Greene County authors topic of Historical Society program

Jane Millard

When Jane Millard, director of the Jefferson public library, began a search in recent years to identify all book authors with Greene County roots or ties, she was pleasantly surprised.

“I’ve got a list of more than 30 authors right now – I think that’s pretty good – and I know I’m going to be hearing about more of them,” she said. “I look forward to that.”

She’ll share stories about those she already knows in a Greene County Historical Society program on Friday, Nov. 3, at the United Methodist Church in Scranton.

Millard, a Jefferson native who has worked at the library since 1989 and has been its director since the year 2000, said her research project started when there was an all-school reunion in Jefferson in 2013.

“I always like for the library to be involved in community events, and I knew of a few Jefferson or Jefferson-Scranton graduates who were coming back who’d written books,” she said. “So I went to the reunion planning committee, and asked if we could also have an authors’ event at the library that weekend, and we did. I think we had 11 authors take part that day, and we had a big crowd turn out at the library — old friends, teachers and local people who just enjoy books. We had great discussions. It really turned into a fun event.”

That gave Millard the idea to expand her search for authors from all of Greene County.
“On my list now, we’ve got people who were born and raised here, others who have moved in, others who married people from here – so there’s a wide variety – but all have ties one way or another to the county,” she said. “They’ve done books on many different subjects. They include histories, biographies, children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, accounting, golf courses and other sports.”

She’ll have books on display at the historical program.

Some of the authors were doing their writing as early as the 1940s. Some are writing today.
“I know of one woman in town who I am sure has done several books, but I think she has written them under a pen name,” Millard said. “And so far I haven’t been able to get her to tell me about her books.”

She said she not only wants to know about Greene County authors, she also wants to collect their books to have available in the library, along with books by authors from across Iowa.

A lunch at 12 noon in the church hall in Scranton is $8 for Historical Society members, $10 for non-members. The members should phone reservations to their community contacts by Wednesday, Nov. 1. Others can RSVP for lunch by calling Nancy Hanaman, vice-president of the historical society, at 515-436-7684. The program at 1 pm in the church sanctuary is free.

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