2014-03-19 / Front Page

Book signing for The History of Millen and Jenkins County

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor

Patricia Fries Hilliard Patricia Fries Hilliard From librarian to published author, the transition seems natural for Patricia Fries Hilliard. She recently had her first book published - The History of Millen and Jenkins County.

Mrs. Hilliard, the daughter of the late Robert and Minnie Lee Fries of Millen, first conceived the idea for the book during her 17 years of employment as a reference librarian at the Dublin Library. She holds a B.A. in History and a Master’s in Librarianship.

“I used The History of Laurens County a lot in my work and noticed that there was not a history book on Jenkins County. And I wanted Jenkins County to have one. So, I decided to work on it when I retired. I used a lot of what had already been done, but expanded on it,” Mrs. Hilliard said.

“Some of the information, such as the Chapter on The Indian period, was researched by me, quoting heavily from my sources, since I’m not well-versed on the subject. Some of the information written by others has never been published before such as Nina Beth Sheppard Terrell’s information on the McMillan House and Don Perkins’ information on the Brinson Family. Other articles written by others appeared in The Millen News’s 2005 Centennial Edition and were added to the book with permission. Other information was found in scrapbooks, such as Celestine Sibley’s article on The Charm Barn. The Oral Histories are never before published stories which are the stories of the interviewees. Some information for the Families Chapter was supplied by family members such as Jane Daniel Johnson or B. Lewis Brinson on the Lanes,” Mrs. Hilliard explained.

“ I wrote the information on the Fries Family based on my family research. Jody Lane furnished her paper on the Hotel Estelle which she made an A on and gave permission to use it. Some people furnished photos and bios for the chapter, Men and Women of Mark, such as Sylvia N. Summers for Sid Newton; Delphine Swanson for Beulah Ramsey. Some of the chapter headings were borrowed from the 2005 Centennial Edition, I.e. Clubs and Organizations, Churches, Agriculture, Education, Business and Industry, etc.,” she said.

Mrs. Hilliard states that she deeply appreciates all who assisted her with the project and that she was careful to give credit to everyone. During the process, she also learned about the book publishing industry and will share those experiences during a book signing to be held 2 p. m. Saturday, March 22, at the Jenkins County Memorial Library.

The 400 page book contains 164 figures (photos, maps, etc.), a 29-page Index with 24 chapters and personal interviews with long- time Jenkins County residents.

“I couldn’t have done this without the help of my sister, Janice Pennington, and all the others who assisted me,” said Mrs. Hilliard.

The cost of the book is $30. Anyone who assisted Mrs. Hilliard with it may purchase a copy for $25.

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