J. Lewis Crozier Library
3rd and Jeffrey Street
The West End Free Library opened
January 4, 1909
Miss Mary H. Davis (first
librarian, worked for over 3 years)
Miss Susie E. Black (8/1/1912-8/28/1913)
Miss Mary H. Jones (10/28/1913-1915)
Miss Myrtle C. Lehman (1915-1920)
Miss Anna A. Hannum (1920-1934-1949-?)
From the 1949 Chester Times year book:
West End Branch of J. Lewis Crozer Library
Fourth and Jeffrey sts. 10,000 volumes (estimated)
Anna A. Hannum, Librarian
"My grandmother, Lelia
Ridgeway, was the children’s librarian at the J. Lewis Crozier Library -
West Branch from 1935 to 1965 (estimated). She continued with the library
when it was moved to the Deshong building
on Edgmont Avenue and retired around 1976. While a student at Dewey
Mann Junior High School (Mr. Vaul, Principal), I remember doing my
homework and research at the adjacent library and feeling proud that my
grandmother, Mrs. Ridgeway, was the librarian. As grandson, I took the
liberty to explore the library to include the basement. The remains of
jail cells stood among piles of coal stored for the furnace. Mrs. Ridgeway
scheduled classes from nearby elementary schools to tour the library and
lean how to use the card catalog and other library resources. I can still
hear her admonish children for dirty hands and chewing gum. The library
had closely spaced large windows on all sides allowing natural light to
bathe the large room, free of partitions. Display cabinets between the
windows housed plastic models of airplanes, cars, and boats – mostly
"Miss Anna Hannum was the
librarian for adults located on the first floor. At fifty-cents an hour,
my first job was shelving books in the J. Lewis Crozier Library-West
Branch. I can vividly recall the sturdy oak tables and chairs on both
floors. The hardwood floors emitted a strong aroma of oil-soaked wood. An
old “Regulator” clock moved ever so slowly to my quitting time of 8:00
p.m. The first floor (adult library) desk was situated behind a banister
railing to the left of the front entrance. On the desk was a 4 X 18 inch
rectangular box used to file cards for books checked out of the library.
An Underwood Typewriter, protected by a clear plastic cover, was used to
type new cards and library correspondence."
A. Carpenter - July 25, 2003
The following article from an unidentified publication, written
by Keith Lockhart, was passed along to us by AJSweetyPY@aol.com:
Were Three Chesters Better Than One?
The South Chester Town Hall was located on the South East
corner of Fourth and Jeffrey Streets and was built in 1879 at a cost of $3,500. The
Borough Council met in the Hall on the second Monday evening of each month. The basement
was for the confinement of prisoners, and the first floor for the meetings of council and
hearings by the burgess, and the second floor for public meetings.
The surrounding half a square area was laid out as a
public park. South Chester Borough was incorporated in 1870, and only existed as a borough
for twenty-eight years. The big day in South Chester was October 27, 1879. The council
minutes of that date describes the first council meeting in the new town hall. "A
special meeting of the council was held this date in the new chambers, Burgess D. F.
The building committee reported as follows. Contract for
construction of building by S. Montgomery $2,950. Extras after building construction,
$583.87; total cost of building, $3,533.87; itemized furnishing $1,900. and the report
mentions a lightning rod for $75.00. The Iron Workers Savings and Loan Association also
met there on Saturday evenings some thirty years ago to collect payments. The
building's last official use was as the West End branch of J. Lewis Crozer Library, which
was closed in August of 1961. Since that time, the building had remained empty,
and in June 1966, it was torn down for the low bid of $1,300.
"I would like to add Mrs. Ridgeway's name to the list of librarians at the West End Library. This was in the time frame 1940's to 1950's."
- Don Hubickey
"the West End Branch of the Chester Library (now
located at Memorial Park), was originally located at the corner of 9th and Booth St.
I remember Mrs. Johnson as the librarian. We used to go there often as children and
they had some wonderful summer programs; reading circles, story times and fun projects to
do. Mrs. Johnson was there for years and was a wonderful lady."