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Ozbirn named president of Tennessee Valley Historical Society

To her knowledge, she’s the first woman president and the first Franklin County president for the Tennessee Valley Historical Society, in a role she was voted into Jan. 24: Chris Ozbirn.

Ozbirn, director of the Franklin County Archives, said she has been on the board for the past five or six years. “Dr. Kenneth Johnson, who was acting as the interim president, called me and asked me if I would think about (accepting the office of president). Of course I told him, ‘Dr. Johnson, my plate is full.’” Ozbirn explained to Johnson that she was committed to prioritizing the Franklin County Archives. “I worked too long and hard to get the archives to put it to the side.”

But Johnson was persistent. He explained to Ozbirn that having a president from Franklin County – which, to his knowledge, had never happened – would mean more exposure for the county and its history. It took some serious soul-searching, but Ozbirn finally agreed. “I thought, I can give it a whirl,” she said.

The Tennessee Valley Historical Society was founded in 1922. Headquartered in Sheffield, the society works to preserve and promote the history of the northwest Alabama region. It also sponsors three scholarships yearly for the three students who score the highest on a history examination at the University of North Alabama.

“I’ll do my best,” Ozbirn said. “I’ve never taken on a project where I didn’t do my best.”

Membership in the historical society is open to anyone interested in the history
of this area of the Tennessee Valley. Visit for more information.