Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

April 30, 2014

Pat Smith: Honoring Lois Laskowski

(Continued)

It is especially interesting to make note of something that has puzzled many residents for several years and that it might have been solved. It has been written and passed down orally that there were two small libraries in Greensburg before the present library was built. Although there were hints, no one could say for certain where these libraries were housed.

Polly Matlock noted in her introduction Sunday that early First Presbyterian Church history has shown that “a printed catalog, dated in 1878, and listing more than 400 books were housed in the church library. That was before the city started thinking about building a library.”

It is known that in 1901 Mayor Willoughby did petition Andrew Carnegie to help Greensburg in its quest to have a library for the public. Carnegie donated $15,000 to help the city begin and the site of the Watson foundry (North Michigan Ave.) was chosen the next year for the location.

The doors were opened for patrons to begin borrowing books in 1905.

It would not be unusual for this church to have seen a need in the community and do something about it. The church started a mission and industrial school in 1990. This school was open to children for 30 years. Well over 200 children were enrolled at one time. The classes included sewing, cooking and other courses designed to help the young people as they came of age and going out into the world with a skill.

Lois spoke briefly saying that she hoped the members of the church would give the new librarian Marilyn Millis as much cooperation and assistance as they have always given her. After the church service the members and guests were invited to the monthly pitch-in dinner. The centerpiece of the event was a cake made especially to pay tribute to the outgoing librarian. It was especially made in the shape of a book on a pedestal.

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