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     Iuka native, Bill Gurley has been unanimously elected to serve as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tishomingo County Historical & Genealogical Society (TCHGS) located in the Old Tishomingo County Courthouse. Gurley assumed the Chairmanship at the meeting of the Board of Directors last Thursday.
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     Gurley is an Electrical Engineer by profession. Prior to retirement in 2011, he was a Senior Vice President and General Manager for a large business unit of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Huntsville Alabama. Mr. Gurley is a native and current resident of Iuka, Miss., and Tishomingo County; he graduated from Iuka High School in 1967 and received his engineering degree from Mississippi State University in 1972. He has a strong passion for the preservation of the history, heritage, and genealogy of Tishomingo County and brings over 30 years of business management, engineering, and scientific knowledge to the TCHGS Board of Directors. He is formerly a mayoral appointee to the Executive Board of the Huntsville, Alabama, Chamber of Commerce, Executive Leader of the public fundraising campaign for the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, and the Executive Director of the fundraising campaign for the Huntsville U.S. Space and Rocket Center project to restore and permanently house the nation’s first SATURN V Rocket at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration. Cindy Nelson, Vice President and Executive Director for TCHGS and former Chairman of the Board says, “It is exciting for our organization to have Bill as our new leader. He is widely respected, has a vision for the future of the County and TCHGS and is passionate about the importance of sustaining our history, heritage and culture.” Bill and his wife, Kathy, are well known and appreciated throughout the community.
     Gurley said, “I am honored to be elected to this position with TCHGS.  I believe this organization is a keystone to the development of increasing and sustaining tourism revenue for our County.  This not-for-profit organization has been conceived, nurtured and grown by a driven and dedicated group of volunteers who for years have devoted their time and energy to preservation and promotion of the rich history and genealogy of the County.  Their tireless effort is evident when you visit historical sites around the county and especially the Old Tishomingo Courthouse museum and archives. Now they have set in motion an energized Board of Directors and who will initiate and leverage efforts through the U.S. Department of Parks and Recreation Mississippi Hills Native Heritage Foundation, a strategic relationship with the Chickasaw Indian Nation and several funding and funds-matching grant opportunities.  I look forward to working with the County Board of Supervisors, the Mayors of towns within our County, the various volunteer civic organizations and the Tishomingo Economic Development Board and others to capitalize on our rightful place in the development of tourism as an important factor in our future economic growth while maintaining and growing our treasure trove of historical artifacts and genealogical archives. ”

The present TCHGS Board Executive Committee Officers are President, Bill Gurley; Vice-President, Cindy Nelson; Secretary, RaNae Vaughn; and Past President, Harold Lomenick. TCHGS Board of Directors include Joe Burns, Eddie Carson, Robert Grisham, Bill Gurley, Larry Klatt, Cindy Nelson, Steve Smith (Mayoral appointee from Belmont), Janice Switcher, Lee Thorne, Shelia Thorne, and RaNae Vaughn.
The headquarters of the Society is in the Old Tishomingo County Courthouse. Since its development in 1996, TCHGS has been dedicated to the collection and interpretation of the history and culture of Tishomingo County and its surrounding communities. The collection includes an estimated 10,000 three-dimensional artifacts; approximately 7,500 archival documents, ephemera, and newspapers (clippings and full issues); 150 military objects from the Civil War to the Iraqi War; 600 Native American artifacts (some dating backing to 8000 B.C.), 3,500 photographs; 120 large format items (maps and blueprints); 50 non-paper media items (film, video); approximately 200 linear feet of vertical files; and more than 1,500 reference books. In addition, Ancestry.com and Fold3 are available at the library assistant’s desk to assist with patron lookups and will soon be offered on a patron designated computer.
Tishomingo County Historical & Genealogical Society (TCHGS) will have a membership meeting on Thursday, February 12, 2015 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Old Tishomingo County Courthouse Museum. Volunteers and staff members will explain the ongoing work of the society in preservation and genealogy in Tishomingo County. There will be an introduction and overview of the resources available in the John Marshall Stone Research Library and TCHGS archives. Board Member Joe Burns will demonstrate genealogy software and electronic techniques that are available for researching your family tree. Joe joined the TCHGS team in November and is currently serving as the President of the Tennessee Genealogical Society.

Bill Gurley Elected...  (continued)