In My View: An ancestor's diary full of life's lessons
"As new residents of Illinois, my husband and I have found numerous reasons to appreciate our new surroundings. But this move, to assume the chancellorship at the University of Illinois Springfield, is really a homecoming for me. My father grew up in Peru and my great-grandfather was a coal miner in Spring Valley.
With 5,000 acres in the heart of Illinois coal country, the Spring Valley Coal Co.’s intent was to sink four shafts and build a 'Magic City' that would employ up to 4,000 miners. An Irishman, my great-grandfather was one of them. His eldest, Mary, passed along to us her father’s diary, a narrative titled 'Solid Facts.' He made brief entries into this spiral-bound notebook from 1894-1902."
Read the full op-ed online