Kitts Hill native makes return to her roots

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Marilyn Thornton Schraff will display and sign copies of her book at the Ironton Branch of Briggs Lawrence County Public Library on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Marilyn Thornton Thompson Schraff, author and publisher of “Appalachian Childhood,” was raised on a hilly, 40-acre farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Kitts Hill.

Her family moved to Ironton at the end of her sophomore year of school at Rock Hill when she was 15.

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After graduating with honors from Ironton High School, she studied education and art at Ohio University, graduating magma cum laude with a master of education and continued post-graduate studies at Ohio State University.

With many years of parenting, social work, teaching and artistic expression via watercolor paintings, and because of encouragement from family, students, and friends, Marilyn decided to express in written words her love and gratitude for the many wonderful people of Lawrence County who guided her during her youth and positively inspired her toward the life she lives today.

Both of Marilyn’s parents and all four of her grandparents were Lawrence County residents.

Her two daughters, Michal Thompson Searls and Malissa Thompson Nazir, were born at Lawrence County General Hospital.

Using her sense of humor, research, childhood memories and photographs, Marilyn introduces the reader to her unique experiences of growing up in the rural Appalachian culture of southern Ohio during the mid-20th century through fifteen chapters describing her family life, pets, chores, education, social activities, religion, food and community.

During the past two years, many Lawrence County residents have aided Marilyn in making the book a reality by providing encouragement, photographs, time and information via telephone conversations, e-mails, letters, Tribune newspaper articles and personal visits.

Schraff said she is appreciative to all contributors, especially to Ronald Thomas for volunteering his time and expert services as editor.

Before placing her book in any public market, Marilyn chose to first release it to the people, community and newspaper she holds dearest.

Therefore, she will be at Briggs Lawrence County Public Library at 321 South Fourth Street in Ironton to sale and sign her book and to exhibit some of her award winning paintings from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about this program, please contact Lori Shafer at 740-532-1124 or