The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 14, 2013

Donors honored at dedication of Spencer Room in Western County Courthouse

By STACY MILLBERG - smillberg@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

GENEVA — Alumni, donors and Platt R. Spencer Historical Society members gathered Wednesday afternoon to dedicate the Spencer Room at the Western County Courthouse and acknowledge the many contributors to the monument.

Bill Peters, local historian and Spencer School alumnus, spoke about the history of Platt R. Spencer, who is known as the “Father of American Penmanship.”

Peters said after Spencer died in 1864, it was said by many people that a monument should be built in his name. That idea finally came to fruition in August 2012, when the Platt R. Spencer Memorial was dedicated in front of the Western County Courthouse.

“We can be proud of this,” he said.

Peters attributed the monument becoming a reality to Michael Sull, master penman from Kansas. Sull is the founder and teacher of the Spencerian Saga program that has been held at Geneva-on-the-Lake for more than 25 years.

“If it wasn’t for him, this would have never gotten started,” Peters said.

Sull said he feels so much a part of the Geneva community.

“I feel very proud and happy for this all to take place,” he said. “But I didn’t do it, we did it. We all felt it was important.”

Sull said there will come a time when everyone in the room will be gone but the story of Spencer will remain. He said he started the Spencerian Saga in 1987 because the calligraphy convention wouldn’t let him teach it.

“I was determined to do it,” he said.

By 2012, more than 1,000 students had participated in the program in several countries, he said.

“We’ve helped a lot to push forward the idea of how beautiful it is and how important it is to do this,” he said. “You welcoming me into your community and into your hearts has meant more to me than anything else.”

Vaughn Reese, vice president of the Platt R. Spencer Historical Society presented Sull with an plaque deeming him an honorary lifetime member of the Geneva Platt R. Spencer Historical Society.

“You’re responsible for all of this,” he said. “If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have that monument out front.”

Sull unveiled a framed list of donors who contributed to the monument which will hang in the Spencer Room. The names, as well as a “Thank You” message was written in Spencerian Penmanship by Sull. The frame was handmade by Rodney Hunt of GOTL.