George Holmes Bixby

1805: The state legislature incorporated a group of men as Proprietors of the Social Library in Francestown. This group gradually purchased a total of 5,000 books, which were housed in the residence and law office of Titus Brown (the present home of the GHB Library building).

1846: Mrs. Mary C. Hillard formed a small literary group in the shed adjacent to her home.

1851: A second group, The Home Circle Society, was formed in 1851 to raise money for a library building and to support the Francestown Academy.

1855: A fire gutted the building and destroyed all the books.

1872: The two groups, the Home Circle Society and the Francestown Academy, proposed a public library.

1873: Voters at Town Meeting accepted the proposed library plan, and the Town leased Mary C. Willard's small shed as the new lending library for $100.00 a year. Miss Willard served as the town's first librarian.

1880: With a circulation of 5,300 books, the three town-appointed trustees appealed for a larger appropriation than the $100.00 a year but were turned down. The $100.00 a year for library expenses remained in place until the 1920's.

1904: The library moved to the ground floor of the Masonic Hall, having outgrown Miss Willard's small shed.

1923: Alison Bixby Hill purchased the Titus Brown house, restored it, and deeded it to the Town to be used as a a public library in memory of her father, George Holmes Bixby. The town accepted this gift and agreed to maintain it.

1932: The dedication ceremony for the George Holmes Bixby Memorial Library was held on September 3.

The pleasure of reading, the thirst for knowledge, and the hard work of the community to provide and maintain a Library continues to this day — over 200 years later!