Hatteberg's People - Canton Library

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

In the latter part of the 1800s and up through the 1920s, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie built over 2500 Carnegie libraries in this country and overseas. The last one to be built in Kansas was in the small community of Canton. This weekend they celebrated their 90th Anniversary and the dedicated group of women wholkeep it going.

You know you are in Canton Kansas when you see the 'hot' and 'cold' water towers. But it's not only these towers that put the town on the map.

"It's nice to have a library here in this small community that you feel comfortable coming into," said library board president Joann Christensen.

It is this historic Carnegie library, it is believed to be the last one built in Kansas and maybe the U.S. But its existence is always precarious. This year they lost their state funding so life isn't easy for this little library. But the dedicated folks who make up the library board say the library is worth all the effort.

Della Farrell has been checking out books here longer than most people have been alive.

"Well, I love it and the people who operate it are so good to me. If I can't come here, they bring books to me. We're lucky to have this kind of library. I probably check out five or six every week," said Ferrall.

In 1916, the Carnegie Corporation gave $6,000 towards the building and the township gave 2,200 dollars and the building went up. Recently, they found some Stereoscopes at the library, also known as stereopticons or stereo viewers. They were one of America's most popular forms of entertainment in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

We think 3-D is all the rage today. Well, they had a form of it. at the turn of the century.

Today, the old, small library still serves due to the dedicated work of the people who love it. As the former librarians pictures look down over the stacks of books, this historic little place keeps on encouraging its readers, one book, one patron at a time.

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