In the Beginning…
In April of 1902, residents of Independence, WI petitioned their Common Council to bond the Village for the purpose of erecting a Village Hall.
The Council at the time consisted of Amund Garthus, president, and councilmen Peter Filla, Willian Steiner, L. Gondars, A. Zilla, W.J. Carlton, and William Runkel. They considered the request “reasonable and for the public good” and decided $8,000 would be required to construct the building.
As evidenced by the words in stone about the door, space on the first floor of the Village Hall was designated for use as a public library from the beginning, however it wasn’t until 1907 that $500 was appropriated for its’ establishment. A library committee consisting of George Markham, Anton Senty, and Charles F. Peterson determined that furniture and shelving could be obtained for $65 and that books would average .50 each.
The Independence Public Library officially opened in January of 1908. The library committee became the first library board with George A. Markham serving as president, Anton Senty as vice president, and Charles F. Peterson as secretary. Mrs. Minnie Cole was appointed as the first librarian at an annual salary of $50. In the beginning, the library was open two evenings per week; Wednesday and Saturday, 6:30 – 10 pm.
In 2008, Independence Public Library celebrated 100 years in it’s original location.