A fifteen member Board of Directors and the museum director govern the activities of the Bureau County Historical Society, a not-for-profit organization which depends entirely on memberships and donations. Annual or life memberships in the society can be purchased. The Society is an outgrowth of the Old Settlers Meeting of January 12, 1865, held in Converse Hall, Princeton. The Early Settlers Society of Bureau County was proposed as a permanent organization in September 1867. The members were encouraged to save items for use in a future museum.
A resolution was adopted at the 46th Annual Meeting in 1911 to organize a Bureau County Historical Society. The Early Settlers Association disbanded in 1920 and united with the Bureau County Historical Society. The society was then given space in the new Courthouse for a museum where exhibits were on display from 1938 to 1948. Articles of historical value continue to be gratefully received.