How it began:
A stipulation upon the completion of the Memorial Building, In July 1923, was that it be used as a library. Several women in the community donated months of work through various benefits to raise money for the construction of the building. One special woman, Mrs. Alpha Lamar (wife of Kirby Lamar) donated her private collection to establish the Houston Library, a first for the town.
One a volunteer basis, Mrs. Effie Blickensderfer, the librarian, with the help of Elsie Morgan, kept the library open on Saturdays and during the summer months. People of the community continued to donate additional books, increasing the library holdings.
Miss. Velma Fourt, a teacher at the Houston School during the 30’s, reminisced that the library was a haven during the Depression. A book offered an escape into a world of adventure, when there was little affordable pleasures. She said she believed she read every book on the shelves.
In the late 30’s, the library was removed from the Memorial Building. Some books and records were placed in a room in the basement of the County Court House. Evidently, this was only temporary as few people interviewed remembered borrowing books from that location.
Later, a lending library was established on the upper floor above the local tavern, located at 112 North Grand Ave. The only access to this library was a stairway on the side of the building. Deacon Elmore was in charge and his daughter, Elsie, worked during the day attending to the lending of the books and record keeping. Ellen McVey and Velma Adams remembered going there to borrow books in the early 40’s.
A Library Tax was established by vote on April 2, 1946, thereby enabling a library to once again be placed in the Memorial Building.