They are out there, spread across the county. Framed and hanging on living room walls or sitting on mantels, tucked away lovingly in photo albums or maybe even tossed carelessly in a box shoved in a drawer or under a bed — thousands of little bits of Johnson County’s history, preserved for posterity in photographs.
The problem is, too many of those photos — many of them, perhaps, the only images of their kind — languish unseen save for a very few. But now Mollie Mims, a Cleburne writer and historical researcher, wants to round up those scattered bits of history into a unique record of Johnson County’s past. But she needs help to get it done.
Mims was the main volunteer coordinator in the effort that resulted in the publication of “Johnson County History.” In 2009, Mims put together a photo book called “Images of America: Cleburne,” published by Arcadia Publishing. Now she is working with Arcadia to publish a new book, this one a photographic history of Johnson County,
Mims asks that Johnson County residents who have postcards and photographs from the county’s history allow her to borrow those images to include them in “Images of America: Johnson County,” a book being published later this year in conjunction with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Johnson County Courthouse.
Mims said all the photos lent to her for the project will be scanned in “while you wait” and immediately returned to their owners. Those who lend photos to the project will also get credit in the book.
“This isn’t a family history. It’s a history of Johnson County,” Mims said, so she isn’t looking for family portrait-type photos. But what she is looking for are family heirloom photos that show places from the county — family homesteads, churches, businesses and so on.