Looking for a New Location
The women sponsored a series of Lyceum programs in 1925-1926 with proceeds going to the library. It soon became apparent that the quarters in City Hall were inadequate, and Mrs. Finnegan urged the Woman's Club to obtain permanent quarters for the library.
The local newspaper noted that thousands of magazines were sold which were unfit for the reading table of any "self-respecting home." "The ultra-modern flapper, the petting sheik, bootlegger, dope peddler, lounge lizzard, [and] free thinker" were not entirely the result of the influence of the motion picture industry. The newspaper asserted in the editorial that the public was responsible for demanding low quality entertainment.
In contrast, the newspaper later praised the public library, and explained that over the years it had encouraged the reading of quality literature. A lengthy editorial noted that a survey of the patrons of the library disclosed that a large percentage of the users of the library were boys and girls of high school age. The newspaper was alarmed at the "luridly obscene and altogether disgusting debauchery of sensual appeal" of the books and magazines available in bookstores, but felt encouraged that dozens of boys and girls crowded each day into the small, "ill-lit quarters of the library at City Hall to read good books." A permanent home for the library was a moral investment for the community. The library had been "buffeted about from pillar to post," the newspaper noted. But finally, the editor was delighted to announce, the library was about to receive a well deserved permanent home.
Representatives of the Woman's Club, the Commercial Club, and others had met again with members of the City Commission to obtain funding for the construction of a library building on two lots on the corner of Third and Yoakum streets. The lots were donated by Mr. Robert J. Kleberg Sr. from the Henrietta M. King estate. Mrs. King, the widow of Captain Richard King, the founder of the King Ranch, had died at the age of 93 in March, 1925. For a long time she had been a benefactress of philanthropic causes in the community and had donated land to churches. She loved books and had collected a large personal library. She had also been interested in education, having given the land and money for the construction of the H.M. King School in Kingsville. The heirs of Mrs. King undoubtedly considered the donation of land across the street from the H.M. King School a fitting tribute to her memory. The library would be the closest building to the school.
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