GREENSBURG — In December 2011, nine devoted, lifelong Decatur Countians decided that Decatur County history was due for an update.
They joined together, these individuals, under the direction of Decatur County Historical Society Director Dustin White, spending the next several months conferencing, creating blueprints and outlines, and deliberating about the content and direction of a new book on the county’s history.
After more than a year of writing and editing, of designing and revising, the result of their hard work and intense collaboration was released this past spring by Greensburg’s own Independent Publisher, Winters Publishing.
The 115-page book, entitled “Reflections…The History of Decatur County,” starts with Decatur County pre-history – circa 12,000 BC – and ends with a section entitled, ‘2000 to the Present.’ The book’s second chapter, ‘1820 to 1840,’ picks up just before Decatur County was officially established in 1822.
White spoke briefly with the Daily News about the project last week, explaining that, to his knowledge, “Reflections” marks the third major historical tome released about Decatur County, with the last published in 1984. Before that, Lewis A. Hardy’s 1915 book, “History of Decatur County, Indiana: Its people, industries and institutions,” was the county’s official history.
White was quick to point out that “Reflections” isn’t meant to supplant the first two volumes, but rather, to compliment both by offering broader perspectives, fresh insights and new information.
Obviously, with nearly 100 years of additional history to document, “Reflections,” stands easily apart from the Hardy book, but it’s also strikingly different from the 1984 volume, White said.
The 1984 book offers a far more limited view of the area’s past, he continued, told through individual and family histories; that book, in fact, is mostly a compilation of histories submitted by individuals and families throughout the county (the Hardy book also focuses mostly on individuals and families).