About Us

Our Mission Statement

The mission of this Society shall be to bring together and stimulate those people interested in the history and genealogy of Williamson County, Illinois.

The Society’s major function shall be to collect and preserve materials, printed and non-printed relating to the history, traditions and people of this county of Illinois.

The Society will encourage historical and genealogical research and will disseminate this historical information by various methods and media of communications whenever possible.

The Society shall provide for the preservation and accessibility of such material, insofar as it is feasible, to all who wish to examine or study it.

When in the best interest of the Society, it shall cooperate with the State Historical Society, its affiliated groups and other officials or groups seeking to ensure the preservation of printed and non-printed materials, buildings, monuments, markers and other objects which may be considered historic and worth preserving as illustrative of life, conditions, events and activities of the past and the present, in this county.


Officers and Board of Directors

President Sam Lattuca
Vice President Colleen Norman
Vice President 2nd Helen Sutt Lind
Secretary Ursula Richey
Treasurer Dolores Thetford
Director Andrew McRoy
Director George Mavigliano
Director Bob Jackson
Coordinator & Curator Sharon Vansaghi


This large brick building, built in 1913, served as the county jail and the home of fifteen sheriffs of Williamson County. Steel doors separated prisoners from the family as well as 13 inch poured concrete walls. In 1972 the Williamson County Historical Society accepted the building for a museum after the new courthouse was completed.

In the 1960’s Mrs. Ashby was concerned that much of the items of the county’s history was being lost and it was her idea that the old court house could be made into a museum to display and preserve the county history. However, the majority wanted to raze the courthouse. Ethel never forgot and refused to give up the idea of a museum somewhere in Marion. She constantly reminded the county board and finally they offered the old jail building to the society with the provision that they, within a five year period, got such an entity organized and self-supporting.

The county board, for a sum of $1.00, would give them a warranty deed to the jail on South Van Buren Street. Soon members were at the museum, cleaning, repairing, and taking out a few walls in order to have a place for society meetings, painting walls and ceilings, restoring lighting and other necessities for future meetings. The museum was received June 29, 1972.

Apply for or renew membership here using downloadable PDF

Apply for or renew membership here using downloadable DOCX

Back to the top