Library History

Library History

Articles found in Benton Mining Times and Benton Advocate

  • December 19, 1895 Benton Public Library located in Mining Times  H. A. Breese, librarian.  100 first class books.    Cost of membership fifty cents for two years.
  • September 29, 1911 Free library and reading room open to public in M.E.  church parlors three nights a week.  544 books were loaned out during its first year of service.
  • April 12, 1912                 The Wisconsin Library Commission placed a collection of books constituting a traveling library at the M.E. parlors.  Books could be borrowed on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
  • November 15, 1923 The Benton Library Association was formed as a result of a joint meeting of the Fortnightly Club and the Camp Fire Girls.  The library board was elected:  President, Mabel Kreuger; Vice President, Alma Latham; Secretary, Ella Nicolay; Treasurer, Ethel Eberts; Olga Sproule, Minnie Leitzell, and Mrs. Byrne.  The Benton Library was located on the second floor of the Municipal Building.  The first librarians were Cora Rockwell and Ella Nicolay.

The Camp Fire Girls were organized in 1918 by, first President, Dr. X. P. Bent. Charter members were Ethel Woodworth, Olive Howard, Alma Latham, Ida Graham, Ella Fowler, Golden Ebert, Catherine Leitzell, Henrietta Bowman and Mary Fowler.  This group reorganized as the Home Economics Club in 1924.

The Fortnightly Club was instituted January 17,1920 at a meeting in club rooms over the Rock Store.  Charter members were:   Belle Quinlan, Belle Billingsley, Annie Dawson, Ella Nicolay, Ruth Brown, Olive Carter, Mabel Krueger, Clara Bevers, Ruth Wilkins, Dr. X. P. Bent, Olga Sproule and Ethel Eberts.

  • November 23, 1923 At a meeting of the Benton Fire Company it was decided to turn the second floor Rest Room area of the Municipal Building over to the Fortnightly Club to be used as a public library.
  • December 14, 1923 The Benton Public Library Association announced that it would be open for business Saturday afternoon December 22nd from two to five o’clock.  Friends of the movement subscribed 25 cents per month, for one year, to create a fund for the purchase of current fiction and late books.  All subscribers were members of the Association and had a voice in its management.  All were encouraged to become subscribers and members.   In assistance, to ensure the start of the Library, the University Library Extension loaned close to 200 volumes for a period of six months.  Gifts or loans of books from the public were also accepted.

More history will be added when ready!

Additional History about Benton!