GROVE CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – What does a journalist do with scrapbooks she buys at a flea market compiled by a member of one of Youngstown’s most prominent families? She turns them into a book.
Lillian Reynolds Reeher sifted through the scrapbook of Mary Wick on Thursday afternoon.
“This is a letter, very touching, ‘From my boyfriend.’ And she’s at camp, she’s about 14 when she got this, and her boyfriend is her father,” Lillian said.
The scrapbook was one of five that Lillian bought 20 years ago at Brookfield’s old Valley View Flea Market.
“I asked how much they were and I can’t remember the price but it’s exactly what I had with me,” she said.
Lillian has since given four of the scrapbooks to the Wick family but the one she kept gives a glimpse into the life of Mary Wick from when she was born in 1916.
“She’s a woman who lived through many, many changes, particularly for women,” Lillian said.
Mary’s father was James L. Wick, a leading industrialist. One of her pictures shows him at an event broadcast on WKBN.
Mary Wick graduated from Chaney High School.
“She took first place in the State of Ohio in second year French,” Lillian said.
There’s a playbill from the Youngstown Playhouse and a sign that reads “disease.” Mary Wick’s sister had polio. The family was quarantined and the sign was on their house.
Also in the box with the scrapbooks were some of Mary Wick’s artwork. She was, for a while, the medical illustrator for the Youngstown Hospital Association.
After years of reading the scrapbooks, putting them away and reading them again, Lillian finally decided to write the book titled, “Her Name was Mary Wick.”
“I felt that I was meant to write her story and the more times I went through them, the more I bonded with her. I felt that I knew her,” she said.
Lillian Reynolds Reeher will talk about Mary Wick and her book next Thursday, November 16. Bring a lunch and come to the Tyler History Center in downtown Youngstown for the Bites and Bits of History program. Doors open at 11:30 and the program begins at noon.