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The Buffalo-based Robert G. Ingersoll Memorial Committee has been awarded a $22,000 grant by the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation to rehabilitate Ingersoll's birthplace at Dresden in central New York near Geneva.

The grant, part of a $48,000 fund raised by the committee, will be used to repair the home and furnish it for use as a free-thought library and museum. It is scheduled to open late next year.

Known as the "great agnostic," Ingersoll was considered one of the leading American humanists of the 19th century. A lawyer, he was the first attorney general of Illinois.

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