Nesbitt Memorial Library will host a book presentation and signing by Roger C. and Marilyn B. Wade for their new book Around Columbus on Tuesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. Photographs from the Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives are used in this book and proceeds from this event will benefit the library. The library is located at 529 Washington St. in Columbus.
Roger C. and Marilyn B. Wade live in Alleyton in the bungalow-style house built by Marilyn’s great-grandfather in 1925. Marilyn’s family has been in the area since Stephen F. Austin brought in his “old three hundred.” She was born and raised in Weimar, and spent many weekends and summers with her grandmother and great grandmother in the house in which she and Roger now live.
Both Roger and Marilyn have been interested in public history for many years and were encouraged in their endeavors at Texas State University, San Marcos, where they both earned a Certificate in Public History. Before that, Roger earned a bachelor of science in applied mathematics from Brown University and an masters of business administration from Drexel University. Marilyn has a bachelor of arts in English from Texas A&M University. Both have been involved in the fields of insurance and risk management – Roger as an actuary with an accounting firm and Marilyn as a risk manager and in risk management education.
While Marilyn is retired, Roger still has his day job, but both enjoy participating in organizations in the Columbus area interested in preserving the history of Columbus and Colorado County. Marilyn is on the board and vice president of the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust Inc., president of the Dilue Rose Harris chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and a member of the John Everett chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Roger is past president of the Nesbitt Memorial Library Advisory Board, a member of the Colorado County Historical Commission and coordinator of the popular “Live Oaks and Dead Folks” annual cemetery tour.
“It is our wish that the citizens of Colorado County be able to recognize many of the buildings and some of the people depicted in the book and realize the importance of the Nesbitt Memorial Library archives in the writing of this book,” the Wades said. “For readers not from Colorado County, we would like to impart some of the local history of this very interesting and fundamentally important part of Texas.”
This pictorial history boasts more than 200 vintage images and provides readers with a unique opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community.
The county seat of Colorado County, Columbus is the oldest surveyed and platted Anglo American town in Texas. It was first platted in 1823 by Stephen F. Austin and Baron DeBastrop as a possible site for the Texas capital. It was platted again in 1837 by W.B. DeWees and J.W.E. Wallace.
Many of Austin’s “Old 300” settled in Columbus and the surrounding area including Alleyton and Glidden, which were founded as railroad towns. The area played an important role in the history of Texas including Santa Anna’s pursuit of Sam Houston’s Texas army that resulted in the burning of Columbus during the “Runaway Scrape.”
Columbus suffered other setbacks such as the long-running Stafford-Townsend feud and lawlessness resulting in disincorporation in the early 1900s, and enjoyed the good fortune of its reincorporation in the 1920s. However, today, it is a town of people who greatly value their heritage and seek to preserve it.
The authors are donating all royalties from the sale of Around Columbus to further historic preservation in the Columbus area.
Highlights of Around Columbus include:
•The majority of the images in the book are from the Nesbitt Memorial Library archives.
•The reader can trace the development of Columbus commerce since there are many photographs in the book of buildings that are still in existence.
Around Columbus will be available in a limited supply at the Nesbitt Memorial Library and can be purchased at bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.