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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Andalusia in Covington County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

History of the Library / Andalusia Post Office becomes Public Library

 
 
History of the Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 24, 2016
1. History of the Library Marker
Inscription.

History of the Library

In 1913 the Study Club of Andalusia was organized to establish a library for Andalusia. Led by founder Miss Ethel Darling the club held a book shower resulting in $5.50 and 15 books which became the embryo of the library. After World War I the club acquired 100 books from soldiers' libraries to place in the Milligan Building and in 1920 they opened the Covington County Free Library in the Masonic Hall with 200 books. The first library board was formed in 1921 with Mrs. Oscar M. Duggar as president. In 1934 Library Board President Mrs. A. C. Darling, Sr., Mayor John G. Scherf, Senator Lister Hill, and club members campaigned to construct a building. The city donated a corner of the grammar school property at Sixth Avenue and College Street. In 1937 the ladies petitioned the Public Works Administration and the government contributed $3000. Construction began in 1938. After 26 years the vision of the Study Club came to fruition. In March 1939 the new home of the Covington County Free Library opened to the public with Mrs. O. M. Duggar as the librarian.
FOUNDERS of the Study Club: Miss Ethel Darling (Mrs. D. D Chapman) Mrs. A. L. Gresham, Miss John Glen (Mrs. J. L. Mixon), Miss Martha Riley (Mrs. Warren Hunter), and Mrs. C. N. Wharton. CHARTER MEMBERS of
Andalusia Post Office becomes Public Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 24, 2016
2. Andalusia Post Office becomes Public Library Marker
the Study Club: Mrs. George Adams, Miss Trudie Ballard, (Mrs. W. C. Payne), Mrs. L. E. Broughton, Mrs. T. A. Broughton, Mrs. L. E. Brown, Mrs. S. B. Milligan, Mrs. Henry Opp (Mrs. J. H. Guy), Mrs. T.F. Plummer, Mrs. L. M. Studstill

Andalusia Post Office becomes Public Library

The first library building served Andalusia citizens for twenty-eight years. In 1963 the Andalusia Post Office relocated to a new building. Mrs. D.D. Chapman led a movement to secure the old post office for the public library. Members of the Study Club of Andalusia, Library Board President Mrs. M.S. Hooper and Mrs. Chapman began a letter writing campaign to Senators Lister Hill and John Sparkman, Congressman Bill Dickinson, Governor George Wallace, and federal officials. After two years, the old post office property was transferred to the city. The citizens of Andalusia banded together to make plans for ftnancing and renovation. Mayor Howard Ham, City Councilmen Jimmy Utsey, Reltys Powell, Nat Waller, Manny Russo and City Attorney Albert Rankin selected Architect Douglas Baker and Contractors Reid and Henry Merrill. Funds were secured by the City of Andalusia, the Board of Education the Coterie Club, and the Study Club with the help of seventy-five individuals and clubs who donated funds for the project. The El Martes Garden Club financed the landscaping.
Andalusia Public Library image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 24, 2016
3. Andalusia Public Library
Boy Scout Troop 46 helped shelve the books. Study Ciub members and Librarian Mrs. Hoke Smith planned the formal opening. On Sunday, April 26, 1967 hundreds of Andalusia citizens visited the facility to celebrate the new Andalusia Public Library and view the 15,000 volumes of books. in February 1975 another milestone of library history occurred with the completion of the new Assembly Learning Center which was buit as a memorial to the late Charles Dixon, made possible by his widow Thelma Chapman Dixon. The Dixon Memorial doubled the square footage of the main library.
 
Erected by the City of Andalusia.
 
Location. 31° 18.411′ N, 86° 28.982′ W. Marker is in Andalusia, Alabama, in Covington County. Marker is at the intersection of South 3 Notch Street and Dunson Street, on the right when traveling south on South 3 Notch Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 212 South 3 Notch Street, Andalusia AL 36420, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bank of Andalusia National Historic Place (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First National Bank Building (about 400 feet away); Old Courthouse Clock Bell (about 600 feet away); Three Notch Road / Hank and Audrey Williams
View of marker looking west down Dunson Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 24, 2016
4. View of marker looking west down Dunson Street.
(about 800 feet away); Andalusia City Hall / Three Notch School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Covington County Veterans Memorial Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Covington County War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Rodney J. Evans (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Andalusia.
 
Regarding History of the Library / Andalusia Post Office becomes Public Library. Andalusia Public Library was founded in 1920 by the Andalusia Study Club and opened in the reception room of the Masonic hall. The nucleus of the library was 100 books donated by various army camps in Alabama. After several years of contributions and with the help of the WPA, a new library was built. Called "one of the loveliest little libraries in the state", the new library opened its doors in 1939. Those doors remained open for the next 28 years. In 1963 it was time to expand. Mrs. D.D Chapman lead a movement to obtain the Andalusia Post office building, which was being replaced with a new post office, for the new public library. The federal government granted the request and the library opened its new doors in 1967. In 1979 the Charles Dixon Memorial meeting room was added to the library thanks to the generosity of Thelma Dixon. A reference room, genealogy room, periodical room and children's library were added soon after.
 
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 25, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 209 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 25, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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