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Seneca writing historical book

SENECA – For the first time, Seneca residents can read a history of the area as told by residents.

A book, “The Story of Seneca, Illinois” will be published by The Seneca Historical Guild by November 2014, in time for Seneca’s sesquicentennial in 2015.

“It’s a people’s history of Seneca,” said Jeff Maierhofer, member of The Seneca Historical Guild. “All of the stories are told by people from the area.”

For the book, the historical guild is collecting stories from any families who have lived in or have ancestors who have lived in the Seneca area. The book will feature pictures and autobiographies, adding new depth to Seneca’s history.

“We should have around 200 submissions,” Maierhofer said.

The original deadline for submissions was last Friday, but has been extended to Nov. 21.

“We still have a list of people we want to talk to,” Maierhofer said. “If they don’t contact us soon, we will have to start knocking on some doors.”

The guild began taking submissions six moths ago. In a news release, guild member Colleen O’Neill thanked those who have already submitted stories.

“We are trying to get as many stories as we can,” Maierhofer said. “We want to hear from everyone.”

Those interested in submitting should contact the historical guild. Submissions should include names, the date the family arrived in Seneca, why they came, occupations, public service positions and any contributions they may have made to the community.

“If anyone is unconfident with their writing, contact the guild and a member will convert your verbal story to writing,” O’Neill said in the news release.

The guild welcomes sponsorship from businesses or families who would like to purchase a full, half or quarter of a page.

The guild also is pre-selling the book at a reduced cost to help raise funds for the publishing process. To buy a copy of the book, visit the historical guild’s website at

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