Mather Lecture Series begins Sunday, September 19th

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Press release from The History Center:

Mather Lecture Series begins Sunday, September 19

(September 8, 2010) – Bill Derbyshire, a former coach and athletic director at area schools, will be the featured speaker for the first offering of the George R. Mather Lecture Series at the History Center in Fort Wayne on Sunday, September 19.

Derbyshire will speak at 2 p.m. on “Wildcat Baseball: Past, Present, and Future”.

Derbyshire has spent 36 years with the Wildcat Baseball Team in Fort Wayne. As the team celebrates its 50th year, Derbyshire will take a look at this Fort Wayne institution.

John Beatty, local historian and genealogist, will be the featured speaker for the October 3 presentation entitled “Stephen Douglas and the Presidential Campaign of 1860”.

The 2010-2011 George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series is sponsored by The Dunsire Family Foundation. All lectures in this series are free to the public and are held at the History Center, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne at 2 pm.

The fall offerings will end on November 7 with a lecture and book signing by Joe Krom entitled “Between Two Cultures: The Home of William Wells and Sweet Breeze at Fort Wayne”.

Krom’s latest book is “Heart of a Warrior” about William Wells and his Miami Indian wife, Sweet Breeze.

The lecture series will take a break in December for the 25th annual Festival of Gingerbread and begin again in January.

The 2011 schedule is:

  • January 2: Craig Berndt, “Fort Wayne’s Interurbans”
  • February 6: Doris Yerger, “20th Century African-American Women’s Clubs”
  • March 6: Craig Leonard, “The W.B. Brown Company and the Arts and Crafts Movement”
  • April 3: Margery Graham, “Preservation of Records at the Local Level: Using and Preserving Local Historical Records”
  • May 1: Angie Quinn, “‘Fearless Champion of the Oppressed, and the Advocate of the Slaves:’ The Story of Alexander T. Rankin”
  • June 5: Dan McCain, “Allen County’s Unique Landscape, from the Glacial Age to Today”

The George R. Mather Lecture Series was founded by the Rev. Mather in 1993. In the early 1990s, while serving as a member of the History Center’s board of directors, Mather proposed a series of free Sunday afternoon lectures so that everyone would have the opportunity to learn more about history that played a significant role in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Those lectures have been a staple of the History Center’s programming ever since.

A newly created blog by the History Center, “History Center Notes and Queries” is available at The blog is intended to supplement the Mather Lectures and the History Center’s publications such as the “Old Fort News” and provide information for those wishing to know more about our community as they explore the museum and other historical sites in the city and county.

For more information, contact the History Center at (260) 426-2882 or visit the website at

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