Alumni in the News In the News

December 10, 2016 at 9:31 am

English Alum Pens Book about History of Church, Springfield

The Urbana Daily Citizen writes about Ohio University alum Daniel Walter in a story headlined “Local author pens first book: Content focuses on history of High Street UMC and Springfield.”

An innocent request by a former area pastor aimed at preserving the historical documents and photographs of the 167-year-old High Street United Methodist Church in Springfield led Urbana resident and church historian Daniel Walter on a trip back in time. This journey, which led to the discovery of a close connection between the development of the city of Springfield and the church, is outlined in Walter’s first published book: “High Street United Methodist Church: A Comprehensive, Illustrated History.”

When former High Street UMC Pastor Jeff Allen suggested that someone from the church go to the basement of the 230 E. High St. building and look through three or four boxes, Walter, who was baptized at the church in 1948 and just happens to be a history buff, decided to take on the duty.

“I went down there and found 25 boxes,” he said. “I volunteered to go through them and make an attempt to preserve them and sort them, which I eventually did.”

While looking through the documents as he placed them in special archival boxes and sleeves, Walter – having grown up in Springfield – noticed something that caught his interest.

“Along the way, it became clear that the history of the church going back to 1849 was also essentially the history of Springfield and Clark County,” he said. “A lot of the movers and shakers in the community were members of High Street, so that’s when the idea of the book started to take shape.”

Walter, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University and a master’s degree in English and American literature from Ohio University, said the 300-plus-page book, which was printed in November and took about a year to write, is “essentially an ongoing history of Springfield, Clark County, and to a lesser extent Champaign County.”

Read the rest of the story in the Urbana Daily Citizen.

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