JHF First Year Summary
Submitted by Joy A. (Jessee) Malone
A Summary of Jessee Historical Foundation Accomplishments 2001-2002
June 1, 2002The year 2001 was a landmark for the Jessee Historical Foundation, Inc. (JHF). The purpose for which the Foundation was formed was for connecting our mission to community service and other similar non-profit purposes. We are learning to embrace the spirit of our mission as we continue to connect descendants of our ancestors John Jessee, Sr. and his wife, Frankey Lea Jessee [with other Jessee families] in communities around the United States. I thank all the JHF Board and Foundation members and interested individuals and groups for their support in helping to make this year a success. As we move into the future, the JHF volunteer leadership needs your continued support, commitment and time in order to join with the challenge of shaping and building a successful Foundation.
One goal is to tell the story of how family members are connected that may help to prepare us for tomorrow, as well as for today, by remembering the past. ìThat the future may learn from the past.î It does more than preserve the past; in a manner more comprehensive, it maintains a living legacy. We embark upon the first year anniversary of our Foundation with Board and Foundation members planning for the largest and best family reunion to ever be held in Russell County, Virginia. The 2002 Jessee Research & History Day is scheduled for August 2nd at the Russell County Public Library in Lebanon, VA. The 2002 Jessee Family Reunion Picnic will be held at the Russell County Fairgrounds on August 3rd, 2002. To the best of my recollections, I have outlined the many accomplishments of the Foundation [and its members] that have occurred during its first year as an organization. This list is not all-inclusive and I invite you to please add to this list.
- Jessee Historical Foundation, Inc. was founded May 2001, accomplished by special Board members and legal counsel who volunteered time and costs to see that all the required elements were completed in order to establish our organization. I am a proud Jessee descendant [and founding member] of the JHF.
- A one year (never ending) Charter Member campaign, by members working with the Membership Chair, yielded 216 Charter Members and a total of about 226 Foundation Members. The committee members donated all costs incurred for this campaign. (Expiration date for all members is December 31, 2002; renewals begin January 1, 2003). An on-going membership drive continues and plans for a second campaign is scheduled for the Fall 2002.
- The Charter Membership campaign was an outgrowth of the decision by the Board and interested members to pursue the ìHistorical Highway Marker Project,î aimed at erecting a marker for the ìJesseeís Mill.î A big part of the process was the financial question, ìWhere were we going to get the money to fund this?î The Charter campaign was born and with the support of all members, the required funds for this project were raised.
- The Highway Marker Project Committee members worked for months gathering the data required by the State of Virginia. We accomplished our task and submitted a 52-page application proposal in May 2002. This proposal included all items specific to the marker project, cover letter, letters of support, photographs, descriptive information, maps of sites/locations, rationales for local, regional, state, and national significance, etc. The St. of VA. Historical Highway Marker Department meets June 15th for review of applications and if selected, our application will continue on to the Deptís September Board meeting. This process takes time. (The JHF Committee also completed a ìback-upî plan). I thank all the California, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia members that helped to collect the information. All time and costs were donated.
- As a Board Member, one thing I value the most is the opportunity I have had to meet and get to know so many new ìcousins,î related family members and new friends. My family is growing at a tremendous rate and now I need to pay attention to priorities and invest in time-management in order to continue active participation in Foundation activities which I find rewarding.
- 2001 Second Annual Jessee Family Research & History Day was held August 3, 2001 at the Russell Co. Public Library in Lebanon, VA. (Approximate attendance in 2000 was 50+ participants; participation doubled in 2001 with 100+). The success of this activity is due to all those who volunteered their time. All costs involved were donated. At this time, planning for the 2002 Research & History Day is complete and again all time and costs donated.
- The 2001 Annual Jessee Family Reunion Picnic, held on August 4th, at the Russell County Fairgrounds, had approximately 400+ in attendance. Board and Foundation members and friends worked hard, volunteered time and monies to the picnicís success. The 2002 Boardís Picnic Chairperson has been working hard for months and continues with all the planning involved for the anticipated largest and best Reunion Picnic ever held in Russell Co., VA. Many volunteers are needed this year to help with all the picnic activities as the attendance is expected to reach 600!!!
- The 2001 JHF Fund Raiser was accomplished by the Silent and the Not-so-Silent Auctions held during the 2001 Jessee Reunion Picnic that included our major auction item, the ìJessee Millî painting donated by Irene Jessee Perry, and many other auction items donated by the Gabriel Jessee and John Jessee, Sr. descendants. I challenge everyone to bring items to make this yearís auction an even more outstanding fundraiser. Donated items and monies are needed to help fund future Foundation projects.
- Board and Foundation members have been involved in ìloggingî Russell County cemeteries. They have climbed up and down mountains and walked through many a holler. (So far, no injuries to report). These same Board and Foundation members have also initiated the ìcleaningî and bush-hog mowing of the ìOld Lost Lebanon Cemetery,î located on the hill behind the RC Library. A lot of hard work and it was very disheartening to learn that within a few days of their project, vandals turned over and broke many of the remaining cemetery markers. Another family cemetery in New Garden was also cleaned and mowed.
- Another project by a Board member has been the planning for setting a memorial marker in a State Park and ceremony honoring a descendant of his spouse to be held this summer. (Remembering ancestors on both sides of our families!)
- 11. Many Board and Foundation members have been busy during the 2001 year, touring visiting ìcousinsî to many of the RC Jessee and related family sites. A committee was formed at the 2002 March Board Meeting to begin work on a tour map (with site locations and index) of places of interest to Jessee family members. A future tour may be in the planning.
- Many Board and Foundation members have been active members in the RC Genealogy Group and are providing resources (information and photographs) as requested by other family members. One JHF Board member is working with the group conducting interviews and video taping of valued personal histories of selected RC citizens. One recently completed was from a ì97 year old cousin.î Without their efforts, a part of our family history will be lost to us forever. Many other Foundation members not only support the RC group, but also are members of the Washington Co. Historical Society, SW Virginia Historical Society, etc.
- 13. During 2001 and 2002, the JHF and individual Board and Foundation members have made donations to the RC Public Library and History Room, the Castlewood Volunteer Fire Department and EMS Services, and DAR USS Stennis Aircraft Carrier Patriotic Project, etc.
- 14. Board and Foundation members have provided information from Board meetings, reunion activities, etc. (including photographs, etc.) for publication and dissemination to the broader Jessee family via Jim Jessee, Editor, Jessee Family Newsletter and Jessee website. Selected announcements have been placed in the local newspapers. Communication via the internet e-mail has helped to keep others abreast of news. Those without e-mail have either been called or mailed brochures with reunion research day & picnic information, or via letters, cards, etc. If notified, the membership committee has mailed birthday, get-well, and sympathy cards. All time and costs have been donated.
- Congratulations: The Organizational Celebration of the Tabitha Adams Russell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was held at the Old Russell County Courthouse in Dickensonville, Virginia on May 12, 2002. The Russell County Organizing Regent, Jackquetta Fletcher, and so many wonderful RC Genealogy Group volunteers worked hard and long to help establish the first chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Russell County. Board and Foundation members have been working with the RC group throughout 2001 and now into 2002. There have been a lot of phone calls, e-mails, etc. to potential members encouraging them to put to use all that genealogy and family history information we Jessee descendants have been collecting for years. Assistance has been given to other potential members in Texas, Virginia, and Florida. By encouraging members to join the RC DAR Chapter or their local chapters of the DAR and SAR, we can help provide a means to work within their national policies and objectives that include historic preservation, promotion of education and patriotic endeavors. Active chapter participation offers an opportunity to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence. This is an excellent opportunity to recognize our Revolutionary ancestors (Bickley, Browning, Jessee, Kelly, Litton, Stinson, Ray, etc.). Membership also provides an opportunity for us to participate in good citizens and local school presentations, etc. Membership in such professional organizations support many of the purposes of the JHF that include the collection and preservation of information pertaining to the family surnames; to publish family biographical and genealogical material; to publish via newsletters, etc. and to distribute materials to libraries, etc., and to stimulate interest in historical research; etc. To date, there are four JHF Board Members and several Foundation members that are Organizing Charter and Charter members of the RC DAR Chapter and we will continue to encourage other Jessee family members to join. Jackquetta Fletcher, Organizing Regent, will be a guest speaker at the 3rd Annual Jessee Research/History Day at the RC Library. I thank all other Foundation members who have joined their local chapters.
- 16. To date, all supplies, including certificates, stationary/envelopes, brochures, cards, notebooks, posters, signs, phone expenses, decorations, selected donations, costs incurred in the research/history day with refreshments and gift drawings, reunion picnic childrenís gifts, auction items, etc., have been donated by Board and Foundation members. The donation of time and monies have made possible many of the projects accomplished by the Foundation during the 2001 year and the 2002 projects accomplished to date.
I am sure I have failed to mention so many of the good and positive accomplishments of the Foundation during our first year as an organization. I thank all the members of the JHF Board and Foundation for giving me the opportunity to participate in our Foundation. I can only hope that all family members continue their support, commitment and active participation to the success of the Foundation. I am looking forward to the 2002 [and 2003] Reunion Activities, celebrating our first year anniversary of the Jessee Historical Foundation, Inc.
Dr. Joy A. (Jessee) Malone
P. O. Box 291800
Davie, Fl. 33329-1800