HU professors compile pictorial history of Huntington


Source: Lucas Bechtol, Huntington Herald-Press, 7/24/14


Two Huntington University professors have compiled a book showing a pictorial history of Huntington, called “The Images of America: Huntington.”


The book is published by Arcadia Publishing and is part of “The Images of America” series, which focuses on the history of small towns and downtowns through the use of pictures, according to Arcadia Publishing’s website.


The publisher contacted the professors, Todd Martin, a professor of English, and Jeffrey Webb, a professor of history, to do the book, Martin said.


“For me it’s been great learning much more about the city than I knew already,” he said. “It’s been a fun project.”


Webb said there were around 190 images in the book, but also includes an introduction to the book and to the chapters that give a written history of Huntington.


Each photo also has a caption, he added.


“It’s a nice overview, I think, of the history,” Webb said.


Martin said he was interested in the project because it was a great opportunity to learn more.


Webb said he had done some community study in graduate school.


“I’m very interested in how local places can manifest the histories of larger entities, like regions and even nations,” he said. “So, you can see in Huntington stuff that’s happening nationally that you’d find in a history textbook actually has its little version of that story.”


The book gives a history from the city’s founding until the present day, though Martin said they were a little limited in the exploration because the book is a pictorial history.


“Of course, that means you’re starting with the mid-19th century and working to the present,” Martin said. “So, we don’t have much of what I’d call colonial history of the place.”


During the mid-19th century is when they started having an easier time finding photos to use in telling the history, he added.


The book, which was released on Monday, costs $21.99, Martin said, but added Amazon had it for around $15 and it is available on Kindle for around $10. In addition, he said the Huntington County Historical Museum has copies of it as well as the Huntington Walgreens.


Huntington City Mayor Brooks Fetters issued a proclamation Thursday morning on the book, expressing his appreciation to Webb and Martin’s dedication in completing the book.


He said in the proclamation the book has “an informative and entertaining look” at the city’s history and encouraged all citizens to purchase the book.

Mark Wickersham, executive director, Huntington County Economic Development, added, "It's an incredible honor for our community to be included in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. A special congratulations and thanks goes to Professors Martin & Webb for giving Huntington the opportunity to be part of what may be the most recognizable and elite-quality publication in the world of historical tourism."


PHOTO CAPTION: Mayor makes proclamation, urges citizens to purchase book

Huntington City Mayor Brooks Fetters, center, proclaims his appreciation to two Huntington University professors, Todd Martin and Jeffrey Webb, who compiled a pictorial history of Huntington in a book called "Images of America: Huntington" from Arcadia Publishing. Also pictured, from left, are: Steve Kimmel, Martin, Webb and Mark Wickersham.