Family Bible


One of the more interesting aspects of some artifacts is the physical journeys they make. Kelly from Pennsylvania submitted her husband Mark’s family bible which has traveled a long way in its nearly 150-year life. The book was published on Arch Street in Philadelphia in 1878 and at some point, made its way to Mark’s grandmother’s home in Ohio. From there it moved to Kentucky with Mark’s father. Mark inherited it and he and Kelly took it to their residence just north of Philadelphia. The Bible has circled back to be within 50 miles of its place of origin and Kelly and Mark sometimes visit Arch Street.

Ashland has in its collections a Bible nearly identical to Mark’s. It was printed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1885. In 1888, Howard Gratz presented it to his new bride, Henry Clay’s great-granddaughter, Nettie Erwin. Nettie died a short time later and her family inherited the bible. It eventually made its way back to Lexington, then to Florida, and finally ended up in Georgia. Ashland acquired it from its last owner and returned it to Lexington, just 70 miles from where it was printed. Much like Mark’s Bible it has made a great circle and serves to document the journey of the family that owned it.

To view the Ashland Bible in our online catalog, click here!


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