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The earliest public library (which I remember) was located at the north
end of the first building occupied by the Hamilton National Bank which was
on the northwest corner of the courthouse square (See April 26, 1957,
Flood picture 4). The library was a
small dark room filled with shelves and shelves of books. Library
hours were short--perhaps a couple of afternoons each
week. I was probably in the fourth grade when
Mother began taking me to check out books about Stephen Foster, Lassie, and Girl
of the Limberlost, etc. This library was closed prior to the
beginning of the 1952-53 school year and all of the books were donated to
the Hamilton High School Library. I spent one period each day typing
the names of the donated books into an accession list for Miss Opal West,
the high school librarian. Until April of that school year, the
library was closed to students while a new high school building was being
constructed south of the Hamilton High School Auditorium at the site of
West Ward Elementary. The second floor of the West Ward building was
removed and new classrooms were built on the east side of the West Ward
building. About February or March, 1953, the library moved into the
south side of the first floor of the original West Ward Elementary School.
We worked in the new high school building as construction continued.
to 1975 Hamilton Public Library re-opened on the northeast corner of
courthouse square in a building provided by Tom Joseph. Mrs. Mattie Erma "Pat" (Oliver) Tate, a
retired teacher, was the first librarian.
spacious new library was constructed on East Henry, 2 block east of
courthouse square and opened in May, 1993.
of Hamilton from Hamilton Public Library
on the blue words
below each picture to see a larger view.)