Hennessey Historical Society Plans to Preserve Town’s Rich Heritage

On April 13th, The Hennessey Historical Society met in the library to discuss various aspects of preserving America’s and Hennessey’s cultural, ethnic, and energy history within the The Hennessey Sokol Museum and Library. They discussed implementing this mission in small steps, with displays covering topics such as immigration and assimilation, the town’s energy story, and its economic abundance based on energy production and agriculture. Organizer Richard Simunek, librarian Steven Mitchell, David Jones, Tracie Macy, Tammy and Chris Berry, Starla Fuksa, Scott Hajek, and Chuck Grimes were in attendance. 

What is a Sokol? You may ask… A Sokol is a movement that originated in Prague in 1862. Richard explained that a Sokol is a Czech word with multiple meanings, such as representing more than one thing. Therefore, since the library and museum are separate entities, they can be considered a Sokol.

The Society aims to showcase the town’s rich history through various displays within the Hennessey Sokol Museum and Library. Such displays would include but are not limited to a Hennessey Visitor Center, Hennessey War Memorial, Windmill Farm Museum, Museum of Immigration and Integration, Snyder Hennessey Town Display, Country School Display, Petticoat Town Council Display, First Woman Mayor in Oklahoma Display, Ortman Theater, Small Town Newspaper Display, Women’s Work Display, Gymnasium, Computer Center/Wifi,Teen Funtivities, and Museum of Pictures. They also plan to establish the John C. Karcher Museum to honor his contributions to the oil industry.

The meeting highlighted the importance of community involvement and volunteer efforts in establishing and maintaining individual displays, citing the success of Crescent’s Frontier Country Museum as an example to follow. During the meeting, the group talked about the option of temporarily showcasing items if anyone was willing to loan them for display, and having the family name of the contributor displayed along with the items. Mr. Simunek also spoke about how every item has a unique story. Instead of just hanging a barbed wire display, for example, there is a story on why there are different types and how they were used. Several stories were shared, highlighting this small town’s very rich, interesting history. Chuck Grimes brought in several old weapons and an old wooden milk stirrer. Richard brought old medicines and medical equipment. 

It was proposed that the group look into utilizing the library auditorium for the location of this Sokol Museum and Library. The group decided that the first priority was a non-profit 501c3. This would set up the group to establish a website as an organization and make it possible to accept donations.  

If you or your family would like to be a part of the historical Society, contribute items, or if you have a great story to share. Contact the society planning committee, Tracie Macy, Tammy Berry, or Scott Hajek. Richard Simunek or the Hennessey Library can also answer some questions or point you in the right direction.  photos by Angela Bruner