Wednesday, October 05, 2011
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'The Scully Family -- Farming the Prairie' Nov. 4

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[October 05, 2011]  ELKHART -- The final Elkhart Historical Society dinner and lecture of 2011 will be Nov. 4 at Wild Hare Café, 104 Gov. Oglesby St. in historic downtown Elkhart.

Paul Beaver, local author and historian, will be the featured speaker. Many know Beaver as a nationally recognized authority on Abraham Lincoln, but his knowledge of another local individual, William Scully, will be the focus of his November presentation. He is the author of "William Scully and the Scully Estates of Logan County, Illinois." Beaver's early research explored the vast farmland holdings of the Scully family in Illinois and other parts of the Midwest.

Scully began to drain his Illinois prairie land around 1870, using big open ditches similar to the type he was familiar with in Ireland. He was the first to use a drainage system in Logan County, and Scully tenant farmers were able to get into their fields two weeks earlier than the other farmers as a result. His son, Thomas, continued the vast drainage system, enlarging and maintaining it by adding grass waterways, small dams and promoting conservation and improvement of the soil.

Reservations for the Nov. 4 dinner and lecture must be received by Oct. 31. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the 7-8 p.m. lecture. The cost is $25 per person and includes the meal, beverage (coffee or tea), dessert, tax and gratuity, and the presentation. Diners are welcome to bring their own wine for the meal.

More information and the online printable reservation form are available at, by calling 217-947-2046 or at Horsefeathers, 104 Gov. Oglesby St. in historic downtown Elkhart.

[Text from file received from Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County]

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