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Try and Be Somebody

Becky Hatcher Crabtree with Merri Jackson Hess

Try and Be Somebody

The life of Dr. Henry Lake Dickason, first president of Bluefield State College and early leader of Black education, is documented in this biography.

Dickason was born two decades after the Civil War ended and grew up in a log cabin on Peters Mountain near Lindside, West Virginia.  He learned about slavery from his grandparents on both sides of the family, all four were slaves, his father's parents on the farm where Dr. Dickason grew up and his mother's parents on a farm at Gap Mills, West Virginia. He learned about the oppression of segregation, especially the limited opportunity for black children to get an education from the struggles of his own life. He became a driving force in racial pride and in ensuring that education was available for all those in southern West Virginia who desired to learn. 

Dickason's own thirst for knowledge led him from a rural agricultural community to an academic world, earning degrees at Ohio State University and being awarded doctorates later, one presented by Eleanor Roosevelt. He rose quietly above racial inequities and personal tragedies to hold the door open for others to have better opportunities to be educated. 

He began teaching at Bluefield Colored Institute in 1914 and was part of the evolution of the school through several roles as it became an accredited college in 1949. His fight to maintain the college and its facilities and to expand the campus to include new areas of study spanned nearly forty years. 

Read about Becky and Try and Be Somebody: Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Available on Barnes&Noble and Amazon.

A Sailor's Life in World War II

Z.W. "Ski" Kowaleski

Meet Ski - see him interviewed on KTUU

A Sailor's Life in World War IIThe story of a twenty year old enlisted in the US Navy before Pearl Harbor; his flights as turret gunner in torpedo bombers, perilous flying from aircraft carriers, bombing flights from Guadalcanal, attacking and sinking of a Japanese aircraft carrier, and the burial at sea of a German submarine captain in the North Atlantic.

From the foreword by Robert Mrazek, author of A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight: "This is the story of a true American hero, one of a small group of Americans from every part of the country who joined Torpedo Squadron Eight in the early days of the Second World War. Through a combination of courage, sacrifice, and fate, these men helped to change the course of history at the momentous battles of Midway and Guadalcanal. Their story is truly one for the ages."

Ski Kowaleski's account of Navy life provides a unique view of what it was like to be a pilot during and after World War II. The book profits are donated to the Good Sam Fund of the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.

See more reviews on Amazon.com.

Available on Barnes&Noble and Amazon.


The Taylors at Didcot
West Chester, Pennsylvania

The Taylors at Didcot  West Chester, PennsylvaniaDidcot, just north of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was the home of four generations of Taylors from 1820 when the house was built until 1923 the year of the costly fire which gutted much of the interior.

This book concentrates on the histories of Lownes, Richard, Lowndes and Archer Taylor while actually in residence at Didcot.

The goal was to preserve the materials presently available and to share them. Margaret T. Lane's dedicated research into family history was organized into The Taylors at Didcot, a history of the people who lived on or visited the family farm near West Chester, Pennsylvania from 1820 to 1996 with assistance from Constance Taylor and Cynthia Taylor Burton.

A limited number are available from Fathom Publishing.

Gilbert Cope Chart and Name Listing

Reproduction of Gilbert Cope's 1891 Chart: Descendants of Joseph Taylor, of Kennet, Chester Co., Penna. traces more than 300 descendants of Abiah Taylor and shows five generations in America with some account of their settlement.

And booklet with list of 496 names on chart in alphabetical order, original order form and description of Cope's visit to Didcot, England in 1908. Chart is 19" x 27" printed on 100# Gloss Book stock. 8.5" x 11" sixteen page booklet contains name listing and additional information. Families include Temple, Jones, Woodward, Jefferis, Cope, Reynolds, Brown, Baker, McMillan, Peirce, Pusey, Seal, Way and Gibbons.

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