You could help solve the mystery of the 1860 family Bible

Dona Speakman feels like a detective these days.

Folks always bring her mom lots of books. But when Jada Cavinder discovered a 19th century family Bible last year, she knew it was a real mystery.

“It was absolutely amazing,” she recalled. “Especially when I got to the part of the family history.”

The Bible dates back to 1859. The precise inscription is to a Myron Harrington. Inside, it details the lives of a family that moved to Jackson County, Iowa from New York state.

“It makes you wonder where it’s been,” said Speakman. “What it’s been through. Who’s seen it. Who’s touched it. How far it’s gone.”

Handwritten entries date from 1860 until 1888. That’s when the information stops. It’s quite a mystery.

“Right away I thought, okay, how do I find the Harringtons,” Cavinder said.

Jada believes the Bible was retrieved from a fire-damaged Clinton home just last year. Discovered in the back of a closet during demolition, it was literally saved from the trash can.

“It’s kind of like it’s meant to be,” Cavinder said. “It’s a God thing.”

Some tidbits found inside the Bible could be clues. There’s a handwritten Bible verse on lined paper, and there’s a torn page from an 1881 Maquoketa Excelsior newspaper.

Dona and Jada sense the responsibility. They want this Bible back with its family.

“Somebody in that family might want to have that,” Jada concluded. “I know if it was mine, I’d treasure it.”

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