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Durham County Library Hosts Talk on Durham’s Other Founding Fathers

Program: Durham’s Other Founding Fathers
Date: Sunday, June 8
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.
Cost: Free and open to the public

About: Durham County Library will host Jim Wise, local historian, author and columnist, for a discussion on Durham’s other founding fathers at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 8, at the Main Library, 300. N. Roxboro St.

W.T. Blackwell is often referred to as the “Father of Durham,” but the work of founding the city was not completed by only one man. Wise will discuss some other not-so-well-remembered founders, including William Herndon, Atlas Rigsbee, Margaret Faucette, Wesley Wright and Edian Markum, and their contributions to Durham. He will also answer questions about the city’s history, such as why Durham is not named “Prattsburg,” which Durham institution started in a brush arbor and what circuit-riding Methodist tried to found the town to exclude “ardent spirits.”

Wise moved to Durham in 1966 to begin his studies at Duke University. Since then, he has been exploring, explaining and writing about Durham for the News & Observer and other publications. He has also published several books about Durham and North Carolina, including Durham: A Bull City Story and Murder in the Courthouse: Reconstruction and Redemption in the North Carolina Piedmont. Wise has taught at Duke University and is a former editor of its alumni publications.

This program is sponsored by Durham Library Foundation. For more information, contact Lynn Richardson at 919-560-0171, or visit

Durham County Library encourages Discovery, connects the Community and leads in Literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit

Contact: Gina Rozier
919-560-0151 or

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