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New Indiana County Historians Appointed in Greene, Howard, Steuben and Vermillion Counties

February 28, 2024

Four new Indiana county historians have been appointed in Greene, Howard, Steuben and Vermillion counties.

New Greene County Historian Paula Baird grew up in rural Greene County on a farm that was homesteaded in 1837 by her second great grandfather. Now she is the fifth generation to own and farm that land, living in the family home built in 1876 by her great grandparents, whose portrait still hangs over the fireplace mantel. She developed a love of history (both family and local) early in life, nurtured by her girl scout leader Milly Uland. As our country celebrated its bicentennial, Milly kept her troop busy cleaning up cemeteries and learning about and visiting local historical points of interest. Paula has been interested in learning about her ancestors and local folklore ever since. She holds an engineering degree from Purdue University and is active in her church and community. Baird currently serves as president of the Greene County Historical Society, is an FSA County Committee Member and serves on the Scotland Cemetery Board.

New Howard County Historian Gilbert Porter is a local history writer in Kokomo who works with the Howard County Historical Alliance to revise and revitalize the area’s early history stories. A regular program presenter and guest speaker on area history, Porter’s research and writing about Kokomo and Howard County have been featured in Historical Society publications, on WISH-TV and WRTV-6 television in Indianapolis, and in the Kokomo Perspective and Kokomo Tribune newspapers. A U.S. Navy veteran, Porter earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Kokomo. He has worked in organizational communications as both a teacher and a practitioner for more than four decades and currently produces family history books through his publishing business.

New Steuben County Historian Rosalie Harman Spirek is a long-time resident of Steuben County. Spirek has a keen interest in local history and was one of the early members working on the Cline/Cameron house in 1995. Her family ties date back to the 1830s, when a number of her ancestors settled in Steuben County. Spirek has a master’s degree in education and taught in MSD of Steuben County. She is a charter member of the Steuben County Genealogy Society and a member of the Pokagon Chapter of DAR, and she currently serves on the board of the Steuben County Historical Society.

New Vermillion County Historian George Sanquenetti has always had an interest in early American history. He retired from an aircraft maintenance job in Indianapolis in 2011, and during that same year went with his daughter and her family to the Vincennes Rendezvous. He caught the bug on that visit, and he has now been a park volunteer at the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park since 2012. He performs historical interpretation on early fur trade with the French Marines and Voyageurs at Ouiatenon, and published a book on Brouillette’s Trading Post. Sanquenetti has also been actively involved in the research and applications for several Indiana State Historical Markers. Currently, he is part of a group applying for a historical marker on a Piankashaw village that was located around the Vermillion River in Cayuga.

In addition, at the close of 2023, the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau reappointed 26 county historians to new three-year terms. County historians reappointed to new three-year terms are as follows:

  • Brown County: Diana Biddle
  • Clinton County: Dennis Hoffman
  • Dearborn County: Jenny Awad
  • Decatur County: Russell Wilhoit
  • Delaware County: Karen Vincent
  • Dubois County: Arthur C. Nordhoff
  • Grant County: William F. Munn
  • Madison County: Stephen T. Jackson
  • Miami County: Kreig Adkins
  • Montgomery County: Dian Moore
  • Morgan County: Don R. Adams
  • Owen County: Anton W. Neff
  • Pike County: Sandra L. McBeth
  • Porter County: Kevin M. Pazour
  • Posey County: Ray Kessler
  • Pulaski County: Mary Conner
  • Randolph County: Gregory P. Hinshaw
  • Shelby County: William Aughe
  • Starke County: Venita Cunningham
  • Sullivan County: Donna K. Adams
  • Union County: Vicky Logue
  • Vigo County: Suzy Quick
  • Warren County: Terri L. Wargo
  • Warrick County: Anne R. Aurand
  • Wayne County: Thomas D. Hamm
  • Wells County: James Sturgeon

The Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau are currently seeking nominations for county historians in these counties: Adams, Benton, Jefferson, Johnson, Spencer, Tipton and Whitley. Local historical organizations and libraries in each county nominate county historians to renewable three-year terms. If you know an individual who would be a good fit for county historian, please contact your local historical society and/or public library to discuss submitting a nomination. For questions, email

In 1981, through an effort to improve the historical communication network in the state, the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau established the Indiana County Historian Program.

County historians serve as volunteers appointed by the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau to promote local history in their counties, connect individuals and groups with history resources, promote collaboration between local history organizations and maintain connections with the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau.

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