The purpose of the Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society is to preserve the history of Owen County, including the history of the county's people, families, places, communities, towns, villages, schools, churches, businesses, buildings, events, organizations, natural environment, and more.
All of these things weave the fabric of Owen County and tell our story.
Furthermore, the mission of the historical society is to study all aspects of the history of Owen County and promote the interchange of knowledge concerning such information.
OCHGS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization.
You can send an email to a member of the Board:
President: Jason Kinney
Vice-P: Mary Frances Hochstetler
Secretary: Nancy Hanger
Treasurer: Al Tinsley
Or write to the address below:
Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society (OCHGS)
Publications for Sale
We carry a wide selection of books, back issues of our Magazine since its inception, in 1992, and historical data CDs available for mail order. Click here to browse throu the list, you may find something for yourself or a gift for a special someone!
For a search of early county records stored in the Owen County Archives contact Owen County Historian and Archivist Tony Neff.
New Publications Offering – Printed on the Farm booklet
We have added a new item to our list of publications available for purchase! We are pleased to offer a reprint of the rare little booklet, Printed on the Farm. Thank you to Dixie Kline Richardson for loaning an original copy to us. The booklet was originally printed in 1900 by the Epitomist Publishing Company to announce its relocation from Indianapolis to the former Calvin Fletcher estate in Spencer and provides insight into the beginnings of Owen County’s long association with agricultural publications. The Epitomist operated an agricultural experiment farm and published The Agricultural Epitomist magazine. The small keepsake booklet is $5, plus postage. Click here for our order form, which offers 25 different publications.
Members receive the Owen County, Indiana Magazine of History & Genealogy free. Your membership dues help fund projects and activities that preserve the history of Owen County and benefit the community. We appreciate your support.
Membership is $15 per year. If you would like to become a member, please send a note with your name, mailing address, and email address(*), or click here to fill out and print our convenient membership form, and your annual dues (check or money order) to: Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society (OCHGS), P.O. Box 569, Spencer, IN 47460.
(*)Providing your email address is optional. Please include email address if you would like to receive occasional email announcements about OCHGS educational programs.
Who We Are
OCHGS was founded in 1976 as the Owen County Historical Society. The Society was reorganized in 1990 as the Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society and began the process of applying for incorporation as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Genealogical was added to the name to reflect the organization’s supporting role of increasing the Owen County Public Library’s local history and genealogy collection. 501(c)(3) status was granted in 1992.
A major project of OCHGS was publishing Owen County, Indiana: a history 1994. It is the first updated history of the county in 110 years. The 368-page hardcover book is exceptional quality and includes county, township, and family histories. The general county history section covers government, roads and utilities, land use, natural beauty, railroads, cemeteries, veterans, organizations, and more. Each township section includes history of towns, villages, communities, businesses, schools, and churches, as well as personal sketches. Historic pictures are featured throughout the book. The extensive family history section features 583 family stories.
Since our founding, we have made significant contributions of material to the public library’s history and genealogy department, which helped establish Owen County as an important research library. Since 1991, OCHGS has overseen the preservation of the Owen County Archives. Since 1992, we have published Owen County, Indiana Magazine of History & Genealogy. We strive to make the county’s history accessible to the public. Over the years, we have published and reprinted numerous publications and made them available at affordable prices. We currently offer 20 books and 5 CDs. For the past several years, we have worked together with the Owen County Heritage & Culture Center to help create some of their museum displays by providing research, articles, photos, artifacts, labeling, etc. The Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society is a community-oriented organization and we contribute to several local projects and organizations, including 4-H.