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Minutes of Rankin County Historical Society

July 12, 2011

The meeting was opened at 6:30 P.M. by Anne Vanderleest, president. Proxy votes were presented by President Vanderleest for Linda Wolfe and Diane S. Canterbury who had to leave the meeting early. It was determined that a quorum was present.


Diane Canterbury, former president and a member of RCHS for many years, was presented a framed print of Helen Alderman’s pen and ink drawing of the Rankin County Historical Society museum buildings. Diane served two terms as president and recently served as a member-at-large.


John Haliburton, treasurer, was not present to make the treasurer’s report; Anne Vanderleest reported that the current bank balance remains at approximately $10,000.


Anne Vanderleest reported to the membership on the retreat held by members of the board on June 3 at the Jackson Municipal Airport with Dirk Vanderleest hosting. At this meeting the board held discussion of the vision and mission of RCHS as well as objectives of the society. Vision of RCHS was listed as being the best known historical society in Mississippi with our mission continuing to be collecting, preserving, maintaining and sharing Rankin County history. Repairs to the museum buildings were recognized as the Number 1 priority for the society.


Three contractors working in Rankin County were asked for bids on reroofing and making repairs they felt necessary to the museum buildings: Bridges Enterprises; Mike Robertson Builder, Inc.; and Tony Slawson Construction, Inc. Their bids were $12,770, $12,558, and $17,463. Both Mr. Bridges and Mr. Slawson offered additional suggestions for work they felt they could obtain as a gift to the society.


The board felt that the society could afford about $5,000 from our current bank account so contact was made by Anne and Dirk Vanderleest with the Brandon mayor, Tim Coulter, to see if any funding would be available to RCHS through the city. Mr. Coulter was interested but there is no funding. The Rankin County Board of Supervisors was then approached and they seemed receptive to working with the society in repairing and maintaining our museum buildings. To determine the legality of the supervisors helping fund a non-profit museum Anne Vanderleest and Paul Davis met with the supervisors’ lawyer. At that time they were told the society would need to enter into a trust in order for the supervisors to legally fund any project for RCHS.


An attorney, Mr. Alexander C. Martin II, of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, was consulted to explain the ramifications of our amending our bylaws to enter into this agreement with the supervisors. Mississippi Code of 1972, Section 39-9-1 provides that:


Any person desiring in his lifetime, to promote the public welfare by founding, endowing and having maintained a public library, museum, art gallery or educational institutions within this state, to be operated without profit, may to that end and for such purposes by grant, in writing, convey to a trustee, or any number of trustees, named in such grant, and to their successors, forever, such real property in this state as shall be necessary to the operation of such library, museum, art gallery or educational institutions, and any personal property wherever situate. 

Therefore our counsel recommended that the society “seek the approval of the members and the Board of Directors of a resolution of the following actions:

  • Amend the Bylaws to change the Board of Directors to the Board of Trustees;
  • Amend the Bylaws and Charter to expand the purpose of the Society to include the operation of a public museum; and
  • Authorize the President of the Society to take any actions necessary to execute any necessary transfers of property.”


A copy of the memorandum from the attorney and the “resolution supporting actions to attain museum funding from the Rankin County Board of Supervisors” including the amended bylaws was read by President Vanderleest and is attached to these minutes.

These changes do not give the Board of Supervisors any control over RCHS, it sets up a channel for any public funds administered to the society.

After the required reading Paul Davis moved that the bylaws of Rankin County Historical Society be amended to change the wording of the society’s bylaws from Board of Directors to Board of Trustees as read by the president. Nathan Bradshaw seconded the motion. After discussion, the proposed amendments were adopted by unanimous vote of the members present or by proxy.

In other business Anne Vanderleest reported on an earlier meeting with the Brandon Historical Society to discuss the possible joining of our two groups for meetings and activities. The possibility of setting up a county-wide symposium of all the historical and genealogical groups in the county was discussed. The symposium would allow each group to present information on their goals and interests and help find common ground to further the groups’ aims and objectives.

After discussion it was moved by Paul Davis that a symposium of the historical and genealogy groups from throughout Rankin County be scheduled for the fall or as soon after that time as possible. Carla Davis seconded the motion and after further discussion the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

Martha McCown moved that the meeting adjourn; motion seconded by Nathan Bradshaw; motion passed and the meeting was adjourned.

Joan Singletary


Rankin County Historical Society


Attending:Anne Vanderleest, presiding; Carla Davis; Diane Canterbury; Carolyn Erickson; Mel Corley; Ron Thornton; Paul Davis; Mary Lou Ayers; Nathan Bradshaw; Martha McCown; Dirk Vanderleest; Joan Alliston; Joan Singletary; R.W. Castens, new member; Penny Schooler, guest.


Attach: ATT00077 (2) Memo

ATT00030 Resolution

ATT00021 Amended Bylaws

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