La Retama Club History 1925-1934

In January 1925, La Retama Club hosted “Buy a Book Week” to encourage patrons in supporting the library and its growing collection.  Donations of a book to the library were requested.  The same year, The Woman’s Monday Club and the Altrurian Club both donated $50, and Kathleen Jones Blanchette and Lorine Jones Spoonts each donated $100 for books for the library.

In April of 1925, the club began discussing the idea of turning the library over to the city.  By the end of the year, plans were made to move La Retama Public Library.  In January 1926, the club’s library committee reported that the new location would be back in the Lovenskiold Building.  In February, La Retama Club members ran a newspaper article to clear up any rumors that the group had turned down a Carnegie Library Grant—nothing like that happened.  In October, La Retama members discussed a plan for La Retama Club continuing to receive $100 per month from the City of Corpus Christi and retaining ownership of the library, but this was not to be.  Emma Koepke motioned on October 10, 1926, that a nominating committee be appointed to select individuals to fill the following library executive board positions, 2 members from La Retama Club, 1 member from a local laboring group, 1 member from a local educational group, 1 member from a local commercial group, 1 member from a local women’s club, and 1 member that was a local legal professional.

By February 1927, the papers concerning the transfer of La Retama Library to the City of Corpus Christi (for $1) and that the bill of sale was recorded at the court house.  The last official business of La Retama Club as operators of La Retama Public Library was in August 1927 when club members voted that all remaining funds in the treasury used to buy additional books for the library.  Although La Retama Club sold the library to the City of Corpus Christi, its members stayed active and interested in the upkeep and direction that La Retama Public Library of Corpus Christi continued to take.  The following year, La Retama Club observed National Book Week by donating 900 books to La Retama Public Library.

The first board of directors for the La Retama Library in 1927 were Russell Savage, chairman, I. M. Alexander, Reverend C. H. Storey, Oscar Olsen, Lorine Jones Spoonts, Mary Carroll and Mrs. George Smith. Eventually, that year, City Hall was remodeled to house La Retama Public Library on the north side of the first floor.

 
PetitionThis original document from 1929 petitioned the tax payers of Corpus Christi to secure funds for a new library building. The petition was initiated by the American Association of University Women and included prominent families in the area such as:  Blucher, Weil, Merriman, Furman, Pope, Lichtenstein, Kingsolving, Redmond, King, Rankin, Driscoll, Caldwell, and Sutherland to name a few.

-Mary Carroll Collection, B9, Box 8, La Retama Library VIII, "La Retama is One of Oldest in the City."

La Retama facing MesquitePhotograph of La Retama Library in the old City Hall building on Mesquite between Peoples and Schatzel.

-Mary Carroll Collection, B9, Box 8

 

City Hall on Mesquite

Photograph of City Hall on Mesquite in the ca1930s. La Retama Library was located on the first floor.

-Photograph Collection 1 - Box 6


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