Local writers, history featured in free events at Freeport Public Library

Online Staff Report

FREEPORT, Ill. — Two writers with local connections and two history programs highlight this year’s Local History and Writers Series in Freeport, Ill. All programs will be at Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport, and are open to the public, free of charge.

The story of the Rent Wars in upstate New York and the later migration of some of the participants to northwest Illinois will be presented Tuesday, Oct. 15. Wes Robinson did the research for the program and Stanley Boomgarten will make the presentation.

Stephens Automobiles were manufactured in Freeport in what was originally the Henney Buggy Company plant in downtown. Richard Farnsworth, local car restorer and expert on many things manufactured locally, will discuss the history of the Stephens Company Thursday, Oct. 24. Harvey Wilhelm will assist Farnsworth in the program.

Freeport native Austin Smith will read some of his poetry, discuss his writings, and sign copies of his book from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 26. Since leaving Freeport, Smith has earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in poetry from the University of California-Davis, and a master of fine arts in poetry from the University of Virginia. He is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University. His first full-length book of poems, Almanac, is to be released by Princeton University Press this September. Many of the poems in the book are about his family’s farm, the city of Freeport, and the rural world of northwestern Illinois. This event is offered in conjunction with Freeport Art Museum.

Following Footsteps in Freeport is a personal memoir penned by Highland Community College’s Dr. Thompson Brandt. He will discuss his work and sign copies of the book at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30. Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Freeport Rotary Club.

Cookies and coffee will be served at the evening events.

Posted Oct. 9, 2013

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