WWI War Memorial, Library host ribbon cutting for anniversary
By Rebecca Young
via the Weston Democrat newspaper (WV) web site
Supporters, friends, staff, veterans and dignitaries attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lewis County War Memorial and Louis Bennett Jr. Public Library on Friday, August 26. The occasion marked the 100th anniversary of the memorial and library.
Following the death her son, Louis Bennett Jr., in WWI, Sallie Maxwell Bennett bestowed her family home and private library to Lewis County to live on in perpetuity as a war memorial and public library.
Sallie Maxwell Bennett wrote a letter to Weston City Council in 1918 and made a proposal for the city to take control of the property on Court Avenue, but the city refused her offer, according to Weston America Legion Post 4 Historian Dannie Gum.
“Weston Post 4 met with Sallie Bennett and then proceeded to go door to door in Lewis County, explaining what this war memorial and library would mean for the county. They received enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot, and the citizens of Lewis County supported it wholeheartedly. The rest, as they say, is history,” Gum said in an earlier interview.
The house was donated to the Lewis County Commission and dedicated as the Lewis County War Memorial and Louis Bennett Public Library on Aug. 17, 1922. It is now home to the library, war memorial and American Legion Post 4 offices.
Lewis County Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Newbrough praised the library for its services offered to the public, especially children.
“The library is an amazing resource. I cant’ say enough good things about it,” he told guests.
State and federal officials commended the occasion, as well, as field representatives read letters of praise from US Senator Joe Manchin and Congressman Alex Mooney. State delegate Adam Burkhammer was also present.
“To realize we still have this great historic library- I just want to thank all who made that happen,” Burkhammer said.
Read the entire article on the Weston Democrat web site.
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