Historical book signing held in Blum
By Nathaniel Conant
November 7, 2012
Missouri Western will be hosting the signing of the book “St. Joseph Anthology: Little Known Stories of our Town” on Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Blum Union bookstore. The book includes 24 stories about St. Joseph’s foundation with authors that all have different ties to the area.
Dr. John Tapia, communication studies professor and author of seven books and 20 papers in scholarly journals, was the man behind starting and putting the book together.
“It started out as a class project and just blossomed from there,” Tapia said. “After looking at what we had, I saw that we had a good start at a book and as word about the project spread, some historians and community members familiar with the history of St. Joseph also wrote stories for inclusion in the book.”
Stories in the book start with the ice age and first people in Northwest Missouri to the building of Missouri Western in the town. Another story in the book is author Conger Beasley, Jr.’s “Dark Night of the Soul: An Account of the Lynching of 19-year-old Lloyd Warner in St. Joseph, Missouri.”
The largest collection of stories revolve around the Robidoux family, mainly Joseph who was the founder of St. Joseph, and the beginning and ending of the Pony Express. Also stories of the Tootle Opera House, which at one time was one of the top Opera houses West of Chicago, and other not well-known things here in St. Joe.
Other high points of the book include a story about “It” cars in St. Joseph along with pictures in the book. Another is about the Sutherland Dream Home.
Jennifer Higgs, 10-year resident of St. Joseph and author of a story in the book, said there are a lot of great things in the historic town.
“There are more things than you might think that draw people here,” Higgs said, “for me it was that St. Joe is home of one of the largest collections of Victorian houses in the country.”