Does MPHS have photographs: No
Address in Mount Prospect: Unknown
Birth Date: Unknown
Death Date: Unknown
Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments:
Irma Schlemmer was the Head Librarian for the Mount Prospect Public Library in the early years of their existence. She was influential in the campaigned to make the Library a tax supported organization. She later worked as a trustee for the library. She was a president of the Mount Prospect Woman’s Club, the organization that first organized the Library. She was also a member of Saint Paul Church and the Saint Paul Ladies Aid. She worked as a high school teacher.
Interviewer: Dolores Haugh (Note: Misspelling in text)
Date of Interview: May 25, 1970
Oral History Text:
DORIS WEBER: This is Doris Weber. The Mount Prospect Historical Society is having their last meeting of the year at the Mount Prospect Country Club, Monday evening, May 25, 1970. Delores Howe is presenting the program, Mrs. Irma Schlemmer.
DELORES HOWE: Irma is a neighbor of mine, and I live next door to her, practically. But really, I think my first recollection of Irma was when –I’m going to reminisce a little bit. We joined Yomarcos over at South Church when we first moved into town, and somehow or another we got involved as being program chairmen and we decided to make a Roaring ’20s party. So I went to Irma and I said, “Irma, help! I need help. I’ve got to do some research on this. What do you think I should do?” She said, “Oh, there is a real good book in the library on that but it’s out.” I said, “Well, whenever it comes in, give me a call.” I was over at my neighbor’s house, and it was a real terrible, rainy afternoon –it was a Sunday –and here, clippity clop through the rain, comes Irma Schlemmer with the book under her raincoat so that I could do my research homework for our Roaring ’20s party which, by the way, turned out to be a smash. But it takes a heap of people to get something going like a public library, and it’s hard to say where you draw the line of who begins what because as things go along there are many, many facets. Itls like a diamond. Itls rough at first, just like our historical society was. It was nothing. It was just a rock, and then all of a sudden out of that rock little chips began to form, and pretty soon there was depth to it, and pretty soon there were shining parts to it. There was growth and value. Even though a diamond is chipped away by time, the value of it increases as it becomes more brilliant and has more facets. I hope that our society will be this way, just as the library has been this way. Last month we heard some of the beginnings of sponsorship of the Mount Prospect Womens Club, and tonight, Irma, lId like you to just come up here. I’ll sit up here with you if youlre scared. But you know she really isnlt. And she’s always saying, “You know what, I’m so afraid,” and tonight she really didn’t feel good.
SCHLEMMER: I asked for some water because. ..
HOWE: She was really under duress tonight because Irma has been kind of ill. We l_re so glad you came through anyway.
SCHLEMMER: Well, thank you. I have Mrs.. She is so wonderful at this. I have no speech prepared, really.
HOWE: That’s fine. Tell it like it is.
SCHLEMMER: Mr. Jacks said to me, “Just put some notes down on an envelope,” and since I always do what I am told, that’s what I did. I was a little surprised. I knew that this talk was coming up, and I had been out of town for a few days and then came back on Wednesday night. Thursday morning I was out selling pop, and some man said to me, “I hear you’re going to give a talk at the library.” I said, “Oh, I am?” So after making a call that afternoon and spending all day Friday at an engagement that we came back [for], and Saturday going out of town, at two o’clock in the morning I started making my notes. So forgive me if it isn’t real –like Mr. Nixon would do.
SCHLEMMER: I took an article here that –I spent a little time in Florida this winter with a couple of girls who were instrumental in starting this library, Mrs. Hopley and Mrs. Geringer, and I want to give them an awful lot of credit because they put an awful lot of time and they were not paid for it until after the library had been established. I’m going to read just as much as I –I gave this article one time to the newspaper, about four or five years ago, and I’m going to use it because it probably is about as complete as anything that I could get otherwise. This was sent out in — the birth of the Mount Prospect Library was in September of 1929, and it’s interesting to note the inception of the first public library in Mount Prospect took place after a book review held at the second Womans Club luncheon. The speaker was a Mrs. Wood whose topic was the literature of the day. A otation in the secretary’s minutes of this meeting read, “It certainly made us want some of those books. I hope someday we can have a bookstore or a library in town.” This expressed wish for a library soon began to be realized. At the September 1929 meeting it was announced that a collection of fifty books could be secured from the Illinois State Library Extension Division on a three-month loan, then to be exchanged for others. Therefore, quoting further from the minutes of that meeting, it was moved by Miss Bertha Ehard, seconded by Mrs. Pancona, and passed, that the club promote a movement towards starting a public library. It’s rather interesting to note that Bertha Ehard later served on the library board for thirteen years. In giving her little address when she resigned from the library board, or when her term had expired, she mentioned this. To me it was quite symbolic of Bertha Ehard because she was always very interested in the library, even before she was on the board. It was also voted that the library be kept open one day a week, the members to serve a~ librarians, and a slight charge made for fiction withdrawn by adults to help in building a fund for the purchase of new books. Letters were sent to all the organizations and business firms of the town, asking for their help financially and otherwise. On December 11, 1929, the president, Mrs. Ivers, reported that Mr. Herman Haas, then a member of the village board, had promised that the village board would take care of building shelves in the community hall for the library. Today one of the shelves used in the original library is stored in the basement of the present library –I hope. I always hoped nothing would ever happen to it because a real good friend of mine built it. On January 6, 1930, the library was open for business one day a week. Incidentally, this library was what is now the Episcopal church but was at that time –I see so many older people. They know all about this, and I have for the benefit of maybe a few who don’t know that the old schoolhouse was the Episcopal church, which they purchased after Central School was built. This particular shelf that’s in the basement of the library was put into a cloakroom and pulled out once a week so that the children –and they circulated about 120 books a day, and they had 300 subscribers. In September of 1931 Mrs. Jack Garner, having served rather regularly as a librarian, was voted a remuneration of two dollars per week for that service. Big deal! And she was glad to get it, and so was I. In May 1932 by formal action she was appointed as librarian. During this time the only source of income was by donations, door-to-door campaigns, card parties, luncheons, and different benefits to raise money for the maintenance of the library, both by individuals and local organizations. The majority of the books on the shelves were donated from their own collections. In 1942 Mr. Geringer resigned and yours truly was appointed to the position which she held until she resigned in 1966. And, by they way, I got two dollars a week, and if I figured it out how it would be by the hour, maybe five cents? The library became tax supported in 1943, and in that the Womens Club took no small part. Never has the interest and concern for the library diminished. All through the years they have contributed funds towards the purchase of land for the cost of the building and enlisted the interest and concern of the citizens of the community in behalf of the public library. Much can be said for the interest shown by the Illinois State Library who, by this time, allowed the use of a thousand children’s books for an unlimited time since it would take one year before the tax money was received. Their help and advice and promotional materials for referendum were tremendous. Chicago Public Library also took us under their wing. Mr. Rodin, who was then librarian and I had worked for him in Chicago at what they called sub-stations at that time, and that particular place is now the Hild Library which is one of Chicago’s regional branches –Mr. Rodin permitted us to have a thousand books for a fee of two hundred dollars a year which could be exchanged at any time; also, any special books that were loaned to the library for a six-week period. That loan was kept up until 1965 when it was discontinued because by that time I think we had built up a collection of books –about forty-five thousand –and we didn’t need their books. They were by that time pretty old, too. By this time the library had moved into the old Mount Prospect Bank building, and I am very fond of that little old building. I think it’s up there somewhere on the northeast corner of Busse Avenue and Main Street. Central School had been built, and the old schoolhouse had been purchased by the Episcopal church. After a number of years the library book collection had outgrown the small building and then moved into the vacant store at 111 South Main Street. Shelves were built by the members of the board, and all the furniture was loaned to the library by the Chicago Public Library –two round tables, a charging desk, about twenty chairs, and a magazine rack. Sometimes I think back and I think about those two round tables that they had. They were huge, and beautiful. Solid oak this thick, you know, and really, we have really beautiful furniture in the library now, but those old oak tables were something that you don’t see anymore today.
MEMBER: You can see them in my daughter-in-law’s house.
SCHLEMMER: Well, I think it cost us one hundred and twenty-five dollars to refinish them. Yes, that’s right. Mr. Liebenow bought one of them.
SCHLEMMER: Did you buy both of them?
LIEBENOW: One of our pastors has one and my daughter-in-law has the other one.
SCHLEMMER: I know that we did sell them. That’s right, you were the Santa Claus. Five years later, in 1950, the library moved into its own home at 14 East Busse Avenue. Originally, that library cost thirty-five thousand dollars — twenty-seven thousand dollars for the building; correct me if I’m wrong. I think it was twenty-seven thousand for the building, and the rest, eight thousand, was to be for shelving and additional books. When we look back now we think that was an awful lot of building for that money. When we moved into it, it was the most beautiful place you ever wanted to see, after the little library and then this store. I think at this point I would like to ask Mrs. Bittner if she could, or would like to, tell about how we purchased the land for that property for that building.
BITTNER: You mean for the first library.
BITTNER: In the first place, we had a referendum. I think it was only for twenty-five thousand dollars, and so we were two thousand dollars short, then, in the end because they didn’t start the building right away. Some of the material went up in price and so we had to see how we were going to get that two thousand. There were donations, and I think we also used some of our rental money –fines and things like that –towards it. But anyhow, we managed to pay it. Then in the first place we were in this store building, and we thought it was about time that we built. Didn’t we have rental money, and someone from Springfield came to talk with us.
BITTNER: And she said, “Now, you really can’t just let this money grow like this because it’s against the law to do this. But,” she said, “if I were you I’d start looking for a place to build this building.” So we got a little bit frightened because we didn’t want them to come and take this money and we really wanted to do this, so we looked around. I know Bertha Ehard contacted the commissioner –to see about those lots where that sunken garden used to be –do you recall that? –where the station on Northwest Highway and Emerson is now. And I contacted Mr. Haas –do you remember that, Mr. Haas?
BITTNER: About the lot on the corner. I thought that was a beautiful lot. It had lovely trees on it, and I think at that time yourfather-in-law had passed away and this was an estate, as I recall. Wasn’t that right?
BITTNER: And so I contacted Mr. Haas, and Mr. Haas and Mr. Busse, Mrs. Busse’s son, came over to talk with me, and, yes, they were willing to sell the lot. Oh, I thought it was such a beautiful lot that it was almost a shame to put a building on it. We came to terms, and then Mr. Haas came to the library board meeting and talked with the other members of the library board. Of course, we couldn’t pay for that lot just offhand, but Mr. Haas was very generous in his arrangements with us for payment and through his kindness we were able to purchase this lovely piece of property and build the library. Is there anything that you could add to that, ?
SCHLEMMER: Mrs. Bittner, I think the most outstanding thing was to say what it cost compared to prices today, or would yourather not? The lot –that corner lot.
HAAS: I was acting as trustee for the estate. It wasn’t my property.
BITTNER: No, I know. It was your father-in-law’s property, and he had passed away and Mr. Haas handled the estate. Do you remember the cost of the lot?
HAAS: Mrs. Busse would. =’p-[=BUSSE: Well, I thought it was. ..
BITTNER: Five thousand.
BITTNER: Three thousand?
BUSSE: Three thousand dollars was the cost.
SCHLEMMER: I thought it was two thousand.
BITTNER: I thought it was three thousand.
MEMBER: What year was that, Maida? Was that 1948?
SCHLEMMER: About 1948, yes, because the library was completed in 1950.
MEMBER: I’m sure you would have had to pay more from another party, too.
BITTNER: Well, I don’t know whether the lots were selling for that price in those days or not.
SCHLEMMER: There was a lot of vacant property.
MEMBER: That was a large lot, too, though, wasn’t it?
SCHLEMMER: It’s probably fifty feet wide.
BITTNER: Well, not much real estate was moving so I suppose that’s the reason for the price.
SCHLEMMER: At today’s price that was a ridiculous price.
BITTNER: And then when we wanted to expand, and we went to Mrs. Busse. I went to her and talked with her at her home. Her husband had built the home when they were married. She had gone to this home as a bride, and she felt that, oh, no, she couldn’t ever sell that house. I don’t know whatever changed her mind, but we talked about it, and well. ..
BUSSE: I knew I had to give up because it was for the library. You wouldn’t sell.
SCHLEMMER: We wouldn’t have done that.
BUSSE: But anyhow. ..
BITTNER: She was satisfied with the thirty-two thousand.
SCHLEMMER: Thirty thousand.
BITTNER: We didn’t get it as cheap as the corner lot. And then later on when we bargained for the parking lot, I guess that money, I think, was thirty-two thousand. Isn’t that right, the parking lot? Thirty-two thousand, because they had blacktopped it, ordone something with it, and put in the stops, and that made it more expensive. Did I cover too much?
SCHLEMMER: No. I just, perhaps, wanted to bring to light the fact that it was such a ridiculous price for a lot on a corner which turned out to be a business section later, with a bank across from there, that we were so lucky to get it at that time. After all, that was only twenty years ago. When the library was built they anticipated the building to house enough books to take care of a population of twenty thousand people, and I think there was around five or six thousand people at the time. We were very fortunate because we had to have three referendums to get that library through, so we were very happy. I know that the building cost twenty-seven thousand dollars, but I thought the referendum was for a little more.
BITTNER: I know that it was short.
SCHLEMMER: When we were in the store business picked up and we were open three days a week.
BITTNER: May I tell something there?
BITTNER: When we wanted to move from this old bank building, I contacted Mr. Busse, who was Bill Busse, Jr. This was his property, and it was vacant. At the time of the war there wasn’t too much business going on. The Red Cross had used it, and I guess the clothing exchange had used the back end of the building. Then it stood vacant, and so I asked if he thought that we could rent the front part of this for our library. I said, “You know, we can’t pay very much. We don’t have very much money here.” He said, “Yes, I know. Well, how much do you suppose you could pay?” Well, I didn’t know exactly what to say, but Mr. Green was with me and he couldn’t say how much he thought it was worth. So I said, “Ch, I don’t think we could pay more than forty- five dollars.” He thought a few minutes, and he said, “Well, I’ll tell you. You can have the whole building, the lower floor, for the price because I’d rather have somebody in the building than to have it stand vacant, and I would just as soon do something for the library.” I thought that was very generous of him. We paid that price, I can’t tell you how long, until one day we got a little note, and it said, “You’ve been getting this much cheaper rate than any store on this street. Don’t you think you could pay a little more?” And then I think we doubled it. We paid ninety dollars, I believe, after that.
SCHLEMMER: It was a five-year contract.
BITTNER: Yes, it was a five-year contract, so that wasn’t bad either. We were still paying less than what some of theothers were paying. So, people in this community have been good to us in helping us purchase land and giving it to us reasonably, and also renting at a reasonable price to us, also, when we didn’t have the money to do with.
SCHLEMMER: The library graduated –when we were in this store on Main Street we got to be big business. We had increased now from a one-employee person to two people. Then we did have a little girl come in on Saturday mornings to put books back on the shelves. We were open three days a week and two evenings –Tuesdays and Thursdays from two to nine, and Saturdays from nine to one. Those evenings, those were my two evenings that I worked, and I’d work in the library alone there. I remember there weren’t many street lights at that time, and they weren’t very bright, and I’m surprised sometimes that I wasn’t more frightened going home because there wasn’t a soul to be seen. There is an old saying about taking the sidewalks in at night, and I believe that was it. But I don’t think I was as frightened then as I would be if I had to do it today. When we moved from the store into the new library, and it was quite a nice way to — all the shelves were in. I had had all of the books in the store in boxes and I labeled them A to B, C, and everything just fine. And so, we had asked to have the Boy Scouts move us. One Boy Scout and two fathers showed up, so we had the rest of the board members move the books over. Mr. Klevin, in such a hurry to get those books back on the shelves where they belonged, he started in and put them on from the beginning, back. But he started with the C’s. If he has started with the X, Y, Z’s or something it wouldn’t have been so bad, but we had to take all the books from the A, B, and I thought I had that fixed just perfectly. It took a whole day’s work to get those books back on the shelf, but he meant well. Five years later, in 1950, the library moved into its home, and in 1962 an addition was built to enlarge the facilities [due to] the ever-increasing population of the village. The first referendum was for two hundred fifty thousand dollars. The second referendum, we tried again and it did not pass, and the third time we reduced it to one hundred ninety-eight thousand dollars. I remember the –may I tell these funny stories?
HOWE: That’s what we want to hear.
SCHLEMMER: I was so upset. We were so busy and it was so crowded and we didn’t have enough room for books, and finally one Saturday morning we were so –and you know what the Saturday morning circulation is. I think everybody in Mount Prospect was in this library that particular morning. I got up on a chair –everybody was waiting in line, and I got on the chair, and I said, “Have you people voted today? Don’t you think you better get out and vote? Do you see why we need a new library?” Well, it passed. Building the new addition was, of course, a great deal more work than the building the original building because there was so much involved. We had no heat in the building. It was built during the wintertime, and they improvised stoves in there but they didn’t hold up very well. We were working there with our coats and galoshes on. The library must go on and, you know, we had to keep it open. And finally a couple of us went to work and we had to help the builders scrape the floor, the old linoleum off, and to lay the new linoleum so we could have our open house at the time that we had planned. It was my first experience, really, in being right underfoot where the builders were, and we ran into a little union trouble. One Saturday morning the union –as I say, these are little stories that made such an impression on me because they were my first experiences with anything like this. This union man carne in and said the men had to quit working. Well, what they were trying to do, they were breaking out the west wall for the addition and were putting a canvas there so that they could begin building on Monday morning so that we wouldn’t have to work in the open air in January. This union man carne in and he resented the fact that these men were working overtime on Saturday and tried to stop them from working. Well, we had to plead with him to let them go ahead so that they could get that done over the weekend so that we would have some sort of protection because we still had the library open. Well, he stood there, and I noticed the little piece of a gun on the back of his pocket and the workmen were a little in awe of him, too. But they did get that canvas up, at any rate, and within a week the wall was put in and it made a little difference. But we still didn’t have any — then we got a point where we had to close because –we were closed, I think, for about six weeks then. There were so many organizations at the time. When the third referendum was reduced to one hundred ninety-eight thousand it meant that we had to cut out a few wall plugs and whatnot to bring the price down. We did that in our own home, too, so I know what that was like. But we were very fortunate. Brunings were very generous with a donation, and, of course, the Womens Club came across with a good deal of furniture that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. The Lions Club completely furnished the children’s room to the tune of two thousand dollars. In going back and thinking of the circulation and how –from 1943, from the time the library was tax supported. It was about six thousand a year and raised to two hundred seventy-nine thousand in 1966. That is when I left the library. Also, the borrowers were from three hundred to nineteen thousand. Also, there was another thing that I brought up. When the library celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary, actually the library at that time was thirty-nine years old. I don’t like to discount all the work that these people did before the library became tax supported because they worked in this Mrs. Iver’s basement, cataloging books. At that time they didn’t know anything about the Dewey Decimal System, which is used in the library. The Chicago Public Library was using the Poole System, and all libraries were installing the Dewey Decimal System which meant that all our books had to be recataloged. That’s why I don’t like to ignore the work of these people in the early times, who were interested enough and sufficiently interested enough, to get out and go house to house, begging for books. I think that just about takes care of the early history.
HOWE: Tell the story of bank building.
SCHLEMMER: Oh, yes. George Wittenburg used to work from six in the morning to six-thirty the next morning. He was also a one-man policemen at that time. He’d come in the little library. We’d just have just a little, old gas stove, and he’d light it when he went on duty. At six o’clock in the morning he would turn on the gas so that by two o’clock when we opened up it would be warm. Well, we were cooked on the backside all the time because we sat on top of the stove. There were no toilets; there was no water in that little, old building. I remember I brought some water one time and put it on the window sill, and by the time I went to use it it was frozen. So the little gas heater didn’t –but the fact [was] that Mr. Wittenburg, that was one little thing that he always did for us that we were always very, very grateful to him for doing.
BITTNER: Sometimes we couldn’t open the door, remember? I
SCHLEMMER: Yes, when you came. In closing, if there are any questions anyone would like to ask me, I might be glad to answer, but there is one thing that I do want to –I don’t want to discount my husband because we never had a janitor at the library until the new addition was built. We had a maintenance service, and so whenever there were any odd jobs to do, I repair. I remember three chairs in our basement at one time being repaired, and these were the chairs that we had borrowed from the public library. They were old, and whenever there was anything for him to do he helped, and I don’t want him to be forgotten, either. And another little thing that we did, he was village clerk at the time when we were in the store, and we had to have death certificates. He had to sign death certificates, and if somebody had died during the night, why, we were called the first thing in the morning. So they always had to come to the library to get their death certificate, so that was just another little service that the library did for the public.
HOWE: Oh, dear!
SCHLEMMER: We never issued any wedding licenses, though. The dog and hunting licenses were taken care of at home.
BITTNER: Jack Weber did his share of work.
SCHLEMMER: Oh, I didn’t want to forget him, and I’ve got it down here, too, on my little envelope. When we moved into the original building we didn’t have enough lights in between the stacks. The stacks were on the north wall, and there was not enough lighting, so Mr. Weber very, very nicely installed –of course, he’s in the electrical business. It was just duck soup for him. But the highlight was when he installed the air conditioning, and I know he worked one whole Sunday –two of them worked a whole Sunday installing the air conditioning for us. So he’s been an old standby of the library for a long time, too.
BITTNER: One book, a journal –and you can look at it if you wish –this was the early book belonging to the Womens Club, and it says, “Library Fund” on the front of it and it’s dated May 1941, the first entry, so you can look all the way through here, even through the first year when we were tax supported when we didn’t have the money to operate, or the village didn’t provide us with money because we didn’t have a budget made out the year before and the ladies went door to door, collecting as theyhad in the past, and that is even included in here. They show each month what was given to the library or received from the library. If you’re interested in it, it’s probably the oldest relic we have.
SCHLEMMER: Oh, I think there is still one a little older than that. It’s a book like that. Madge, you have it at the library, don’t you? It’s like this and it has all the fines and rentals. We took in fifty-nine cents one day. Now looks good. I think that completes my talk.
HOWE: Well, thank you so much. We certainly appreciate it.
BITTNER: Tell them there are pictures and things that they
SCHLEMMER: Oh, yes, yes. I have some pictures here. These are some that my husband took during the process of building. One of the things I must say to Mrs. Busse is, I knew what a hard thing it was to tear her home down, and no one felt worse about it. I saw that beautiful woodwork –the beautiful rail and a bannister, they called in those days, being torn down just like the garbage collector today and put in a machine.
BUSSE: I remember that. I wished I could take it all. ..
SCHLEMMER: Oh, I wanted that so. It just seemed we should find a use for it, but nevertheless, that was something to behold.
BITTNER: Didn’t she see a light in the library one time and called someone? Didn’t you see a light in the library onetime that should be on …
BITTNER: And you called someone and said, “There is a light burning in the library.” I don’t know who went over to see what was going on, but someone. I
SCHLEMMER: Well, I know that if anything unusual had turned up, the police would have been at my house at twelve o’clock at night to take me over to the library. They had a meeting upstairs, and one of the board members left and forgot to lock the door, and so the police came to the house at twelve o’clock.
HOWE: And swept you out in your nightgown, huh?
SCHLEMMER: Yes, that’s right.
HOWE: Well, we certainly want to thank you. I know that it’s been a little imposition tonight to come. ..
SCHLEMMER: Well, that’s perfectly all right.
HOWE: …but we’re so glad that you did.
SCHLEMMER: I enjoyed coming.
HOWE: We’re so glad that we have such a nice contingent out from our library –our present library. I will always hope that our historical society and the library and the Womens Club will always have as good a relationship as they do, I feel, right this minute because, you know, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I’ve gone to Mary Jo –this was celebrating the tax- upported library, but, you know, in a way that was kind of a boost for us because that was our first membership drive for our Mount Prospect Historical Society. [By] working together, I feel that this is the way it’s got to be with all of us. It’s just not one club. In order to get our museum we hope someday to have, I hope that all of the civic organizations, all the churches and everyone, will just really pitch in and help. Being here tonight doesn’t mean that you have to stay away next time, because we’re going to have a real good year. Next year, I’m sure, with Jack as leader and all of his cohorts who are going to be following him with a real booming board of directors, I’m sure that we’re going to see great things.
SCHLEMMER: You certainly are.
BITTNER: We want to thank the library for permitting us to store so many things up there. We hope that they’re not in your way, and we hope that someday real soon we will be able to take them from there and put them where they’ll be in a more permanent location.
HOWE: You won’t be sorry when we bring over our rosewood piano? We have what you call a rosewood elephant, if you know what I mean.
MEMBER: I don’t know where it is.
HOWE: It’s in Mrs. Frein’s dining room right at the present time. You know, it’s like trying to hide an elephant. But anyway, thank you so much. The second half of our pleasant duties as program chairman –first of all, I want to say, too, as Maida did, that it’s been a heap of fun. It’s been fun going around and people like Gussie Maleski and learning to know Lena Mueller and, oh, so many nice people — Ruth Carlson and Mr. Busse. I used to get the Busses all mixed up, and I still do, but now I know for sure who George L. is, anyway. And, of course, as I stand here I think of all the wonderful new people who we’ve met, too. I didn’t know Carolyn, and the first year we wrote our song was the first year we were talking about the historical society, and so I just thought I’d sneak that in when they wanted a little something put in about the authors. The very next mail, practically, here was a letter from Carolyn, and she said, “I’m interested in the historical society,” whereupon I lost her letter immediately, and so it wasn’t until a little later that we found the letter and got in touch with her and, of course, she’s been a great help, too. We have some corsages to present to our outgoing officers. This is the nice part of the program.
BITTNER: While you’re getting that ready, could I just say one thing –I want to thank you, Carolyn, for your legal advice this past years and your very great help to us in so many ways. And also, Evelyn Busse. And our social chairman and, of course, I’m very grateful to.
MEMBER: Jack, are you going to get one of those ?
JACK: Gee, I don’t know.
HOWE: I’ve got one for him tonight, would you believe.
MEMBER: I think while we’re waiting, may I make a brief announcement? I think most of you would like to know that, I understand Mr. and Mrs. Ted~, this is probably the last evening that you will be with us here, and that you’re leaving for Colorado.
WEIN: That’s about right.
MEMBER: Ted has been president of the village, and I’m sure he and his wife have done an awful lotfor the village. I wonder if you would stand up for a minute, if you would, so we can see you. We’d like to thank you very much.
MEMBER: I think that one of the wonderful things which is ahead for the historical society is indeed a museum, but I think that one of the wonderful things which the historical society already had was to have Mrs. Bittner as its charter president. I think that, and it was already mentioned, being the leader of a new organization is in itself very difficult, but I think to be the leader of, in this instance, a historical society which isn’t just a club but is a cultural organization –an organization which indeed is a benefit to the entire community –you needed the leadership qualities and the experience which Maida certainly gave to us. I know that she worked so very, very hard through a love for the organization, her love of history, which we know she has, and we needed her, I think, to steady us on our feet and then to get us pointed in the right direction. And Maida, from the officers here, the board of directors and the membership, I would like to present to you this gift as a token of our appreciation, with a well-earned thank you.
BITTNER: Thank you very much. I don’t know who you’re talking about with all of the nice statements that you made, but it doesn’t sound like me. I thank you so much.
MEMBER: In addition to the service given to the organization by Maida has been the service given by these four, the charter officers of the society, as well as Mrs. Fein who could not be here this evening. Edith Wilson served us as corresponding secretary and publicity chairman, and there is no doubt about the hard work that she had put in. Doris Weber served us as vice president and as membership chairman and, again, put in a great deal of work. Gertrude Transik served as treasurer, and I think it’s already been said the fine job that she did. And Delores Howe served as recording secretary and as program chairman, and I think her work is well known. Therefore, on behalf of the president, on behalf of the board of directors a~d the membership, I would like to present each one of you a token of the appreciation for the job that all of you did
HOWE: You thought we were kidding about having flowers.
MEMBER: Now we would like to install. .. [End of tape]