In 1968 a process was started that culminated in 1976, when a number of Minster citizens were invited by Velma Schmeider and Bob Hoying to a meeting in the Hoying home. The purpose of the meeting was to finalize the formation of the Minster Historical Society.
A Certificate of Incorporation was obtained, and the Society became a reality. The first election of officers was held with the following members serving President: Robert Hoying, Vice President: Ted Purpus, Secretary-Treasurer: Velma Schmieder, Trustees: Harold Thieman, Jim Eiting, Luke Knapke, Marie Eiting, and Connie Meyer.
The Society explored various locations including the former New City Hotel, which proved cost prohibitive. The Society did begin to accept various artifacts from the community, and it began the process of microfilming the "Minster Post" past issues. Participation in Oktoberfest activities included parade entries, a booth for baked goods and the sponsoring of Queen Contestants.
At the April 2, 1979 meeting of officers and trustees a lease for the use of part of the second floor of the Library building was finalized after permission from the Village Council was granted. The area was in need of renovation, which was accomplished by members of the organization. Cabinetry was made for display purposes, and a Card File was started by Luke and Mary Knapke containing memorial cards with important information used in genealogical research.
After fourteen years above the library, the Society decided to move the Museum. Space was limited, and access for senior citizens was difficult. The present location of 112 W. 4th St. was offered to us by the Village Council. It is near the historic Miami & Erie Canal, has plenty of parking, and easy, first floor access for everyone in a safe location next to the Police Department. This new location has enabled us to expand our display area and newly acquired artifacts have poured in our door for us to display and preserve. We now also have a separate Genealogy and Research room that has been well used.
In April of 2008 remodeling and renovation of the build began by a group of volunteers. Money was raised, and the move took place late September of 2008 after everything was finished and brought up to code. Currently the museum is open two days a week, and free to the general public.
In 2009, the first major exhibit in the new Museum took place, entitled "A Salute to the WW II Era". This exhibit proved to a great success, as well as the numerous other displays of artifacts and historical photos. A family portrait gallery is in place, along with a room saluting our Home Town Heroes e.e. police, fire, rescue and military veterans. Special programs have been held for various groups such as our local school and scouting. For the past tow years a historical "walk through St. Augustine Cemetery" has been held in the fall as well as "A German Christmas Market" in December.
Each year a special exhibit will be featured, with the present exhibit titled, "Meet the Steinemann Family". The Society has also been instrumental in the preservation and renovation of the Steinemann Chapel in St. Augustine Cemetery. We are also in the process of doing oral histories of our mature Minster citizens over the age of 85.
The organization still remains totally volunteer based, and was honored by the Oktoberfest Committee in 2008 by being selected as its Grand Marshal.