Pages of the past

Pages of the past
By: Wes Wallace

EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. - A quick look around Howard Sarver's garage and you'll see most things you'd expect to find: a lawn mower, power tools, a bag of mulch, and some boxes.  There's also a chest tucked away near the back of the garage.
"I came out here after my wife passed away last week to go through some things," Sarver said. "I was looking in the chest and found books and stuff."
As the East Prairie resident dragged the large, heavy chest across the floor, you could see his eyes light up as he recalled what happened.
"Near the bottom, I found an old book.  It didn't have a cover or anything, just all the pages.  I can't see well, so I had to get a magnifying glass to read the words," he said.
He knew it was old, but wasn't sure what it was, so he took it to the Mississippi County History Museum.  That's where LaWanda Douglas stepped in.
"Oh, I was pleased!"  said Douglas. "This is a treasure and I love treasures!"
You can tell by the excitement in her voice, Douglas has a deep passion for history. 
"This is one of the few copies of Goodspeed's History of Missouri,"   Douglas added. "It's very sought after."
LaWanda Douglas couldn't put an exact price on the yellowed, tattered document, but to her it's invaluable. 
Howard Sarver donated it to the museum, in memorial of his late wife Doris, an East Prairie native.