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 I Hear Music
The Mary Ruth Tolbert Story
The Authorized Biography

By Robert W. Butche

Robert Butche’s story-telling biography of musician, educator, historian Mary Ruth Tolbert ranks as the most original biography of the year!

I Hear Music Cover HD copyMary Tolbert was one of the most interesting 20th Century women in American Education and Music. She was openly American Formalist, farm raised, possessed of a Genius Plus IQ, a nationally known author, musical producer, director and conductor, Equestrian, farmer, and Jeffersonian era historian.

Mary & Cassanova -- Walnut Ridge 2004
Mary Tolbert with Casanova at Walnut Ridge Farms, Indiana, 2004

And she taught at The Ohio State University’s legendary University School — a school known around the world.

Her life left her orphaned before the age of five, tended to by her mother’s sisters. At age eight she was given away to her uncle Bernard Young and his property owning wife Elizabeth Ludwig, to live at their historical residence, Mount Oval, overlooking the Pickaway Plains.

She grew up on the grounds where Shawnee Indians of the Pekowi tribe settled after being driven out of New York. Their defacto capital, Meemkekak, two villages comprising as many as 3,500 Indians, sat astride little Sippo Creek, where Tolbert rode her favorite Stallion, Brownie, caught crayfish by stick, and was prone to swim naked in the fierce heat of August.

Her story is one of American women made to live in a man’s world while surviving a demanding and benevolent aunt, all the while dreaming of a future  in music.

Here’s the story of Thomas Jefferson’s wheeling and dealing with Thomas Worthington, the birthing of Ohio as the nation’s 17th state, the wild rush to make fortunes flipping land parcels on the American Frontier.

Welcome Mount Oval Cover copyAnd the founding of The Ohio State University’s legendary College of Education in which the Dean of Agriculture, Albert Vivian seeks to establish a School Of Music so good as to become Julliard On The Olentangy.

Mary Tolbert’s biography features the biggest names of their times, John Dewey and Boyd Bode in education, Eugene Weigel, father of the Best Damned Band In The Land, Royal D. Hughes, and William Oxley Thompson, the man who grew the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College into The Ohio State University.

Best of all, Robert Butche tells us about Mary Ruth Tolbert through riveting stories that capture the imagination and warm the heart.

 In The Author’s Own Words

Robert Butche reads from his biography of Mary Ruth Tolbert.
Now Become Then, is about the day of Miss Tolbert’s retirement in the summer of 1985.
Read By Robert Butche Audio Scheme: Stereo
Media: Mp3
Data Rate: 256 k bps
Running time: 2:24



Format: 6×9 — Soft Cover Edition – 370 pages
130 images (  90 color ), maps and paintings
Academic Bibliography — Historical Footnotes
New! Database driven Timeline index ( 1770 – 2015 )
Library of Congress Control Number: 2014915929
ISBN 978-0-9769076-3-3


Chapter Contributors:
William Tolbert, Newspaperman
Shirley Carlton, Music Educator

Marilyn Arledge, Krista, James
Marilyn Evans Arledge
with daughter Krista and son James
c. 1965

Research Assistance:
Pickaway County Historical Society
David Beavers, Wallace Higgins, Carolyn Seitz,
Denise and Jeffrey Sutherland

Technical Support:
Image to Database Conversions by Jeffrey Slee

Family Contributors:
Mary Ruth Tolbert
William F. Tolbert, Jr.
Marilyn Evans Arledge
Krista Evans Amann

Research & Image Contributors:
Dale and Violet Simms, Richard H. Evans, Jr.,
William B. And Sheri McCormick, Julia Rains Nusken,
Jim McCormac, David A. Parsons, William M. Moore,
Cassie Yarsky, Daughters Of The American Revolution, Pickaway County Chapter.

Research Sources:
Google ( ancient ) Books, Library Of Congress, New York Public Library,
Ohio State University Libraries, Indiana University Library,
University of California Libraries,
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Public Land Management,
Pickaway County Historical Quarterly, The Scioto Society, Inc.

Family Metrics:
William Young – 1772
William F. Tolbert – 1842
Jessee Olney – 1830
Jacob Ludwig –  1776

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