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Trio compiles PC history into book

Ruthann Hovde1 / 3
Judi Brunner2 / 3
Roger Fox3 / 3

PLUM CITY—A group of history-minded Plum City women spent years rounding up information about the community’s past, and now a dedicated trio has taken their material and more to a higher level.

The group’s compilations were accessible at the local public library, but only due to the efforts of Connie Binkowski of Plum City, who typed them, according to Judi Brunner of Plum City. Brunner is one of three people to transform the related holdings at the library plus items from other sources into a new book, “Little Village in the Big Woods.”

“It was in loose leaf binders,” she said, remembering when she and Ruthann Hovde (one of the earlier group, led by Peg Gokey) and Roger Fox, also of Plum City, began the book project. “The totes and everything were stored (at the library); if there had been a fire, it all would have been lost,” she added Thursday.

The trio’s participation followed the local board’s desire to have a history book on Plum City available, Brunner said. Explaining the involvement of the three, she told how Fox commented about Hovde (who recruited the others), “she knows everybody in Pierce County by first name.”

The book’s authors relied heavily on the Plum City Sesquicentennial book plus several others, mixing in personal information, Brunner said. The new volume contains color photos and is “in between” a paperback and a hard-cover.

The best of the previous five books on the subject and much newly added material is promised in the new one, information shared by Brunner states. Because of today’s computerized technical advantages such as the computer internet for research, editing software such as Microsoft Word to arrange all the pieces of the puzzle, and photo editing to make old photos shine again, the authors hope this book will be the best yet.

The three “authors,” for lack of a better title (they say), brought to the table their own complementary skill sets that together finally got done a job years in the making. Hovde brought her public relations skills; Brunner brought her research skills via being a member of the local Legion Auxiliary and working in Ellsworth close to the Pierce County Historical Association and their records; and Fox brought his computer, Word, photo editing and editor skills. They all brought deep roots in Plum City history, along with the memories they provided.

Norman Johnson, an accomplished author in his own right, provided a history of the Inabnit family and has his own story featured in the book.

Johnson joined the trio for a book signing event Saturday at the library, during which the public was invited to tell their stories. The authors realize the county has a rich history going back to the early 1800’s and they have “only scratched the surface.”