“Henry Stephens Memorial Library Opened” – March 1, 1919

On Saturday March 1, 1919 the Henry Stephens Memorial Library (now the Almont District Library) was opened to the public for the first time.

Albert L. Stephens donated the funds to purchase the land for and to build a library in memory of his father, Henry Stephens.  Henry Stephens was a very successful merchant and lumberman who got his start in Almont in the mid-1840’s.

The first meeting of the library board was July 11, 1916.  Present at this meeting were Mrs. G. W. Paton, Mrs. E. W. Ferguson, Mrs. Melvin Curtis, C. D. Ferguson and A. J. Fox.

On April 9. 1917, the corner lot at Cherry and West St. Clair Streets was purchased from Mr. amd Mrs. James Gould.

Mr. A. L. Thayer built the building and on April 1, 1918 it was dedicated.  Judge Kendrick of Saginaw gave the dedication address.

The people of the community were asked to donate money to purchase books and furnishings for the building.   Edward Leete furnished one room; Mrs. A. L. Stephens donated a 30-volume encyclopedia; Joseph McClelland of Portland, Oregon and Mrs. Katie Wilcox Emmons donated money for shrubs.

Mrs. Mattie Johnson was the first librarian (at $30 a month) and Mr. Cameron was the janitor (at $25 a month).

Saturday March 1, 1919 the doors were opened to the public for the first time.  By March 3, 1921, the library contained 7,358 volumes.

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