The Holt County Historical Society is in a grave place that most people don't see or understand.
The historical society which is located in the former Moses P. Kincaid building is facing tough decisions in lieu of fiscal decisions with the building and the society in general as the numbers of members willing to volunteer has declined to a tipping point.
The building which was donated to the society in the early 1970s has always been in need of attention. The society, which has been made up of local patrons, have used grants and donations to just keep the lights on and left little money for basic upkeep or repairs to the building.
The building was made of stone thought to have been brought down from South Dakota and then mixed with mortar for the facade. The 138 year old building has needed repairs since the start and was upkept through the years when it was a viable businesses and a bank in the later years. The building was donated to the society by the Witdfeld family in the 1970s for them to have a home for some of the historical records and treasures of the county.
As time went on through the next few decades with little money the foundation of the building started to show its age. Some of the members unsuccessfully tried for grants and funds through government funds but the building didn't qualify for most of the grants or funds out there.
The recent construction next to the building on 4th street in O'Neill has made clear that the foundation is very fragile and will leak as it did last week soaking some of the older tax documents that are stored in the basement of the building.
"Things are just going to rot down here unless we come up with a plan to move these items and then of course we need to figure out what to do to fix problems with the building," said historical society member Pam Miller.
The historical society is an important part of any community and county said Miller.
" We not only have treasurers and keep the record but this is the Holt County Historical society we have history and records from every part of the county it was by good luck that we had the building given to us," said Miller.
The society's other problem is that the members of the society have gotten old and have retired.
"We don't have enough people to keep the enthusiasm or interest in keeping Holt County's history alive. We need new members to help with direction and focusing on the direction of the society because if we don't, it would be a shame to lose this history and the building it is housed in," said Miller.
For information on how to help contact Pam Miller at 402-608-6933 or Natalie Butterfield at 402-336-8221.