Evening In Elmwood

Robertson County Historical Society President Danny Atchley addresses the audience during last year’s Evening In Elmwood event.

Tickets are now on sale for the Robertson County Historical Society’s annual fundraising event Evening In Elmwood, which will take place on Saturday, June 4 at 5 p.m. at the Elmwood Cemetery in Springfield.

“This marks the 24th year we have held Evening In Elmwood, and we are thrilled to host it again for our members as well as the general public,” Historical Society President Danny Atchley said in a press release. “This is a signature event for us where history meets the present. We also wish to thank our partners the City of Springfield and Elmwood Cemetery.”

Tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased at the Robertson County History Museum, located at 124 6th Avenue in Springfield or online at robcohistoricalsociety.com. Each ticket also includes a boxed dinner provided by Shade Tree Farms.

Atchley noted that tickets are limited to 150, and the Historical Society is already one third of the way toward its goal of a sell out by June 4.

“This year we have another outstanding lineup of historical people from Robertson County’s past to portray again this year,” Atchley said. “Men and women who helped to make a difference for the better in our county’s history, all of them with memorable, and yes, fascinating stories for us to share with our audience.”

Actors will appear in period dress and speak in a first-person narrative, bringing their characters back to life for the audience to experience an era of Robertson Count’s past.

Ruthanna Fletcher, a noted local actor, will portray Laura Hutchinson (1851 – 1931) a woman who married into the prominent Hutchison family. Her husband John became a Civil War hero but lost two of his brothers to the war. Although John was severely wounded in battle, he traveled to the battlefields where his brothers had died and was able to retrieve their bodies. Now they, along with John and Laura, are buried in Elmwood Cemetery. The Hutchinsons built a home on North Main Street in Springfield that became the envy of everyone in town.

Other historical figures that will be portrayed include Judge John W. Judd (1839 — 1919), a local Robertson County man who also went off to the Civil War and lost his left leg in battle. He was captured twice by the Union Army. After the war he came back to Springfield and opened a law practice and eventually became a local Circuit Judge. He would later be named as a Supreme Court Justice to the Utah territory by President Grover Cleveland. Judd will be portrayed by Don Osborne of the “Clausbornes” fame.

Caledonia Johnson (1847 — 1899) was a well-known educator in Robertson County during the latter part of the 19th century. Her tombstone in Elmwood Cemetery is inscribed “The Children’s Friend.” She will be portrayed by local teacher Kathy Dorris.

Thomas Pepper (1833 — 1920) was a member of another prominent Robertson County family. A very successful businessman, Pepper became the benefactor and first president of the Elmwood Cemetery Corporation. He will be portrayed by author and storyteller Dan Pratt.

Dr. N. H. Raines (1893 — 1968), a beloved African American physician, became the first black doctor in Springfield. He overcame great hardships just to get a medical degree in a time when Jim Crow laws ruled the South. He arrived in Springfield in the 1920’s and opened a thriving medical practice. He treated his patients black or white, and regardless of whether they could pay or not. He will be portrayed by another noted local actor, James Saine.

“One of the best things about Evening In Elmwood is the fact that we learn about people who may not be so well known in our era of time,” Atchley noted. “However, when we start our research and peel away the layers of time, we learn how important they really were in their era and that they are still very relevant to us even today.”

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