GIDEON BIBLES. In 1899, Samuel Eugene Hill, John H. Nicholson, and Will J. Knights founded the Gideons, an organization for Christian commercial travelers. The organization grew so rapidly that its membership soon numbered several thousand. A few years after Hill, Nicholson, and Knights founded the society, it began the work for which it is best known: distributing Bibles to hotels, hospitals, and similar institutions. By 2002, the Gideon Society had grown to include 140,000 members in 175 countries. It claims to distribute one million copies of the Bible and New Testament in eighty different languages every week. A similar organization, the International Bible Society, also distributes Bibles.
I. HowellKane/a. e.
Janesville, city (1990 pop. 52,133), seat of Rock co., S central Wis., on the Rock River; inc. 1853. It is an industrial and commercial center in a grain, dairy farm, and tobacco area. Manufactures include agricultural and transportation equipment, machinery, metal and plastic products, and feeds. A state school for the blind is located in Janesville. Points of interest include the 26-room Tallman House, where Lincoln spent a weekend in 1859; the Stone House (1842), of Greek Revival style; and the Milton House (1844), which is connected to a log cabin by a tunnel used by runaway slaves as a stop on the Underground Railroad.