Polk County Historical & Genealogical Society News

PCH&GS New Home


Contact Marian Presswood for details on future meetings.

Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society Information

Click here to visit the NEW Polk County Historical & Genealogical Society website

Click here to view their latest recognition for excellence!

Click here for the application to join.

Recently reorganized, the Historical & Genealogical Society publishes a Quarterly, and oversees the preservation of the County's historic sites and heritage. Marian Presswood is presently serving as President. Membership dues are $15 per year. Lifetime memberships are also available.

Although there was an active Historical Society in Polk County in the early 1900s, probably organized by local educator and historian, Mr. J. D. Clemmer, it must have slowly lost steam in the 30s and 40s. Then, the Polk County Historical Society was founded on May 19, 1955, and was incorporated in the State of Tennessee on October 5, 1962. Incorporators were R. E. Barclay, Roy G. LIllard, Miss Sudie Mae Clemmer, Mrs. Ethel Largent and Isham P. Lyle. This Society met annually, and was actively involvedin heritage preservation and promotion for many years until the passing of its President and County Historian, Mr. Roy G. Lillard, on January 26, 1991, when it went into a decline from which it never recovered. The charter was revoked in 1984 for failure to file annual reports.

Reorganized in May 1995, a new slate of officers were chosen: which included:
President: Marian Bailey Presswood
Vice President: Paul Trew
Secretary-Treasurer: Jo Ann Finnell
Board Members: Frank Lowery, Evelyn Cronan, Brad Kimbrough, Charlotte Hall

The charter was immediately reinstated, and non-profit status was obtained.

The newly organized society added the word "Genealogical" to its name and lost no time in establishing regular quarterly meetings, publishing an award winning Quarterly Newsletter and putting volunteers to work transcribing census, vital statistics and other important county records. Byt the end of the first year, the membership had grown from the six people who met to reorganize, to 160 members in several states, and the society was actively involved in many heritage preservation projects which included a publication of Dr. Ben Harris McClary's 1954 Master's Thesis, "Fun, Facts & Philosophy: The Diary of John Coffee Williamson 1858-1861." By the end of the second year, membership was over 200 and a Heritage Book was well under way. The third year saw the completion and publication of the Heritage Book, a first for the County, and membership sky-rocketing to over 300 in 30 states and a couple of foreign countries.

The Society was the recipient of a collection of genealogical and historical resource materials from the estate of member Grayson Newman who passed away in December 1996, and opened a small History Room in April 1997 in order to make the materials available to members and others doing Polk County ancestor research. Maintained by volunteer effort, the History Room is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00am until 3:00 pm. It is located in a native stone house at the corner of Commerce and Poplar ( the street behind the Post Office).

Polk County Tennessee Publications

The following publications are available for purchase from the Polk County, Tennesee Historical and Genealogical Society. Contact Marian Presswood for details.

Census Records
History and Family Histories
Marriage Records
Vital Records

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Last updated 2004-06-18

This site is maintained by Cathy Hall