Jewell Public Library

Yes, in 1945 the town of Jewell would finally have a library.

And Jewell Public Library was first formed in a home somebody had lived in.

     In 1945 E. W. Montgomery gave all but $9.000 of his estate to establish a Modern Free Public Library in Jewell.   The library was in his home at 419 Main Street just south of the Lutheran Church (now where Bethesda Lutheran Church parking lot is located).   His will provided that Otto Fenton, Mrs. G. H. Maxon, Elmer Rorem, and Attorney G. O. Blake would be the trustees, "That the trustees shall make anual financial reports to the Masonic Lodge of Jewell, and that vacancies that may arise in the library board of trustees in the future shall be filled by the lodge."   The Lodge turned complete obligations over to the trustees.   This library had a fine assortment of books, magazines, musical records, and complete sets of early Jewell newspapers dating to 1899.   Appoximately 7,000 books have been accessioned, and appoximately 1300 borrowers had registered by 1976.   There are books for all ages.   It had been a fine influence in this community.   The library hours were 1-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in 1976.

     When the library first opened, the hours were from 1:30-9:00 on Wednesday and Saturday nights.   Those were the nights the stores were open and everyone came to town for supplies and to have a sociable evening.   The library is now open (in 1980) 6 days a week Monday throught Friday 1:30-5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 12:00-4:00.

     In February 1980, the library received $15,000 in a grant award to be used in purchasing furnishings for a new library location.   The library board bought the building formerly occupied by Oppedal Home Furnishings at 711 Main.

     There have been reading classes for pre-school children and for children ages 4-6 and 7-9.  The library has a selection of large print books for people with eye problems.   Many new books have been added.   Scouts, service organization representatives and concerned individuals helped to pack and unpack the books and move them to the new location around March 1, 1980.    (This text is from the Jewell Centennial Book.)

(This next news article was published in The Jewell Record on May 10, 1945.)

Click the article if you wish to view the entire front page (above the fold) of the newspaper which included this article.

Jewell Librarians in the Montgomery Memorial Library have included Helen Harwood (1947-1948), Vivian Nye (1948-1950), Florence Thompson (starting 1958), and Marilyn Miller.