Monday, July 20, 2015


Each year the MoSGA Awards Committee reaches out to Missouri genealogy and historical societies, libraries, archives and museums with an offer to help reward your hard working volunteers. We also want to hear about those employees that go above and beyond as well. The first of June is the deadline for submission each year and awards are presented at the MoSGA Annual Conference each August.

2015 MoSGA Award Recipients

President’s Award
To Be Announced By MoSGA President, Tim Dollens, at the Annual Conference.

Directors Award--Lula Durham
Nominated by Platte County Historical Society

At age 95, Lula, Lu, is one of the few surviving charter members of the Platte County Historical and Genealogical Society (PCHGS), organized in 1945. Lu has served PCHGS in several capacities, including several three-year terms as a member of the Board of Directors, until retiring in 2009. Additionally Lu served as a docent at the Society’s Ben Ferrel Platte County Museum in Platte City.

It is Lu’s ability to assemble and organize written historical and genealogical materials pertaining to Platte County that has perhaps benefited the Society the most. Lu established the Archives Room in the lower level of the Ben Ferrel Museum, and for many years Lu maintained the archives. This earned Lu the title of Museum Records Archivist. Thanks to Lu’s efforts, research in the Archives is made easy, efficient and productive for visitors who research topics related to Platte County History.

Lu Durham is a native of Platte County, born in Edgerton. After retiring from a career in teaching, she became interested in her Buchanan and Duncan family histories, both lines settling in Platte County in 1943-44. Her mother inherited several trunks of old family letters and Lu became bitten by the genie bug when it fell to her to do something with the family history material.

Award of Merit--William Eddleman
Nominated by The State Historical Society of Missouri

Dr. William “Bill” Eddleman has devoted hundreds of hours transcribing and indexing deed records, land patents and other historical materials from the antebellum period in Cape Girardeau County as well as surrounding counties.

Bill served as President of the Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society for a total of 14 years during the period of 2002-2014. He has been editor of the Collage of Cape County, the Society’s quarterly publication since 1997. Bill has authored and/or transcribed multiple resources for the Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society publication.

Additionally, Bill has authored the following publications, outside of Cape Girardeau County: Original Land Patentees of Perry Co., MO, Abstracts of Perry Co., MO Deed Books 1-4 (1821-1844), Abstracts of Haywood Co., NC Deed Books A-C (1807-1838) and Coventry, RI Historical Cemeteries.

Dr. Eddleman is Provost of Southeast Missouri State University and Professor of Biology.

Award of Merit--Garrett Gabel
Nominated by Phelps County Genealogical Society

Garrett Gabel has worked tirelessly to preserve the history of the Southern Phelps/N.W. Dent counties of Missouri. Garrett has worked to gain military records, cemetery caretaker’s and descendant’s approvals in order to comply with Veterans Administration regulations to acquire a set of government issued military monuments for 11 Civil War soldiers.

Garrett has personally financed the purchase and set small headstones for three Civil War soldiers whose military records could not be found as per V.A. requirements. In addition Garrett purchased small headstones for eight additional individuals from Phelps County Missouri. Mr. Gabel has cleaned, repaired and transcribed headstones that were under soil in nine cemeteries in Phelps and Dent counties, that were nearly all forgotten.

Mr. Gabel co-authored “History of Yancy Mills, Mo” and authored “Days of Yore: A History of Southern Phelps Co. Mo., 1861-1921.”

Award of Merit--Cricket Russom
Nominated by Audrain County Area Genealogical Society

Cricket Russom is the Vice-President as well as filling the role of Office Manager for the Audrain County Area Genealogical Society, Cricket directly supports and promotes the mission of the society. Cricket is tasked with making sure the necessary supplies are available and keeps track of all materials for the society.

With Cricket’s help visitors are able to find and access materials necessary for their research goals. She also assists new genealogists in their genealogical research activities providing advice and suggestions.

Certificate of Appreciation--Larry Franke
Nominated by St. Louis County Library

Larry Franke has made many contributions to the genealogical community. Larry teaches classes on beginning genealogy and electronic databases and gives presentations on a variety of subjects to genealogical societies and other groups.

Mr. Franke has been responsible for building the St. Louis County Library’s History & Genealogy collection of sources for French and French Canadian research and manages the library’s collection of genealogical publications. He uses his fluent knowledge of French and Spanish to help researchers navigate historical records in those languages.

Larry has written numerous articles for PastPorts, the department newsletter, to help readers learn about and use materials in the department.

Thank you to all the volunteers that work to expand and improve genealogical research in Missouri. Your efforts are not going unnoticed.

Jenna Mills - Awards Committee Chair
Karen Scott - Awards Committee Member
Mark Stauter - Awards Committee Member

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