Over 40 Girls Acknowledged Throughout Hernando’s Founders Week

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. – Mable Sims was one of the first American families in Brooksville. Annie Joe was the first state attorney in Florida. More than 40 special women are known over the weekend of founders in the city of Brooksville for their personalities and actions.

Katya Guillaume of Spectrum Bay News 9 sat down with Beth Ashbrook from Hernando. Walking through the process of remembrance, she said, “She was a strong independent woman, coming from a family of independent women.

Ashbrook talked about women he could always see – his grandmother, Bertha Handcock Ashbrook.

“My grandmother made small booklets with a handle,” Ashbrook continued, “and they carry the books and put them in the back seat of a small Ford Coupe that they drive.”

In the early 1900’s, she was known as ‘The Book Lady.’ “We come from a family of readers, there were always a lot of books in our house.”

The story of him and the others who opened the way is shown for many to know.

The director, Natalie Kahler said, “I published a book that was published in 1976 on Hernando County history and it is this book, Hernando County history, and not a single woman was mentioned in the index.”

For the past year and a half, Kahler has been looking for them. “These women’s stories need to be told,” and she tells them and makes them visible to anyone walking or visiting the town to learn more about ‘The Book Lady’ and anyone else’s story.

Ashbrook concluded by saying, “When I came here and found his name on the list, my son was here, it was Saturday, and we went up the whole town to look at this because I knew so many people.”

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