12th Annual Library Reception

1915 Program with similar numbers played. Program courtesy of Victoria K.

Monticello, N.Y., Republican Watchman, May 11, 1917
Miss Minnie Meyer led off with a piano solo and it was of such par excellence that it made the other participants hustle to keep the pace. Miss Anna Meyer and Miss Edna Gardner followed with a piano duet that was especially fine.

Adelbert M. Scriber, the editor of the Watchman, was an invited guest and was introduced by John C. Metzger Jr., one of the trustees of the Hall, as the first speaker of the evening. Mr. Scriber talked on thoroughness.

Mrs. Minnie E. Myers was on the program for a vocal solo and did her part beautifully. That is the word that was coined especially for Mrs. Myers’ solo. Miss Christina H. Leavenworth was another vocal soloist and acquitted herself splendidly. She possesses a sweet voice.

Another pleasing number was a vocal duet by Mrs. Minnie E. Myers and Miss Raola Kelley. Miss Kelley is the Postmistress of Eldred and she sings as well as she handles the mail. Their voices harmonized well…Miss Edna Gardner closed the program with a piano solo.

In the beginning, Sunshine Hall Library was a Sunday School library with about two dozen books. W.B. Styles, the treasurer and librarian of the present institution went to New York City and talked library and worked library among his friends. The patriotic people of Eldred took up the cry and in a year’s time, the two dozen books had grown to 700, and year after year new books were added until now 7,000 volumes grace the shelves of Sunshine Hall and are a standing invitation to every visitor to read.

In 1901 Miss Beattie, a New York lady known for her good deeds, erected a building 28 × 120 feet, two-stories high, for the children of Eldred and called it the Community Center. In the building she put a gymnasium and appliances helpful to children’s development and especially designed for their recreation…

The community center graduated finally from a gymnasium to a library.

When Miss Beattie died, the revenue to run the library stopped. Then the splendid library had to be maintained by public funds or private subscriptions…

Many good hearted citizens have contributed…Among them are J.Q. Fearey, who is connected with steel. He gave 390 books. E.J. Johnson, superintendent for Mr. Proctor, donated 90 books. Mr. Proctor gave $125.

Among the gifts which are prized very much is the scenery of scenic sittings for the large room, four full sets which were presented by William Ross Proctor. They were painted by his brother Charles Proctor, a professional artist.

The library is open from 8:30 to 5 o’clock, and in charge of Mr. Styles. Many people use it as a reading room, where they find in addition to the listed books, 31 of the best magazines.

It is certainly one of the finest institutions in Sullivan County and we believe the only public library maintained by subscriptions…The Watchman congratulates the people of Highland and the people of the county generally on having so fine a place of learning.

The officers and managers elected for 1917 are as follows:

President, Charles F. Scheniman; Vice-president, Morgan O. Sergeant; Secretary, Robert S. Greig; Financial Secretary, Samuel J. Hallock; Treasurer and Librarian, W.B. Styles; Assistant Librarian, Herbert L. Eldred.

Trustees: Dr. A. Eugene Austin, W.B. Styles, Erwin D. Avery, W.H. Wilson, C.F. Scheniman, F.R. Sergeant, John C. Metzger, Jr.

Councilors: Charles W. Wilson, John E. Hill, Archibald A. Myers, Julius J. Maier, C. Edgar Sergeant, David E. Crandall, Fred D. Heyen, Wilber Foster, James K. Gardner, Isaac Sergeant, John M. Austin, Frederick J. Lewis, George L. Crandall, Alex Wait, Stephen A. Myers, George Sidwell, John G. Love, Dr. Frank I. Smith, Edward R. Kalbfus, Howard Pelton, Charles M. Colville

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