Monday, May 12, 2008
1910 Garth Memorial Library, Hannibal, Missouri
In 1901 Helen Kercheval Garth and her daughter Anna H. Goodlett donated $25,000 to the City for the erection and furnishing of a library building as a memorial to their husband and father, John H. Garth. Helen was a native of Hannibal and had been a childhood and lifelong friend of Mark Twain. John Garth, a native of Virginia, had come to Hannibal with his parents. After attending the University of Missouri, he returned to Hannibal to join his father and brother in the tobacco business. Later he went into banking and became the president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank. He died in 1899.
The site of the new building would be on the old site at 5th and Church. A parade and ceremony celebrated the laying of the cornerstone on May 16, 1901. The Garth Memorial Library opened February 15, 1902. Miss Lizzie Lingle, the librarian received $25 a month. Her assistant, Miss Lizzie Hunt received $15 a month. [http://www.hannibal.lib.mo.us/about_the_library.htm]