Liberty Bell Replica Presented To Children's Museum

News Photo 817
Harry Jeanes, Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and Guaranty Bank President Ron Murff unveil a replica of the Liberty Bell that was presented to the Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center.
Clifford S. Cheney IV / Baylor Photography
Nov. 12, 2002

Amid the sounds of children's voices, a limited edition replica of the Liberty Bell was formally presented to Baylor University's Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center by members of Guaranty Bank, formerly First Federal Savings, on Nov. 8. The bell was purchased in 1976 by Harry Jeanes, Baylor regent emeritus and former chairman and CEO of First Federal Savings, and for many years the bell was housed in the Guaranty Bank branch building, which is of colonial architecture, on North Valley Mills Drive in Waco.

"With the presentation of this bell, we honor our heritage. Not only the heritage we have in America, but Guaranty Bank's heritage, which is First Federal Savings. First Federal meant so much to this community and it is an honor to recognize that institution and Mr. Jeanes," said Ron Murff, president of Guaranty Bank.

"Who could have imagined that an item secured by Mr. Jeanes so many years ago would ultimately reside in a beautiful new museum building bearing the name The Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center," said Dr. Ellie Caston, acting director of the Mayborn Museum Complex.

Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr., who accepted the bell on behalf of the university, spoke of the fascinating stories associated with the Liberty Bell. "I first heard about the Liberty Bell from a song about Davy Crockett that I used to sing as a young boy," he said. "There are so many interesting stories about the bell and its inscription, Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all of the inhabitants, which is from the Book of Leviticus."

Children's museum director Jill Barrow said the bell will be used in several ways by the museum and is a wonderful teaching instrument for a new program on pioneers and settlers.

"We are delighted to have the bell. It is a wonderful opportunity for the children of this area who have never had the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia to see the original bell, to be able to see this replica and experience a little bit of history. The bell also provides us another fun way to teach about sound and vibrations," she said. "We have already discovered that children love to ring the bell, and the wonderful tones of the bell can be heard throughout the museum. Because of this, we will use the bell to signal program rotation time."

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