Join the Westby Area
Westby Area Historical Society
Centennial Circle Application
The Westby Area Historical Society Genealogy Center is excited to introduce our Centennial Circle Program. This project is an invitation to anyone with connections to the founders of our wonderful Westby area. Because 2020 marks the centennial birthday of the City of Westby, there is no better time to honor these connections and the accomplishments of our ancestors. If you can make a connection to one or more of your ancestors who were living in Westby, Coon Valley, Chaseburg or any other part of the Westby area, you can be part of the circle. WAHS will kick off our Centennial Circle Program by offering Charter Membership status to any applications approved in 2020.
Do you have an ancestor who connects you to the early history of the Westby area, someone who lived in our community in 1920 or before? Any way that you can make your connection to that ancestor can be submitted. A family tree; a census report; a family history, such as a letter that mentions Westby or the area; a photograph you might have that connects your family to the area; an obituary; a bill of sale that shows your grandfather did business in the area; a deed for purchase of land; a church certificate or any other document held by your family from that time period will be considered as primary source proof with your application. There are many ways you might be able to connect to the Westby area 100 years ago. Creativity, imagination and resourcefulness are encouraged because we want as many people as possible to be part of our Centennial Circle!
Applicants who submit acceptable documentation will receive a certificate and entry in our permanent Centennial Circle archives. To encourage participation in this initial kickoff phase, all applications submitted by July 1, 2020, that qualify to be a part of the Centennial Circle, will be entered into a $100 gift card drawing held at the Sweet Rides & Sweet Pies event on July 25, 2020. Accepted applications postmarked by June 4, 2020 will be entered into the drawing twice! Why June 4, you ask? On that day, 100 years ago, a special election was held in Westby when Bennett C. Thoreson, who was living in what is now the WAHS Thoreson House Museum, was elected to be the very first official mayor of the brand new City of Westby. All applications accepted in 2020 will receive Charter Membership status.
Applications are available here on our website, at Westby City Hall and at the Bekkum Memorial Library.
Applicant’s name to appear on certificate:
City, State and Zip Code:
Use additional paper if necessary. The more information the better!
Please list all items submitted with this application for your Centennial Circle membership. Send copies of all documents – DO NOT send originals. Any original documents sent with this application will be considered as donations to WAHS. Just a few of the items that will be acceptable proof of Centennial Circle status are: genealogy family tree and history information; obituaries; Westby High School diplomas; baptism, confirmation or wedding certificates from local churches; state and federal censuses. If you do not have primary documentation, it is very possible that we have it at our Thoreson House Museum or will be able to help you find it. Certificates will not be awarded without primary source verification. A story, narrative and photos of your ancestors would be helpful. Information submitted will be added to the WAHS Genealogy Center collection. Each family member who submits an accepted application will receive a Centennial Circle membership certificate.
WESTBY AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Centennial Circle Application Instructions:
The Centennial Circle Program is an ongoing program of the Westby Area Historical Society. There is no time limitation or deadline to apply for membership. Applications may be submitted at any time.
Membership to the Centennial Circle is open to anyone who can prove that they have an ancestor who lived or worked in the Westby area 100 years ago. For example, in 2020, your ancestor must have been in the Westby area in 1920 or anytime before. In 2021, your ancestor must have been in the area in 1921or before. In 2022, your ancestor must have been in the area in 1922 or before; and so forth.
You must complete the Centennial Circle application form.
You must include primary source documentation to support your application. Examples of documentation would be a genealogy tree; a census record; a baptism certificate; a high school diploma; and/or identifiable photographs. Anything you can find that would connect your family member to the Westby area 100 years ago or earlier will be considered as documentation. If necessary, WAHS may be able to help you find documentation.
DO NOT send any original paperwork or photos because WAHS cannot be responsible for the care or the return of any original documents. Any originals received by WAHS will be considered to be donations to the WAHS collection.
ALL applications and documentation will become the property of the Westby Area Historical Society, will become part of the WAHS Genealogy Center Archives and may be used for research purposes.
You do not need to be a member of the Westby Area Historical Society to become a member of the Centennial Circle.
The Centennial Circle is not limited by age or your place of residence. If you can show proof of an ancestor in the Westby area 100 or more years ago, you are welcome to apply for membership.
Each member of a family who wishes to become a member of the Centennial Circle must submit their own application, however, documentation for members of the same family may be duplicated. For example, each sibling in a family must submit a separate application in their own name but their family genealogy trees may be the same.
Applications postmarked before July 1, 2020 that qualify for membership in the Centennial Circle will be entered into a $100 gift card drawing. Any qualifying applications postmarked before June 4, 2020 will receive 2 entries into the drawing. ALL qualifying applications received in 2020 will be givenCharter Membership status.