CLOSED, 2023




Portions of the former
Besancon Historical Society website
are hosted here,
for the benefit of researchers,
by the
Allen County Genealogical Society
of Indiana

Besancon Historical Society History

In 1992 a committee met to establish the Besancon Historical Society. Besancon is a small community located east of New Haven on old route 30 which is also called the Lincoln Highway. This area was settled in the 1840's by French , French Swiss and German immigrants. The purpose of BHS is to promote historical and genealogical research, conserve historic sites, collect and preserve artifacts, and stimulate interest in history and genealogy.

The society is located on the second floor of the parish office of St. Louis Besancon Church. The BHS archives consists of 5 rooms which are the office, the Lomont/Gladieux photo gallery, Isabey research library, Townsend library genealogy collections, and the Gladys Lomont room. The Lomont room honors the memory of Gladys by displaying pictures and objects that mark the years of her life. She was a part of the committee to establish the historical society and put the church buildings on the National Register.

In November 1994 the first issue of the Besancon Chronicles was published. The Chronicles is published three times a year. The first officers of BHS were President: Mark Robbins, Treasurer: Jim Lomont, and Secretary: Al Bowers

In 1996 the Besancon Historical Society established as part of its archives the "Album in the Attic Project." The project was headed by Father Thom Lombardi and Diana Voors. The purpose of the project was to collect photographs which documented the rich history of the settlers in eastern Allen County (mainly Jefferson, Jackson, Madison and Monroe Townships) from the 1850's through the 1920's. The archives now has over 1000 photos of people, towns, farms, transportation and events.

The St. Louis Besancon district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 and in 2000 the Besancon Historical Society presented a plaque commemorating this occasion. This plaque is located inside the church. The stained glass windows in the church were donated by the families of the parish in 1871 when the present structure was built. The names on the lower part of the windows are Bertrand, Begue, Beugnot, Bowers, Chevillot, Cochoit, Cunin, Didier, Dodane, Dupeyron, Frene, Girard, Girardat, Gladieux, Havert, Huguenard, Joly , Kline, Loraine, Monnot, Pailloz, Pepe, Pernot, Rausis, Roy, Schmucker, Sebastian, Urbaine and Voirol. In 1996 a dedication of the restoration of the windows was held. The descendents of the original donors responded overwhelmingly with donations to this project. Other prominent names that have been in the vicinity of Besancon are Bacon, Beauchot, Converset, Coonrod, Coulardot, Dager, Giant, Gromeaux, Jacquay, Lomont, Lothamer, Martin, Monnier, Rorick, Roussey, Sordelet, Ternet, Townsend, Venderly, and Yoquelet.

The Holy Trinity Window over the main entrance to St. Louis Church in Besancon is seen at top left.