By Legacy Books
Preserving Legacies Is an Art—and the Catrons Wrote the Book
When John and Barbara Catron began restoring an old schoolhouse and church building in Riverton, Utah, they had no idea where the project would take them. For Barbara, the restoration was a labor of love. Her father’s first wife, Donna Rae Coy, had grown up in the building, exploring the surrounding farmland and enjoying an idyllic childhood. Donna died unexpectedly, only a few months after marrying David, Barbara’s father.
“My father married again,” Barbara explains, “and raised a wonderful family with my mother, Karen. But we grew up honoring and respecting Donna Rae’s legacy as well. She was always part of our family.”
Along with the restoration of the building, the Catrons also created a history book. As owner of Legacy Books, John thought it would be an appropriate addition to the restoration project. The book featured the Coy family’s contribution to the history of the schoolhouse, as well as several other families who had settled in the area. “It took months of work to put the book together,” John recalls. “We gathered research, compiled pictures, did interviews, checked facts—you name it, we did it.”
The end result—an iconic, restored country schoolhouse and a priceless book titled Riverton Legacy Home—turned out to be a new beginning for John. As the project neared completion, he discovered quite by accident that Abraham Hunsaker, one of the other settlers featured in the book, was his fourth-great grandfather.
“Originally, I’d been tagging along as an in-law,” he says. “Now all of a sudden, what we were doing became very personal. Abraham was the first landowner in the area; he once owned land that I own today. Now this project wasn’t just my wife’s, it was mine too.”
And that wasn’t all. John realized that he never would have made that connection if people four generations ago hadn’t kept a written record. “The experience was providential,” John continues. “Now everything made sense. This business we’d been involved with for years took on a much deeper meaning. We knew that we wanted to do something that would provide the same type of miracles—that connection to generations past—that we had experienced ourselves.”
Preserving legacies is an art—and we wrote the book is the tagline for Legacy Books, a company that is committed to helping people create an inheritance just as valuable as trust funds and estates. Legacy Books’ professional team of writers, editors, and designers partners with family offices, investment managers, and financial planners—as well as families and individuals—to offer expertise in every area of compiling history.
“We’re the perfect legacy partner,” John explains. “We can help clients figure out what resources they already have in place, then help them fill in the holes. We provide scanning, interviewing, writing, design and layout, production and publishing. We’re really a one-stop shop legacy preservation company.”
Perhaps one of the most valuable services Legacy Books provides its clients is help in finishing a project they’ve been thinking about—and sometimes actually working on—for years. “It can be overwhelming for people to know where to start when they decide to work on a family history legacy,” John observes. “And once they start, it can be overwhelming for them to know what to do next—and when to stop.”
Client Elaine Clements Gardner knows exactly what John is talking about. She had been working on her family history for almost 20 years when she reached out to Legacy Books. Less than a year later, her family history journey came to an end when she slit open a plain brown packing box, cleared away the packing material, and lifted out a gorgeous gold-embossed, blue-leather legacy book. “I held it close to my heart for a moment,” she recalls. “It was still wrapped in cellophane; it wasn’t even opened yet. I’m not a crier, but my eyes filled up with tears. Then I opened the plastic and looked at it. It was exactly what I would have dreamed of if I had dreamed that big.”
Elaine’s experience is not unique. Legacy Books’ clients all report the same thing—expectations exceeded and a process that ensures their history book is what they wanted. Whether they’re working with individuals, families, corporations, or communities, Legacy Books has the expertise and the resources to help preserve that priceless legacy.
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John Catron started Legacy Books because he recognizes that one of the most important assets an individual, family, or organization can leave behind is their story. Often overlooked or undervalued, this other legacy has potential to impact lives on a much deeper level than money or property. Legacy Books can be an invaluable partner with investment managers, financial planners, entrepreneurs, and family offices alike in assisting their clients in preserving the other legacy that matters.