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Ernest Sutherland Bates


   Knox County’s Ernest Sutherland Bates is introduced in Twentieth Century Authors as an “American biographer, historian, and educator.” He is further described as an “advocate of free speech, a respected critic, whose writings were lucid, readable, and soundly considered.” From his writings it is obvious that he had a vital interest in religion and the Bible.

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John Marshall Barker


   John Marshall Barker was a writer in the areas of religion and social sciences. He was born in 1849 in Fredericktown, Ohio, the son of Joseph and Nancy Barker. John attended public schools in Fredericktown. He received an AB degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1874, and a BD degree from Boston University in 1877. Shortly thereafter Barker received ordination as a minister in the Methodist Church.

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Sophia Herrick



   Sophia McIlvaine Herrick was a talented writer with multiple interests. She was born Sophia McIlvaine Bledsoe in Gambier, Ohio, in 1837, the eldest child of Albert Taylor and Harriet (Coxe) Bledsoe. Sophia’s father, a southern educator and writer, was teaching at Kenyon College at that time. Sophia was largely self-taught in her early years, with the guidance of her aunt Margaret Coxe, first in Cincinnati and finally in Dayton. From her 11th year until her marriage she lived with her parents at the University of Mississippi and the University of Virginia.

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Frank Spindler



   Frank Nicolas Spindler was best known for his writing in psychology. He was born in Logan, Ohio, in 1865. His family moved to Knox County in 1867. Frank attended public schools in Mount Vernon, but dropped out of high school to work as a clerk for The C. & G. Cooper Co., later known as Cooper-Bessemer. After several years working he went to Oberlin Academy to finish high school and continued his academic work in Oberlin College and Harvard University. With a master’s degree from Harvard in 1896 he began a teaching career in psychology and education. He married Florence Hatch from Wisconsin in 1908. The Spindlers had three children.

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Lansford Hastings



   Lansford Warren Hastings was an important writer because he wrote a book that was considered significant in the history of the American West. He was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, in 1819, the son of Waitstill and Lucinda (Wood) Hastings. Lansford studied law and in 1842, at age 24, was a practicing attorney in Mount Vernon. During that year a Dr. Elijah White came through Knox County with a company of emigrants on their way to Oregon. Hastings joined the group. He readily adapted to the pioneer life style, and he soon became a leader in the company.
   Hastings’ activities are well recorded in the lore of the early west. Irving Stone, in Men to Match My Mountains says, “About June 20, 1843, a twenty-four year old lawyer by the name of Lansford W. Hastings from Mount Vernon, Ohio, a bright, handsome, strong-jawed, fast-talking opportunist, reached the northern California border.”

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Knox County Historical Society

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