Library Building Opened Today 

From: The Clinton Daily Herald; Tuesday November 8, 1904, P. 8
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.


One Year Taken to Complete the Building – Books Cataloged By Working Force Since June.

Today at the hours between two and nine p.m. the Carnegie library was open for inspection by the public of Clinton and a number of citizens visited the new building.

Great bunches of chrysanthemums and cut flowers were used in the rooms, the large bunches of chrysanthemums in the west reading room and beside the portrait of the late Hon. George D. McDaid were sent by Mrs. McDaid in his memory.

In connection with this public opening a brief history of the library movement in this city is not amiss.

Through the personal efforts of the late Hon. George D. McDaid the attention of Andrew Carnegie was directed to Clinton and the demand here for a public library. After some correspondence with Mr. Carnegie his offer was made to Clinton voters, and on the 31st of March, 1902, at a special election, the people decided to accept the proposition. The majority in favor was 2,459 votes.

The late E. H. Hughes, then mayor, on May 13th, 1902, appointed the following persons as trustees for the new Carnegie building:

Virtus Lund, Sr.
W. D. Walden. +
Theodore Carstensen. +
George D. McDaid. =
Courtland H. Young. +
George B. Phelps.
Petrel Davis. +
Mrs. W. E. Young. +
Mrs. Walter I. Hayes.
+ Resigned
= Deceased

At a meeting held in July of the same year, George D. McDaid was made president of the library board, Virtus Lund, Sr., vice president, Geo. B. Phelps, secretary.

A gift of the site of the building from Mrs. W. E. Young was accepted by the board in August.

Following this movement personal visits of different members of the board were made to different libraries and it was learned that $30,000 would not build as good a building as it was known that the people of Clinton desired. Accordingly Mr. Carnegie increased his gift to $45,000, and at a meeting held Dec. 26, 1902, this offer was accepted by the city council, which also pledged to increase the annual tax from $3,000 to $4,500, the 10 per cent required by Mr. Carnegie upon all his gifts.

January 20, 1903, the firm of Patton & Miller, Chicago, was chosen as architects of the building.

June 2, the contract to build was let to the firm of Winchester & Cullen of Rockford and Janesville. At this time Dan Haring was selected as superintendent of the building to represent the trustees.

June 24th, 1903, stakes were set and ground broken for the new building.

In June, 1904, the completed building was turned over to the trustees, twelve months from the time it was begun.

On the 20th day of June work was begun on the books for the library shelves and today, November 8th, the building is opened for public inspection, tomorrow, November 9th, the use of books by the Clinton public will begin.

The work of cataloguing the books has been entrusted since June to Miss Sweet, librarian, Miss Lillian Cook, Miss Hecker, Miss Work and Miss King of Rockford, Ill., cataloguer.

The personal of the library board includes:

Patterson Rowe, president.
Virtus Lund, vice president.
George B. Phelps, secretary.
James A. Greenhill.
E. E. Hecker.
Rev. E. J. McLaughlin.
Marvin Gates.
William Howes.
Mrs. Walter I. Hayes.
The custodian of the library is Theodore Carstensen.