Olive is new president of Shelby County Historical Society
Published 4:54 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2015
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Dr. J. Fred Olive III was installed as the new president of the Shelby County Historical Society on Sunday, Nov. 1.
The installation completes the historic transition and retirement of Bobby Joe Seales as the society’s president and executive director of the Shelby County Museum and Archives after 16 years at the helm.
Jennifer Maier is the new executive director of the museum, located at the Old Courthouse on the roundabout in Columbiana.
Olive is greatly qualified for the position. He received his BS in history from Samford, masters of library science, education specialist and doctor of education degrees from the University of Alabama.
He recently retired as acting director UAB’s Mervyn H. Stern Library where he was also associate librarian, head of user services and educational technology services.
He served on the society’s board of directors from 2004-2008 and has been second vice president, 2008-2015.
He is a professional genealogist with the Association of Professional Genealogists and Alabama Genealogical Society, and is an accomplished author.
He has written extensive articles and publications on the Sons of American Revolution, Shelby County Historical Society, Encyclopedia of Alabama and more.
Olive has been a compatriot in the Sons of the American Revolution since 1976 when he joined the Birmingham Chapter.
He has served many offices with the chapter over the years: President (2004-2006); vice president (1977, 2002-2004); and registrar (2008-2010).
He has a dual membership with Shelby County’s Cahaba-Coosa Chapter. He is also very active is Alabama SAR having served as treasurer 2005-2006, historian 2011-2013, recording secretary 2013-2015 and is the current senior vice president.
He has received many SAR awards for his outstanding service: ALSSAR Distinguished Service Medal 2015; ALSSAR Meritorious Service Medal 2004; SAR Southern District Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster 2015; NSSAR Liberty Medal 2014; ALSSAR Bronze Good Citizenship 2010; and SAR 35-year pin.
“I wish to continue to awaken this community to the need to collect, preserve and promote the history of Shelby County and its residents,” said Olive. “I hope create a junior historian program and more interactive programs. I also hope to stabilize funding so we can increase staff to keep museum open 6 days a week.”