First Friday Forum For Women Welcomes Historian, Author Dixie Kline Richardson
A relatively small group of approximately 12 dedicated ladies gathered early Friday morning for their monthly installment of the “First Friday Forum For Women,” presented by Dr. Diane Wells. This month’s featured speaker was well-known Owen County historian and author, Dixie Kline Richardson.
Mrs. Richardson gave a slideshow presentation as well as a bit of a teaser about the life and times of one time Owen County resident, Baynard Rush Hall, based on her book, ‘Baynard Rush Hall – His Story.’
Born in 1798 in Philadelphia, Baynard Hall was a Presbyterian pastor, author and educator who went on to become the first instructor at what is now Indiana University in Bloomington. He lost his parents at an early age and became the ward of his cousin, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a founding father of the United States and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Baynard Hall was raised by a free black slave woman by the name of Daphne Peterson who was named his nurse in his father’s will.
Baynard Hall wrote a book entitled ‘The New Purchase,’ based on Owen and Monroe counties. He was a very gifted author and Mrs. Richardson, in her own words, said in her book, “Pardon my bias. I’ve been in love with Baynard Rush Hall since the day I accidentally jostled his first book off a library shelf and it fell into my hands. That was over 35 years ago.”
You can tell of her love of history and what Baynard Rush Hall did for not only literature, but for the state of Indiana, in Mrs. Richardson’s presentation and in the first few pages of her book. I believe the “First Friday Forum” was enjoyed by all in attendance and those in attendance left with a little knowledge and a desire to learn more about Baynard Rush Hall.
According to “First Friday Forum For Women” founder Dr. Wells, this now past program will wrap up the informative series for now. It has been a monthly event for the past four years and will cease at this time.
Mrs. Richardson’s book can be borrowed from the Owen County Public Library, or may be purchased at the Owen County Heritage and Culture Center in Spencer, the Ten O’Clock Line Treaty Museum in Gosport, or at the Canyon Inn inside McCormick’s Creek State Park.
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