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Library History

Read how this library was established and how it has evolved to become such an important part of our community.

The town of Lenox was platted in 1871 after the completion of the Creston to St. Joseph branch of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad.  The town was originally called Summit.  A former editor of the newspaper relates that the town was named Lenox for the only daughter of a vice president of the railroad company. 


Lenox is proud to have a city library which was organized March 17, 1941 by various organizations of the city.  Those representing the clubs were: Mrs. John Drain, Mary Sweely, Anna Wainwright, J.J. Walter, Hugh Tyler, Harold Ethington, Donald Tyler, R.W. Walter, W.C. Harover, Verlin Sweely.  Mrs. Butler was the acting chairman and discussion centered on where to house the library.  It was suggested that two rooms in the Farmers and Merchants Bank Building would be suitable.  Books, chairs, tables and money were donated to help finance the library.  Vera Kilby was the first paid city librarian.


The library continued to add more items and eventually outgrew the original two small rooms. In 1974 the library moved to the old First National Bank building located on the corner of Temple and Main. It was donated by the city, to be used as a library, by Ralph Zabel and Elmer Bose.  Mrs. Bonnie Tyler was the librarian at that time.

 

The library has always kept pace with the new formats and programming.  Today the library offers books on CD,  DVDs, computers, magazines and of course books.  We store all the past issues of the Lenox Time Table Newspapers as well as information for genealogical searches.  The library has seven public access computer stations and wireless internet.  The staff has grown over the years and is now made up of a part-time Director and 3 part-time workers.