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Kinchafoonee Regional Library System

History of the Kinchafoonee Regional Library
(copied from the book,  "History of Terrell County")

     The Dawson Library Association was formed in 1906 as an outgrowth of the "Wednesday Club", whose thirty-two members "loved literature and desired to do something permanent."  The organizational meeting was held at the home of Miss Minnie Bridges and Mrs. E.T. Jordan was elected president, Mrs. F.M. McNulty, treasurer, and Mrs. Lucius Lamar, secretary.  Mr. T.D. Lee offered a large room over his drug store for use as a library.  Mrs Fanny Cheatham, affectionately known as "Miss Pet," became the first librarian at a salary of $40.00 a month.  All reading members were charged a fee of 25 to help pay the librarian's salary.

     With the passing of a year or two, the library was moved to the city council room over the fire department.  The Carnegie Library Building was constructed in 1914 and became the responsibility of the city in 1924.  At this time, trustees were appointed by the City Council who were Mrs. Ed Bell, chairman, Miss Louise McNulty, Mrs. Lucius Lamar, Mrs. D.C. Pickett and Mrs. J.M. Griggs.  The first bookmobile service began in 1938.

     After "Miss Pet's" death in the late forties, Miss Pat Turner, now Mrs. Calvin Schramm, became the librarian until 1950 at which time Mrs. Lillian Cowart served as librarian.  Mr. Henry Shearhouse was the next librarian in 1953 and in 1954, Mrs. S.J. Smith became the library director, serving during the period of the library's growth into a six county regional system. Upon her retirement in 1970, Mrs. Doris Wightman was appointed as library director.

     Mrs. Augusta Griggs Raines was appointed to the library board in 1950.  During her period of leadership, the Dawson Library became the Kinchafoonee Regional Library System, taking the name of a creek that has its course through many of the member counties.  Calhoun County joined Terrell County in 1953 and Lee became a member in 1954, and the library became the Terrell-Calhoun-Lee Regional Library.  An annex to the original Carnegie building was completed in 1959, providing additional space for books.  Randolph and Webster Counties joined the system in 1961 and Clay County became sixth and last to join in 1966.

     The Kinchafoonee Regional System remains in the original Carnegie building and annex but was modernized in 1977 making the main entrance on ground level for the convenience of the public.  The building currently houses more than 140,000 items of material.  The system includes the headquarters library in Dawson and seven branch libraries.

Submitted by Mrs. Doris Wightman




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2004   Terrell County Public Library
                Dawson, Georgia  31742
                Claudia Copeland, Librarian
                Romaine Richardson, Web Master
Last Updated:  July 25, 2004
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express permission of Terrell County Public Library is  strictly prohibited.