St. Paris Public Library celebrates 85 years


For the Miami Valley Today

ST. PARIS — The Friends of the St. Paris Public Library is inviting the community to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the St. Paris Public Library, 127 E. Main St., St Paris, during an open house at the library on Friday, July 2 between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thyrza Furrow Kiser opened the library on July 2, 1936. Early in 1936, Kiser let it be known of her desire to donate a building to be used as a library for the community. Soon after, Mildred Sandoe of the State Library shared with a committee of village residents that intangible taxes collected by the state could be used for operating expenses.

On June 15, 1936, by recommendation of the committee, the Board of Education appointed Library Board Trustees H.C. McKinley, Dr. J.W. Norman, L.E. Brown, S.N. McMorran, R.P. Heatherman, G.M. Baldwin, and Bertha McBeth. Organization of the Board was conducted on June 22, 1936. A resolution was adopted at this meeting to extend the services of the Johnson-St. Paris Village School District Public Library to the citizens of Champaign County, excepting territory that was already served.

Transfer of the property by Kiser to the Library Board took place on July 2, 1936. At the same time, Kiser granted the library gifts of $1,000 to be used to purchase books and books from her own collection. On Oct. 26, 1936, Lucile Frazier was elected as librarian. In November, the County Tax Commission advised the board that $2,500 would be appropriated the library for 1937. These funds allowed the board to contract for equipment and prepare the space for occupancy.

On Feb. 1, 1937, the Board of Trustees dedicated the Johnson-St Paris Village School District Public Library to the community. The board’s message to the community was that “everyone makes the greatest possible use of the library. Vastly more than a mere collection of books, the library is a vital force from which emulates an influence for the uplift and progress of our people.”

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