ST. PARIS – On July 2, 1936, through the generosity of Mrs. Thyrza Furrow Kiser, the citizens of the Village of St. Paris and surrounding community were gifted their own public library. The Friends of the St. Paris Public Library would like to invite the community to celebrate this amazing gift with an 85th Anniversary Open House on Friday, July 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the library for refreshments, raffle prizes, and stories about our wonderful little library.
Early in 1936, Mrs. Kiser let it be known of her desire to donate a building to be used as a library for the community. Soon after, Miss Mildred Sandoe of the State Library shared with a committee of village residents intangible taxes collected by the state could be used for operating expenses. On June 15, 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, Mrs. R.P. Heatherman, Mrs. G.M. Baldwin, and Miss 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 Mrs. Kiser to the Library Board took place on July 2, 1936. At the same time Mrs. Kiser granted the library gifts of $1,000 to be used to purchase books and books from her own collection. On October 26, 1936, Miss Lucile Frazier was elected as librarian. In November, the County Tax Commission advised the Board $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 February 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.”
Info from St. Paris Public Library.