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Museum Musings

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* From the works of Johnny Gruelle -- “And, when one is considerate of the happiness of others, he always creates happiness and sunshine in his own mind and heart.”
* R. B. (Richard Buckner) Gruelle was born in 1851 in Cynthiana, Ky. He was a self-taught landscape and portrait artist, musician and writer. His family moved to Illinois where in Decatur he married Alice J. Benton.
* R. B. and Alice became the parents of Johnny (John Barton) Gruelle who was born in Arcola, Ill. on Christmas Eve, 1880.
* It was Johnny Gruelle, a political cartoonist and artist, who created the Raggedy Ann doll in 1915 and published the first Raggedy stories in 1918. Although Johnny died in 1938, the worldwide love for his Raggedy dolls and stories continues today.
* In 2002, Joni Gruelle Wannamaker, daughter of Worth Gruelle, granddaughter of Johnny Gruelle, and great-granddaughter of R. B. Gruelle, visited Cynthiana on her genealogical quest.
* Her hosts at the Seldon Renaker Inn, Juanita and Jim Ingram, suggested that she visit the Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum. There, Joni gathered information from Harold Slade about the Gruelle family. She collected additional data in the genealogical records at the Cynthiana Public Library.
* Joni was charmed with the people she met, the welcome and assistance she received, and this special community (the birthplace of her great-grandfather). Thus, the idea of a festival to honor the Gruelle memory and to promote the Raggedy tradition came to fruition.
* The Tenth Raggedy Ann (and Andy, too) Festival will be held on Saturday, April 21. Everyone, the young and the young at heart, the Anns and the Andys, are encouraged to be a part of the festivities.

April 5 - Delayed
* Log Cabin, Oct. 5, 1901 -- “Mr. Sel Renaker has secured many signatures in a petition asking that the Addams Express Co. put a telephone box in the express office here. Nearly every business house in town has a phone, and a box at the express office would be a great convenience to the merchants here.”
* Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) -- “April cold with dropping rain willows and lilacs bring again, the whistle of returning birds and trumpet-lowing of the herds.”
* Cynthiana Democrat, Jan. 24, 1918 - Advertisement -- “Wanted - first-class, industrious man to raise crop on shares. Will furnish board and pay for extra work done outside of his own crop. Want man who will work six days in week and not loaf in town. Apply at this office for information. W.J.L.”
* John Updike -- “April - Each flower, leaf and blade of turf- small love-notes sent from air to earth. The sky’s a herd of prancing sheep, the birds and fields abandon sleep, and jonquils, tulips, daffodils bloom bright upon the wide-eyed hills.”
* Cynthiana News, Feb. 18, 1869 -- “Mr. J. A. Cook and family are in our city on a visit to their friends. Mr. Cook brought a Chicago architect with him, Mr. F. B. Long, who will draw the plans for Mr. Cook’s new house, which he is about to build in this city.”
* Martin Luther -- “Our Lord has written the promise of the Resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
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You are invited to visit the Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum on Walnut Street, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be certain to see the Raggedy Ann and Andy displays including drawings by artist Joni Gruelle Wannamaker.