The Hancock County Historical Society (HCHS) was established in 1965. The Old Log Jail Museum was acquired by the historical society in 1967, and moved from its original location on South Street, Greenfield to Riley Park. The Chapel in the Park Museum, originally the Philadelphia United Methodist Church, was acquired by the historical society and moved six miles down US 40 to the park in 1981. Both buildings are owned an operated by HCHS.
The HCHS collects items (fossils, Native American projectile points, clothing, household/military/business/personal items, papers, photos, letters, etc) from the public to preserve for future generations, to display in exhibits, and to document the history of Hancock County. We are dependent upon the donations of people with ties to Hancock County for what comes into our collection. Items that are in the collection should have a connection to Hancock County, or in the least be of an appropriate piece that would have been used by people in Hancock County during a specific time period. If you have a piece that you would be willing to donate, please contact the historical society office for more information.
History in Print
The HCHS records the history of Hancock County, Indiana by researching topics, and publishing this information for the public use. We frequently print information in our newsletter, and in the local newspaper, the Daily Reporter. Members receive the printed publication the Log Chain newsletter. If you would like to become a member you can print out a membership form from the Become a Member section. We also send out an electronic newsletter to members and other interested individuals. You can sign up for our electronic newsletter here.
We also carry a small collection of books and other items that pertain to Hancock County History in our book store. These include the older histories of Hancock County by John Binford (1886) and George Richman (1916) – as well as some more current books written by local authors.
Doing Your Own History Research?
If you are working on some of your own historical research – whether it is for a historic home, cemetery search, or genealogy, we highly recommend that you visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for more info. There are links to some of the sources that you might find helpful. If you don’t find your information there you may also contact the HCHS office for more information.
The Hancock County Historical Society does have people who can come and talk to your organization on a variety of topics or to instruct your group or organization on what we do. Please contact the HCHS office for more information.
Meet our Officers and Board of Directors: