The Story of “Grandmother’s Bible” - Part II

Also Now Known as "The John>John & Susan (PIERCE) OLIN Bible and The OLIN Family Society Bible".

Part II: How We Came Into Possession
by Jeffrey Olin

I got the inquiry about the Bible that Mike mentioned, in early-August 2016. She did not have photos to share of the book, but her description matched the photo’s. Mike Fisch had sent me more than a year before.

Mrs. Davis expressed an interest in selling the Bible. She said she is a Christian and had made a promise to her father that she would donate half of all money that came her way to others. She wanted to help out her pastor who was struggling financially.

I asked for her price. She instead asked me for an offer. I am an attorney who honed my negotiation skills at flea markets. I priced bibles on Ebay and, with several outliers, the general price range was around $80-$120 I didn’t want to cause her to leave the negotiations, so I didn’t bid as low as I would for something less important. I offered $100.

She wanted $5,000.

I tried schmoozing her. We quoted each other Bible verses (thank you, Google). She wanted me to get the OFS to pay for it. I told her that the OFS is just a loose network of distant cousins. She stated that there was a guy in Philadelphia who had offered her a substantial amount, sight unseen. She also stated an interest in donating it to museums. Ultimately, she ran it by her husband.

Her husband thought that we should get the Bible, no matter what. He hoped we could give him at least $500, but it was ours. I promised that I would try to get whatever I could from the cousins in gratitude.

I started a GoFundMe account, and some people donated privately. We ended up getting over a thousand dollars in donations. I gave the Davises $900. I donated the cost of a rental car and gas to get from Southern California across the Mojave Desert to Bullhead City, Arizona, where I was meeting the Davises. An extra $150 came in after the trip and I used $50 of that to purchase a fire and water-proof safe for the Bible to live in. The remainder was placed in the OFS account and is earmarked for preservation efforts.

With the cash donation, I took the car I had rented at LAX across the desert. In my eagerness, a San Bernardino County Sheriff noted that my speed at one point exceeded the legal limit. I got to Needles, CA, and turned north. Near where California, Nevada, and Arizona all meet is where I found Bullhead City. I was to meet them in the McDonald’s within the Walmart. I figured that there was no more American a setting.

The Davises were very kind. They were excited that the Bible had made its way back to the family. They were also excited at the envelop full of cash I slid across the table.

Nancy since contacted me and told me that one of her pastors has gone on a trip to Africa that we partially funded.

The Bible currently resides in its safe. We hope to create some place where it can be available for permanent display.

Thank You to All Who Donated to Buy the Bible
Margaret MURAT (John>Henry>Justin>Christopher>Peleg>Harriet>Rose>Charles>)
$100
Aaron NADLER (John>John>Gideon>John>Anstiss>William>Olin>Joseph>Anstiss>)
$50
Christine & Sarah ABRELL (& their mother Diane)  (John>John>Gideon>John>Anstiss>William>Olin>Laura>Marian>Tom>)
$50
James Lewis OLIN  (John>John>Gideon>Nathaniel>Gideon>Nathaniel>Harold>Harold>)
$50
Martha (PAINE) CLAFLIN  (John>John>John>Ezra>Ezra>George>Lucy>George>Rowell>Thomas>)
$25
Ronald OLIN  (John>John>John>Ezra>Truman>Milo>Richard>Richard>Richard>)
$50
Debbie (OLIN) NEMESI  (John>John>John>Henry>Henry>Thomas>Franklin>Merton>Thomas)
$100
Capt. Gerald OLIN, Jr. on behalf of his father, Gerald OLIN, Sr.  (John>John>John>Henry>Henry>Thomas>Willard>Charles>Gerald>)
$100
Ruth ELLIS  (John>John>John>Henry>Henry>Thomas>Willard>Charles>Janet>)
$100
Mike FISCH  (John>John>John>Sarah>Gideon>Hawley>John>Olin>Eileen>)
$50
Joan KING  (John>John>Jonathan>Jonathan>Rebecca>Thomas>Reuel>)
$50
John CAREY  (John>Joseph>Joseph>John>John>Henry>Rachel>Edwin>Adeline>)
$25
Susan HALL  (John>Joseph>Joseph>Reuben>George>John>John>John>Barbara>)
$25
Carol Ann (POWELL) & Roger GREEN  (John>Joseph>Joseph>Reuben>John>Earl>Orva>George>Ann>)
$20
Thomas R. OLIN  (John>Joseph>Joseph>Reuben>John>Earl>Orva>George>Donald>)
$100
Lorinda Beth (OLIN) McBRIDE  (John>Joseph>Phillip>Benjamin>John>John>Rolla>Harry>Harry>)
$50
Matt OLIN  (John>Joseph>Phillip>Benjamin>John>Martin>Franklin>Leon>Bruce>Donald>)
$40
Jeffrey J. OLIN  (John>Joseph>Phillip>Benjamin>John>Martin>Franklin>Leon>Robert>Robert>)
$150-ish
Anonymous
$25