IT ALL BEGAN WITH 200 BOOKS FROM THE STATE LIBRARY
In 1927 a collection of books donated by Bicknell residents coupled with the 200 from a statewide Indiana University Traveling Library comprised this city’s first library, housed in the building which presently houses the Knox County Insurance office on West Second Street.
An unpaid volunteer, Mrs. Emma Perkins, wife of the local manager of the Standard Oil Company, served as the librarian and custodian of the books at this time. Later, in 1929, when the library became a tax-supported facility, a graduate of the Library School at the University of Illinois was hired to catalog the books and organize the library in a proper and professional fashion. It was in 1929 that Vigo Township agreed to pay by contract for service from the Bicknell Public Library. It wasn’t until 1980, however, that the library district began operating on the same tax rate. The Bicknell-Vigo Township Public Library became a Class I Public Library on February 23, 1952. This action made the Board of the Bicknell Public Library subject to all the current public library laws pertaining to Class I libraries.
Today, the Bicknell Library is housed on the site of the former Vaught’s Paint Shop. Construction on the new building began in late 1990 and open house was held in September 1991. Funds for the purchase of the lot and construction of the building were provided by Harold Huffman in memory of his wife, the late Marjorie Huffman, a long-time teacher and librarian in the local school system. Other donations provided shelving and other furnishings for the library.
The Bicknell-Vigo Township Public Library’s area of service is to a population of approximately 5,235. The city and township library is currently composed of the main library in the city of Bicknell and one branch that was donated by Mr. Harold Huffman and his second wife, Lorene, in Sandborn. Our governing body consists of three board members appointed by the school board, two by the county, and two by the county commissioners.
Board of Trustees
Bryan W. Taylor, President
Linda J. Hancock, Vice-President
Thomas L. Estabrook, Treasurer
Kimberly Hill, Secretary
Troy Stoll, Member
Patricia Summers, Member
Gregory B. Risley, Member
Much of this information was taken from a report given in the Morning News Report on August 31, 1991, the rest came from State reports, Bicknell Indiana Centennial, and grant files