Two months ago, while researching my elephant article, I reached out to Chuck Jacobs, former curator of the Hardin County Museum. I was delighted to receive a response, as I had not spoken with him since he left the museum. He was able to help me with my article and was glad to hear that I was the new director and continuing the work of the museum. We reminisced about things and he inquired about my family. I was glad I had taken the chance and reached out.
Yesterday I learn that Chuck had passed away. I cannot put into words how heartbreaking this is. Chuck was a fountain of knowledge when it came to history and was always willing to share what he knew. Chuck was hired as the curator of the museum in 1985 and worked here until the mid-1990s. He worked hard to create a museum that was engaging for all, especially kids. One of his goals when coming to Kenton from Richmond, Indians was to develop an outreach program to local school districts. This he was able to do, creating an interest in history for local students. An article from the Kenton Times written in 1985 quotes Chuck as saying “I have big dreams, yet I want to be realistic, but the museum can be made into a place the public can take pride in…there is a rich heritage to be shared.” Chuck’s hope was that the museum would be a countywide endeavor, that we would be able to work together to preserve the history of the county. This idea is something that we work hard to continue to this day. While here, Chuck wrote two books, one about Kenton Cast Iron Toys and one about Jacob Parrott. We use these at the museum to this day as a reference source when doing research. Chuck was also part of helping to develop the Hardin County Heritage Farm in hopes that it would be developed into something similar to Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio.
I am glad that I was able to make contact with Chuck before his passing. As a director, I hope to continue what he and others started here at the museum. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Farewell, Chuck, may you find peace.
Sheena Striker, director