Mt. Vernon Register-News

Homepage

July 2, 2013

Clara Barton program draws a crowd

MT. VERNON — —

MT. VERNON – Out of all the historic figures Barbara Kay has portrayed, Clara Barton holds a special place in her heart.

Kay, a retired teacher from Highland Community School District, has performed as the American Red Cross founder 61 times in the last 12 years. She said the broad range of Barton's accomplishments makes her an endlessly fascinating figure.

She was a lot of things and she basically was the 19th Century,” Kay said. “She was very independent at a time when women weren't supposed to be that independent.”

Kay gave Mt. Vernon residents a glimpse into Barton's rich and varied life at a special presentation Saturday at the Jefferson County Historical Village. About 50 people attended the free program.

Dressed in period attire, Kay spoke as Barton for about an hour, telling funny and serious stories from Barton's life. In addition to founding the American Red Cross, Barton also was a teacher, nurse, patent clerk and humanitarian.

At the end of the performance, Kay answered questions from the audience as Barton and then as herself.

Audience members seemed engaged by Kay's portrayal. Marla Southers of Mt. Vernon said reading about Barton as a child inspired her to become a nurse.

She just was like a hero to me as a child,” Southers said of Barton. “I wanted to help people as a child.”

Audience member Melissa Bouland of Mt. Vernon has also been interested in Barton since childhood. She said programs like Saturday's presentation are an important way to educate the public about history.

I'm sorry that I don't see more children here to learn about that,” Bouland said. “I just think it's something nice that the community has to offer.”

It was Barton's connection to Southern Illinois that drew audience member Jack White of Mt. Vernon. After the Great Cyclone of 1888, Barton visited Mt. Vernon to set up a relief program.

Text Only
Homepage

Local

Obituaries

Sports

Features

Fraternal Order of Police Youth Dance


Aug. 17, 2014

Top News

Stuff the Bus Pickup Event


Aug. 17, 2014

Must Read

AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
The Big League


State News

Seasonal Content
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.