Give a little bit of ‘Akron’ this Christmas

Posted December 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

Looking for a unique gift that will be used over and over again? Then add a few Akron Quasquicentennial Books to the pile of gifts under the Christmas tree?

j Akron Quasqui book sale with Marcene Heeren.tif

Akron Quasquicentennial Committee Chairperson Marcene Heeren encourages people to buy Akron’s 125th Anniversary historical book (r) for Christmas gifts. It’s a great companion book to Akron’s Centennial Book (l) and soon there will be none left.

And this month, the price has been discounted. There are less than 200 books left to sell, and the Akron Quasquicentennial Committee would like to see all of the books find a home with some past or present Akron resident or family member. To purchase a book or two, call Akron City Hall at 712-568-2041 or stop in at Akron City Hall. The discounted price is $45 per book, and if the book needs mailed, there is a $5 shipping cost.

“If someone on your list of people to purchase gifts for has any connection to Akron, Iowa, this book is the perfect gift,” said Akron Quasquicentennial Committee Chairperson Marcene Heeren. “If they have lived here or have family here, they’ll be interested in the book and what it has to say.”

The Akron Quasquicentennial Book contains information about Akron businesses, schools, churches, organizations and families — the last 30 years of Akron’s history, from 1982 to 2012.

The Akron Quasquicentennial Book was specifically made to be a companion book to the original Akron Centennial Book, which documents Akron’s first 100 years of history, said Heeren. That book is affectionately called the “Green Book” or “Akron’s Bible” by local folks — it’s hardcover is the color green and contains a gold embossment on the cover.

This new book is the same style: a hardcover book the same size as the Centennial book but blue in color with a gold embossing of the 125th anniversary logo, she said.

“The books go together,” said Heeren, explaining the best thing from the Centennial celebration was the Green Book.

“It’s such a good reference book,” she said. “It has so much information on businesses and families.”

“For me and a lot of other people, it has proved true through the years,” said Heeren. “We’ll be talking about something and we’ll wonder when that started or what was her name before she got married and pretty soon, we’re going and looking in the book to find the answer.”

“So when we started planning the Quasquicentennial, we thought a book was something we should do — another book to bring Akron’s history up-to-date with what happened since our Centennial.”

Noting there were some problems getting this blue book published in a timely manner, Heeren explained the Akron Quasquicentennial Book contains all of people’s original submissions for it plus any submissions and research made during the second attempt at publishing the book.

The delay gave us the opportunity to let families who hadn’t submitted any family history for the Centennial book and the Quasquicentennial book the time to do so.

Plus, more information on Akron’s history was gathered. That’s why although the Quasquicentennial was in 2007, but the book actually contains information through early 2012.

“There is a wealth of information in this blue book,” said Heeren. “Some of it does go back to the historical beginnings — there is a lot of ‘first-time’ information on people and businesses as well as updates.”

“It’s a really good companion book for the green book,” she said. “It’s something that will last a long time.”

The Akron Quasquicentennial Book’s unique features include:

• Akron-Westfield Community School photographs of classes from 1981 – 2011. Anyone who doesn’t have a school yearbook from their school days will appreciate this chapter of the book. There is also information on both the Greater Hoyt and Akron-Westfield School Districts.

• Quasquicentennial celebration photographs.

• Town’s factual tidbits from 1981 – 2011 — everything from business openings and closings to students’ academic and athletic achievements, and other interesting happenings in the community’s last 30 years.

• Business histories including those submitted by past and present business owners and information gathered by book editor Julie Ann Madden. The book contains “block-by-block” photographs of downtown Akron and histories of commercial district street addresses plus more than 200 individual business summaries with photographs.

• Information on about 30 organizations, including the Akron Opera House and the Albert E. Hoschler American Legion Post No. 186 and its Auxiliary. There is a complete list of theater productions and the roster of deceased veterans whose flags fly in the Legion’s Avenue of Flags.

• Church histories of 15 area churches — some have since closed and others are brand new churches; and

• About 150 pages of family histories.

“It’s a good quality book,” said Heeren. “We’re hoping to sell all of the books.”

There are a few of the Green books also available.

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