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History of the Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library

How the Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library was established, and how it has become an important part of our community.

History of the Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library

Mapleton-area pioneers Mr. C.G. Whiting and Mrs. Ida Fisher envsioned a public library that would awaken and enhance ideas, knowledge and creativity. They donated the Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library to the Mapleton Community in 1984.

The Library's Location

Before the turn of the century, Mapleton resident Cyrus Cooper built a beautiful new home on Lots 11, 12 and 13 in Block 16 in the 2nd Addition to the Town of Mapleton. The property was 150' x 180', on an excellent level lot.

Early in the 1900s, the property was sold to the family of Mrs. Ida Cook Fisher.  Mrs. Fisher grew up in this lovely home and retains many fond memories of the years spent here.

The Library Buys the Lot

On July 31, 1967, this property was purchased by the Mapleton Public Library, Inc. from R.L. Williams and Aleita Williams.  The $1,000 down payment for the property was personally paid for by Oliver P. Bennett, Sr.  The remainder of the purchase price of $7,000 was paid by Mr. C.G. Whiting of Mapleton.

The First Board of Trustees

A Library Board of Trustees was appointed by the town council.  The first official meeting of the Library Board of Trustees was June 11, 1969.  The original officers and trustees were R.J. Danner, President; Irven H. Walter, Vice President; O.P. Bennett, Sr., Treasurer; Gary W. Thies, Secretary; C.R. Brown and J.G. Whiting.

The first activity of the Board of Trustees was to generate capital for the renovation of the dwelling on the property. The Mapleton Public Library was born.

Grand Opening

The Library occupied the original facility until early 1983. Then two large individual donations from Mr. C.G. Whiting and Mrs. Ida Fisher were used to erect and furnish a new library building.

On March 21, 1983, the Board of Trustees met in special session with Structural Designs, Inc., of Holstein, Iowa, and plans were made for the new library building. The current building was dedicated May 12, 1984, with an address by then-governor Terry E. Branstad and music by the Maple Valley Junior High School band. The Library was re-named the Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library in honor of its two main benefactors.

Still Current

The Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library has kept pace, adding new formats and services. Today the library offers books on CD and cassette tape, DVDs and videos, and large print books as well as books. There are 7 public access computer stations with access to color or laser printers.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.