Spoon River Library

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Our History

The Putman Township Library had its start in the 1880s. The first library was in the  house of Mrs. Elizabeth Spor who served as the librarian. Mrs. Spor was described as a very strict widow who carried a parasol and allowed the young readers to check out only books that she recommended. All of the books in the first library were donated. Because of lack of funding and interest the members of the library board decided to close it. 

Around 1912, a library was opened to the public in the base of the Cuba School in a furnace room. Mr Damon, the superintendent, was responsible for starting the library.

A WPA library was opened in Cuba during the depression. This library (see on the left) was located at the northeast corner of the square. It was a small metal building with books from the the state library, nearby towns and local citizens. It was managed by Babe Moore and Vesta Mosher.
In the primary election of April 13, 1948, the proposition to establish a library was approved. With help from the Senior Women's Club fund, a building on the southwest corner of the square was rented. The first board of trustees was elected for the Putman Township Library. Over the years the property was purchased. The sign seen in the picture above is currently on display in the library. 

 Members of the first board were: Mr. Fran Platt, Miss Lucy Stevens, Mr. Joe Clayberg, Mrs. Josie Snively, Mrs. Vera Baylor, and Mrs. Nellie Grady.
Mrs. Esta Tompkins (seated in the picture on the right with first grade teacher Miss Lucy Marshall) was hired as the first librarian in 1948. and over the years the property was purchased. The sign seen in the picture above is currently on display in the library.

In 1968, the building housing the library was torn down and a new building was built on the same site. This is the building still in use today.

In 1985, a referendum was passed which created the Spoon River Public Library District. The boundaries of the library district were expanded to match the Cuba Unit 3 school district so that all school children could benefit from the library's resources.