A History of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library
Ethel Richardson and Kathlyn Wade
In October, 1898, was organized what is now known
as the Carlisle Clover Club, an organization of young women, whose purpose was literary
work and social entertainment for its members.
Out of this group came the plan to work for a
public library for New Carlisle. The first definite action was taken at an August 1900
meeting, when a committee was appointed to work for the library movement and it was
decided to devote the club fines and dues to the same cause.
January 4, 1901, a book committee and evening of
advertisement was given in the K. of P. Hall. At this first attempt $8.05 was realized
from the evening's entertainment.
Later tea parties and musicals were given for the
library which netted the club some $50. With this money the club appointed committees for
book purchasing; finding a building for the library, printing of rules and also a
The soliciting committee received 76 volumes at
one time, and many books were donated from surrounding areas as well as locally.
An association was formed under the name of
"Public Library Association of New Carlisle" and any person contributing to the
library became a member of the association.
February 21, 1902, the library was formally
opened with Miss Marion Hoagland of Indianapolis in charge; a history of work given by
Miss Ada Miller and an address by J.W. Rittinger. About fifty people attended the meeting.
On February 22, the library was opened for
loaning books. Miss Hoagland was in charge of the work. Jay Sharp received the first
membership care and borrowed the book "The Houseboat on the Styx." (This book is
in the library.)_ The library contained 173 classified volumes, nine volumes of government
reports, and 13 unclassified books. It received during the day four books, $1.00 in money,
24 copies of magazines and some new issues of a child's weekly. 37 cards were issued and
33 books loaned. At first the club members volunteered to serve in turn as there were no
funds to hire a librarian, but later a qualified librarian was employed.
From this time until July 1918, the New Carlisle
public library was maintained and enlarged in much the same was as in the beginning.
Public entertainments, serving of banquets, tag days and bazaars were the chief sources of
In the latter part of the year 1916 and early
1917, "The New Carlisle Chamber of Commerce" was organized and from this group a
library committee was formed to investigate the library question and the needs of the
In the meantime, Arthur Hubbard, of South Bend
offered to donate his property on Michigan Street, in the business district, to be used
for some public purpose.
During the summer of that year, fifty taxpayers
signed a petition backing the library movement in and for Olive Township.
February 1918 the library committee of New
Carlisle Chamber of Commerce reported that Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard were ready to deed the
lots to the proper authority and to be used as a library site, also that the Carnegie
appropriation for building had been allowed. It might be well to mention that the Carnegie
Corporation stipulated that $9,000 would be given by them for a Free Public Library
building on condition that the Town of New Carlisle and Olive Township would pledge to
raise and expend not less than $900 a year for maintenance. This resolution was accepted
by John Ordung, President of the Town Board of New Carlisle: Lot C. Runnels, Trustee of
Olive Township; George W. Doughty, Clerk of the Town of New Carlisle and Mr. Zigler,
Secretary of the Advisory Board of Olive Township.
In July 1918, all property including papers, book
and other belongings became the property of the New Carlisle and Olive Township Public
Through Mr. Bertram of Carnegie Corporation, a
contract was signed by the library board with Mr. Young (architect) to proceed with all
details necessary to complete arrangements for erection of a library building. The
building was constructed of tapestry brick, timber and stucco.
The library Board at this time consisted of Dr.
H. M. Hall, A.R. Brummitt, Fred Zeck; Lot C. Runnels, Mrs. Charles D. White; Mrs. William
Miller and Mrs. Charles G. Phillips.
The first librarian was Miss Margaret Miller.
The present building was dedicated June 1921,
with an open house and program. This edifice included an ample reading room with an office
for the librarian and for adults and children. Below is the basement with a small hall to
be used as a lecture room.
Thus from the small beginnings has grown what was
to be a large beginning of a greater work. Since the inception of the library eight
librarians have been employed: Miss Margret Miller, followed by Mrs. Charles White from
Buchanan, Michigan; Miss Carrie Williams; Mrs. Neil (Kitty) Wade; Richard Bunton; Mrs.
Darle Pfeiffer; Mrs. Frederick John; and Miss Ethel Richardson, the current librarian.
The library staff consists of Mrs. Neil Wade,
Mrs. Earle Adnson, Mrs. Charles Merrill, Suzanne Winey and Sally Marker.
The custodians are Mrs. Herbert King and Jay
The current library board members are: Roger
Barnhart, President; James Countryman, Vice-President; Mrs. Donald Kane, Secretary; Jack
Calhoun, Treasurer; Warren K. Travoli; Mrs. Olaf Olsen and M. and Mrs. Karle Stanton.
Since the organization of the first library board in 1969, the town clerk of New Carlisle
has served as treasurer of the board. In 1969, Mr. Calhoun became the first treasurer and
is still serving in that capacity.
During the fifty years of the library's
existence, many changes have been made. As previously mentioned the ground floor was used
for lectures, public meetings, class room for the public school and was available for
whatever the occasion demanded. A major change came in 1962 under the supervision of
Richard Bunton, librarian, when the library was expanded to two floors making the ground
or lower floor into a study room and general reference center. Today all the latest
reference and non-fiction are available on this floor with Mrs. Neil Wade in charge. In
the last few years the research department has built up its vertical File and how our
readers can find ample current information on many topics or subjects. Also the library
keeps a file of all its magazines for at least eight years. All the material that can be
found in this department is too numerous to be mentioned in this article.
The upstairs is confined to adult fiction,
juvenile books and young people's section; current magazines, newspapers and recordings.
The circulation desk as well as the work room or office is on this floor. This floor with
its green carpet and matching draperies lends a pleasant atmosphere for relaxing and
In 1968, a much needed feature -- the central air
conditioner was installed.
Among other improvements in the library have been
a new children's table and chairs, radiator covers and the arrangement of all the old
magazines so that they are more accessible for research purposes.
Perhaps a need that had existed since the library
building was built was a reciprocity service so that people living in outlying districts
could use the local library. In January 9, 1968 the library board of trustees approved a
plan for reciprocal borrowing privileges with the LaPorte Public and County Library Board
to extend our services to all residents living outside of Olive Township who are borrowers
of the LaPorte Library area free of charge.
Due to the Library's overcrowded space, the
greatest future improvement and need is for expansion. It is the hope and desire of the
library board to extend the present building almost to the alley on the south.
One of the Clover Clubs' first gifts to the
library was a large five foot Seth Thomas clock located on the west wall above the
juvenile books. The clock was donated a few years after the building of the present
edifice and is still in use.
In memory of George murphy, son of Mr. and Mrs.
A.H. Murphy, many books have been given and his parents still present at least one book a
In the small square in the front lawn stands a
flag pole which flies the American and Indiana flags. The pole and memorial were given in
memory of Joe Carr, by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Webster Carr.
The World War II Mothers of New Carlisle
presented the World War II plaque on the front of the building. The same organization
donated the American and Indiana flags located inside of the building in April 1969.
Over the years, the library has received
donations of books from clubs in memory of their deceased members.
Cash gifts have also been received, other
donations such as pictures by local artists Mrs. Warren K. Travoli and Arthur Clark.
In 1930 the Sigma Chapter of Delta Beta Phi gave
a fall painting.
Mrs. Neil Wade donated two upholstered chairs
which are in the fiction department
The New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library
now serves a population of 4,817 people and is also available to residents of Galien,
Millcreek, Hudson Lake and Rolling Prairie.
According to the December 31, 1970, annual report
of the library, there were 2,245 borrowers. The total number of volumes in the library
19,462 and of that number 1,771 were added during the years. The circulation of book stock
was 24,634. Number of sound recordings owned 334 and the total circulation of recordings
The library lends the Haven Hubbard Home a
collection of approximately 75 books every six weeks.
It should also be mentioned that our patrons have
access to the LaPorte Public Library and also the Indiana State Library.
Written By: Ethel Richardson and Kathlyn Wade
1997 Update to Library History
New Carlisle History Page
Written by Ethel Richardson and Kathlyn Wade
Page created by Nicholas Luthy & Jason Craft
All Rights Reserved