From the Lucas County Notes & Shakin’ the Family Tree Volume 19 Issue 3 July-August-September 2013
|August 15, 1918 - May 10, 2014|
(Excerpts from the 1978 Lucas County History Book)
The Lucas County Genealogical Society was founded in the spring of 1976, our nation’s bicentennial year. Much of the credit goes to Mrs. Ruth Curtis, who spearheaded the initial organizing of the society. Her dream was to form a group of people that could aid in the search for the ancestry of area residents because she knew that it would contribute to a greater send of history and destiny for all.
The organizational meeting of April 5, 1976, was success with approximately 55 persons attending. It was held at the Chariton Public Library. Officers were elected as follows: President, Mrs. Ruth Curtis; Vice President, Mrs. Ella Herald; Secretary, Mrs. Wilma Abel; Treasurer, Mrs. Lois Goering; Historian, Mrs. Kathryn McElvain. Meetings were held the first Monday of each month at the First State Bank meeting room.
At that first meeting it was desired that individuals would do in-dept research on specific types of Lucas County records. Therefore, the following committee chairmen were appointed: marriage records, Mrs. Ella Herald; birth records, Marlene Rosa; death records, John G. Pierce; deed records, Howard and Lillian Swainey; cemetery records, Dorothy Mason; and historic documents, Verla Shanks. Also a membership drive was started and at the end of May 1976, there were 103 charter members.
Early in the year 1977 it was voted to publish a book on Lucas County history as a record for future generations of life and people of the Bicentennial Era in Lucas County, Iowa.
Besides publication of the Lucas County History Book, the Lucas County Genealogical Society has presented interesting programs at its monthly meeting including: local speakers who presented information on county, military, DUV, DAR, and church records; presentations by officers from the Iowa Genealogical Society; and the showing of films on the genealogical records of the Latter Day Saints Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. Workshops have been held to help members with their individual genealogies.
In June 1977 a bus tour was organized to visit the genealogical records of the Latter Day Saints Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. The trip was so successful that a tour to Washington, DC to research genealogy in the National Archives took place in June 1978.
(Excerpts from Ruth’s obit) To see her complete obit, click on the below link.
Ruth Eleanor Vandell Curtis, daughter of Charles Dillard Vandell and Dora Elizabeth (Casey) Vandell, was born August 15, 1918, on a farm between Lineville and Clio in Wayne County, Iowa.
Ruth passed away on May 10, 2014, at the Country Manor Memory Care in Davenport, Iowa, at the age of 95 years.
Ruth was a charter member of the Lucas County Genealogical Society, founding it as her contribution to the 1976 Bicentennial year. She was interested in family history and enjoyed tracing her and her husband's ancestors back through several generations.
One fortunate lineage discovery was an ancestor who fought in the American Revolution. This allowed her and her sisters to be members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She was very active in the Old Thirteen Chapter of DAR for many years, holding office at both state and local levels as well as attending the National DAR Conference in Washington DC three times.
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NOTE – We thank Ruth and all the other people who started the Lucas County Genealogical Society – I know they would be very proud of the success of the Lucas County Genealogical Society to this day!