Murray publishes book
on history of Hanover, Ind.
will speak May 21
at Hanover Library branch
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(May 2011) Last year while Marty Lenzini Murray
was working on her pictorial history of Hanover, Ind., she was also
busy thinking about the future as well. Even while collecting photos
and composing chapters for her own book, she took the time to meet with
area fourth-grade classes to encourage the students in their own writing.
Now that her project is complete, some of those students
will now be taking a field trip to Murrays historic home, which
incorporates walls from the 1809 log house built by her great-grandfather.
The author intends to pass around the finished book and tell each
class, One of you is going to write another history in about 50
While Murray herself was not born in Hanover and lived all over the
world before coming back to her family home, her formative years were
still touched by the town. My mother grew up here and told wonderful
stories about Hanover College and Hanover, she recalls.
These tales inspired her to look beyond her own family history and learn
more about the hometown of her ancestors. She describes the book as
a collaborative effort drawing from dozens if not hundreds of
people. It was really a community project for the town of Hanover.
She has done a wonderful job of going out into the community and
seeking out only only photographs but also stories, explains Jefferson
County Historical Society Archivist Ron Grimes. He believes that the
the resulting book really emphasizes the people and has
managed to draw out a lot of history that was out there that hadnt
by Lela Jane Bradshaw
Lenzini Murrays new book
about Hanover, Ind., contains hundreds
of photos of towns past, present.
Now the entire community can appreciate the results of
hard work with the release of Hanover. The book joins the
Madison volume in the popular Images of America series that
profiles towns across the county.
Murray said she is looking forward to reconnecting with those who made
the book possible and meeting new friends interested in history at a
series of book talks and signings over the coming weeks. A book launch
was celebrated at Madisons Village Lights Bookstore on April 23,
and upcoming talks include a presentation at the Jefferson County Historical
Society at 7 p.m. on May 12. She also plans signing events at the Jefferson
County Public Libraries, where so much of the information for the book
At 1 p.m. on May 21 she will speak at the Hanover Branch, then on May
25 a 6:30 p.m. talk will take place at the Madison Branch. These talks
will give Murray a chance to tell some stories that didnt make
their way into the book, including one that involves her home, Morgans
Raiders of the Civil War, the family silver and some very modest relatives.
The book involved thousands of hours of work, and Murry is quick to
credit the many people who helped in its creation by sharing stories
and photos. Dennis (her husband) and I examined close to 7,000
pictures while working on the book Murry says.
At least 35 families contributed to the 206 pictures that appear in
the final version. The author spent several days at the public library
gathering photos from members of the community and was even woken up
one evening by someone stopping by her house with stories of the town
to share. In the end, the hard work of all the collaborators was rewarded
as Murry says, I think the reason this is such a nice book is
that so many peoples hands touched it.
The book is sweeping in its scope, presenting ancient fossils and modern
day school children. One of the set goals of the book was a desire to
be all inclusive.
Murry was determined to show the variety of people who made up the Hanover
of yesterday and today. I wanted to get all kinds of people,
she stresses, pointing out the desire to show photos of residents of
different ages and occupations.
While Murray includes extensive coverage of the Native Americas who
lived in what would become Hanover, she found researching the earliest
inhabitants a challenge. I just wanted to know what Indians were
here no one knows, she says, explaining that much
of the information on artifacts collected in the area is unfortunately
Many artifacts were collected by farmers plowing the fields, unconcerned
with careful documentation, and the notes covering the most extensive
Hanover farm excavation were lost in a fire. Despite these challenges,
Murray worked to remain true to the past. The most important thing
I learned is you cant re-write history. What happened happened.
Those inspired by the book to learn more about area history should make
sure to visit the Jefferson County Historical Societys County
Bicentennial exhibit. On May 13, the society will present the exhibit
free to the public. The exhibit will run through the end of October
and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.
Highlights of the exhibit include a wagon crafted more than 100 years
ago at the Madison Wagon and Carriage Co., on loan from Harold Yancey;
a newly donated autograph quilt from the Deputy Bethany Baptist Church
and sewn between 1911 and 1912; and a four-piece silver church service
from Morris Chapel Methodist in Milton Township.
Were digging out stories that help tell the history of the
townships, notes Grimes.
Back to May 2011 Articles.