The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 59

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



One of the leading clergymen and educators of his time, the Rev. William Howard Hickman was active for many years in church work, the branch. Especially in Indiana, an later represented the branch of the Methodist Episcopal Church with which he was connected in large national and international gatherings. A man of many and versatile talents and high ideals and principles of living, the Rev. Dr. Hickman gained numerous friends wherever he went or lived, and rendered valuable work in the direction of social uplift and the improvement of his fellows. His death, it is hardly necessary to point out, caused wide-spread grieving among his acquaintances in all parts of the globe, for he was recognized as a useful man, whose influence and actions were for good.

Rev. William Howard Hickman was born in Crab Orchard, Kentucky, October 15, 1845, son of John and Sarah (Pitts) Hickman, families of highstanding in Virginia. After completion of his preliminary studies, he went to the De Pauw University, in Indiana, from which he received his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1873; his Master of Arts degree in 1876; and the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1889. He also studied at the Garrett Biblical Institute, in Evanston, Indiana, and the School of Oratory, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a young man when the Civil Wart tore the country with strife, and he served for three years in that conflict, having been confined in Libby Prison when Richmond fell. In 1872 he

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was ordained in the Methodist Episcopal ministry, while, in the following year, he assumed the pastorate of the parish in Lafayette, Indian, where he remained for two yeas. Then, from 1875 to 1877, he was pastor of the Attica Church; from 1877 to 1880, that at Delphi; from 1880 to 1883, the church at Frankfort; from 1884 to 1886, the First Methodist Episcopal Church at South Bend; and from 1886 to 1889, was presiding elder of the Crawfordsville District. Then, in 1890, he became president of Clark University, of Atlanta, Georgia, thus taking up administrative educational work, in which he had long been deeply interested; here he stayed until 1893. From 1894 to 1897, he was pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church at Terre Haute, Indiana; from 1897 to 1903, was chancellor of De Pauw University; from 1905 to 1910, was pastor of the First Congregational Church of Jamestown, New York; and from 1910 to 1912,, was pastor of Grace Church, at South Bend, Indiana. He built a number of churches in the course of his busy career, and made many important improvement in educational institutions, with which he was connected. In 1903 until his death he was a member of the board of trustees of the Chautauqua Institution, of New York, and from 1903 to 1905 was president of the board.

Numerous, indeed, was the interests of such a man, and great was the social work which he accomplished., he was a director of the Freedman's Aid and Southern Educational Society for more then twenty years; was three times elected delegate to general conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church; and was a member of the Ecumenical Conference of his church in London, England, in 1921. The Rev. Dr. Hickman also was active in political and civic affairs, having been a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1912 he was the candidate for Governor of Indiana on the Progressive Party ticket; and in 1916 was a candidate for Senator from Indiana. In 1918 he was chaplain for the Indiana department of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was first vice-president of the Indiana Federation of Farmers' Associations, and was chairman of the executive board oft his organization and editor of the "Hoosier Farmer Organized," its official organ. Interested in all phases of agricultural activities, he was a delegate in Chicago from the Indiana interests at the time when the National Farm Bureau was created. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, to which he was elected as a result of his brilliant scholastic attainment while engaged in academic work; and also belonged to the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, which he joined in his college days. He held membership in the University Club, of Indianapolis, Indiana. In his last years the Rev. Dr. Hickman was pastor of Trinity Church, in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was known from his youth and where he did much valuable work in religious and educational activities. The Rev. Dr. William Howard Hickman married, on May 19, 1875, Eliza Hougham, daughter of Professor John S. Hougham, of Purdue University, Indiana, who died in 1912. Four children were born to this union, namely: 1. Mary Hickman Burke, Madison, Wisconsin. 2. Emma Hickman Taylor, Washington, District of Columbia. 3. William R. Hickman, Cleveland, Ohio. 4. John S. Hickman, M. D., of Jamestown, New York. Rev. Hickman was remarried, in 1916, to Alice Thompson, of Terre Haute, Indiana, who is now living in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The death of the Rev. Dr. Hickman, which occurred June 15, 1928, came as a profound shock to his many friends and acquaintances; for, although he was in his eighty-third year, he was widely known and loved, and was still actively interested in many causes designed for the advancement of his fellow-men. It was given to him, a man of more than the usual ability of men, to attain objects beyond the achievement of others; and, in his later years, he was rewarded by the esteem and respect of the communities where he had lived and worked, and by honor and the love of men. The Rev. Dr. Hickman was, in the highest degree, a useful citizen and a devoted servant to God and the Church of the Christians.


To the superficial thinker the son of a successful man begins life with every enviable advantage; and it can not be gainsaid that some advantages are concomitants of the environment that success and wealth provide. But such a youth, nevertheless, starts under many handicaps--of a different kind, to be sure, but not less real and effective than those that hamper the average youth. More is demanded of the youth of the first named class, not only by the general public, but by his own family. It is expected of him that he will maintain, if not enhance, a prestige already well established; that he will

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begin at or near the summit of his father's achievement and go on from there. And, oftentimes, the father puts obstacles in his son's way to test his mettle and to develop individual initiative, resourcefulness, aggressiveness, and self-reliance. On the other hand, the son has the incentive and inspiration provided by the splendid example of his sire, and the ambition, if he be worthy of his forebears, to achieve by his own abilities and efforts, a place among men that will honor the family traditions and reputation. Such a man if Carl B. Eimer, of New York City, who has made an enviable record ina field widely differing from that of his scientific father, August Eimer, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this volume. Quiet, unpretentious, yet an enthusiastic and aggressive worker, possessing fine business acumen, Carl B. Eimer's vocation is in a field that offers little opportunity to be spectacular, though not less important because of that fact, in its contributions to human welfare and happiness.

In a city like New York, where people are so closely herded that only the sanitary measures developed by modern science make it possible for such a population to exist at all, the housing problem is an all-important one. The housing possibilities of Manhattan, excepting skyward, are well-nigh exhausted; yet people prefer, if possible, to live near mother earth. Mr. Eimer is one of the men who have applied trained minds to the solution of this problem, and whose accomplishments are worthy of note. He has gone into the country surrounding the metropolis and developed communities of homes that, while providing residents with all the important health-giving and social advantages of rural life, are yet within easy commuting distance of the great city. This is a social service, and it has economic aspects, too, the value and importance of which, present and future, can not be computed.

Carl B. Eimer was born in New York City, April 30, 1890, son of August and Mary L. (Amend) Eimer. It is known that the Eimer family is of ancient German lineage; but the records available in this country being with Johannes Eimer, who was born in the village of Grossen Eichen, in 1741, and died in the old family home there on November 2, 1834, where family tradition says eh spent his entire lifetime. He was a man of considerable substance, the owner of many acres, which he cultivated, and he also engaged in the manufacture of knitting yarns. He was a man of piety and established honor, an elder in the village church and he held the official public position of bailiff. He married the daughter of a neighbor, and their second son was Conrad Eimer, who was born on the homestead, November 2, 1793. He attended the Volkschule, aided his father in the cultivation of the family acres, and performed the required military service. Later, he was recalled to the colors to serve in a regiment of Hessian infantry in the Napoleonic wars in France and Spain. Upon his return to his native village he resumed the life of a husbandman and in the city of Darmstadt he held the responsible position of Rechnungsrat. Family tradition says that Conrad Eimer traveled quite extensively in his native land, and while on one of his trips, he discovered the famous "Siegfried Brunnen," the famous spring located near Goss-Ellenbach, in Odenwalde (Woden's Forest). It was largely through his efforts that a memorial shaft was erected near this spring, bearing an inscription taken from the "Nibelungenlied," a song and story made famous by the great composer, Wagner. Conrad Eimer married Marie Klein, born April 29, 1796, and who died January 1, 1877.

Frederich Eduard, the eldest of their five children, was born at the old Eimer home in Darmstadt, April 2, 1819. After completing the courses in the elementary schools of his native town, he went to Geneva, Switzerland, and the Lyons, France. in the latter city he learned the technic of dyeing silk. Success attended his venture from the beginning. Skilled in his trade, progressive and aggressive, he kept pace with improvement in dyeing technic, and his business methods were above reproach. Result: he was able at the age of Fifty to retire on the competence he had acquired--and that was a comparatively early age for retirement in those days. But he did not retire to idleness. He was a man of active mind, socially conscious, and he took a keen interest in all political and economic questions. There was a good deal of unrest in the Fatherland about the time that Mr. Eimer withdrew from business life--the Franco-Prussian War was only about two years away, and anyone who had ears could hear its bodeful rumblings. He was identified with the liberal party and joined a secret society called the "National Bund." About two thousand citizens were members of this society, all able-bodied and trained in the manual of arms. They had banded together for defense of their native land, anticipating unpre-

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paredness on the part of their government in case of an attack by Russian or France. This society of patriotic volunteers was led by the Duke of Coburg-Gotha. Mr. Eimer was also identified with one of the first life and fire insurance companies in Germany. He was associated with Professor Moldenhauer, of Grieshelm, in founding what developed into a very important manufacturing concern, the Grieshelm Chemical Works, which was located heat the city of Frankfort-on-the Main.

Frederich Eduard Eimer married, in Darmstadt, on August 17, 1848, Susanna Margarethe Jordan, daughter of Jacob and Susanne Jordan. Mr. Jordan was the city architect of Darmstadt, and was also the proprietor of a plant for the manufacture of machinery. He possessed inventive genius, which apparently was passed on to his grandson, August (q. v.). The most notable of his inventions was, perhaps, what was known as a hallow-pipe press. Frederich Eduard Eimer died in his native city in January, 1906, at the advanced age of eighty-seven. He and his wife were the parents of four children, of whom August was next to the youngest.

Carl B. Eimer, grandson of Frederich Eduard And Susanne Margarethe (Jordan) Eimer, and son of August Eimer, was born in New York City, April 30, 1890. He took his Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University in 1911. Later, he pursued the course in law at New York University, from which he was graduated in 1918 with the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence, and was admitted to the bar that year. this course was taken at the suggestion of his father, who desired to see one member of the family represented in the profession of the law. But Mr. Eimer has never tried to develop a large practice a lawyer. Soon after completing his course at Columbia, Mr. Eimer became identified with the Amsterdam Development and Sales company, which was engaged in real estate development operations, and his law studies were carried on in the afternoons in addition to the performance of his duties as treasurer of the above-named corporation. His legal specialties are real estate law, corporations and decedent's estates. The constructive and creative instincts which Mr. Eimer has undoubtedly inherited from his paternal forebears, find its expression in his case in the development of farm land into organized communities. He takes a vacant farm, say of ten to fifty acres, has the tract plotted, cut streets through, sells lots, encourages building and by and by a little village has grown where weeks and brush once held sway, or an addition to a village. A few illustrative examples may be cited. The village of Malvern is the greatest achievement of the Amsterdam Development and Sales Company, of which Mr. Eimer is treasurer and director. The site was purchased before the war. It lay on a branch line of the Long Island Railroad, over which two trains a day passed. Of course the land was purchased cheaply or the development would not have been possible. The first year only three houses were built and the World War greatly delayed all development work, but in the year after peace was declared forty-three houses were built; in 1927 one hundred and fifty houses were erected. Some idea of the increase in property values there may be gained from this transaction in 1922 the company sold a business plot for $4,200, five years later the purchaser sold it for $27,000 cash. Sparkill, this State, on the western side of the Hudson, is another interesting development. This land was purchased in anticipation of the building of the Hudson River bridge. It is two miles from the New Jersey State line. Sidewalks have been laid, streets have been laid, and water and electricity installed. A fine residential neighborhood is planned, building restrictions requiring that houses shall cost not less than eight thousand dollars. Mr. Eimer was a charter member of the Interstate Hudson River Bridge Association, and he took an active and very effective part in getting the movement for that enterprise well started. He was largely instrumental in getting the endorsement of the undertaking by the Long Island Real Estate Board, the State Association of Real Estate Boards, the Rockland County Real Estate Board, the Nyack Rotary Club, the West End Association, the Hamilton Community Council, and others. He also took the project up with members of the Legislature, and in other ways put much time and energy into the promotion of this great public improvement.

Mr. Eimer is president and director of the Malverne Building Company, Incorporated; owner of eight hundred acres of land on Greenwood Lake, New York; president and director of the Malverne Bond and Mortgage Company, Incorporated; president and director of Carl B. Eimer, Incorporated; vice-president and director of the Rio St. Lucie Development Corporation; vice-president and director of the Emerson Realty Company, Incorporated; director of the American Wood Impregnation Corporation; secretary and director of the Associated Realty Investors, incorporated; treasure and director

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of the Traub Holding Corporation; director and treasurer of No. 34 Irving Place Corporation and treasurer and director of Patchogue Holding Company. He is real estate advisor of "Building Age and Builders' Journal.: He is a member of the New York Real Estate Board; the Long Island Real Estate Board, of which he was secretary from 1920 to 1922; New York Association of Real Estate Boards; National Associations of Real Estate Boards. He was a member of the administrative committee of the "Own Your Own Home Exposition" in 1922, 1923, and 1924. He is a member of the Sparkill Board of Trade. His fraternity is Alpha Chi Rho, and his clubs are the Columbia University, Malverne, and Malverne Swimming, of which he is vice-president. His legal affiliations are with the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York County Lawyers' Association, and the American Bar Association. Being a lover of the great outdoors, Mr. Eimer's principal physical recreations are tennis and swimming. He is also much interest in photography. While he was in college, and for about four years subsequently, he got his greatest pleasure in amateur theatricals.

Soon after the United States declared war against Germany and before the draft became effective, Mr. Eimer sought to enlist, as a volunteer, but he was rejected on account o defective eyesight.

Carl Bernard Eimer married, in New York City, February 8, 1915, Dorothy Barber, daughter of Colonel Samuel Ernest and Daisy (Kincaid) Barber. They have three children: 1. August Eimer (3). 2. Mary Louise Amend, and 3. Carl, Jr. The family reside in New York City, and have their summer home at Byram Shore, East Port Chester, Connecticut.


Beginning with the earliest colonists and continuing down to the present time, German names emblazon every page of New York history. A very large column would scarce suffice to include even a brief resume of their valuable contributions to every phase of the State's development, commercial, industrial, moral and spiritual. In every war in which this State has participated men of German birth or ancestry have proven their loyalty and patriotism, and adding prestige to the splendid record of their race. During the middle of the nineteenth century unsettled conditions in the Fatherland worked greatly to the advantage of the United States' for, as a result, there came an influx of thoroughly trained Germans, and at a time when such acquisitions of skill and learning were greatly needed to help carry forward the phenomenal economic developments being made in that unique period in the nation's history.

Among the men of that type was August Eimer, who has written his name indelibly in the commercial, industrial and civic annals of New York. An outline of the Eimer genealogy appears on another page of this history; suffices it to say here that Mr. Eimer has proven himself a worthy scion of a fine family tree. He was born in Darmstadt, for generations the home of the Eimers, in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, November 10, 1853. He has passed beyond the span of life allotted by the Psalmist, yet he still is a constructive force in the circles which have for so long been the scene of his activities. His early education was received in Schmidt's Schule, a private institution, and his formal education was completed in the Real-Schule, a government school. His father operated a dyeing establishment and has studied some chemistry. He was also one of the original founders of the famous Griesheim Chemical Works, near Frankfort-on-the-Main, and his shares are now in the possession of his sons, of whom we are writing. This company was finally merged with what have since become the largest chemical interests in the world, familiarly known as the "I. G.," of Germany. It is probable that August Eimer's choice of his vocation in life was influenced largely by that factor in his environment. At any rate, he next served a three-years' apprenticeship with a prominent pharmacist, upon the completion of which he passed the government examination with honors and received the degree of pharmacist, or apothecary. However, his ambition was not yet satisfied; so he took advanced work in chemistry and pharmacy at the Polytechnicum in Zurich, Switzerland. During the Franco-Prussian War he was a resident of his native city and served professionally in connection with the military hospitals.

The first of the Eimer family to come to America was August's uncle, Carl Eimer. He formed a partnership with Bernard C. Amend and they had a drugstore at the corner of Third Avenue and Eighteenth Street, New York City. From boyhood young August had felt that this country would prove the land of opportunity for him and he resolved to come here when the proper time arrived. Having completed his apprenticeship and technical

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Studies and had some practical experience, young Eimer, then not quite twenty years of age, decided to venture to the New World. He arrived in New York City in October, 1873, and events have since demonstrated that he made no mistake. He became associated with the firm of Eimer and Amend, then doing a retail business, and the business began to develop from that time. With the energy, optimism and ambition of youth, he sought and found ways and means to expand the scope of the business. He had not been long in this country when he discovered that pharmacists and chemical laboratories here were behind those in Germany in their technical equipment, and that little, if any, advanced scientific apparatus for their work was produced in America. So, in the spring of 1874, he returned to Germany and made arrangements with leading manufacturers of druggists' and chemists' supplies to handle their products as exclusive representatives. This service was greatly appreciated by the trade, and it resulted in the development of one of the most important departments in the Eimer and Amend business, and the firm soon won a foremost place among the pharmacal houses of the country. The business was incorporated in 1809. Mr. Eimer became its president in 1915 and continued in that office until 1926, when, after fifty-one years of continuous service, he relinquished that executive responsibility to younger shoulders; however, he has continued as a director of the company to the present time.

Always of a progressive, inquisitive mind, Mr. Eimer from his youth envisioned great possibilities fro chemistry and metallurgy. As far back as 1868 his imagination had been fired by the sight of a beautiful, silvery, jewel casket made of aluminum. This metal has been produced by the ingenious process of Professor St. Claire Deville, of Paris. Young Eimer felt then and there that a great future was in store for the new, light, silvery metal. And Mr. Eimer had a great deal to do in later years with promoting the production of metals by the hydro-electric process when he became one of the original owners of the Willson Aluminum Company. The discovery by this company on May 2, 1892, of calcium carbide and acetylene gas while experimenting in the production of aluminum is interesting. The following account is taken from a paper presented by Mr. Eimer at the general meeting of the American Electro-Chemical Society in Philadelphia, in April, 1927.

In an attempt to produce metallic calcium which would in form react with A1203 to produce aluminum, Willson charged the furnace with a lot of lime and carbon. He did not, of course, et any metallic calcium; but next morning, after the furnace had cooled sufficiently, the charge was thrown on a heap in the yard. At noontime, after a heavy rain-storm had set in, one of the employees, going out to lunch lit his pipe and threw the burning match unintentionally onto the heap of stuff from the furnace. Lo and behold, the heap of "black" stones took fire!……… The black mass proved to be calcium carbide, and the gas which had taken fire, acetylene.

Everybody knows the important effect that discovery had upon modern life. It also meant much to the firm of Eimer and Amend, who became sales agents for the calcium carbide. They fitted out a laboratory for developing chemical uses for acetylene gas. There they also produced chloroform, and aldehyde, but not on a commercial scale.

After the Spanish-American War a large demand arose for high per cent ferro-chrome for use in the manufacture of armor-plate for President Roosevelt's new armored warships. The Willson Aluminum Company, from which Mr. Willson had in the meantime retired, produced this new alloy, which was made in electric furnaces, and the current which was supplied by waterpower. Its use reduced by one-half the weight of armor-plate that had up to that time burdened out warships. The Willson concern supplied the new ferro-chrome to the Carnegie Steel Company, the Bethlehem Steel Company, the Maryland Steel Company and the Firth-Sterling Steel Company, the latter company using the alloy in the manufacture of projectiles. Space here will not permit the details of the interesting work done in developing these processes on a commercial scale; but enough has been given, with items that follow, to show what an important factor Mr. Eimer has been in the modern advancement of chemistry and metallurgy. It was he who brought the first radium to this country.

As a young pharmacist he became interested in carbon tetrachloride, a liquid carbide, which was then new. In the course of some experiments he discovered that a mixture of benzol and the new liquid carbide was a very efficient grease-spot remover, and it is today used as a cleansing compound. It will soon be used quite generally in electrically heated boilers under patents that have recently been allowed; it has proven to be an efficient fire-extinguisher and a valuable insulating fluid. Ethylchloride, now much used in modern refrigeration, also received his attention. He was not so certain

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that his college professor was accurate when he taught that nitrogen was a very inert element. In the paper already referred to, Mr. Eimer says:

Years later, at Kanawha Falls, West Virginia, when we made titanium carbide, our electrically fused product as it ram from the furnace would absorb nitrogen from the air with such avidity that it seemed impossible to produce the carbide with less than 14 to 17 per cent of titanium nitride. When I powdered this product and treated it with soda line, I obtained ammonia.

Mr. Eimer has won special prominence as an inventor and constructor of electric furnaces, manufactured originally by him for scientific and laboratory purposes. They were produced by the Electric Heating Apparatus Company of New York, of which is the proprietor, the name of which has been changed to Heavy Duty Electric Furnace Company. This brief outline can convey no conception of the grinding labor, the grievous discouragements, the anxious hours and days involved in making these enterprises practical commercial successes, nor of the financial ability required. From the small scientific electric apparatus he has devolved the line of big, technical electric furnaces for steel, brass and enameling industries, with which Mr. Eimer is still connected. These electric furnaces are gradually taking the place of the oil and natural gas furnaces which until now have been the only type available. The Heavy Duty Electric Furnace is now handled by a subsidiary of the great North American Company.

Other patents have been allowed Mr. Eimer on what he calls "The Bandit Proof Bag." The bag is attached to the carrier's wrist, or body by a chain. If a thief attempts to snatch the bag, a clever contrivance automatically discharges a chemical fluid creating, the moment it comes in contact with the air, a white cloud-like steam or smoke, enveloping the bag and making it conspicuous wherever it may be. If a struggle ensues the clothes and shoes of the would-be thief are sprinkled with the smoking fluid, which continues to smoke, thus making it easy to trail him ina crowd if he attempts to run away, as he surely would in such circumstances. The chemical fluid injuries neither flesh nor fabric.

Men like August Eimer, who contribute to the advancement and permanent welfare of mankind, seldom get a tithe of the credit and recognition (outside limited scientific circles) that their endless labor and constructive achievement merit; yet is to men such as he, working in comparative privacy and indifferent to popular acclaim, that modern civilization owes most of its distinctive characteristics and qualities.

Like many men of his calibre, Mr. Eimer's interests, are broad and varied. As president and director of Eimer and Amend, Incorporated, he was largely instrumental in developing that company to its present magnitude and importance in its field. He is also president of the Amsterdam Development and Sales Corporation; president of the Patrchogue Holding Company. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Electro-Chemical Society, the Chemists Club, and various other scientific organizations; also of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History.

In New York City, on September 19, 1877, August Eimer married Mary L. Amend, who was born April 4, 1859, daughter of Bernard G. and Bertha (Schenck) Amend, and who great-grandfather was once burgomaster of Frankfort-on-the-Main. Mr. and Mrs. Eimer celebrated their golden wedding on September 19, 1927. From this happy union five children were born: 1. Edward, who died in infancy. 2. Elsa, an artist, was born December 12, 1880. She was educated in New York City and Darmstadt. 3. August Otto, who was born July 8, 1884; graduated from Columbia University and was an officer in several of the companies of which his father is president. He married June Prudhomme, of New Orleans. He died April 13, 1925, and thus came to an untimely end a most prominent career. He had been president of his class alumni association and his passing was widely mourned, for he had the happy faculty of attracting and holding friends. 4. Walter, who was born September 8, 1887, graduated from Columbia University as a Doctor of Pharmacy and has since been identified with Eimer and Amend, Incorporated, in an official capacity. 5. Carl B., of whom a sketch appears on preceding pages.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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