In 1939, ten people expressed a desire to preserve the history of LeRoy and decided to form an organization for that purpose. They met for the first time in 1940 at the Woodward Library, and 25 people received the temporary Certificate of Incorporation for the LeRoy Historical Society. By 1945, the organization had become permanently certified, and Allen Olmsted had bequeathed the LeRoy property (now known as the LeRoy House) to the Historical Society. Its first President was Roy McPherson, and Mrs. Albert Kenny was the first curator. Townspeople, the LeRoy family, and the local DAR Society donated many of the original documents, books, pottery, and furniture. Many furnishings and paintings came from Ingham University, stored after the university closed in the 1890s.
The Society progressed rapidly with many improvements to the LeRoy House and garden and many additional pieces added to the collection. With the restoration of the Academic building behind the LeRoy House complete, the Jell-O Gallery Museum opened in 1997. Since its founding, the LeRoy Historical Society has offered countless public programs, exhibits, tours, and educational programs. It continues to be a valued resource for research. Looking forward to the future, we continue to preserve the history of LeRoy and its people and agree with one of our former Board Presidents who said, “We are grateful for the sense of continuity this living link, the LeRoy Historical Society, provides.”