Batesville Area Historical Society members recently recognized Jean Struewing, founder, historian and former president, “for her years of dedicated service in fostering an awareness of and appreciation for Batesville’s unique history that will ensure present and future generations will long appreciate our rich heritage,” according to incoming president Sue Siefert.
Also honored were Margie Wilhelm, former treasurer; and Joan Karbowski, former membership chairperson. All three ended their terms as officers. The reception was hosted by Mayor Rick Fledderman; Sarah Lamping, community development director; and Andrea Wade, mayor’s assistant, at the Memorial Building. Guests were also invited to view the facility’s renovations, which include murals depicting the city’s history.
Fledderman, a BAHS founding committee member, publicly thanked all three women as he recounted memories of the organization’s early years. “I remember meeting with Jean at the Batesville Memorial Public Library to discuss the need for a historical society to capture the city’s history, and at that time a museum was but a dream. In 2002, when the city celebrated its sesquicentennial, Jean and Carolyn Dieckmann coordinated a collection of historical pieces and opened a temporary weeklong museum in the former Rite Aid Pharmacy building. Doors were scheduled to close at 9 p.m. each evening, but guests lingered hours later to reminisce and share their memories … and the need for a permanent museum became apparent.”
The BAHS former treasurer went on to comment, “It was an exciting time when the organization was able to secure Dr. Daftary’s former office and begin to renovate it to become the museum we enjoy today. Jean and her husband, Ham Struewing, have remained steadfast in their dedication to preserve our city’s history. We are fortunate to have such a hard-working couple, and we also recognize Ham tonight for his efforts in helping Jean and the city of Batesville to bring the ... museum to reality.”