Frances Strong Helman






Section D. Lot 62

Frances Strong Helman was a driving force behind the formation of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County in 1936. Born April 27, 1903, in Pitcairn, she moved with her family to Rayne Township shortly after her birth; and at the age of three moved again to Indiana. Her love of people and their stories sparked an avid interest in history and genealogy. Helman traced her own lineage back to Indiana County pioneer John Lydick.
She served the HGSIC as its president several times, most recently during the term covering the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976. Helman actively participated in the Armstrong Trail, Children of American Colonists, Daughters of American Colonists, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of 1812, and similar groups. In 1969, Helman was elected president of the national organization of the Children of the American Colonists.
In 1922, she married Blaine Helman, an employee of the Indiana Streetcar Company. In the early 1930s, Helman worked at the Indiana Hospital. She later served as Director of Indiana County Civil Defense—the only woman in the Commonwealth holding such a position. She was also designated as the County historian. Helman was a prolific writer, who published a range of articles and monographs relating to Indiana County history, genealogy, and folklore. Helman died on September 23, 1980. The HGSIC named its research library in her honor.

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