The Loudonville (Ohio) Public Library
North Central Ohio Biographies





The Loudonville Public Library. It had always been the earnest desire of the women of Loudonville to do something to help the young people of the town, and on Jan. 13, 1905, thirty four women imbued with this spirit met in conference at the mayor’s office. Mrs. Byrl Bacher opened the meeting by stating the object in view and the outcome of the meeting was the determination to open a public reading room. The first funds, amounting to $28, were given by a group of sixteen women organized as a Ladies Chorus, with Mrs. Bacher as director, and Mrs. G. B. Fuller, pianist. This chorus gave concerts, the proceeds of which were to go for the purpose of a public reading room. The following officers were elected at this meeting: Mrs. Earl Wolf, president; Mrs. G. P. Weber, vice president; Miss Martha Shelley, secretary; and Mrs. Cora Horn, treasurer.

A second meeting was held Jan. 25, 1905, and the name of the organization became The Public Library Association of Loudonville. The following directors were elected: Miss Harriet Gilbert, Miss Golda Priest, Mrs. W. P. Ullman, Mrs. C. S. Goard, and Mrs. S. A. Losh. After a campaign for members, at twenty five cents due for each person, a “Rubber Da," a Washington Birthday Dinner, and proceeds from the Dixie Minstrels and another Ladies Chorus concert, enough funds were in sight to procure a suitable room. After overcoming many difficulties these pioneer women succeeded in having opening day on Thanksgiving afternoon, 1905, to which the public was invited. The people responded and encouraged the association very much by their presence and gifts of money and books. On Dec. 13, 1905, the Public Library was opened in the Ebert Room, over Mr. Lemmer's shoe store, with 113 books, a few magazines donated by clubs and churches, and a membership of 140 members, with Miss Bertha Scott as librarian.

In 1907, having outgrown their quarters, a room in the Citizens Savings Bank Building was rented. This room was used until the present quarters in the City Building were donated in 1911, which meant much for the association in eliminating the expense of light, heat, and rent. The money for all running expenses and books had up to this time been secured by suppers, lecture course receipts, and the usual methods, which meant a continual struggle on the part of those in charge.

April 3, 1912, marks an epoch in the history of this association, for upon that date the association passed into the hands of a board of trustees, appointed by the board of education, and thus became a real Public Library, supported by a special tax appropriation, which had been procured by the board after more than a year's untiring efforts. This was indeed a happy day for the band of women who had struggled along almost desperately at times for more than seven years to keep the vision of a public reading room for the boys and girls from dying out, and gave them an impetus for more and better things.

The first board of trustees of the Public Library Association appointed by the Board of Education were: Mrs. Earl Wolf, Mrs. Harry Priest, Miss Elma Stockman, Mrs. Harry Haudenschild, Mrs. L. F. Smalley, Mrs. Martha Clouse, and Mrs. G. B. Fuller.

The past few years a larger appropriation has been given for the use of the library, due to the new library laws, with the result that the Public Library is growing every day, and under the leadership of Mrs. G. B. Fuller, who has been president of the board of trustees for eleven years, is moving steadily onward to serve the needs of the public. During 1930 the circulation was 16,362, a per cent in proportion to the population far in excess of many cities. An enrollment of 1,700 patrons, with 7,000 volumes on accession book, not including magazines and periodicals. Miss Bertha Scott is a faithful and excellent librarian, and has been in the library from the beginning. The following members compose the board of trustees: Mrs. Gaillard B. Fuller, president; Mrs. O. D. Culler, vice president; Mrs. Martha Shelley Whitney, secretary; Miss Hoyland Pippitt, treasurer; Mrs. Charles Fisher, Miss Ella Miller, and Rev. J. H. Kuhiman.

The people of Loudonville are justly proud of their present Public Library and its promise of service in the future.

From:
History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931


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