Paris Library History 1914-Present
The Paris Commercial Club met in the spring of 1914 to choose the lot on which to build the library. One of the corners of Locust and Main was preferred, and the Curtright lot was finally chosen. It cost $3800.00. Construction was to begin that spring.
William Dulany was born in Howard County, Missouri, January 9, 1818. For many years he was a citizen of Monroe County, and a resident of Paris where he was engaged in business for some time. He was a member of the Christian church and contributed largely to his church and charitable institutions. He accumulated a large fortune during his long life. William H. Dulany and Susan Dulany had been married in 1847.
The formal dedication of the library was held on Saturday, June 9, 1915 at 8:00. James P. Boyd acted as Master of Ceremonies. George A. Campbell, pastor of the First Christian Church in Hannibal, was the main speaker. E.T. Fuller also spoke and Daniel M. Dulany officially dedicated the building.
The Dulany family was present, including children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The building was brilliantly lighted, threatening weather driving the crowd inside.
Little Miss Mary Schofield, great granddaughter of William H. Dulany, unveiled the flower-covered memorial tablet, which reads:
“This Public Library Building was given, March 10, 1914 to the City of Paris in memory of William H. and Susan Van Zandt Dulany by their children, Mary T. Dulany, Daniel M. Dulany, Isabelle Dulany Duncan, and George W. Dulany.
“Completed in the year A.D. 1915.
During the ceremonies, the Goetze Family Orchestra of Moberly furnished music. Refreshments were served afterward in the library basement.
The Dulany library building was similar to the Carnegie libraries that were being built in other places, but was much more expensive and elaborate. The basement was provided for club meetings. The toilets were to be easily reached from the southwest entrance for a public comfort station. Upstairs were the adult and children’s reading rooms with shelves for 6000 books. The stack room had a reinforced concrete floor and shelves for 5,000 volumes.
The Paris Library became of member of the Little Dixie Regional Libraries in 1967. Anew addition was built in 1994.
There have been four librarians since the library was built.
Miss Mayme Craig, Miss Helen McKamey, 21 years of service, Mrs. Eleanor Roegge 33 years of service, and the present librarian, Mrs. Sue Mattingly.