Information on:

Beardstown Houston Memorial Library

13 Boulevard Road
217-323-4204

Records show that Beardstown had a library as early as 1847. During the next fifty years there were several libraries, both subscription and free, organized to serve the community.

The Beardstown Woman's Club, after its organization in 1897, listed as one of its projects "to work for a public library, to purchase reference books, and to encourage the donation of 'study' books...."

Mrs. Emmons made a bequest to the club to be used for the purchase of books and the "new" Beardstown Public Library was housed on the second floor of the Model Building, owned by the Kuhl and VonFossen families, at 101 Main Street.

In 1903, the Board of Library Trustees and the Woman's Club applied for, and received, a Carnegie Grant for $10,000 for a new building. At its completion in December 1904, the trustees began the furnishing of rooms and the acquisition of an improved book collection. By 1949 the holdings had increased to 4,998 books wth 1,099 cardholders.

Mr. Phillip Kuhl served as president of the Board of Trustees from its inception until 1938. The first librarian was Mrs. Van Sickle, with Miss Hallie Seeger serving as librarian from 1914 until 1961.


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