Saturday, April 23, 2016

History or Mystery?

Prior posts have shown that the AHS is attempting the smear the mineral museum by falsifying its history, and that it has even falsified its own history. A brief summary of AHS history follows:

1884 - Founded as “Society of Arizona Pioneers” in Tucson

            Sloan. Eleanor B., Seventy-Five Years of the Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society, 1884-          1959, Arizona and the West, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring, 1959), pp. 66-70, Published by: Journal of the Southwest.

            Sonnicheson, C.L., Pioneer Heritage, the First Century of the Arizona Historical Society, The Arizona Historical Society, 1984

1887 – Renamed “Arizona Pioneer’s Historical Society” and established as a state agency by the Nineteenth Territorial Legislature

            Faulk, Odie B., Arizona State Historical Society; Its history and leaders, and its services   to the public. Published by the Arizona Pioneers Historical Society, 929 E. 2nd Street, Tucson AZ, 1966, page 6

1971 – Informal name change to Arizona Historical Society

            Bates, Al, Arizona Territory’s Earliest Historical Societies, Territorial Times, Prescott 

1984 – Celebrated AHS centennial (1884-1984)

            Sonnicheson, C.L., Pioneer Heritage, the First Century of the Arizona Historical Society, The Arizona Historical Society, 1984

1996 Established Arizona Historical Society / Southern Arizona Division Docent Inc.

             Arizona Corporation Commission file number 07926852 dated 12/8/1996
2000 Established Arizona Historical Society / Southern Arizona Chapter Fund Inc.

             Arizona Corporation Commission file number 09599202 dated 8/17/2000

2003 Testified before Senate; claimed 1864 founding date

            Senate hearing, Monday, Oct. 20, 2003 (Senate Government Committee)
Anne Woosley, Executive Director, AHS, commented that from its founding by the territorial Legislature on November 7, 1864, the understanding of history and the need to pass that history to future generations have been the guiding principles of AHS.
2004 Official name changed to Arizona Historical Society by Legislature

            House Bill 2318, 44th AZ Legislature, first regular session

2005 Arizona Historical Society letterhead stated “founded by Arizona pioneers in 1884”

2009 Established “Arizona Historical Society” as a trade name

            Arizona Corporation file number 468138 dated 8/14/2009

2009 Changed letterhead / memo founding date from 1884 to 1864

2013 “Explained” relationship between original AHS and present day AHS in Section I of bylaws as follows:

Section 1. Premise. The first Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona incorporated the “Arizona Historical Society” on November 7, 1864, as a corporation with perpetual succession. Later, the “Society of Arizona Pioneers” was organized on February 9, 1884, for the same purpose and incorporated by Chapter 53, Section 1 of the Laws of the 1897, as the trustee of the Territory for the present and future collections and property of the Territory. The “Arizona Historical Society,” as its name was changed in 1971, has continued to exist as a corporate entity (the “Corporation” herein) although its Executive Director and staff are employees of the State of Arizona and the Society maintains many attributes of an agency of the State of Arizona (the “Society”). The separate re-incorporation of this Corporation and adoption of these by-laws are intended to clarify the corporate status of the Corporation and provide the distinction between the private, non-profit and tax-exempt corporation apart and distinct from the Society. The goal of the Corporation shall be to provide a conduit for financial donations, fundraising and financial management for the benefit of the Society, as the agency of the State of Arizona having custody of the historical artifacts, papers and physical assets owned by the State of Arizona.

2014 Celebrated “150th Anniversary” (0nly 30 years after AHS centennial celebration)

            Zeigler, Zachary, AZ Historical Society Exhibits 150 Items to Celebrate Anniversary,        Arizona Public Media, September 1, 2014

            “AHS at 150”, special edition of the Journal of Arizona History, 2014.

The mystery is, was the change in AHS history inadvertent or planned?  Is section 1 in the current bylaws a clumsy attempt to cover up an embarrassing mistake, or is it a deliberate and ridiculous attempt to revise history?

Note: An Arizona Historical Society Inc. was established in Prescott in 1864. However, it was dissolved in 1866, and absolutely no connection to the present day AHS has been established.


  1. All of this has been done by Dr. Ann Woosley. She reminds us of what is a Soviet historian. That is someone who can predict the past.

  2. This agency is in need of a complete review and overhaul. AZ taxpayers deserve better!

    1. First step would be to get rid of Dr, Ann Woosley and Bill Ponder. That would be a giant step to ending this madness.

    2. I can think of no other State Agency that does things like this. Can you imagine an agency like the Highway Dept, or DPS doing stuff like this. The Governor would have sacked the administration years ago.

    3. Info for AZ taxpayers: The Governor cannot fire anyone in the AHS. It receives millions of dollars in public funds, but does not report to the Governor.

    4. Then the AHS Board of Directors should grow a spine and take care of business. The AHS should get back to what it is suppose to do and not mess with rocks and minerals and managing empty former museum buildings.

  3. Board has been a rubber stamp for 20 years or more. Major action items are catered lunches.

    1. Dr. Ann Woosley has been AHS Director since the summer 2001. With a salary of $120,000 a year that is about $1,800,000 for the time she has been in charge. A question for the AHS Board. Are you getting your monies worth?.....Don't answer that!