George Coon Public Library


The story of the George Coon Public Library dates back over a hundred years to a few diligent women whose rugged determination and burning desire to establish a community library. In 1913, the Princeton Collegiate Institute transformed into Princeton High School, and Mrs. J.A.H. Miller, who was a teacher at the college, helped to secure a thousand volumes of books and furniture to help start the library.

For the next fifteen years, support for an established library grew, yet the funding just wasn't there to dedicate to an actual library. The book collection moved from above the old Eldred Hardware store to a structure supervised by two literary clubs in the community: the Book Lovers and the Gradatim Club.

Just as the library seemed destined to be closed, the two literary clubs became incorporated into the Library League and negotiated the usage of a house located just off of Main Street that happened to be owned by Mr. George Coon.

Efforts to get funding for the library met a lot of resistance, culminating in a public demonstration on the Court House Square. Despite the city's refusal to provide financial aid, the makeshift library did receive a gift from the mayor of Princeton in the form of free fuel, water, and electricity.

After much debate, the city finally agreed to partially fund the library's endeavors, but far from the amount needed to allow the library to fully operate. Mrs. Miller, along with Miss Pearl Hawthorne, operated the establishment themselves, acting as librarians, janitors, and general caretakers.

George Coon Public Library