GREENVILLE — “Our Wakefield History,” the newest book by local authors Betty J. Lease-Brodrick and Marilyn J. Lease-Fritz, can be seen on display in the windows of Minuteman Press in downtown Greenville.
“Our Wakefield History” is the fourth book written by sisters Brodrick, of Greenville, and Fritz, of New Madison. Their three other books — “Wakefield,” “My Sister’s Story,” and “Charlotte’s Bell” — detail family and local history.
The two are descendants of the Leis family, which immigrated to the area from Germany. Wakefield, in Greenville Township, north of Greenville’s city limits, was an early settlement in the area, in which the Leis family was among the first settlers. Their homestead was located where Greenville’s Arby’s Restaurant currently stands at Lease Avenue.
The Wakefield Lutheran Church and the Wakefield School still stand as reminders of Greenville’s early pioneer days.
The church, built in the 1860s, is currently owned by Bible Fellowship Church and is located at Greenville-Celina Road.
Wakefield School, sitting at the juncture of Childrens Home-Bradford Road and Greenville-Celina Road, was likely built in the 1880s. It is one of the few one-room brick schoolhouses that still remains standing in Darke County.
The new book, “Our Wakefield History,” tells not only the story of the early settlers, but the story of Fritz and Brodrick themselves and the years they spent compiling historical information on the settlement and their ancestors.
The window display at Minuteman Press features copies of the book as well as other Lease family heirlooms. It will be there through the month of August.
In addition to the release of the new book, the Lease sisters announced there will be a Harvest Home event held September 4 at Greenville’s North Park to celebrate the 168th anniversary of the Wakefield settlement.
The cost of the book is $60. One dollar from the purchase of any Brodrick-Fritz book goes towards efforts to renovate the Wakefield School property. To purchase this or other books by Brodrick and Fritz, contact Fritz by email at FRITZ1356@roadrunner.com or Brodrick by phone at 937-548-3269.
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