Martin Memorial Library, York, Pennsylvania

Martin Memorial Library Card No. 20913 Issued to Mary Anne Sunday

Martin Memorial Library Card No. 20913 Issued to Mary Anne Sunday (front)
Martin Memorial Library Card No. 20913 Issued to Mary Anne Sunday (back)

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.

Martin Memorial Library (postcard with no known copyright restrictions)

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.

Martin Carriage Works Ad, The Gazette, York Pennsylvania, February 3, 1912

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.  

Milton D. Martin (author unknown) (no known copyright restrictions)

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. 

The Josephine-Louise Public Library, Walden, New York

Pre-1951 Josephine-Louise Public Library Card No. 163 issued to Thelma Van Houten

Pre-1951 Josephine-Louise Public Library Card No. 163 issued to Thelma Van Houten (front)

The Josephine-Louise Public Library, Walden, New York

The Josephine-Louise Public Library, Walden, New York (Pre-1923 Public Domain Postcard)

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.

Gale Memorial Library, Laconia, New Hampshire

The Gale Memorial Library, Laconia, New Hampshire

The Gale Memorial Library, Laconia, New Hampshire (front)
(Public Domain – Pre-1923 postcard)
The Gale Memorial Library, Laconia, New Hampshire (back)
(Public Domain – Pre-1923 postcard)

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. 

Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, Watertown, New York

Pre-1974 Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library Borrower’s Card

Pre-1974 Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library Borrower’s Card (front)
Pre-1974 Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library Borrower’s Card (back)

Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library

Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library (Photo from “An Illustrated Souvenir of the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library,” Watertown, New York, July 11, 1903, Dedication Pamphlet)(Public Domain)

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

Cigarette trade card from the “Presidential Possibilities” series, issued in 1888 by W. Duke Sons & Co. (public domain) 

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.