A donated book, one of 7,500 given to the Books to Benefit in Normal, found its way back to its family in surprisingly direct way. The volunteer who found the book was surprised to find she is friends with the great-great-great niece of the book’s original owner.
Mary Ryder, the volunteer, asked for some help in tracking the family down, only to find the friends she asked were the relations she sought.
The book, an 1862 edition of “The Manual of the Bayonet” by George McClellan, was originally owned by Captain Reynolds, of the 83rd Regiment in Illinois. It was part of Robert Solomon’s collection and went to the organization that raises money for literacy programs by selling used books.
She was “just delighted to put (the book) back in the hands of the family,” she said.
Kathy Gossard said her grandmother had always said “we’re Yankees,” but the family had roots in Tennessee. Gossard is looking forward to sharing her great-great-great uncle’s book with other family.