The Monroe County Historical Society was organized in 1905 when interested members of the community met at the Christian Church and heard Rev. Amzi Atwater read a paper titled “Recollections of the University 40 Years Ago.” Atwater was the first president and curator of the Society.
Atwater came to Bloomington to attend Indiana University in 1864. After completing two degrees, he was called to be the pastor of a Disciples church in Ohio, but returned to IU in 1870 to teach Latin and Greek. In 1888, he was made a vice president of the university and served in that capacity for four years.