Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Andy Gives the Thumbs Up

The first Mooresville Public Library (MPL) board of trustees held its inaugural meeting on June 21, 1912.  The first board members were:  Dr. C. L. Hallam and Dr. W. L. Thompson (appointed by the Mooresville Town Trustees); Mrs. W. H. Sage and D. B. Johnson (appointed by the School Board); and Mrs. W. F. Hadley, Pearl Bradley, and H. C. Scearce (appointed by the Morgan County Circuit Court).  At its first meeting, the board elected Johnson president; Mrs. Sage, vice president; and Dr. Hallam, secretary.


Dr. William L. Thompson, Mooresville, IN physician (ca. 1920)

One of the Library board's first actions was to recommend that Brown Township (Morgan County) citizens be invited to join the Town of Mooresville in supporting the Library in exchange for lending and use privileges.  G. R. Scruggs, Brown Township Trustee, was named ex officio to the Library board, and Mrs. W. H. Henderson served as Brown Township's Library board representative.

G. R. Scruggs (at age 86) (1940)

In 1920 the residents of Madison Township (Morgan County) joined Brown and Mooresville to support and use the Library, but fiscal constraints compelled Madison to withdraw from the arrangement in 1928.

Sarah Scott Edwards, Librarian
First Library Director
Mooresville Public Library
(March 1913-August 1913)

Sarah Scott Edwards Montage


At its next meeting, July 3, 1912, the Library board decided to request funding from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation.  Would a stipend be forthcoming to construct the new library facility?  Well, it's sort of a trick question, since we know the Library was, in fact, constructed.  Andy gave the thumbs up (well, his foundation did, anyway), and so $10,000 was granted to the Library board to construct its new building at 30 West Main Street.  The Town Board had purchased the 80 ft.-by-153 ft. lot in April, 1913.  MPL's first librarian (i.e., library director) was Sarah Scott Edwards, who served from March, 1913 to August, 1913.

Helen Hadley Ward, Librarian
Second Library Director
Mooresville Public Library
(August 1913-February 1918)

Andrew Carnegie
American Industrialist & Philanthropist
His Foundation Built 2,509 Libraries (Between 1883-1929)

Helen Hadley Ward, the second librarian (i.e., library director) of Mooresville Public Library, oversaw planning and construction of the new facility.  T. L. Bookie, an Indianapolis architect, designed the structure, while construction contracts were awarded to Frank Marine and Charles Ferguson, local general contractors, and Sam Wade, another Mooresville resident, who installed heating, plumbing, and electric.  Other local businesses, such as F. E. Carlisle and Wilson & White, provided furnishings.

Sam Wade (1882-1968) at his plumbing shop
on East Main Street, Mooresville, IN

Next time we'll discover the layout of what was commonly known as the Mooresville "Carnegie" Library, which was dedicated on January 27, 1916.

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