‘Piqua Footprints’ author holding book signing


By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – Local Piqua resident, David “Dave” Vollette has published a book, “Piqua Footprints: Those Who Made a Difference in Piqua from 1800-1900.” The book features around 140 people throughout those 100 years who Vollette believes made a difference in making Piqua a thriving city.

Vollette started his book through a curiosity in the individuals who impacted the city. He began researching people through the Local History Room at the Piqua Public Library. This grew into a book project with the help of several employees of the library. Vollette wanted to write a book about these individuals he was learning about with as much succinct information as possible for each person so as not to overwhelm the reader. Vollette and other contributors have spent several years collecting information, writing it, and taking photographs of the individual’s homes, gravesites, and other important aspects of their life.

Each individual in the book has a summary of their life and the impact they had on Piqua and other communities, photos, and references to the literature Vollette researched.

“I want readers to understand the importance and contribution one person can have in a community,” Vollette stated.

Currently, Vollette has sold close to 100 copies with a second print coming soon. He will be hosting a book signing event from 5 – 7 p.m. on July 21 in the lobby of the Piqua Public Library.

Vollette has been an active member of the Piqua community through his role as the President of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce for 17 years.

“I really enjoyed the work there. It was a lot of communication between other organizations, members, and the community. At one point, there were 150 projects all going on divided between all the committees, and I was involved in them all!” Vollette exclaimed.

He recounted that during his time as president, he was also honored to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce Executive Ohio, which was decided by his peers, other presidents of other chambers. He also stated how he cherishes the friendships from his time on the chamber.

Vollette is also a volunteer in the local history department at the Piqua Public Library. He explained how he was able to help a family with a genealogy project involving a great-grandmother, which Vollette knew during her lifetime. He was able to give the family stories on the woman and provide documents that the library had on her.

Out of the 140 individuals Vollette discusses in his book, he has a handful of favorites that he believes made an important impact on the community in various ways. One of these is Dr. Godwin V. Dorcey, one of the leading surgeons in Ohio in 1836. Dorcey was a physician, politician, and writer among other hobbies and professions. Other individuals he noted include women and people of color “breaking societal barriers,” said Vollette. John F. McKinney and his wife were very involved in the community and politics. They hosted individuals at their house including presidents and Susan B. Anthony.

“I hope you gain a better understanding of Piqua, and how this town has been able to thrive due to these people,” Vollette stated.

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