EC Historical Society Donation

HOMAGE TO HERITAGE. Ohio residents Brent and Debbie Durkin, descendants of Albion founders George and Eliza Flower, donated a new computer and scanner to the Edwards County Historical Society in order to help preserve historical documents for the county, as well as their family legacy. Brent’s mother, Marsha, also took part in the donation, but was unable to deliver the equipment in person. Photo provided.

The Edwards County Historical Society recently received a new computer and scanner; a generous gift from some descendants of George and Eliza Julia Flower, the founders of Albion.

During Albion’s Bicentennial celebration last October, Brent and Debbie Durkin of Brunswick, Ohio and two of their teenage children visited Albion. Brent is a fourth great-grandson of George and Eliza Julia Flower, through their son Camillus Flower who married Edith Prichard. Brent’s mother, Marsha (Darland) Durken Hallin, is a third great-granddaughter of George and Eliza Julia Flower. The computer and scanner are a gift from Brent, Debbie, and Marsha.

Brent and Debbie said their family was intrigued by all of the historical documents, artifacts and historic buildings being preserved by the historical society. They also realized that it must be an enormous and costly task to maintain them. One of the most immediate, and obvious, needs of the society is the replacement of the roof on the museum at 212 West Main Street in Albion. Another urgent need is the restoration of the sagging front porch of the Washington Painter House at 223 South Fifth Street in Albion.

Brent said that on the eight-hour trip back home from Albion in October, the whole family was brainstorming ways they could help the historical society from a distance. He said that his daughter suggested that all of the manuscript materials and printed documents need to be scanned in order to preserve them, as well as being an aid to researchers. They also discussed ways they could help the society raise funds to maintain their historic buildings. The idea of setting up a web page was suggested as a means to connect with people interested in the history and genealogy of Edwards County.

The family decided that acquiring a new computer and scanner for the historical society would be key to helping the society preserve its historical assets, as well as making them available to researchers, and to help with raising funds to operate the society.

On New Year’s Day, Brent and Debbie made the trip to Albion to deliver a new computer and scanner to the historical society. They got the equipment set up that evening and began scanning information the next day. They scanned several books and over 1,000 pages of manuscript material from the historical society files that day.

Much of the scanned information will be made available on the historical society’s new website which will be set up in the coming months. An announcement of the website address will be made when it is ready for viewing.

The historical society is very grateful for the generous donation of the computer and scanner by Brent, Debbie, and Marsha. Brent and Debbie will also be helping the historical society, remotely, with various tasks such as editing photos, preparing files for searching, and managing the scanned information offsite.