Missouri Bicentiannal

In two years, the state of Missouri will reach a landmark in its history. The year 2021 will be the Show Me State’s bicentennial, and a variety of celebratory events and projects are already underway. Locally, the Perry County Historical Society has started putting together a bicentennial book and is asking members of the community to contribute. All are welcome to participate, and submissions are due by Aug. 1 of this year so the book will be ready by Christmas of 2020.

According to Meghan Helm Welker of the Perry County Historical Society, the book is set to cover a wide range of the community’s history.

“We know that there’s a lot of personal history here, like family history, but we want this book more to follow along the lines of the centennial book that was put out in 1921,” Welker said. “That is mainly going to focus more on businesses, organizations, churches, schools, everything like that. It’s the things that the people of Perry County are a part of.”

Welker said that the historical society would appreciate all submissions, especially those from historians associated with local businesses and organizations, in order for the book to include a wide variety of community aspects.

To submit information for the book, community members are asked to follow certain guidelines.

“We ask that they include all of their contact information — name, phone number, [and] address where we can reach them at if we have any questions,” Welker said. “They can bring them by here to our office on the second floor of the Perryville Higher Education Center, or they can email them to us [at percohistsoc@yahoo.com]. They can mail them to us [at PO Box 97, Perryville, MO 63775], anything like that.”

“We do ask, though, if you have photographs that you want to include with your submission and you are unsure of the quality of them, that we could get the original and make a scan of the original. We would prefer to do that just so we have top-quality items for the book.”

A full list of submission requirements can be found at the historical society’s website (perrycountyhistoricalsociety.com) under the “news/upcoming events” tab. Welker said that the historical society would prefer no handwritten submissions, but they would be willing to help if that was the only option. The historical society will also have people edit, proofread, and fact check all submissions.

Depending on the number of submissions, some of them may not make it into the book, but that does not mean they will be discarded or forgotten.

“Anything we get, we are going to keep in whole in our library,” Welker said. “We may have to edit things for the book, but the whole history you write — whatever you want to submit to us — we’re going to keep it here forever so other people can use it.”

Welker said that she is happy to be working on putting the book together.

“This is an exciting event,” Welker said. “The more people who participate in this, the better the book will be, and it will be something people will want to put on their bookshelves forever if all of the Perry Countians band together and help us write this story. We want to hear from everyone in the county.”

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