"We were thrilled to get this information from Mrs.(Mary) Liter ... and the picture is awesome," said Linda Chesnut, who chairs the committee working to compile a history book about the State Hospital No. 3, Nevada.
Liter, 103, submitted information and a large photo of the hospital's 1933 staff. Liter was an employee of the facility at the time, as was her husband; but she's not in the photo because she had to stay in the ward with the patients. The photo was found in a drawer and given to the committee for the book and for the Southwest Community Services' archives.
A project of the facility's employee relations committee, the book is intended to preserve the history of the state hospital, its employees, its patients, and its role in the community. It's something about which Chesnut feels strongly -- as she told the Daily Mail in August, some memories are forever lost.
Obituaries for people who had worked at the state hospital had appeared in the Nevada Daily Mail -- Chesnut said she'd noticed two in one week. "They felt proud enough to say they worked at the Nevada state hospital. Now their stories are gone, unless their family members can share them," she said.
"Those people have so much knowledge. I've worked there 23 years and what I know is nothing," compared to the wealth of historical information others may be able to share. The committee is seeking all sorts of stories -- family stories, employee memories and even ghost stories.
It's not likely the committee will hear from anyone older than Liter, who still lives in Nevada.
"The committee is thrilled she and Peggy Pyle, who talked with Ms. Liter, took the time to add to our book. We hope others will be just as willing. Interest has spread and fliers have been sent to several other states," Chesnut said.
The hard-bound publication will include the history of the facility, stories, photos and a cookbook. The publication is due out in the fall of 2013 and can be purchased for $35 if ordered by Nov. 1, 2012.
For more details about submitting items for inclusion in the book or for assistance in writing or telling stories intended for the book, call Chesnut at (417) 448-1144. Stories and photos may be submitted through Nov. 1 by mail, to Employee Relations Committee, Attn: Stories, 2323 N. Ash, Nevada MO 64772.