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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - August/September 2004
Logan to receive donation of family histories


Logan to receive donation of family histories

By Arrin Newton Brunson
Special to The Tribune

    LOGAN -- A $1.7 million collection of family histories, encompassing 80,000 family records worldwide and compiled over the past 57 years, will be preserved in northern Utah's Cache Valley.
    The donation to the Logan City Library is being made by a software developer who, in January, acquired Everton Publishers, a longtime publisher of genealogical and family history materials.
    The collection is described as one of the world's finest privately owned sets of genealogical books, family histories and other documents, according to Bobbie Coray, president and CEO of the Cache County Chamber of Commerce.
    The deal was consummated last month by Logan Mayor Doug Thompson. He declined to comment, preferring to wait for a news conference scheduled for Wednesday. But he confirmed Monday the city's acceptance of the donation.
    In addition to the family histories, assets going to Logan City include a Web site, magazine, a 10th edition genealogy book and Everton's intellectual property. Total value of the donation is estimated at $4 million, according to Robert Johns, spokesman for donor Bill Schjelderup, owner of Companion Corp. of Salt Lake City.
    The Cache County Council is scheduled to discuss tonight whether to allocate $25,000 to move the genealogical materials from their home in an old LDS Church in Nibley, southeast of Logan. The materials will have to be temporarily stored until the city establishes a permanent place to house the collection under the direction of the Logan library.
    Coray, a self-described genealogy addict, said she learned about 14 months ago that the Everton genealogical assets were in jeopardy of being liquidated. She compiled a "dream team" of family history enthusiasts who have ties to Cache Valley to put the deal together.
    "We have now a one-of-a-kind treasure in our library, and this can be a catalyst for downtown development," Coray said, adding that genealogy is the No. 2 most popular use of the Internet, second only to pornography.
    "We believe that if it is in Logan, it makes Cache Valley a mecca for genealogists, and there is a potential of people coming to do research and hold conferences and workshops here because now the [materials] will be publicly available for everybody."
    Everton Publishers was formed in 1947 by Walter Everton when it first began publishing Everton's Genealogical Helper magazine, the oldest magazine of its type in the country. Its assets were sold in 2001 to Family History Network Inc., and then purchased in January by Schjelderup.
    His company is the developer of Alexandria Software, a system for cataloging library holdings. Spokesman Johns said the entrepreneur decided to donate the Everton assets in order to streamline his business interests.
    In addition to the private collection of genealogical materials, Logan will inherit Everton's Genealogical Helper, a family history magazine. Johns said the city is expected to seek a private enterprise partner to run that operation.
    Logan City will also own The Handybook of Genealogists: USA, which has sold over 1 million copies, and has been considered for nearly 50 years to be the "finest genealogical research book in the United States," Johns said.
    ajbrunson@comcast.net


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