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Hutchinson Public Library Announces Author Talk with David Sebben Scheduled July 24, 2024

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By the Hutchinson Public Library 

 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson Public Library is pleased to announce an upcoming Author Talk scheduled for July 24, 2024. Author David Sebben, hailing from Rock Island, IL, will be present to discuss his book titled “Nothing Great is Easily Won: The Solomon Butler Story.” The event will delve into Sebben’s research process, writing journey, and Solomon Butler’s profound connection to Hutchinson, KS, and Rock Island, IL.

Solomon Butler, a little-known but notable figure in the early 1900s, was a student and athlete at Hutchinson High School. He later moved to Rock Island, IL, where he completed his education at Rock Island High School. Butler continued his academic and athletic pursuits at Dubuque University, where he achieved acclaim by earning 12 varsity letters across track, football, and baseball. Notably, he participated in the 1919 Inter-Allied Games, recognized as a military substitute for the Olympics.

Butler made significant contributions as the second black quarterback in the NFL, playing for teams including the Rock Island Independents and the Canton Bulldogs. Post-NFL, he played professional baseball with the Kansas City Monarchs and was the sports editor for two esteemed Chicago black newspapers, the Chicago Bee and the Defender. Furthermore, he played a pivotal role in establishing what is now known as the Harlem Globetrotters. Throughout his life and career, Butler encountered numerous adversities, which he courageously confronted. David Sebben has articulated Butler’s journey, emphasizing his triumphs and noting, “He (Solomon Butler) met racism head-on… A lot of people, even in this day, looked up to him.”

David Sebben discussed the project that ultimately inspired him to write his book and share Solomon Butler’s story. He was working with two RIHS alumni, Doug Frazier and Rick Miers on the book “Rock Solid – Our History”, an exclusive history of Rock Island High School. “Because of that book, I realized that the Solomon Butler story needed to be told. The research and writing has been extremely rewarding, very eye-opening, and at times, very emotional. I’m pretty sure Sol would be humbled by the attention he is currently receiving”, David stated.

Prior to planning the upcoming visit, David Sebben recently visited Hutchinson to deliver his presentation titled “Solomon Butler: The Greatest Athlete You’ve Never Heard Of” at Hutchinson High School. During his visit, he and former Hutchinson High School Football coach and author of “Huddle Up Hutch” Steve Miller, graciously shared their insights at the library. We deeply appreciate Sebben’s diligent research in uncovering Solomon Butler’s history and fostering connections between the communities of Hutchinson and Rock Island.

The Author Talk featuring David Sebben is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hutchinson Public Library. This date holds particular significance as it precedes the kick-off of the 2024 Summer Olympics, honoring Butler’s participation in the 1919 Inter-Allied Games. The event welcomes the public to engage with David Sebben, gain insights into Solomon Butler’s life from his formative years to his legacy, and participate in a meaningful discussion on the relevance of history both in the past and present.

We would like to thank David Sebben and Steve Miller for connecting with us and sharing their research so that others may access it, as well as the Friends of the Library for making this Author Talk possible for our community.