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Hodgenville author chronicles family history

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By Becca Owsley

LaRue County historian James D. LaRue Jr. chronicles the life of his great-great-great grandmother in his book “Mary Brooks: Portrait of a Kentucky Pioneer, Granny Woman, Family Matriarch.”

The 173-page book tells the story of Brooks, one of Kentucky’s earliest settlers. She would be the matriarch to prominent LaRue County families whose descendants include a governor and U.S. Congressman.

“The historical significance of Mary Brooks to LaRue County is that while LaRue County is named for John LaRue, the contributions of his wife are just as important and influential as one of the area’s earliest female pioneers and matriarch to two prominent families, the LaRues and the Enlows,” said Steve LaRue, LaRue’s son.

LaRue is a charter member of the Lincoln Museum in Hodgenville and founding member of the LaRue County Historical Society.

“My father, who is the official historian of LaRue County, has spent decades collecting family histories, researching deed books at local courthouses, combing through church cemeteries, preserving important documents, all of which have been brought to life in this vivid portrait of a remarkable woman,” Steve said.

According to the book’s website, the success of this book has prompted him to start on a second book.

“To publish his first book at the tender young age of 94, my father continues to be a role model for our family,” Steve said. “From an early age, he instilled in us the richness of our heritage and taught us to value our roots.”

A book signing and launch party is from 3-5 p.m. Sunday at the Hodgenville Woman’s Club on Lincoln Square.

Books can be purchased at www.marybrooksthebook.wordpress.com or at the Lincoln Museum on the square in Hodgenville.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.