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|Monmouth College Receives Sword, Other Materials from a College Founder
|Some pieces of history that should help continue to tell the story of the area and Monmouth College are now in the college's hands.
Monmouth College president Mauri Ditzler Saturday formally accepted the donation of several items from descendants of General Abner Clark Harding, including an officer's sword, walking stick, and other items, that should be part of a permanent exhibit at the college.
Harding was an early benefactor of Monmouth College, ran the Monmouth National Bank, and had other interests, including fighting in the Civil War at the age of 55.
Ditzler says the donations will do something very important.
"Some people say the purpose of a college and its faculty is to transmit its knowledge to young people. But, in fact, the purpose of a college is to spark a love of knowledge in young people, to spark desire and interest in young people," Ditzler said. "We do that by talking to them about knowledge, but we also do that by making sure that an institution has a soul and a culture that causes young people to get excited and want to learn."
Harding also served the area for a time in Congress, aided in the building of a railroad bridge over the Mississippi River at Burlington, and helped to build the railroad between Knoxville and Burlington.
Descendants of Harding were on hand for the donation. The event was a part of Monmouth College's "Family Weekend."
(Monmouth College President Mauri Ditzler, left, and Victor Harding, Great-Great Grandson of Gen. Abner Clark Harding, display Gen. Harding's sword, now in the college's property. WGIL News Story and Photo by Will Stevenson.)
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