- Jefferson County (Indiana) Commission on Public Records
- United States of America
On May 20, 2009 the Jefferson County Courthouse was significantly damaged by fire. This site was a treasure trove of historical records dating from the county’s inception in 1811. Jefferson County is one of the oldest counties in the State of Indiana.
Nearly two centuries of intertwining lives are documented in deeds, court, probate, and will records, marriage records, tax records and commissioners actions. It is paramount these documents are restored and retained for future generations of those who have lived and travelled through Jefferson County over the years.
Records were damaged mostly by water and the subsequent onset of mold. They were quickly transported off-site by restoration experts, but final decisions have not been made about what to preserve and where to house and store the damaged records.
Some records must be maintained for legal reasons. Other records need to be evaluated for their historical and genealogical value before final determination is made. The community needs to be included in this process since the records at stake have value above and beyond the legal realm. This is a community where history is alive and many people have a significant personal attachment to family history.
Sufficient time needs to be allotted for this review, appropriately trained personnel made available for the review, and time needs to be allotted to explore and prioritize funding options for preservation services. All of our elected county officials must understand the importance of preserving and maintaining these records for our children and their children as our fathers did for us.
Critical decisions are being made by select elected officeholders on June 18th. We encourage all people with an interest in historical preservation to support this petition and to contact the decision makers listed below.
Please remember that the courthouse was a repository of records, but the records are the soul of the community. The courthouse building can and will be repaired, but the documents cannot be replaced if not preserved and maintained for future generations.
Mark T Cash
Julie A Berry
Thomas K Pietrykowski
County Council Members
David J Craig
James A Crone
Jacob L Kloepfer
Dale L Thompson
Wilmer E Goering
County Commission on Public Records - Chairman
Ted R Todd