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Seymour Bluffs and Benjamin Godfrey

Seymour BluffsOn Saturday, May 20, the Genealogy & Local History Library hosted a book signing of Seymour Bluffs and Benjamin Godfrey. After a year of hard work, the book was fresh off the presses and everyone was excited to take a look. Phyllis Bechtold, author of a series of books featuring Seymour Bluffs the eagle, worked with Hayner’s Genealogy & Local History Manager, Lacy McDonald, to write the story. Alton High School Graphic Communications students, under the direction of teacher Lexa Browning-Needham, created the illustrations, Blippar app content, and page layout. Phyllis, Lacy, and Lexa all made it to Hayner for the book signing, along with students Austin Curvey, Jake Edelen, Julianna Fair, Tristan Wuellner, Anna Summers, and Chance Stice. Only Shaw Smeltzer-Baer was unable to come for the signing.

Entrepreneur Benjamin Godfrey came to Alton in the 1830s after making and losing several fortunes at sea. He was a man with a questionable past who wanted to change his ways and make a contribution to society. This book, created and published by the Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail, highlights Godfrey’s many accomplishments and lasting contributions to the Alton-Godfrey area. It also touches on Godfrey’s connections to Elijah P. Lovejoy and Abraham Lincoln. The book is available to purchase for $10 from Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail committee members Phyllis Bechtold (618) 466-1442 or Zeke Jabush (618) 466-8353. You can also get a copy at many area locations, including the Alton Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Elsah General Store, Godfrey Meat Market, Knotty by Nature in Grafton, and Mississippi Mud Pottery.

Seymour Bluffs and Benjamin Godfrey can be checked out in the Alton Square and Downtown branches (call number: EB GODFREY) and read anytime in the Genealogy & Local History Library (IR B GODFREY). And if you have a 3rd grader in the Alton School District, he or she will be reading the book as part of their local history curriculum. We hope you enjoy it!

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