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Preserve records of historical and genealogical value that were damaged in the Jefferson County Courthouse fire.

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 countys inception in 1811. Jefferson County is one of the oldest counties in the State of Indiana. Nearly two centuries worth 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 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 as individual livelihoods are made from the documents and there are those which 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 May 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.

Commissioners

Mark T Cash
Julie A Berry
Thomas K Pietrykowski

County Council Members

David J Craig
James A Crone
Laura Boldery
Jacob L Kloepfer
Carl Risk
Dale L Thompson

County Attorney

Wilmer E Goering

County Commission on Public Records - Chairman

Ted R Todd

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Lee RowlandBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Jefferson County (Indiana) Commission on Public Records

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