Library History

Historical Highlights

May 1910
Marshfield Mayor appoints C. W. Dickey, C. O. McCain, O. P. Keller, M. Highfill, George Humphrey, J. A. Killian, E. P. Tucker, J. W. Shannon and I. P. Langley as the first board of directors for the future Carnegie Public Library.  E. P. Tucker, a friend of Andrew Carnegie’s private secretary started the correspondence that would establish a gift of $5000 from Carnegie for the library.  A city library tax is put in place to support the library.

September 1911
Dedication of the Carnegie Public Library.  John H. Case provided the site and supervised the construction.  Ella Dickey is hired as Librarian. Marshfield is the smallest town to have a Carnegie Library.

January 1925
Hoyt Meyer is accidentally shot in the stomach by another young man behind the bookshelves in the library.

August 1961
Library closes for the month due to extreme heat.

September 24, 1961
Library’s 50th Anniversary Party and reception for Ella Dickey’s 50 years of service to the library.

April 1962
Voters approve an increase in the city library tax.

March 1963
Library joins Kinderhook Regional Library Demonstration Project with Camden, Laclede, and Pulaski County libraries.

April 1964
Webster County Library District established with approval of a county library tax.  Library is called the Webster County Service Center of the Kinderhook Regional Library System.

April 1970
Vote approved to continue county library tax.

June 1974
City Library Board officially merges with County Library Board to operate as the Webster County Library District.

October 1981
Cornerstone laying ceremony at the 70th birthday party for the library.  Story Hour Room Renovation Project completed.

April 1990
William G. and Retha Stone Baker pledge four lots of land on which to construct a new library.

August 1990, February 1991, February 1993
Three separate levy votes to increase the library tax fail.

April 1993
The three children of Lester and Nanalee Garst (Robert, Gene & Katherine) issue a challenge grant of $100,000 toward a new library if $100,000 in local funds can be raised.

 October 1993
General Homer Case donates $50,000 to library campaign bringing the Case family donations to $78,000. Homer, along with brother Hershel, were the first two custodians of the Carnegie Library building.

May 1994
The Friends of the Library surpass their fundraising goal of $370,000 for the project. A groundbreaking
ceremony is held for the new Garst Memorial Library.

June 1995
The Garst Memorial Library facility opens.  Project architect, Warren & Goodin, Inc. and contractor, J. J. Jackson Construction Company, Inc.

October 1995
Dedication and Open House for the Garst Memorial Library.

December 1998
Library leaves Kinderhook Regional Library System.

October 1999
Fordland Deposit Collection opens within the Fordland High School Library.

February 2001
Rogersville Branch Library opens in the former City Hall at 100 W. Clinton St.

September 2002
New addition opens at Garst Memorial Library.  Architect, Warren and Goodin Engineers-Architects and
Contractor, Hoke Brothers Construction.

December 2002
Open House and Dedication of the Garst Memorial Library Addition.

June 2011
The Rogersville Branch Library moves to a newly remodeled facility at 104 N. Beatie St.

September 24, 2011
Centennial Celebration!