Inspired by an exhibit of early Rush County artifacts during the 1922 Centennial Celebration, the Rush County Historical Society was organized June 14, 1922. A constitution was written, and officers and township representatives were named to assist in collecting and preserving historic relics (which were stored in the Courthouse).
The Society expanded when the Clark Offutt family of Posey Township donated the red brick home of John K. Gowdy for a museum in October 1940. Gowdy served as Counsul-General to Paris under President McKinley. The gift included a brick carriage house at the rear, where many agricultrual tools are displayed. Information about horse racing in Rush County is housed there too.
The collection was augmented by donation of the Ripley Township collection from Henry Stenger, and a sum of money from the Sarah Newby's estate. An upstairs room was added with a gift from the Mary Sleeth estate. It contains memorabilia from the 1940 Willkie Presidential Campaign. In 1993, a lease was signed with Millfields, Inc. for upkeep of the Goddard School of Walker Township, restored by the Indiana Junior Historical society in 1974.
In addition to a display of various artifacts, the Society has promoted reprints of several past histories of Rush county, and compilation of a new history, titled Rush County Retrospect 1980-1920. The Society also houses an Oral History Library. For a complete listing of this library Click Here.
All photographs on the page are property of the Rush County Historical Society Museum.