News: Withee - Library to Celebrate 100 Years (Ann. - 2019)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Olszewski, Holm, Lindgren, James, Sepnafski

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/17/2019

Withee Library to Celebrate 100 Years (Anniversary - 2019)

Withee Library to Celebrate 100 Years

One hundred years is a significant milestone for any institution to reach, one that a local library has achieved this year.

“’Never let a great opportunity pass without celebrating it’ and that is exactly what the Withee Public Library plans to do July 20 in the Alfa Holm Pavilion in the lions Park across from the library,” wrote Louise Olszewski in a press release.

On Nov. 11, 1919, the library was organized.

“A group of six civic-minded residents, responding to the needs of a young and growing community, met with the objective of establishing the first public library of Withee as a memorial to WWI veterans and all veterans,” a proclamation by Everett Lindgren read.

The citizens spent $250 to purchase equipment and books. The State Bank of Withee paid the rent for an upstairs room on Division Street and the library opened its doors in January 1920.

The library has moved several times since its inception. It moved downstairs in 1924, then remodeled and moved into the Withee School in 1986 and finally moved with the village offices to the corner of Division and First Streets in 2010. The library now boasts a collection of 10,000 books.

“Through times of recession and prosperity, war and peace, the Withee Public Library has continued to serve the people of Withee as a place of learning, culture and community,” the proclamation read.

As the library was founded to honor veterans, its centennial celebration will focus on celebrating freedom. The library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with veteran and library displays. A WWI uniform and mess kit will be featured, along with military books that can be checked out.

There will be a program at 2 p.m. The Owen-Withee Veterans Club and Girl Scouts will honor the country with flag presentations. Speakers will welcome everyone and provide historical information on the library. State Rep. Jesse James (R-Altoona) and Wisconsin Valley Library System director Marla Sepnafski will give remarks.

Mauel’s Dairy and A&W Restaurant, two local businesses that are also celebrating 100 years, will serve refreshments after the program.

A slideshow with photos of area veterans, past and present, will run throughout the day at the library. People may also stop by the Withee Park to view the original veteran’s plaque from 1919 honoring veterans who have served the U.S.

The Withee Post Office will provide a special stamp cancelation from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the library. Commemorative postcards will be provided or a person my provide his or her own item with a postal stamp on it. The cancelation will be provided up until Aug. 20 at the post office.

“There are many historical photos and plaques to view; take a self-tour of the library during the celebration or any time. It is surprising what you might find in the library,” wrote Olszewski.

The library will have further centennial celebrations on Veterans Day this fall.



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