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SCHS Newsletter


November 5th, 2015

Communication from Your Historical Society

The purpose of our newsletter is to keep our members informed of exhibits, activities and progress at the museum and the role of the historical society in preserving area history and providing programs for the community. Our members are our most valuable asset. We cannot play a viable role without your support.

In this issue you will be updated on society activities during the summer and have a preview of things to come including our Christmas open house on December 5th. In addition, you have the opportunity to read an excerpt of an interview with long-time member and supporter Oliver Lerum. Another history buff and society backer, Ralph Melchert, shares his interest in riding the rails and provides memories from his childhood. Some of you may remember the polio epidemic of the 1950s researched and written by Lynn Koenigs

Please note that even though you may have received previous newsletters via the Internet, this printed copy includes an envelope suitable for returning a donation to help the society meet our financial obligations. The philosophy of the Board of Directors is to have a vibrant organization with numerous activities and changing exhibits. All museum workers are volunteers and 100% of your gift is used at the local level. We appreciate your assistance.
Highlights of the Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the SCHS was held Saturday, May 9th in the upstairs meeting room of the museum. Following a brief business meeting Jessica Michna presented her impersonation of Eleanor Roosevelt. Members and guests of the Seymour Community Historical Society attending the event experienced a walk back in time through the outstanding performance of Mrs. Michna. In period dress, Michna, in a dynamic fifty-minute performance, took the audience on a journey from Roosevelt’s childhood to her appointment by President Truman as a delegate to the United Nations in 1948. Capturing Eleanor’s mannerisms and voice, Michna impressed many members of the audience who used superlatives to explain her realistic portrayal. She openly wept describing FDR’s longtime affair with his personal secretary Lucy Mercer, and sadly recalled the working conditions in the coal mines. A friend of the poor, Mrs. Roosevelt made a commitment to improve working conditions, eliminate racial bias, and led the fight for gender equality. In many ways she redefined the role of first lady expressing how she advised the President, traveled extensively, and even wrote a regular newspaper column.

Michna, a true professional, captivated the audience through vividly recalling Mrs. Roosevelt’s experiences while visiting American soldiers in the Pacific and European theaters during World War II. A consummate perfectionist, she answered questions adroitly and further enhanced her story by relating several poignant experiences.

Overall, it is a tribute to the Seymour Community Historical Society to make an entertainer of Mrs. Michna’s status available for area residents. James Kenton, visiting from Ames, Iowa remarked, “The society should be commended on their selection of Eleanor Roosevelt. A person often hears about her contributions, but nothing as intimate as this.” June Raether of Seymour commented, “I loved it, she actually sounded like Mrs. Roosevelt.” Marge Coonen recalled seeing Mrs. Michna as Mary Todd Lincoln several years ago at the library. “She was great as Mrs. Lincoln and just excellent as Mrs. Roosevelt. You will have to get her again.” Mark Vachhuber, of Wausaukee, stated, “Unbelievable, she really had her part down.”

It was a fun afternoon for those in attendance. Members of the historical society served homemade pies, cookies, cakes and bars.

During the business part of the meeting, Jon Braun and Bob Bock were named to the Seymour Community Historical Society Board of Directors for three-year terms. They replaced retiring members Ellen Piehl Duffy and Lois Dalke.
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