The Newton County Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the historical heritage of Newton County, Arkansas. The Society operates the Bradley House Museum (consisting of the Bradley House and the Chaney Log Cabin) in Jasper, Arkansas.
The board members are: Yalonda Martin (President), James Herbert Pierce (Vice President), Travis Holt (Secretary-Treasurer), Thomas Niswonger (Editor), Darrell Martin, Andrew Rocole, and Vickie Finch. The museum hostess is Carolyn McCutchen.
History of NCHS
The Society was first formed in 1953 by a group including Walter Lackey and Klute Braswell. Lackey had published the red-backed History of Newton County. Because of money problems, and Mr. Lackey's poor health, the Society only remained organized for a few years.
The Society was revived in the early 1970's by a group led by Columbus Vaughn, Thomas House, Rhonda Teter, Leland Smith, Ruth Wilson, Katherine Nance, and Margaret Phillips. They began publishing the Homestead again and received non profit corporation status for the Society.
Since then, the society has grown in a number of ways. In 1992, Newton County Family History Volume I was published. The Bradley House became available for purchase in 1993, and through the generous donation of Dr. Bradley's grandson, Bill Stiritz, the Society was able to purchase the house and open a museum. With the help of a grant, the Chaney Log Cabin was purchased and moved behind the Bradley House in 1994. Newton County Family History Volume II has also been published.
Overview of yearly activities
Our board meets on the last Tuesday of each month at 5:30 in the Bradley House Museum. All members and guests are welcome. This meeting allows us the opportunity to plan events, exhibits, and research.
We have hosted the Newton County Ancestor Fair and set up booths at the ancestry fairs in local counties and in other historical venues. Student tours are planned with our museum hostess so that the students from our local schools are able to better understand the rich history of our county. During History Month, we try to set up special events such as exhibits and guest speakers.
We are always striving to obtain additional historical data including photos and exhibits. As often as possible, we try to place some of that information in a book, a booklet, or online as well as placing it in our museum.
We also work to achieve additional funding through grant writing and fundraising. We host an annual fundraiser, Step Back in Time, which includes local music, food, and activities.
Overview of funding
The Society is funded through membership, grants, fundraising, and donations. We are a 501 (c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible.