Early-Mid 1990s Library Card Nos. 12963 and 12964 for the Oakland Park City Library
Oakland Park City Library
Initially organized as a project of the Oakland Park Women’s Club, the Oakland Park City Library was originally located at the Oakland Park Women’s Clubhouse at 3721 NE Thirteen Avenue. Ethel Gordon (1897-1973), a member of the Oakland Park Women’s Club, having “never lived in a town without a library” suggested organizing a community library in Oakland Park. In May 1954, the organization of a library at the Clubhouse was added to the budget for the upcoming year. Ethel Gordon was elected Chairman of the Americanism Department.
In February 1955, the community was invited to the Clubhouse to inspect the new library and to bring books or donations, and in May 1955, the library was officially opened to the public. The Mayor of Oakland Park and members of the City Commission were invited and given complimentary membership cards.
The Library Today
On October 16, 2013, the Oakland Park City Commission voted to officially change the name of the library to The Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library in recognition of her role in the establishment of the Oakland Park library.
Fun fact: Children under the age of 16 may obtain a library card in their name as soon as they can print their full name!
The library is located at 1298 NE 37 Street in Oakland Park and is open Monday-Saturday. For more information on Oakland Park’s community library, go to:
While many public libraries had been opening across the country throughout the mid- to late-1800’s, the establishment of a public library system in Maryland lagged far behind. In 1902, the Maryland State Library Commission (MSLC) formed to explore the establishment of public libraries within the State of Maryland. In 1910, with the passing of new Maryland state library laws, The Maryland Public Library Commission (MPLC), which succeeded the MSLC, was established to “stimulate” the opening of permanent county and election district public libraries and to provide funds for the purchase of books for new libraries.
Pre-2000 Library Card for the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
The roots of public libraries in Prince George’s County can be traced back to the late 1800s. In 1898, The Forestville Library Association held an “entertainment benefit” to collect funds for a public library, and in June 1899, they received a parcel of discarded books from Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Library. In 1890 a room at an engine house in Upper Marlboro was set up as a library and reading room by the Marlboro Fire Association. In May 1910, Laurel’s “new public library” was readied for opening with 700 volumes. On June 5, 1915, local talent performed for the benefit of The Prince George[‘s] Library and Reading Room Association. On November 26, 1916, an oyster dinner and bazaar was held in Mitchellville to benefit The Prince George’s Library Association, and as reported in The Prince George’s Enquirer and Southern Maryland Advertiser on February 4, 1921, a space in the J. C. Hawkin’s Electric Shop had been secured for a public library in Hyattsville. Greenbelt and Beltsville each opened public libraries in 1939 and 1942, respectively.
While legislation was regularly presented to Maryland’s General Assembly, the most earnest attempts to establish and maintain free libraries in Prince George’s County were made by county citizen groups. The MPLC continued to rely upon the traveling library system to provide free library services to Maryland county communities.
In 1946, The Prince George’s Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) was established “as a living memorial to those who have made the supreme sacrifice and a testimonial to all those who served in wars.” The Laurel Public Library, which served both Prince George’s County and the City of Laurel, was the first branch library of the system.
Today, there are 19 branch libraries in the PGCMLS, including Accokeek, Baden, Beltsville, Bladensburg, Bowie, Fairmount Heights, Glenarden, Greenbelt, Hillcrest Heights, Hyattsville, Largo-Kettering, Laurel, Mount Rainer, New Carrolton, Oxon Hill, South Bowie, Spauldings, Surratts-Clinton and Upper Marlboro.
Martin Memorial Library Card No. 20913 Issued to Mary Anne Sunday
Martin Memorial Library, York, Pennsylvania
Located at the corner of Market and Queen Streets since 1935, the library had its beginning in 1912 when Milton D. Martin, a local businessman, bequeathed $125,000 for the construction of a public library and another $20,000 to be held in trust for the maintenance of that library. Appointed Board members felt the sum too little to adequately provide for the library. Over the next two decades, legal issues hampered the establishment of the library, including whether to levy a tax on citizens, the library location, and whether the city could legally maintain the library. Public patience wore thin. The citizens presented petitions in favor of the library at public hearings, and letters to the editor questioned whether the “supposed” public library would ever exist. Eventually, the Board resolved all legal issues, and in September 1934, L. Reinholder & Son won the contract for constructions and interior shelving. On November 1, 1935, the long-awaiting Martin Memorial Library opened and hosted over 2,600 visitors on its first day, 480 of which became registered users. Architect Frederick G. Dempwolf designed the brick and limestone Pennsylvania Colonial-style building. The library has been in continuous use since 1935.
Milton D. Martin
Milton D. Martin (November 23, 1859-December 31, 1912) was a prominent York business owner and local benefactor. Along with his father, Hiram, he manufactured buggies, carriages, and sleighs through the late 1800s. Although Hiram Martin & Son went bankrupt in 1888, Milton D. Martin later opened Martin Carriage Works of York, which eventually had upwards of 500 employees. In 1909, at the dawn of the electric car, Martin transformed his factory into an automobile and truck manufacturer.
In addition to his manufacturing businesses, he was President of the Guardian Trust Company of York, and a benefactor and Director of the York Hospital, to which he contributed funds to build an improved operating room.
Upon his death, Milton D. Martin bequeathed $125,000 for the construction of a public library and another $20,000 to be held in trust for the maintenance of that library. His kindness was extended to his housekeeper of many years, leaving her $8,000, which today equals approximately $200,000.
Pre-1951 Josephine-Louise Public Library Card No. 163 issued to Thelma Van Houten
The Josephine-Louise Public Library, Walden, New York
The Josephine-Louise Public Library is a memorial library dedicated to Josephine Dennison Bradley (1843-1903) and Louise Harper Bradley (1869-1900), wife and daughter of Col. Thomas Wilson Bradley (1844-1920), President of the New York Knife Factory, Medal of Honor recipient for his service during the Civil War, and a member of the US Congress.
The library began as a circulating library club in 1896 by a group of Walden residents that included Josephine Bradley. Upon petitioning the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, the circulating library was granted a 5-year provisional charter and, in 1901, the first Walden Public Library opened. In 1915, plans to build a new Municipal Building were put into place. Colonel Bradley, in honor of his wife and daughter, matched “dollar for dollar” the town budget to build the new facility which included a firehouse, as well as offices, an assembly room and, of course, a library space. In addition, he fully funded a temporary location in the village hall until the new Municipal Building was completed. The new Walden Municipal Building and Library opened at 5 Scofield Street in Walden in 1916.
Thelma Van Houten
Thelma Louise Van Houten (1/30/1929 – 6/19/1992), life-long New York native.
The Gale Memorial Library is located at 695 Main Street in Laconia, New Hampshire. The Richardsonian Romanesque-style building was funded by a local banker, Napoleon Bonaparte Gale, who, knowing the importance of public libraries, bequeathed $100,000 for “a substantial and proper building of brick and stone for the Public Library,” as well as a hospital and park. Designed by Boston architect, Charles Brigham, and constructed between 1901 and 1903, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Napoleon Bonaparte Gale
Napoleon Bonaparte Gale (1815-1984), was a successful Laconia banker.
Pre-1974 Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library Borrower’s Card
Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library
The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library was funded by Mrs. Emma Flower Taylor in memory of her father and designed by Orchard, Lansing & Joralemon of Niagara Falls. The library was dedicated on November 10, 1904.
Roswell Pettibone Flower
Roswell P. Flower (1835–1899), was a New York State Congressman from 1881 to 1890, and the 30th Governor of New York from 1891 to 1894.
Howard Ray Ferguson
Howard Ray Ferguson (1926–2001) was born in Watertown and worked for the Black-Clawson Co. in Watertown.