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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
April brings more activity to the library, and we’re really pleased to see that the genealogy group will be meeting here at the library again—it has been a long, long two years without assembly. April 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Ripley library meeting room. Chance to catch up, talk about latest family finds, new search strategies and more. All are welcome.
We thought we’d check out the Ripley Bee from 100 years ago, and on the front page of the April 5th, 1922 issue there are the usual social events—the Progress Club had a meeting, the Rebekahs (I.O.O.F) had a successful bake sale, fire in Aberdeen destroyed the frame section of the 3-story Odd Fellows building on Main Street, several obituaries (Jessie Victor Pangburn and Florence Pickerell Davis), comments on combining schools, a review of the latest movie at the Gayety Theatre titled ‘A Virgin Paradise” with actress Pearl White, and so many other newsie tidbits.
On the same front page was the headline “Grant Centennial” and as 2022 is the celebration of Grant’s bicentennial, we had to check it out. The article really was a commentary of Grant’s earlier life, including his time in Ripley, as portrayed in Hamlin Garland’s book Ulysses S. Grant: His Life and Character which was written in 1898. It was pointed out that the school he attended was standing until a few years ago , but had been replaced by the beautiful home of learning. Mr. Garland’s take on Georgetown’s opinion of Ulysses being appointed to West Point was interesting—he stated they were not pleased and were worried he wouldn’t give credit to the district. Garland says he was the most unmilitary of boys of military age, and the story of his grandfather’s battles had seemingly made little impression, he didn’t appreciate the general muster activities of the day, and had small love for guns, and was neither a hunter or a fighter. In closing, the article states that several of Grant’s schoolmates were living in Ripley at the time he wrote the memoirs and Mr. Garland found them more gracious on their reports of Grant’s character than those of Georgetown! Russellville library has a copy of Garland’s book available for checkout.