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.
Pre-1930 The Queens Borough Public Library, Maspeth Branch Library Card No. MA 421 issued to Edith Wietzke
The Queens Borough Public Library, Maspeth Branch, Queens, New York
In the Report of the Queens Borough Public Library (1906), it was noted that there were large communities in the Queens Borough without library facilities. Maspeth, with a population of 3,800, was among those communities named. With this in mind, the Queens Borough Public Library opened a “traveling library station” at 80 Grand Street in Maspeth on July 27, 1911. Traveling libraries were often housed in drug stores, recreation centers, or other public spaces and tended to by proprietors that were willing to look after the distribution of books. In addition, dedicated “library stations” were housed in rented rooms and open to borrowers three times a week. Trained librarians that travelled to the stations maintained the distribution of the books and would oversee a monthly rotation of the stock to provide readers with an always up-to-date selection.
By July 1929, due to overwhelming use of the Maspeth library station, additional days and evening hours were added to the schedule giving borrowers additional time to use the library station facilities.
Over the years, the Maspeth Branch library station was housed in multiple locations, including 80 Grand Street, Grand Street and Columbia Place, the Legion Building at 47 Grand Street (in 1923); 66-40 Grand Avenue (during the 1930s), and ultimately 69-70 Grand Avenue, when a new facility was built in 1973.
Maspeth Library in the News
Edith Wietzke (1913-unknown) was born in Vohwinkle, Germany. In April of 1923, Edith and her mother, Meta (1888-1950), and father, Reinhold (1880-1977), left the turmoil in Germany for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Two years later, in May of 1925, Edith’s father set off for America, followed by Edith and her mother three months later. The family settled in Maspeth, New York.
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.
1957 Borrower’s Card No. 6N-8530 Issued to Elliot I. Walsey
The Fordham Branch Library building, designed by the prominent New York architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, who was known for designing the main New York Public Library in Manhattan, opened for circulation on September 24, 1923.
The New York Public Library, Fordham Branch, was one of many public libraries and public buildings endowed by steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. In the latter years of his life, he believed the rich had a responsibility to “improve society,” and hence, donated $350M (equal to over $5B today) to the construction of over 3,000 libraries and public spaces in his birthplace, Scotland, the United States, and around the world.
The “Fordham Branch Library” having become too small to accommodate neighborhood needs, closed in November 2005 and reopened as the Bronx Library Center at 301 East Kingsbridge Road on January 17, 2006. The new 78,000 square-foot facility is a state-of-the-art, green library that houses the New York Public Library’s premiere Latino and Puerto Rican Heritage Collection.
Elliot I. Walsey (1938-2012)
Elliot Ira Walsey, born September 26, 1938 in New York, New York, was an American business owner. He was the founder and former President of Benchmark Graphics, Ltd.