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Local History 

Fred Wines, Part 2

 Fred Wines In a letter in the Missouri Weekly Patriot, Reverend Wines proposes to leave the books and money he has collected to Springfield for the establishment of a library and a Library Association.  An article in the Missouri Patriot reports on it's progress the next year.

A Card to the Citizens of Springfield, Missouri Weekly Patriot, June 8, 1865, 3. 

"During a visit to the East upon furlough, in December 1863, I collected in New York and Philadelphia, books and money sufficient to fit up a Reading Room for the benefit of the soldiers at this Post, and to furnish it with a library of more than seven hundred volumes.

"The war is now at an end.  The purpose for which the books were contributed is fulfilled, and my trust discharged.  The library is closed, and the books are securely boxed.  Part of them I intend to take with me to Springfield, Illinois, and part I shall leave in the care of Mr. Henry Sheppard.  I have also in my hands one hundred and thirty dollars, the proceeds of the furniture in the Reading Room.  In law, these books and this money are now my private property. 

"Whenever the citizens of Springfield, or any portion of them, will provide a room for a public library, and will organize a Library Association, to be incorporated by the State Legislature, I will give both the books and the money of which I have spoken, to the said society; upon one sole condition, namely, that the library is to be for the use of all persons, irrespective of their religious or political opinions, who comply with the regulations of the association, respecting the payment of dues and the return of books lent.

"I understand that the Hon. John S. Phelps has in his possession a large number of volumes of public documents, many of them valuable, which proposes to give to the town of Springfield, upon the same conditions. Probably, at some time, a public hall or public schoolhouse will be erected here, in which a library room might be included. 

"It is to be hoped that the community of Springfield will have sufficient public spirit and literary taste to avail itself of this offer.  The establishment of a public library will not only be an advantage to the young people of the town, and a safeguard to their morals, but it will attract a class of valuable and worthy citizens from abroad. 
Fred H. Wines
Late Hospital Chaplain at the Post
Springfield, Mo., June 5, 1865. "

The Springfield Library, Missouri Daily Patriot, September 25, 1866, 3

"We regret to learn that this institution is not flourishing as we could wish.  We hailed its inauguration as a bright millennium in the literary advancement of our city, and have wished and accorded it every effort for its success.  It is unfortunate that there cannot be sufficient interest elicited in its behalf to insure its prosperity.  It is an association much needed, and one that reflects great credit to the moral and social condition of society.  It has a refining influence, cultivates a desire to improve the mind, and promotes a degree of self-respect and interest unequaled by any similar institution.  Parents should take some special interest in furthering the welfare of the Library.  It is much better that young people whose minds are deeply susceptible of impression, should be supplied with healthy mental good, only to be derived from proper books, such as are usually kept in the Library.  Yellow covered literature should be ignored as poisonous and dangerous matter to be instilled into the youthful minds.  An eminent statesman once said that it is “intelligence that rears up the majestic columns of our National glory, and this alone can prevent them crumbling into ashes.”  Then let everybody who has any natural pride manifest some interest in keeping up the Library, and to that end let some exertion be made by those most deeply interested, and let it not be said that Springfield is blind to its own interests."  
 


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