JENNINGS COUNTY – A truckload of memories and information about Jennings County in the earliest days of Indiana arrived at the Jennings County Public Library on Tuesday.
Mike and Janet Pickett delivered Annabelle Pickett’s life-long historical collection to the library.
“This is by far the largest collection we have ever received,” said library genealogist and historian Sheila Kell as she looked at the dozen or so of storage tubs loaded with binders, packages, photographs and protective tubes.
As members of the JC 200 Committee, Kell, Tom Taylor, Roger Ruddick and Tom Rice have worked to promote awareness of Jennings County history in commemoration of Jennings County’ Bicentennial. Along with many volunteers, they have researched local history and presented what they have learned through through newspaper articles, radio programs, classes and displays.
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“We have seen an increase of interest in the community about our history. But mainly people have said things like ‘I didn’t know members of my family did all that’ or ‘I didn’t know that happened where I live.’ And we have received several individual historical items but we have never received anything like this,” Kell said.
A long-time resident of Jennings County, Annabelle Pickett recently entered an assisted living facility. Relatives suggested her large historical collection might be of interest to the JC 200 committee.
According to Kell, it will take weeks to go through the collection to understand the historical significance of the Pickett collection. However, a few items at the top of some of the stacks including photography of the famous artist Otto White, an 1878 certificate of marriage, and family records from as early as the 1700s indicate a treasure trove of artifacts and information.
“Annabelle has given years of labor to preserving this information and I am thrilled to receive it for the library. This is amazing,” Kell said.