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reading with the abbott sisters

The Abbott Sisters of Grand Island, along with their family, have an honored place in our library's and community's history. In celebration of Nebraska's sesquicentennial (150th year of statehood) in 2017, our library is pleased to offer a new online reading club for anyone interested in learning more about these Grand Island native sisters, their family, and their connections to Nebraska 150.  This program will help you have year-round fun learning about our community and state, and about your own family history.  

We encourage you to enroll NOW by clicking on this graphic.

The first book on your reading list is “Recollections of a Pioneer Lawyer” by O. A. Abbott.  Published in 1929, this work originally appeared in Nebraska History, Vol. 11 (1928),  published by the Nebraska State Historical Society, and we have been given permission by the Nebraska State Historical Society to reproduce online.

O. A. Abbott was Edith and Grace's father.  He settled in Grand Island in 1867 just after Nebraska statehood, and became this community's first practicing lawyer.  He was a member of Nebraska's 1871 and 1875 Constitutional Conventions and was Nebraska's first Lieutenant Governor.

Our list also includes two library histories, one a centennial history (1884-1984) written by former library board member Joan Davis and the other an account by former library director Roberta Lawrey of President Theodore Roosevelt's historic visit to Grand Island in 1903 to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Carnegie Library.

Also appearing on our book club list is a link to featured Nebraska 150 Books, an NE150 initiative to learn more about our state's history and authors. Join the fun!

This book club will start our online but branch out into programs and meetings in cooperation with the Hall County Historical Society, Prairie Pioneer Genealogical Society, Betsey Hager DAR Chapter, and Stuhr Museum.  In time we hope to have more items digitized and placed online in this book club, from the library's collections as well as our partners.

Our library will be hosting a One Book One Nebraska program on Tuesday June 6 at 5:30 pm in conjunction with our monthly book club. This year's One Book is "Black Elk Speaks" by John G. Neihardt.  

At this program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Emeritus, Timothy Anderson, will be presenting "Walking with a Dream: John Neihardt's Preparation for Black Elk Speaks."  John G. Neihardt and Nicholas Black Elk hit it off the first time they met. In a sense, both men had long been preparing for this meeting. Black Elk knew white storytellers from traveling with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and Neihardt had spent years interviewing elderly Omaha tribal members near Bancroft, Nebraska. This allowed them to forge a bond that produced a 20th Century religious classic.