Marshall County Historical Society program at Noon Optimists
The Noon Optimist Club of Marshalltown met at the Orpheum on July 12 with President Chris Jones presiding. Rev. Mike Herschberger provided the invocation and the club followed with the Pledge of Allegiance. Greg DeSaulniers gave the community calendar of events occurring in Marshall County over the next week. Jones updated the club’s Facebook page and encouraged members to follow and invite family and friends to follow the page.
Upcoming club events include the Iowa State Tractor Pedal Pull Championship on Sept. 8 at the Marshalltown Coliseum and the club’s next evening social meetings on Sept. 13 at Mama Digrado’s in Marshalltown.
Jones introduced the guest speaker Michelle Roseburrough, director of the Marshall County Historical Society. Roseburrough noted the Historical Society of Marshall County was founded in 1908 by a group of interested community leaders and was spearheaded by Mr. and Mrs. (Anna Belknap) Henry Howe. For the first 50 years, the organization worked to collect and maintain artifacts, but was most concerned with capturing the memories and historic moments of the region’s earliest settlers.
Roseburrough noted in the mid-1980s, the HSMC acquired the current museum building located at 202 E. Church St. and at that time established 501c3 status. The building was originally a private home built in 1860 by Dr. George Glick. In 2017, another historic home was donated to the HSMC by Stephen and Madelyn Irvine. This site is staged for tours as a historic home and showcases prominent citizens and local artists. The site is the future home of the archive library and HSMC office and is available for private events, meetings and weddings.
HSMC sites include a museum, two historical homes, a research archive, genealogy library, a blacksmith shop and a country school. The HSMC provides tours for local students, youth groups, clubs, bus tours and interested persons. The HSMC also holds “History on Third Thursday,” a free program featuring local speakers, annual National History Day presentations by local middle and high school students and Humanities Iowa speakers. With an average visitor number of 60 per month, not including groups, HSMC serves students, community members, researchers and genealogists. Roseburrough ended her presentation discussing how she and other volunteers participate in a “Go to School” program, where they reach out to area history classes to assist with projects during the school year.
The meeting concluded with the Optimist Creed. The public is invited to attend a meeting and find out how you can help enrich the youth in the community. Guests are always welcomed. Lunch meetings take place every Thursday at noon at the Orpheum (second floor board room), 220 E. Main St., in Marshalltown. Visit the club’s website at www.noonoptimist.org.