GREENSBURG – Consider the following: A driver from outside the state of Indiana pulls into a local service station and asks the attendant how to get to the Historical Society Museum. From the assembled citizenry, choose one of the following answers: “Huh?”, “What?”, “Do we have one?”, “I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s across the street from the Post Office.” Well, assuming the visitor can find the Post Office by looking for an American flag on a pole, the responses to his question don’t help much. Actually, the Historical Society of Decatur County does exist, and the current organization dates from June, 1959, when the charter membership closed with 205 members.
There were attempts to found such a group starting as early as 1916, but this society evidently had a short life span because it had to be “revived” in 1924 as the Decatur County Historical Society. At this time there was no specific location for artifacts or genealogy lists, but in 1928 the Greensburg School Board granted the Society the use of the third floor of the West Building. Officers continued to be elected and the Society remained active until the West School was slated to be razed so the new Billings elementary school could be built on the site. Between 1954 and 1959, there is no evidence of an active historical society in Decatur County, but the collections and genealogical records were still intact and kept in the third floor rooms of the K of P building.
The circumstances of the Society underwent a change in 1959 when the revised Historical Society of Decatur County was formed by a group of eleven county residents who met at the home of attorney William Woodfill, The group’s first meeting was held in March at the Greensburg City Hall. Officers elected were Paul Huber, president, Mrs. E.A. Porter, vice-president, Mrs. Betty Woodfill, secretary, and J. Elwin Gibson, treasurer. Mr. Huber also served as editor of the Society’s Bulletin, until he was succeeded by Mr. Van Batterton.