GREENFIELD — It almost went down with the Twin Towers.

The story begins with Dorothy June Jackson Williams, a longtime hostess at the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home and Museum. Her family owned an original manuscript of “What Christmas Fetched the Wigginses,” a poem by Riley written in his distinctive dialect.

In 2001, her son, Omer S.J. “Jack” Williams, an attorney with offices in Two World Trade Center, decided the original manuscript needed to be returned to Greenfield.

A short time before September 11, 2001, Mr. Williams removed the manuscript from its lock box in the tower and later brought the piece back to Greenfield, donating it to the Riley Old Home Society, which is responsible for acquiring and maintaining the collections housed in the Riley Boyhood Home and Museum.

Had he not done so, this valuable piece of Riley history would have been lost in the destruction of the World Trade Center, officials said.

Through a generous donation to the Riley Old Home Society, a 501(C)(3) corporation, this wonderful gift has been preserved for generations to come.

To see the manuscript, visit the James W. Riley Boyhood Home and Museum, 250 W. Main St., Greenfield, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 317-462-8539 to be certain a host or hostess will be available.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or