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Jeffries Releases Book About Crete History

The history of Crete is more than a hobby for Doane Public Services Librarian and College Historian Janet Jeffries. In her words, it’s more like an obsession.

Now, Jeffries has made that obsession a valuable piece of work for others to enjoy.

In September, Arcadia Publishing released Jeffries’s new book titled Images of America: Crete. The book contains more than 200 photographs that express various aspects of the town. The content is broken down into chapters including sections such as education and religious life, the college on a hill, and chautauqua days.

Jeffries said she spent the last 35 years collecting the information and photographs. Much of her information was gathered in her 13 years of employment with the Nebraska Historical Society.

Jeffries said a representative from Arcadia Publishing had been in contact with her for the past few years and asked her to assemble the book.

According to the Arcadia Publishing website, the Images of America series captures the history of small towns and downtowns throughout the United States. The pictures display forgotten times and bring to life the people, places, and events that define the community.

Jeffries enjoyed revisiting old facts that had been buried in her personal home library. She said she was surprised at how cosmopolitan the town of Crete was during the 19th century. She also said readers may be interested in photographs of Prucha's Cedar Zoo. The photographs will be familiar to the residents of Crete prior to the 1940s and 1950s, but recent residents will likely be unaware of the topiaries.

The Images of America series offered her limited page space, but Jeffries said she had much more to write and would be interested in doing a similar publication about Doane College.

The book can be found at local retailers, including the Doane College bookstore.