Call to Order: President Marion Claybrook called the meeting to order at the Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky with approximately 20 members and guests in attendance.
Business: Secretary Melissa Earnest and Treasurer Marvin Downing had prepared the minutes and treasurer’s report and distributed copies to those in attendance. Bob Lochte moved to accept the minutes as presented with Lonnie Maness seconding the motion. The motion carried. John Robertson moved to accept the treasurer’s report as presented with Bob Lochte seconding the motion. The motion carried. Membership dues have remained the same and are payable to Downing for the 11-12 membership year. Earnest, the Journal editor, thanked Ann Adams and the personnel at the University of Tennessee Martin printing department for another wonderful printing of the Journal. Earnest noted this year’s edition was truly a page-turner! Cecelia Edwards showed the progress she has made on the quilt. It basically needs the border and the quilting completed to be finished. In new business, Claybrook presented the following slate of officers for 11-12: President – Gil Mathis; Vice-President – Bob Lochte; Secretary – Cecelia Edwards; Treasurer – Marvin Downing and Member-at-Large – Melissa Earnest. John Robertson and Bob Lochte moved to accept the slate of officers by acclamation. The motions carried for each office.
Program: Claybrook introduced John Robertson as the guest speaker. Robertson has lived in Paducah for more than 50 years, researching its history for many of those years. Robertson added Vonnie Shelton of the McCracken County Public Library had been assisting him in transcribing the letters of Jennie Fyfe. Fyfe arrived in Cairo, Illinois, on her way to Paducah, Kentucky to work as a nurse during the Civil War era. The letters she wrote to her family provide an eyewitness account of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s arrival in Paducah. Fyfe wrote about the Paducah raid while she was in hospital #2 where she could see the rebels arriving. Fyfe eventually began a new part of her life in the spring of 1865 after the Civil War ended. She started working as a teacher and supported the recently freed African Americans in their quest for education. Fyfe was part of the movement devoted to the advancement of freed blacks, especially in Louisiana. She was an accomplished woman in her own right and died from complications of cataract surgery. Fyfe’s grave is in Lansing, Michigan and her letters belong to the University of Michigan, but Robertson and Shelton obtained permission to transcribe them and to have the information presented at the JPHS meeting.
Adjournment: The fall meeting will be held in November in Martin, Tennessee, in conjunction with the West Tennessee Historical Society. Dr. Stan Dunagan will present a program on the New Madrid earthquake. Members and guests were encouraged to take advantage of the half-price admission to the Quilt Museum after the meeting was adjourned.