2020 Community Service Award Winner - Marie White

As the 2020 Annual Dinner program is a pre-recorded, virtual event, presenting the prestigious Community Service Award provided another challenge for organizers. Normally, dinner attendees would be gathered at Lakeside Casino/Hotel event center and dressed according to the theme. Traditionally, a Rotary Club representative presents the award.

Marie, though, was lured to the OCMS/CCDC conference room to discuss ideas about The Clarke County Historic Museum with OCMS Executive Director Ashleigh Eckels. Marie’s daughter, Brenda, who is active in Clarke County History also attended.

The meeting began when Rotary Club Secretary, Dr. Al Adams, briefly summarized the nomination letter from Mike Boldon. Marie, who is not comfortable in the limelight said, ‘I can’t believe it!’ as she was encouraged to accept the plaque.

Marie regularly contributes historic pieces to the Osceola Sentinel Tribune, but this is a small portion of what she does as the unofficial Clarke County Historian. The following information is excerpted from Boldon’s nomination letter.

…Marie is generally regarded as Clarke County’s Historian and has been very active in the Clarke County Historical Society, serving terms as president, vice president, secretary and is presently vice president. She was involved in moving the organization’s cabin from the old location on the former Clarke County Fairgrounds to its present location on the grounds of the museum. She has helped clean and arrange the museum and assists with tours. She was active in the Clarke County Heritage Days Celebrations at the museum in various years.

When the Iowa Sesquicentennial Committee was preparing to observe the event, Marie contributed significantly. She researched and prepared a spiral bound directory titled, “Osceola City Business Directory 1851-1996.” From that information at the appropriate time, she made and placed cards in the stores listing the various businesses which had been operated at that location. The resulting book served as background material for Mickey Thomas’s columns in the Osceola paper and Reflections.

In preparation for the Clarke County Historical Society’s Cemetery Tours, Marie wrote many of the scripts that were used and assisted in setting up the tours, recruiting people who would portray the various characters, provided the props and helped with the tours themselves.

Marie is active in the local Genealogy Society and is a member of the local Historic Preservation Commission. She is well known throughout the community as the person to contact about local history and is always pleasantly willing to provide the information…

OCMS appreciated Marie’s contributions to the local history section for the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit: Voices and Votes-Democracy in America. As a member of the Historic Society since 1971, Marie knows every inch of the museum, and when contacted proposed several ideas. She collated all the information and photos of Mary Osmond, the first woman to vote in Clarke County and offered the idea of exhibiting an old canvass voting booth. The presence of these items gave people solid connections to Clarke County History, and a small look at what the museum has to offer.

Congratulations to the Community Service Award Winner for 2020-Marie White.

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