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 Ireland Bicentennial planning meetings were held in our building for over one and one-half years. The bicentenial was well planned and was a hugh success. Thousands of people decended on Ireland that August 26-28 weekend to celebratethe 200 year of the founding of Ireland by John Stewart. (See Ireland History). During these meetings, the historical society volunteered to be in charge of writing a 200 year history book of the Ireland area. The book was completed and published in December of 2017. The book was authored by Junie & Sharon Himsel. Cathy (Allen) Egler was the graphic artist. Sales of the book have been successful and more were sold than expected.
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 $250, this includes a Friday rehershal. The weddings were
in the Ireland Historical Chapel. The chapel holds
as many as 220.
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 call Pastor Bruce Sievers--812-789-6186.
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, call 812-639-7646 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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).
The society uses the building with Grace & Truth Church, for details about church services contact Pastor Bruce Sievers-812-789-6186. 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: email@example.com.
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
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.
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.
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
Meetings are all held at the
Ireland Historical Society at James & Walnut in Ireland unless
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.
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
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.
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 was St. Patrick's open-house. April was our annual 5th gradebiography meeting. This is where students pick someone in their family that they wish they would have met and do a biography about them.
2015-2016 Our September meeting was not held due to many bicentennial activities going on. Our October meeting was put off until November 17 when we had the Coachmen from Vincennes in the chapel for a 2016 bi-centennial fund raiser. January 2016 the society sponsored "Ireland Days" at the Dubois County Museum. This event was well attended and many present and old time businesses were present. In February we had Kevin Stonerock protraying the Civil War soldier "Billy Yank" an actual southern indiana soldier. In March we had the annual open house for the St. Patrick's Celebration days. In April we had the 35th presentation of the 5th grade elementary students from Ireland Elementary. The presentation is a biography about someone who is deceased in their family who they wish they could have met. Refreshments were served after each event. 2016-2017 is to be announced.
2016-2017 Our October meeting was held with the focus on the time capsule. The time capsule as presented to allow final entrys into the time capsule. The capsule is a 25 year time frame, it is to be opened in August, 2041. This time frame was derived from the Ireland Bicentennial that was held in August, 2016.
In January our meeting was held with Martha Rasche giving a very interesting meeting on her writing life stories of different people. Martha also edits writings from many sources. Martha also does much work with the public entities.
Our February meeting featured Jesse Bachman. Jesse spoke of his originating, with the participation of the Ireland K of C, the Teddy Bear projcet and rememberance walk. Jesse did a tremendous job of telling his personal story on how this all began. You would have to of been there to appreciate his true to the heart presentation.
March 2017, will be our annual open house for St. Patrick's celebration-the open house will be on Saturday the 18th;
April 23, 2017- The annual 5th grade biography program was held starting at 1:30 at the society building. ( This was the last such program at the society due to participation )
2017-2018 - September 17 - Tri-Annual meeting was held at Lemmons Church, combined program at 1:30 EDT.
October 22 - A special member thank you was held with a free meal for members and their friends. Norb Wehr nad friends entertained the crowd with a musical preformance. A 21 year history preservation award was given to President Junie Himsel.
January 21 - The meeting will feature the Ireland Fire Department's past and future.Martha Rasche will give a short resume of her "Life Stories'. The public is invited, refreshments will be served, come and bring some friends.
Februrary 18 - The meeting will feature the Ireland Water Utiiities.
March 17-18 - Open house for St. Patrick's weekend.
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.
know anyone on this picture? The picture was taken in the
Ireland Millinery Shop in the 1920's.