For those interested in owning a piece of Wright County history, the Wright County Finance and Taxpayer Services Department is giving away more than 100 of its old register books that date back decades.
The free books aren’t a genealogical resource because the vast majority of the hand-written notations are coded numbers that correspond with the activity being archived over the decades when Wright County was a small rural county. The oversized books would be more for aesthetic purposes than tracking down relatives from previous generations.
Corissa Aronson of the Finance Department said as part of clearing out the office in preparation to move the new Government Center early next year, the books were a logical choice because they take up a considerable amount of space and were no longer necessary to be retained. But, given the classic look of the books, disposing of them didn’t seem right, although it will require a niche audience that will be looking to bring them into their homes.
“This may not be for those who are just interested in genealogy names, because almost all what is contained in these books are transactions that have coded numbers associated to them,” Aronson said. “The primary value to these is the craftsmanship that went into them. You just don’t see that sort of eye to detail in creating a book like this – from the binding to the outer page design. They’re really quite beautiful and we didn’t want to just throw them away.”
The books are well beyond the retention schedule, ranging from the late 1800s through the 1990s – when technology made such record-keeping obsolete. They’re all finance-related, including warrant registers, collection registers, tax-related registers and settlement records. The county has the books laid out on tables in the Government Center and anyone interested can take as many as they want.
Those interested in the books can contact Aronson (763) 682-7671 or email her at Corissa.Aronson@co.wright.mn.us.
To see photos of the books, go the Wright County Facebook page (Wright County MN) for several photos of the books available.