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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Dr. Howard Holland Minor - New Book

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, April 24, 2016

A new book about local history and a famous local family will be unveiled tomorrow at 1:00 pm at the Schiappa Branch Library Conference Room.

 

“My Dad the Doctor: the Story of Howard Holland Minor” has been written by his daughter, Mary Minor Evans.

 

She grew up in Steubenville and spent summers in Chautauqua, NY.  Mary Minor Evans currently lives in Duluth, MN where she is active in the community.

 

Her lifelong interest in genealogy and history has caused her to write not only this new book about her father, but she also authored the book “A Twentieth Century Lady: the Story of Katharine Sinclair Minor” (1908-1998) about her mother in 1998.

 

Her aunt, Wilma Sinclair LeVan Baker, was the author of the book, “Father and his Town” in 1962 which is a biography of Dohrman James Sinclair (1860-1915), the patriarch of the Sinclair Family and promoter of our area.

 

His wife, Mary Donaldson Sinclair (1862-1940) was also a genealogist and historian and her historical sketches published in the local newspaper in the 1930s continue to be a basis for local history research as “Pioneer Days,” a 1962 reprint of the earlier works.

 

Thanks to all of these folks, a lot of local history information exists today for all to use and enjoy in the Local History and Genealogical Dept. of our library system.

 

The new book being released tomorrow tells the story of the family life of Dr. Minor (1905-1978) who attended medical school during the depression and found love in his hometown.

 

Aside from his biographical information, the book is the story of the Ohio River Valley and the settlers who arrived here beginning in the 1780s.

 

Dr. Minor was the son of a general practitioner and followed his father in medicine.  During World War II, he filled the need for doctors and afterwards concentrated his attention on the field of surgery.

 

In Steubenville, he established a surgical practice as the only board certified doctor.

 

His love of history and his family was passed on to the author of this new book who combines that history with the tales of the Upper Ohio River Valley in a loving tale.

 

The first seventy pages of the book discuss the life and history of the Minor Family as they centered their life around Toronto.  Other family members lived up and down the river valley.

 

In 1918, Dr. Howard C. Minor relocated his medical practice to Steubenville, and the family moved to the city as well.  His son, Howard H. Minor, the subject of the new book, graduated with the Class of 1923 from Steubenville High School.

 

The future doctor attended Washington & Jefferson College followed by the University Of Pennsylvania Medical School with a 1931 graduation.

 

For the next 40 years, Dr. Howard H. Minor practiced medicine in Steubenville and the book documents a massive amount of local history that will be a wealth of knowledge for future generations doing research.

 

From the perspective of the library, the stories and tales of a city within the decades is invaluable for future research.  The placement of a business or institution in a particular time period is made easier by a book such as this.

 

Dr. Minor’s retirement and travels around the world are covered in the latter portion of the book, as well as his death in 1978.  Additional related family members are covered at the end of the book, another plus for the library and researchers.

 

As I read the book, I kept thinking about the documents, histories, and family tales that still exist to allow this book to be written.

 

In today’s world, we retain such little information about those who have gone by, and the use of technology has only enhanced this situation.  Imagine what is lost with an accidental deletion in today’s computer world.

 

Even if you didn’t know Dr. Minor, or his family, you will enjoy this new book and all of the local tales.