History of the Glenns Ferry Public Library
The Glenns Ferry Public Library originated in the minds of Glenns Ferry women way back in early days of this century. The Glenns Ferry Civic Club was organized on June 12, 1914, in order to accomplish civic improvements that the ladies felt were needed in their community. The organization was accomplished at a meeting in the Edward M. Clark home. Officers elected included Mrs. C. E. Goodman, President; Mrs. G. W. Robertson, Vice President; and Mrs. H. M. Hulbert, Treasurer. Dues were 35 cents per month. Second Vice President was Mrs. T. Hall and Mrs. H. Hurlbert, Secretary.
First improvement which the women accomplished was raising money to buy a hearse for the town. The money was raised, according to minutes which are in the possession of Mrs. Zoe Hull, who kindly permitted their use for the history, “by giving social teas, entertainments and private soliciting.” A year and a half later not only had that project been completed but nearly $500 had been raised to pay for surveying the cemetery and fencing. Thus Glenn Rest became a actuality. The club’s name changed to the Improvement Club and next the ladies set about to establish a park for their little town. So the little railroad village, named for the family which operated freight teams and the ferry across the Snake River for early – day migrants and visitors, set about to raise money again. A series of plays, rummage sales, “tag” days, dances, and dinners were held to build the park fund. Thus it was that by 1924, what is now Hull Memorial Park was established, including two sections, one for the ball park and the other for tourists.
From 1925 on, the idea of a Library was brought up from time to time in the club meeting, but competing with it was the need for a bandstand for the popular weekly concerts. This project won out for the time being, and in 1926 the little building become a reality. Originally erected down town, later it was moved to its present site in the City Hall.
Early in the spring of 1925 a visitor introduced the idea of a traveling library. A special committee reported to the next club meeting that a suitable place for books could not be found, and the concluded “About the library, after a lively discussion, the majority were in favor of buying books for the school library”.
It was by now high time, the ladies concluded, that the village have a public library, so shelves were installed in the City Hall rooms in what is now the Meserole office building on North Commercial Street, and Mrs. Alice Scott was the first librarian. Here the library was continued for several years until the city acquired the present city hall in the 1930’s.
By 1927 the library was a reality due to the perseverance of the Improvement Club members, and indeed the club itself had grown to 89 members.
After Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Sarah Carns was librarian for many years, followed by Mrs. E. L. Belmore for a short period. Assistants had included Mrs. Jessie Clarke, Miss Ruth Cline and Mattie Watts, among others. At some time during those years, Clifford Badcock who was the village clerk as well as the constable numbered among his duties that of loaning the books.
After Mrs. Belmore, Mrs. Homer Moats went to the city hall to assist her husband who was by then the city clerk who also loaned out the books. She took over the library duties and worked without salary for a year. Then the City Council put Mrs. Moats on the salary. When Mr. Moats retired from his job, Mrs. Moats also joined him in a leisurely life, and Mrs. Lucy Detty was librarian from 1956 until 1973. Since that date, Mrs. Betty Graffe was librarian from 1973 until early fall of 1980. Mrs. Linda Christensen was hired to replace Mrs. Graffe and is still the present librarian.
The first library board included Mrs. Worth Montgomery, Sr., who served for many years. Other board members have included: Mrs. D.C. Anderbert, who was on the original roster; Mrs. L.B. Allison, Mrs. Betty Allison, Mrs. Kenneth Starkey and Mrs. Ruby Muck.
In 1962 the City Council provided for a new library board of five members in order to operate the library according to state law and thus qualify for state library services. At this time, Mrs. Montgomery was retained and appointments included Mrs. L. L. Clark, Mrs. Ben Johnson, Mrs. Iris Thompson and Mrs. R. H. Patterson.
Since then others who have served on the board included Mrs. Ray Miller, Mrs. Robert Warburton, Mrs. Clara Hanson, Mrs. Floyd McKee, Mrs. Enid Baptie, Barbara South, Mrs. Susie Taylor, Mrs. Kay Wesling, Mrs. Bonnie Messerly, Mrs. Jocelyn Grow. The present board consists of Mrs. Betty Wise, term expires 1968; Mrs. Martha Robertson, term expires 1985; Mrs. Joyce Sandstrom, term expires 1985; Mrs. Donna Bybee, term expires 1986; and Mrs. Rosaline Langworthy, term expires 1986.
The books are all classified under the Dewey Decimal System, and a card catalog is kept up to date for all the volumes. Many local people have contributed much time and work during the years to bring the library to an excellent condition and maintain it that way. More than a score of years ago the board started borrowing books from the state library on a semi-annual basis, thus adding considerably to the local circulation.
Material for this report, for the early years of the library history especially, was obtained from Mrs. Zoe Hull, whose husband, Leroy, was an indefatigable worker on the City Council on behalf of the park and cemetery, and to whose memory to the Hull Memorial Park is dedicated.
It is the hope of the board of trustees that the efforts of so many people put into this project over the many years will assist the community and help develop a love of reading in the younger generation.