PAULDING – The John Paulding Historical Society will hold its annual membership meeting with election of officers and directors on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at the museum, located across from the fairgrounds in Paulding. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

The program for the afternoon will feature Mark Holtsberry with a presentation on Paulding County WWI veterans. Holtsberry’s WWI historical collection is on display in the front exhibit room.

Mark grew up with an interest in history. At an early age, he began reading books about various leaders. He endeavored to piece together and understand the causes and effects of events which happened in American history. As he grew older, he began lecturing for high school teachers in the classroom.

With the help and encouraging words from his high school history teacher, he was steered to go to college to pursue a teaching degree. With his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he taught for 11 years. Lecturing at different college and universities, historical and genealogical societies, he has met some very interesting people. This experience has given him an opportunity to share knowledge and learn more historical facts from others.

Veteran acknowledgement is very important to Mark. He continues in his effort to ensure that veterans from Paulding County have their graves marked. This quest has been ongoing for over 20 years.

Currently he has been working with county veteran service offices to place a stone for a Paulding County veteran who had no marker on their grave. Also, the neverending research of our county's veterans has led Mark to publish two books, but only with the advice and encouragement from his uncle, Ray Keck, who had been very instrumental to Mark up until his death. His third publication is 95 percent complete and he hopes to complete this within the next few months.

Mark’s passion for history has led him to be an advocate and life member of the John Paulding Historical Society. He says, “I will continue to support the cause of JPHS and I am honored to be the guest speaker at this year’s annual meeting.”

Refreshments will be served following the meeting.