Current Happenings:
Essay Contest
  • Annual Essay Contest: Discover Your Roots; Enrich Your Future

The Ferdinand Historical Society's mission includes creating awareness of our local heritage, starting with our youth.  In that spirit, since 2000, the Society has offered the students of Forest Park Jr.-Sr. High School an opportunity to research and write essays exploring aspects of local history.  Over the years, hundreds of students have responded with thoughtful, unique, and diverse works.  They have interviewed grandparents and neighbors, read local history texts, visited historic sites and the county museum, learned about different architectural styles, and have preserved a valuable portion of their family and community heritage.  By promoting curiosity and exploration, the Ferdinand Historical Society hopes to foster a lifelong love of learning.  The Society grants monetary prizes for the winning essays.
2016 Winners 
  • 1st Place: Hannah Weyer, daughter of Marcy and Glenn Weyer, "Preserving the Past, One Brick at a Time: A History of the 1908 Ferdinand Grade School"
  • 2nd Place: Aliya Haake, daughter of Lisa and Henry Haake, "Treasured Tickets: A Journey behind an Astra Theater Artifact"
  • 3rd Place: Kendyll Gaesser, daughter of Denise and Larry Gaesser, "An Architectural Heirloom in Southern Indiana: The Preservation of the West Baden Springs Hotel"
  • Honorable Mention 1: Amy Metz, daughter of Joanie and Brian Metz, "A Neglected Heirloom in the Heart of Birdseye, Indiana: What a Building Can Teach a Community"
  • Honorable Mention 2 (tie): Conner Persohn, son of Lori and Brad Persohn, "Through Ida's Eyes: The Story of How Ida Hagen-Whitaker Became Ferdinand Postmaster"
  • Honorable Mention 2 (tie): Lauren Tretter, daughter of Theresa and Scott Tretter, "Behind the Buildings: A History of Seufert Construction"
  • Honorable Mention 3: Heather Wallhauser, daughter of Jan and Gene Wallhauser, "Recognizing a Family Heritage: A History of the Iconic Reising's Store in Jasper, Indiana"

2015 Winners

  • First Place: Kelli Buechler, daughter of Dorothy and Mike Buechler, "Preserving the Past: The Schaeffer Barn's Journey from Ruin to Reconstruction"
  • Second Place: Blake Emmert, son of Michelle and Robin Emmert, "Setting the Boundaries: Land Claims and Ownership Changes in Dubois County"
  • Third Place: Gabby Hoffman, daughter of Ruth and Keith Hoffman, "Brewing Up a Business: A History of the Original Ruhkamp Brewery in Ferdinand"
  • Honorable Mention: Luke Steffe, son of Ann and Mike Steffe, "From Conception to Success: A History of the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand, Indiana"
  • Honorable Mention: Sara Weyer, daughter of Donna and Chris Weyer, "Calvary's Chantry: A History of the Chapel of Our Sorrowful Mother"
  • Honorable Mention: Payton Prechtel, daugher of Pam and Scott Prechtel "Honoring a Hometown Landmark: The Preservation of the Cabby O'Neill Gymnasium"
  • Honorable Mention: Mallory Dale, daughter of Lisa and Brian Dale, "A Century of Journalism: A History of the Ferdinand News"
2014 Winners
  • First Place: Taylor Prechtel, daughter of Monty and Tammy Prechtel, "A Postal Relic: A Brief History of Kyana and Its Post Office"
  • Second Place: Lauren Blume, daughter of Rodney and Susan Blume, "Monastery Masterpieces: Behind the Stained Glass Windows of Monastery Imaculate"
  • Third Place: Addison Weyer, son of Kurt and Brenda Weyer, "Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: The History of Pine Ridge Elementary School"
  • Honorable Mention: Kayla Hoffman, daughter of Kevin Hoffman and Carla Stillwell, "Waddling Down Memory Lane: The History of Duckville, Indiana"

2013 Winners

  • First Place: Madeleine Pelzel, daughter of Morris and Pamela Pelzel, "Escaping Lebanon: A Story of Faith, Courage, and Perseverance”
  • Second Place: Morganne Haas, daughter of Brad and Karen Haas, “Eberhard Fulfills Kundek's Dream: The Construction of the Chapel of Our Sorrowful Mother”
  • Third Place (tie): Kiersten Hasenour, daughter of Andy and Sue Hasenour, “A Flood of Opinions: Heated Debates Sparked by Patoka Lake Construction”
  • Third Place (tie): Michelle Helming, daughter of Connie and Ed Helming, “Milking for Money: The Helming Dairy Business in Ferdinand, Indiana”
  • Honorable Mention: Emily Miller, daughter of Patrick and Tammy Miller, “Best Home Furnishings: Our Name Says It All”
  • Honorable Mention: Brandon Luebbehusen, son of Chris and Angie Luebbehusen, “An Unconventional War: The 477th Bombardment Group's Struggle for Equality”
2012 Winners
  • 2nd Place: Cole Anderson" Dubois County Dew: The History of Moonshining"
  • 3rd Place: Ben Kitten, "Overcoming Obstacles: How Florenz Kitten Adapted to Change and Invented the Steam Engine"
2011 Winners 
  • 1st Place: Adi Dilger, "Within the Schoolyard Fence: A Glimpse of HIstorical One-room Schoolhouses in Dubois County"
  • 2nd Place: Austin Weyer, "Past, Present, Future: Every Day Was a Memory"
2010 Winners

2009 Winners

2008 Winners

2007 Winners

  • 1st Place: Sara Uebelhor, “Man of Steel: Biography of Albert Lubbers”
  • 2nd Place: Kelsey Vonderheide, “Our Heritage, Our Roots: Understanding the Past to Prepare for the Future”
  • 3rd Place: Ali Wylam, “Recollection of the Past: A Look Back at the Life of Eloise Pfister”
  • 4th Place – Honorable Mention: Breanne Fleck, “Life’s Transformations, a Journey Through my Grandmother’s Life”
  • 5th Place – Honorable Mention: Sarah Stetter, “Part of a Pair: A Biography of my Grandmother Marie Dall”
  • 6th Place – Honorable Mention: Jenna Brinkman, “The Problem Solver, the Life of Cletus Leo Brinkman”