firm resolution in her bearing.  Most important, she could laugh at herself, even when facing cancer and all the health problems she suffered over the years.  I was amazed. I was also humbled. She faced what seemed like insurmountable odds and overcame almost all of them.  I hope she is remembered always as an inspiration to all of us.

  March 2014- Annual St. Patrick's Celebration open house on Saturday and Sunday was held.

  April 2014-A selected group of 5th grade students from Ireland Elementary gave a biography of someone in their family that they wish they could have met.  This is an annual event. Approximately 100 people attended.  

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For the years 2014-2015

  The Tri-Annual meeting in conjunction with Lemmons Church will be held on September 21, 2014.  The event will feature Tom Miller from St. Mary's Church in Ireland and Jane Boultinghouse from Spencer County.  Tom, an a cappella singer, will entertain us with a dew songs.  Jane will be giving her history of Mary Todd Linclon. She does an exceptional job. We will also be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the writing of our national anthem.  Frances Scott Key wrote it while watchng the battle of Ft. McHenry on September 13,1814. A dessert fellowship will be held after the meeting.  Bring a dessert and a couple of friends and enjoy the event.  Utensils, plates and water will be provided.  You may want to bring a lawn chair if you wish to sit outside.

  

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   The purpose of the Ireland Historical -Society is to be a public benefit corporation organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501-c-3 of the Internal Revenue Code and, more specifically: to discover and memorialize the history of Ireland, Indiana, and the Dubois County Townships of Boone and Madison. To do this the corporation will collect, preserve, research, and interpret the history and materials of this area; to see that our historic archives are properly cared for and thereby to cause a better understanding and appreciation of our areas' history, art and natural environment.  The society is to hold meetings for the instruction and information of members and the public; and to accept donations of money, real property or other property for the above purposes, to conduct such other activities and business as it may be lawfully permitted under state law and as they may comply as above.  Dues are $10 per year, if you wish to join sent your dues to our secretary. If you wish to become a life-time member, that fee is a one time amount of $200. Sent to: Ireland Historical Society, P.O. Box 71, Ireland, IN 47545  .  All officers and directors do so on a voluntary basis, Webster describes volunteers as "a person who chooses freely to serve in a capacity without pay." All dues received go to the expenses of the society and the upkeep and the beautification of the premises.

Do you know anyone on this picture?  The picture was taken in the Ireland Millinery Shop in the 1920's.

    

E-mail any information or comments to:  Delbert Himsel or we2knies@hotmail.com   ekellams@netsurfusa.net
 
 
 
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