THE FRANKLIN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW YORK
By Captain Franklin Ellis158
The Franklin Library Association was organized in 1837, with William R. Steele as president and James Batchellor secretary. It was regularly incorporated in the winter of 1838, with William A. Carpenter, president; Hiram Macy, vice-president; and Charles A. Darling, secretary.
The library-room of the association, located on Union street, near the present site of the Episcopal church, was completed at a cost of about $400, and occupied in October, 1837. The system of public lectures, given under the auspices of the association, was inaugurated in 1838, and was regularly continued for many years, but has recently been discontinued, on account of the extravagant demands of lecturers and the decline of public interest in them.
About 1855 the library was removed to the room in the city hall building which is now occupied by police headquarters. There it remained until 1874, when it was removed to its present rooms at 171 Warren street.
The number of volumes now in the library is four thousand five hundred. The present membership of the association is one hundred and sixty, and its officers for 1878 are Willard Peck, president; John C. Du Bois, vice-president; Stephen B. Miller, corresponding secretary; Ezra D. De Lamater, recording secretary; Elihu Gifford, Jr., treasurer; Samuel R. Rainey, William Seymour, John M. Pearson, directors; Miss Fannie Power, librarian.
This library association was an outgrowth of the Franklin Debating Society, which had been organized in Hudson as early as the year 1834. The members of the society at its commencement were William A. Carpenter, George W. Carpenter, Robert Smith, Hiram Macy, James Batchellor, Thomas Marshall, Wm. R. Steel, Edward B. Macy, Richard M. Remington, and John Hamlin. Their meeting for organization was held at the shop of Wm. A. Carpenter, who was one of the foremost members. It was he who originated the proposition to establish the library, and to erect for it the building on Union street; and he was, as we have mentioned, its first president after incorporation.