Interviews

Excerpt From (Edited transcript) Oct. 11,1978 of Miss Marjorie and Miss Claire Knost, 225 East Beach ---  Interviewer - Betty Carlin

At one time Grandmother Knost had a little shop in the building across the street.

That's the store that is mentioned in the deed.  After my grandfather died, my grandmother lived over there.  He died during the Civil War. He was in the Seige of Vicksbug and was sick and died shortly afterward.  So my grandmother and her daughters lived across the street.  She had been married to a Mr. Angel and had one daughter (by him).  After she (later) married my grandfather She had two daughters and a son.  Aunt Jennie was Mrs. Dempf and my father, John Henry. (The other daughter was Aunt Carrie.)

About the library — when did it get started.

The earliest date would be 1893.  The building was originally right on Front Street and it was later moved to where it sits now.
My aunt (Mrs. Dempf) sold a few feet of land (actually a land swap) to the library so it could be moved back.  Aunt Carrie lived over across the street with my grandmother and had a little store where she sold sundries--baby clothes and things like that.

Miss Isabel Bowman Finley was the person who actually promoted the beginning of the library. She had a large library of her own and she brought books down and left them at the store and people would borrow them.  And finally they moved over to the building on this side of the street and made it the library.  This building was then flush with the sidewalk and was moved back at a later date to where it sits now.  We have a record in the book here of the bill for moving it back.  In the book are also the by-laws, amendments, dues, and all the costs to the very penny.  I think this would be a nice thing to record and would be interesting to Librar ians.

As I said, it began with Miss Isabel Bowman Finley.  She had two or three sisters and a brother who was president of the railroad that came through here.  And it started with her, Feb. 21, 1893. It started in Miss Finley's own home.  She would lend her books out.  It was then decided to bring the books to my Aunt Carrie's store across the street.  Some of the ladies in the town would help out in keeping up with the books.  It grew and grew and there got to be enough business that they organized it into a subscription library in 1905 and the first officers were elected.

I see that Miss Finley was the first president and your aunt, Mrs. Dempf was vice-president and Miss Ada Davis was secretary-treasurer.

You can copy anything you want from the minutes

I would really like to

Interview with Eaton Adlai Lang, Sr.  —
     “Yes, I can remember it as a boy when it was right close to the street and was occupied by a family named Kestner.  But the Misses Davis, sisters, were instrumental in organizing the county (Town) library.  Miss Irene was very active in this.  They had the building moved back and remodeled it and had a library on the west side of it. And there was a small private school on the east side and to the rear.  It was taught by Miss Nannie Sutter.  She taught the elementary grades there — did not attempt high school.  But it was a very well thought of school and a wonderful lady who operated it.  She was Frank Sutter’s sister, and Fred Sutter’s aunt.”

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