The book “Hardin County, Kentucky History and Families 225th Anniversary Edition” has now been awarded.
The Hardin County Family History Book is the 2021 winner of the Acclaim Press Local History Book of the Year award.
The award is given each year to one of the many books published by Sikeston, Missouri-based Acclaim Press, for the most outstanding specialty book of the previous year.
Bill Bennett, president of the history book project and lead author, said Doug Sikes of Acclaim Press will present him with the award in February.
“I only have pink tickles. It’s unexpected,” Bennett said.
Bennett led a team from the Hardin County Museum of History that compiled a history of Hardin County and its many towns and communities throughout the county.
Others who helped the roughly four-year effort that faced various setbacks due to COVID-19 and machine failures include Robert Prather of Acclaim Press, Peggy Simmons, Steve Rafferty, Elvin Smith, Gary Griffin, John Lay and Paul Urbahns.
“Robert Prather told me that writing a book is like giving birth, it’s a lot of pain in the process, but once it’s done, it’s a lot of joy. And he’s absolutely right,” Bennett said. “Once we finished it and saw the end result, it was such a joy, and I am honored to be able to do this for the people of Hardin County and for the museum.”
The large, 176-page hardcover coffee table book is illustrated with hundreds of historic photographs on topics such as agriculture, transportation, schools, industry, sports, and families. The book includes: explorers and founders, such as John Severns and Daniel and Squire Boone; prominent figures in law and government; the Lincoln family; military members; sports figures; artists and entertainers; and figures of business and commerce.
One of the notable sports figures is Bennett’s father, William Bennett, who was the first Hardin County resident to receive a football scholarship from an NCAA Division I school, the University of Tennessee, Bennett said.
“My favorite part of that book while working on it was writing about my father,” Bennett said, noting that he lost his father in 1989 to a heart attack. “I think about him every day.”
Bennett said he has written more than 30 academic and research papers in chemistry and microbiology over his 35-year career, but has never received an award for it. He called getting an award for this book “the icing on the cake.”
Books can be purchased from 10 am to 2 pm Tuesday through Saturday at the Hardin County Museum of History in Elizabethtown. The cost is $60. Bennett said they don’t have the ability to send or accept credit cards for books.
If someone wants to submit a book, Bennett said they can contact Acclaim Press.
For more information on the history book, people can contact Bennett at 270-765-7393.
All proceeds from the book benefit the Hardin County Museum of History.
“This book will bring funds to the museum for a long time. It is built to last 250 years,” Bennett said.
You can contact Mary Alford at 270-505-1417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.