Barbara Lindeman Jackman

As a child, Barbara Lindeman Jackman, professional librarian, teacher, counselor, thanatologist, ordained United Church of Christ minister, and board-certified chaplain, developed what was to be a lifelong passion for reading, writing, and education, thanks to her parents, who bought her books to read and tablets to write in and who instilled her with integrity and values rooted in the Christian faith, along with an openness to all spiritual paths. She is now back in the classroom working toward certification in spiritual direction, and she continues to minister to those living the questions of life, death, and the ever after. Her favorite words to live by: "Be still and know" (Psalm 46:10)

The Angels I Hold in My Arms: Hospice Vignettes and Visions of Nancy Schwichtenberg

Bryce O. Stenzel

Bryce O. Stenzel was born and raised in rural Mankato, Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Teaching and a Master's Degree in History from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He teaches full-time at the elementary and secondary levels as well as offers Community Education classes on historical topics throughout the year.

As a costumed historical interpreter, Stenzel portrays Abraham Lincoln. He is a member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters and a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. His first book, Abraham Lincoln: Man of the People was published in 1996. When he's not teaching, writing or portraying America's 16th president, Stenzel enjoys travel and photography.

Mankato Milestones, 1852-2002: The Historians Handbook of Facts and Folklore from the Mankato Area 
German Immigration to the Minnesota River Valley Frontier 1852-1865 
The Boy in Blue: Blue Earth County, Minnesota's Civil War Memorial

Lincoln for the Stages
Two Men, One Dream
To Bind the Nation’s Wounds: Lincoln’s Last Days
His Truth is Marching On
We Cannot Escape History

Dave Engen

Dave Engen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is a volunteer at KMSU radio and former coordinator of Community-Based Learning at MSU.

The Wagon Wheel Project

Edna Thayer

This is the third book authored by Edna Thayer since her retirement in l996 after having worked as a nurse for over 40 years. The first, Celebrating the First Fifty Years, (2003), was co-authored by Dr. Mary Huntley and Linda Beer. It describes the history of the first 50 years of the nursing school at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The second book, A Mirthful Spirit, Embracing Laughter for Wellness, (2007), was co-authored by Dr. Mary Huntley. It describes the benefits of joy and laughter for health and wellness. Edna has a master’s degree in nursing and a master’s in counseling.

Feisty Lydia is Edna’s first venture as a solo author. She married David Thayer on August 30, l958. They bought the lake home next to John and Lydia Ross in l976, living between Faribault and Elysian. They moved to the lake permanently in l988. David and Edna have three children. Scott and Tammy both lived at the lake home for a short time after their marriages in 1980 and 1985 respectively. The youngest child, Brenda, had the most years to enjoy the lake. The entire family enjoyed knowing Lydia and being her neighbor.

Feisty Lydia

Frank Brown

Frank Brown, D.Min., was ordained by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1957. He received his D.Min. from Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa. He served pastorates in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida prior to his Clinical Pastoral Education at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. As a Certified Supervisor of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Chaplain Brown trained C.P.E. students at the Mayo Clinic Complex in Rochester, Minnesota and then at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri over the last 25 years of his active ministry. In retirement he has become involved with organizing and teaching in the Institute For The Development of Lay Ministers in Minnesota.

Sermons For All Seasons

Julie A. Schrader

Minnesota native, Julie A. Schrader, worked as Project Director for The Heritage of Blue Earth County, from 1988 to 1990. She established her own publishing company, Minnesota Heritage Publishing, in 2001 and works as a publishing consultant helping individuals self-publish. Author of The History of the Red Jacket Valley, Maud Hart Lovelace's Deep Valley and Discover Deep Valley, her writing has also appeared in the Mankato Free Press, Applauze Magazine, Blue Earth County Historical Society and Betsy-Tacy Society newsletters. She was the coordinator of the Deep Valley Book Festival in Mankato for several years. Schrader was the Executive Director for the Betsy-Tacy Society, editor of the Deep Valley Sun (Betsy-Tacy newsletter) and the editor of the Katoland Connection paper for eight years. Schrader wrote the Afterword for The Black Angels by Maud Hart Lovelace reprinted by Minnesota Heritage Publishing in 2009. In 2010 she wrote the Afterword for HarperCollins reprints of Lovelace's of Emily of Deep Valley and Winona's Pony Cart.

The History of the Red Jacket Valley
Maud Hart Lovelace’s Deep Valley
Discover Deep Valley

Kathleen Baxter

Kathleen Baxter, a proud native of Walnut Grove, loves Laura Ingalls Wilder, but her love for Maud Hart Lovelace is greater. In college, she went on a Betsy-Tacy pilgrimage to Mankato and had many extraordinary adventures. She was a librarian in New York City, then head of children's services at Minnesota's Anoka County Library, a job that evolved into a speaking and writing career. Her seven books about getting kids excited about reading, her 17+ year column in School Library Journal magazine, and her talks in 46 states, Canada and Mexico, led to her listing in Who's Who in America.

My Betsy-Tacy Miracle: A Literary Pilgrimage to Deep Valley

Lowell Schreyer

Lowell Schreyer, a former newspaper reporter who also plays the banjo, has combined his two interests in writing about the history of the banjo, America's unofficial national musical instrument. His research—much of it conducted while playing on the Delta Queen steamboat along the same Mississippi River route of performing banjoists of 150 years earlier—has been assembled to tell the story of banjo entertainers ranging from the minstrel period of the early 1800s through the ragtime era at the beginning of the 20th century. In other writing about the banjo, he has authored the biography, The Eddie Peabody Story (2000), and contributed chapters to the books The Banjo on Record (1993) and Ragtime: Its History, Composers and Music (1985).

The Banjo Entertainers: Roots to Ragtime, A Banjo History

Marcy Koch

Marcy Koch, a former first grade teacher and current elementary school counselor, has worked with young children throughout her professional career. She and her husband, Tom, live in North Mankato, MN and have four adult children, a daughter-in-law, two sons-in-law, and four furry granddogs!

Marcy loves her job as a school counselor and counts it a privilege to help students and their families. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family and friends, traveling, and flower gardening.

Nate Discovers Kidtown

Mary True Dooley

Mary True grew up on a dairy farm 35 miles north of Detroit, a farm that was a gift to her great grandmother from her parents. Mary graduated with a bachelors degree in geography from Michigan State College and a masters, also in geography, from Northwestern University. She was always interested in college teaching, but after her marriage to William Dooley, another geographer, she was not allowed to teach in many states because of nepotism laws. They were both able to teach for the University of Maryland in their overseas program for military personnel and spent three years at various posts in England, Germany, Austria and Trieste. After their first child was born in England, they returned to the states. There she worked with the District Court systems in North Dakota and Indiana, where her husband taught. After a divorce, she returned to do her doctorate at Michigan State University and then accepted a position at Mankato State, where she taught for 24 years. She still had to write a dissertation and with three young children was in a difficult position to do field work. However, she made the letters that had been kept in the family attic in Michigan the subject of her dissertation, and they are also the basis of The Andrews Bailiwick. Mary and her brother John Andrews True co-authored the book, Growing up on Anne's Farm.

The Andrews Bailiwick
Growing up on Anne's Farm

John Andrews True

John Andrews True was raised on the family dairy farm. They milked 20-25 cows, raised young stock to replenish the herd, feed for the cattle and three horses, and navy beans and sugar beets as cash crops. John raised rabbits and swine at different times as FFA (Future Farmers of America) projects. John attended Michigan State University and received Bachelor of Science and Master of Sciences degrees in Agricultural Engineering. He worked for the US Department of Agriculture's Extension program at Kansas State University and later at the University of Minnesota. John and his sister Mary True Dooley, co-authored the book, Growing up on Anne's Farm.

Growing up on Anne's Farm

Maud Hart Lovelace

Maud Hart Lovelace was born in 1892 in Mankato, Minn. She always believed she was born to be a writer. From the time she could hold a pencil, she was writing diaries, poems, plays, and stories. When Maud was 10, her father had a booklet of her poetry printed, and by age 18, she had sold her first short story, for $10, to the Los Angeles Times.

The Hart family left Mankato shortly after Maud's high school graduation in 1910. They settled in Minneapolis, where Maud attended the University of Minnesota. In 1914 she sailed for Europe and spent the months leading up to the outbreak of World War I in England. In 1917 she married Delos W. Lovelace, a newspaper reporter and a popular writer of short stories. They had one daughter, Merian.

In 1926 her first novel, The Black Angels, was published. Five more historical novels followed. Maud wrote two of them, One Stayed at Welcome and Gentlemen from England, in collaboration with her husband.

With the publication of Betsy-Tacy in 1940, she began the successful series known as the Betsy-Tacy books, which were based on the lives of Maud (Betsy) and her best friend Bick (Tacy). The stories of her childhood in Mankato (the fictionalized Deep Valley), small-town life, family traditions, and enduring friendships continue to capture the hearts of her fans.

Maud died March 11, 1980, in Claremont, Calif., and as she requested, she was returned to her beloved Mankato and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. Her legacy lives on in the books she created and in her legion of fans, many of whom are members of the Betsy-Tacy Society, a national non-profit organization based in Mankato, MN.

The Black Angels
One Stayed at Welcome
Maud Hart Lovelace and Delos Lovelace Collected Stories Vol. 1
Maud Hart Lovelace and Delos Lovelace Collected Stories Vol. 2

The Tune is in the Tree

Michael Sellner – Illustrator

Michael Sellner has been designing and illustrating throughout his professional career, specializing in book design. He received a first place 2014 CIPA EVVY Award for Interior Design and Layout for his work on “A Country Doctor Goes to War.”

He and his wife, Teresa, and their two daughters live in North Mankato, MN. In his spare time, he enjoys attending his daughter’s gymnastics events, spending time with family and friends and exploring new destinations.

Nate Discovers Kidtown

1st place 2014 CIPA EVVY Award for Interior Design and Layout for A Country Doctor Goes to War

Tamara Thayer

Tamara Thayer grew up in Faribault, Minnesota, where she was very active in her community and church. A few of her achievements and awards include the WCCO Young Achiever’s Award, The Faribault Jaycee’s Outstanding Young Adult Award, Rice County Fair Queen, Minnesota State 4-H Ambassador and National 4-H Club Congress winner in leadership. She has a BS in community health from Mankato State University. She is a former director of Christ Through Hands Ministry With People Who Are Blind or Deaf in Faribault. She lives in Rochester, Minnesota and works at Mayo High School.

Tamara’s biggest achievements are her three children, Allison, Andrew, and Andrea. Allison Cooney graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2010 and spent 2011 teaching English in South Korea. She received her MA in intercultural studies from Dublin City University, Ireland, in 2013. Andrew Cooney lives with his wife Halie and his sons Brennan and Jackson in Gulfport, Mississippi where he is stationed in the Navy as a Seabee. Andrea Thayer is in the class of 2015 at John Marshall High School in Rochester and enjoys soccer and lacrosse. She is active in her church youth group and is preparing for her third mission trip this summer.

A Country Doctor Goes To War

2014 Winner of the National Indie Excellence Book Award
Biography category 2014 Merit Award CIPA EVVY Award
Autobiography/Biography/Memoirs category
2014-2015 1st Place Annual Literary Awards by Reader Views

Teresa Hildebrant Walter, Editor

Teresa Hildebrant Walter is the editor of Coming of Age in WWII. In this book she shares the story of her father Richard V. Hildebrant’s experiences using his letters and photographs. Teresa lives in Rochester, Minnesota with her husband Dave and three terrific daughters, Monica and husband Corey, Carmen, and Betty.

Richard V. Hildebrant never forgot his war buddies and looked them up many years after the war. He was thrilled to connect with these friends in the later years. Richard was 20 years old when the war ended in 1945.

After the war and his marriage to Betty in 1947, he packed up his wife and baby Rick in 1948 and drove his trailer to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, to complete his education courtesy of the US GI Bill. He graduated from Iowa State with a B.S. in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering in 1951 and was soon recruited by General Electric in Schenectady, NY this time moving with his wife and two children in tow. Five more children would be born in Schenectady. Richard transferred to the Johnson City, NY plant in late 1959, where the family expanded with three more children. The family would call nearby Vestal their home for the next 50+ years, with Richard retiring in 1984 after nearly 33 years with GE.

Richard left this earth in 2001, but not before he left a legacy of loyalty, love and laughter to all who knew him. Richard was born Nov. 11, 1924 and died on July 14, 2001.

Coming of Age in WWII

William E. Lass

Dr. William E. Lass, professor emeritus of history, Minnesota State University, Mankato, graduated from the Beresford, South Dakota high school in 1946. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his more than 40 years at Minnesota State University, Mankato, he specialized in teaching Minnesota History, American Frontier History and Historical Research and Writing. In addition to his books, Dr. Lass has written 35 scholarly journal articles and over 225 encyclopedia articles and book reviews. Since retiring from teaching in 2002, he has continued researching and writing with an emphasis on American frontier history and Minnesota history topics.

A South Dakota Country School Experience
Shaping the North Star State

Monica Zrust - Illustrator

Monica Zrust graduated from the Graphic Communications Program at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota. After retiring from a longtime career with the General Electric Company, Monica is now able to focus on her artistic creativity, passion for children's literature and her love for family.

Can Any Bunny Be An Easter Bunny?
Can Candy Save Christmas?

John Cross - Photographer

Award-winning photographer, John Cross worked as the senior photographer at the Mankato Free Press. He also is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Mass Media at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The Wagon Wheel Project

Donald L. Roberts

Donald L. Roberts was born in Duluth, MN, and he was raised in nearby Two Harbors. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary. He has been a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for 33 years, serving parishes in St. James, Red Wing, and Mankato, MN. His family includes his wife, Bonnie, and three children, Jeremy, Paul, and Katie.

In 1995, he developed Lou Gehrig's Disease. Based on his experience with the disease, he has written monthly devotions for his church newsletter, the Bethlehem Star. Some of the devotions are seasonal, some topical, and some were born out of personal struggle with the disease. It is Robert's hope that the devotions will help people going through rough times.

Words of Hope in the Midst of Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Roger Stoufer

Roger Stoufer, a native of Echo, Minnesota, taught junior and senior high school English in Mankato for thirty years, and later served as director of the school system’s alternative program, where he supervised the senior high school and was a founder of the cooperative interagency junior high school program, housed in the basement of the Blue Earth County Law Enforcement Center. After his retirement, he served for five years on the local school board. His broad-based experiences, passion for public school education, and involvement in efforts to improve the quality of instruction allowed him to develop the unique insights of a veteran insider. Roger honed his writing skills, while working with a group of writers at Venture Out RV Park in Mesa, Arizona.,/

A Tale of a Teacher

Judy Strand Appel
Mary Helsa Huntley

Judy Strand Appel and Mary Hesla Huntley are life-long friends who live in Minnesota—Judy in Stillwater; Mary in Mankato. Having earned their beginning career degrees from Minnesota State University, Mankato, they now enjoy retirement from fulfilling professional teaching careers. This book is the celebration of their on-going Blue Garter Gang connections.

Mary Huntley is also the co-author of another book, A Mirthful Spirit: Embracing Laughter for Wellness.

Amazing Attributes of Aging: Silly and Sacred Stories of the Blue Garter Friends

Mary Ann Waldron

Mary Ann Waldron was raised on a farm and has always loved animals. She taught second grade her entire career in Britt and Estherville, Iowa. She moved to Mankato, Minnesota after her retirement. Mary Ann has written four children's books. Her first book, Can Candy Save Christmas? was published in 2016.

Can Any Bunny Be An Easter Bunny?
Can Candy Save Christmas?

All Messy and Sticky
A Wee Bit of Irish Lace