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.