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A Free Public Library and Reading Room 



May 35, 1888. 

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Founded by Charles H. Hacki.ey, - - Mav 25, A. D. 1 

The possession of the living; 
The heritage of posterity. 


" He hath left you all his walks. 
His private arbours, and nnu-planted orchanls. 
On this side Tiber, he hath left them you 
And to your heirs forever." 

Programme . . 

Music—" Tannhaiuser," 


Opera House Orchestra. 


Rt.-Rev. Geo. D. Gillespie, D. D., LL.D. 


Mrs. Bennett. 
Miss Jones. 

Miss Aldrich. 
Miss Smith. 

All Hail, Muskegon's Jubilee ! 

Mr. Renwick. Mr. Bassett. 

Mr. McMillan. Mr. Fleming. 

The Founding of Hackley Public Library, Fred'k A. Nims, 

President Board of Education. 

Music -"Jubal" Overture, 


Opera House Orchestra. 

The Building, 

Norm AND S. Patton, 

of Patton & Fisher, Architects, Chicago. 

Music— Vocal Solo, 

Mrs. De Shetley 


Miss Haight, Accompanist. 


Hon. Thos. W. Palmer, 


Music- Hackley March, 


Opera House Orchestra. 


Rev. Samuel M. Cramblet. 

Reception to the Public by the Board of Education^ at the Libraiy Building, 
from eight o'clock P. M. to ten o^ clock P. M. 






REFERENCE ROOM- Hacki.ey Public LiBii; 


Page ID, 3d line, *' Thursday, the IGth," should be 
"Wednesday, the 15th." Page 70, line 21, "O. S. 
Spalding," should be " O. L. Spaulding." 



npHTJKSDAY, the 16th day of October, 1890, will 
-^ ever be a notable day in the history of the city of 
Muskegon. The public schools were closed, all courts 
adjourned, all banks and places of business closed their 
doors at noon, flags were displayed in all parts of the 
city, and the day was devoted to the appropriate cele- 
bration of the most important event that had ever 
occurred within the city. The people turned out en 
masse to testify their gratitude and pleasure at the 
opening for all time of this beautiful temple of knowl- 
edge to which they and their descendants would be 
forever freely welcome. Many distinguished invited 
guests from abroad were in attendance to participate in 
the exercises of the day, which took place at the Muske- 
gon Opera House, the largest and most convenient 
auditorium in the city for such an occasion. 

At two o^clock p. M. a procession was formed at the 
Library building, and under the escort of Phil Kearney 
Post, Xo. 7, G. A. K., proceeded to the Opera House. 

Mr. Kobert E. Bunker, chairman of the Library Com- 
mittee, and master of ceremonies, called the large audi- 
ence to order and introduced the exercises of the day with 
the following well-chosen words : 


Ladies axd Gentlemen : We are assembled to-day 
to receive, with some degree of formality from the hands 
of the generous donor, one of the most notable gifts 
known to the history of public benefactions. As citizens 
of Muskegon, we shall leave this place the owners in fee 
and the possessors in fact of the finest structure that^ 
stands in the State of Michigan — a library building com- 
plete in all its appointments, strong, beautiful and sig- 
nificant in design, luxurious in finish, convenient in ar- 
rangement, with broad steps and wide doors, emblematic 
of the intention of its founder, that all may enter and 
enjoy its treasures and that none shall be forbidden ; per- 
fect, as near as may be, in its adaptation to the purposes 
for which it was designed, and withal so wholesome, so 
light, so airy, so jnire, so artistic, that disease cannot lurk 
within its walls, that darkness shall be dispelled, that 
comfort shall be ever present, that no evil thoughts may 
be suggested, and that the true, the beautiful and the 
good shall alone have sway within its portals. There is 
no stone in its walls, from foundation to coping, but that, 
if endowed with voice, would sing the praises of him who 
caused it to be i)laced there, a constant tribute to gener- 
osity, a standing menace to ignorance and a mute aj^peal 
to philanthrophy. Its founding and much of its history 
are known to every city and village and hamlet of this 
great land. The act which gave it birth has been heralded 
and applauded in lands across the sea. Men have paused 
in the hurry of their business, in the press of their i^ro- 
fessional duties, and in the sweat of their dailv labors to 
pay their tribute of praise to its generous founder, and to 
breathe a prayer for his welfare during the remaining 
vears of his life. ]\rav the gratitude of his beneficiaries 

V % CI/ 


be his full measure of compensation ! May the example 
he has set give wealth a better meaning and a further sig- 
nificance ! May the deed he has done inspire riches to 
value not themselves but the good they can do I 

But so far we have been looking upon the surface of 
the block of marble, and have not contemplated the beau- 
tiful figure that sleeps within it. 

If so much may be said of the building itself, what 
may not be said of the treasures that lie within its walls ? 
Neither we who are here to-day nor the generation in 
which we live may speak with comprehension of the great 
force for good which this magnificent library shall exert 
upon the people of this city and those who shall come 
after them. This we must leave to the generations which 
shall succeed us. No estimate can now be made of its 
worth. This much we know, that the hardest stone in 
its walls will crumble into dust before the influence of the 
books contained within them shall be lost to those who 
come after us. 

Indeed, it is 

" The possession of the living ; 
The heritage of posterity." 

Keeping in mind the . quaint and suggestive metaj)hor 
of Madame De Stael that "architecture is frozen n^usic/^ 
it is fitting that the exercises of dedicating so noble a 
structure be inaugurated with music, and I therefore take 
pleasure in announcing as the first feature of the pro- 
gram a selection from Wagner by the Opera House 

Then followed, in accordance with the program, a 
selection from the ^'Tannhauser,^^ beautifully rendered 


by the Opera House Orchestra, under the leadership of 
Prof. H. Koebel. 

The Eight Eev. George D. Gillespie, D.D., LL.D., 
Bishop of the Western Diocese of Michigan, led the 
vast audience in the following appropriate and feeling 
prayer : 


Thine, Lord, is the greatness and the power and 
the glory, and we who are made in thy own image, met 
in thy name and presence, in view of our assemblage in 
this place, would adore thee for the inspiration of the 
Almighty giving us understanding ; for the men and 
women in all ages, of great thoughts of mind and heart ; 
of far seeing into the wonders in heaven, in the earth 
beneath, and in the waters under the earth; of deep 
search into all the affairs of nations and men ; and of 
broad study of the ages that are past. 

We give thanks to thee, that thou hast made us the 
heirs of the great store of knowledge they have gath- 
ered and the wisdom they have garnered, — that age 
speaketh unto age, and we in these latter days inherit 
the riches of the ages. 

thou from whom all holy desires, all good coun- 
sels, and all just works do proceed; we magnify thy 
holy name, for the pen of the writer, the art of the 
printer, the skill of the painter and of the sculptor ; 
the past that lives on the page, in the marble, and on 
the canvas. 

We thank thee for the right mind and open hand 
that have placed here amid our habitations this treasure 
house of wisdom, a goodly heritage for us and for our 



children, a monument to the greatness of man and the 
glory of God. 

We pray that this institution may open the minds of 
those who enjoy its use, to ^^the wisdom that is pure, 
peaceable, gentle, full of mercy and good fruits, with- 
out partiality and without hypocrisy, ^^ the '^wisdom that 
is better than rubies, and all the things that may be 
desired are not to be compared to it/' 

We ask for this library the interest and ability that 
shall increase its stores, and that no destruction may 
come nigh it. 

Lord, regard with thy favor and visit with thy 
blessing the schools in our midst. Assist all who are 
guardians of their interests. Endue all teachers with a 
sense of their charge. Favor the students with health, 
and make them diligent and successful in study. 

May sound learning and virtuous education and 
Christian truth be ^^the stability of our times.^' 

Be gracious unto the place wherein we dwell ; pre- 
serve and further our material prosperity; fashion into 
one united happy citizenship those who have come hither 
out of many lands ; give wisdom to our city guardians, 
integrity in all branches of profession and trade ; give 
sweet peace in our homes. 

Bless the President of the United States, the Gov- 
ernor of this State, and all others in authority. 

Give plenty, peace and prosperity in all our borders. 

Humbly we beseech thee to accept this our sacrifice 
of thanks and praise, through Jesus Christ our only 
Saviour and Redeemer. Amen. 

The dedicatory anthem, composed by Mr. I. Edgar 
Jones, was given by the double quartet, as announced. 


All hall, Muskegon^s jubilee, brimmed o'er with promises high. 
This gift whose gracious work and great henceforth can never die ; 
Whose ample store of priceless lore — free here to every soul- 
Shall work its will on human lives while countless ages roll. 
The people's Temple, dedicate to earnest things and tnie. 
Where sages of the ages speak their messages anew, 
While thoughts that live to mold true men— untrammeled here 

and free — 
Light sacred fires of thought Inspired for millions yet to be. 

C%o.— Hail, hail, Muskegon's jubilee I sing praises strong and high ! 
Let loud rejoicings fill the earth, glad anthems pierce the sky I 
This is the People's Temple, pledged to knowledge, truth and 

power ; 
Proclaim the tidings to the world in this grand triumph hour. 

All hail the generous heart and hand whose magic, touched with gold. 
Made possible this glorious boon qut glad eyes now behold, 
Its granite walls of massive mould— strength linking hands with art— 
A poem wrought in wood and stone, complete in every part. 
Prom this shall radiate the lines to intersect the years. 
With flashes yet to glad the gloom of human toil and tears: 
Instruct each sage, inspire each age, mould noblest maids and men, 
And banish fiends of ignorance and darkness to their den. 

Thank God, that here is planted deep, heaven-destined to endure, 
This altar to all growth and grace, expansive, full and sure ; 
On which the consecrated fires of thought shall ever burn, 
A beacon light for human lives while worlds and seons turn. 
This is a trj'sting place for souls, where past and future come, 
Exchanging thoughts from minds that neither time nor death can dumb. 
Swing wide the People's College doors, bid knowledge to her shrine; 
All time hath here— in granite gray— her symbol and her sign. 



Ladies and Gentlemen: It has been deemed fitting 
that as part of the opening exercises of this memorable 
occasion there should be put before you in brief detail 
a recapitulation of the events which have brought into 


being the beautiful and enduring structure to be this 
day dedicated, and forever set apart to the promotion 
of learning, culture and good morals, as a free public 
library and reading room. 

On the twenty-fifth day of May, 1888, Mr. Charles 
H. Hackley, of this city, sent to the board of educa- 
tion a communication which read as follows : 

'^ To the Board of Education of the City of Muskegon: 
''1 hereby offer to give to the public schools of the 
city of Muskegon the sum of one hundred thousand 
dollars, in trust, for the following purposes, and in the 
following manner: 

^^I propose to erect on lots seven and eight, block 
70, in this city, a suitable and commodious building for 
a public library and reading room, and deed the same 
to your corporation. Should such building and site cost 
less than fifty thousand dollars, so much of that unex- 
pended amount as remains will be given to your board 
to be expended in the purchase of books and other 
suitable literature for such public library and reading 
room. The sum of fifty thousand dollars shall be 
placed in your hands to be permanently invested by 
you in some good, safe, interest-bearing securities, for- 
ever, the income from such investment to be applied 
by your board, in its discretion, in the acquisition and 
purchase of books and other literature for such library 
and reading room. 

^^It is possible, however, that the site and building 
may cost in excess of the sum of fifty thousand dol- 
lars, and in that case the remainder of the one hun- 
dred thousand dollars will be given you to be invested 
as above and for the purposes last stated. 


"I make this donation upon the condition that the 
public library and reading room so established shall be 
forever maintained as a public library in the city of 
Muskegon, having a reading room in connection there- 
with, under the control of your board, and under such 
rules and regulations as you may from time to time 
prescribe, having in view the use of said library and 
reading room by the public in the most liberal man- 
ner ; and that the same shall be open to the public 
each day (Sundays and legal holidays excepted) between 
the hours of nine a.m. and nine p.m., and on such 
other days and during such other hours as you may 
see fit ; that the same shall be kept in good order and 
repair by your board, which shall likewise employ a 
competent librarian and assistants to take charge of 
the same and serve the public as may be necessary ; 
and that your board shall annually provide for and de- 
fray all ordinary and incidental expenses of maintain- 
ing the same. 

^^I also make this further condition: That the 
ground upon which said building is erected and the 
building and books and material therein shall be and 
forever remain the property of said corporation, except- 
ing, of course, that worn-out books and material may 
be disposed of in such manner as you may see fit. 
And I ask you to deliver to me your formal acceptance 
of the proposed donation upon the terms and condi- 
tions above specified. 

^^I leave it to you to give an appropriate name to 

said building. 

^^Very truly yours, 

'' Charles H. Hackley. 
"Muskegon, May 25, 1888.'' 


It is now well understood that Mr. Hackley had for 
some time prior to the date of his letter determined 
upon carrying into execution this great work, and ac- 
quired the present site of the building for that pur- 
pose, and it is but justice that it should be here 
stated that the securing of the site was effectively joro- 
moted and accomplished through the cooperation of 
another citizen, Mr. John Torrent. 

The communication which I have read to you was 
received with unbounded joy and grat;itude by the peo- 
ple of this city, and sj^eedily became a matter of al- 
most national interest and importance, calling forth 
inquiry, commendation and approval from the most in- 
fluential journals of the country. 

At a meeting of the board of education, held on 
the 25th day of May, 1888, Mr. Hackley^'s letter was 
formally submitted, and thereupon the following pre- 
amble and resolution, offered by Mr. Eobert E. Bunker, 
were unanimously adopted: 

^^AYhereas, Charles H. Hackley has offered to the 
board of education of the city of Muskegon the munifi- 
cent gift of one hundred thousand dollars for the 
maintenance of a public library in the city of Muske- 
gon, a part of which sum is to provide for a suitable 
site and the erection thereon of a suitable library build- 
ing, and the balance to be held in trust by said board 
of education, and the income therefrom is to be applied 
in the purchase of books and the maintenance of said 
library, other than the current expenses thereof ; 

'^ Resolved, By the board of education of the city of 
Muskegon, that the gift of the generous donor be and 


the same is hereby accepted on the terms and condi- 
tions of his proposal tendering the gift (which said 
terms and conditions the board of education hereby ob- 
ligates itself to carry into effect), and that the thanks 
of this board and of the constituency by it represented, 
be and the same are hereby extended to him for his 
magnificent benefaction, and for the broad, liberal and 
unselfish spirit in which it was made, and the unre- 
stricted condition of its use. 

^^ Resolved, further, That in commemoration of the 
magnificent benefaction, said library shall be known 
and designated as the ^ Hackley Public Library ' of the 
city of Muskegon, and that a suitable slab or other 
monument be conspicuously placed in the library build- 
ing to commemorate the gift. 

*' Resolved, further, That in further commemoration 
of the founding of said library, the 25th day of May 
in each and every year hereafter be and the siime is 
set apart as a memorial day by the public schools of 
the city of Muskegon, and that the ordinary exercises 
of the schools shall on that day be suspended, and 
there shall be substituted therefor exercises of a char- 
acter suitable to such commemoration.'^ 

Immediately thereafter Mr. Hackley delivered to the 
board a duly executed conveyance, vesting in the cor- 
poration known as the Public Schools of the City of 
Muskegon the title to the proposed library, in trust, 
for the purposes of his gift. The board immediately 
took action in the matter, and on the 29th day of 
May, 1888, decided to adopt the following method for 
obtaining studies, sketches and plans of the proposed 


building : Six architects of good reputation and abil- 
ity were selected, each of whom was invited to submit 
a competitive design, with the understanding that each 
should receive one hundred dollars for his work, ex- 
cept the successful competitor (if there should be one), 
who would be compensated in accordance with the 
usual standard for first-class professional services, as 
should be agreed. All of the architects invited ac- 
cepted the invitation, with the result that several de- 
signs of great merit were sent in. On the 20th day of 
July, 1888, after a careful consideration of all the plans 
and designs submitted, the board rejected all but twe, 
the authors of which were invited to submit further 
and amended sketches upon the same terms as origi- 
nally proposed. This proposition was accepted and the 
new sketches in due time submitted. 

At the annual election of school trustees for the 
year 1888, held on the 9th day of July, Mr. Hackley 
was elected trustee for the term of three years, and 
thereafter became officially and directly interested in 
the work, and has given it the benefit of his best 
thought and judgment. 

It had already become evident, however, to all the 
members of the board of education, and to none sooner 
or more clearly than to Mr. Hackley himself, that to es- 
tablish such a building as would meet his views as to 
size, elegance and permanence of construction, the fund 
which he had provided would be practically exhausted. 
He did not intend that when the building was com- 
pleted and ready for occupancy the public should be 
invited to an unfurnished structure, sparsely supplied 
with literature. It was his desire that it should be i 


every respect liberally adequate to the needs of the 
public, and therefore, on the 30th day of July, 1888, 
he sent to the board of education this further com- 
munication : 

" To the Bpard of Education of the Muskegon Public 
Schools : 

^^ Gentlemen: — It is already apparent that the sum 
I have devoted to the erection and maintenance of the 
public library and reading room will be insufficient to 
accomplish that purpose and at the same time provide 
at the outset for the furnishing of the building and a 
sufficient number of books for the library to be at all 
commensurate with the size of the building and char- 
acter of the institution. 

*^I feel that the matter should not be left in un- 
certainty or insecurity, but that we should have from 
the beginning a thoroughly comfortable and inviting 
library building, well supplied with good literature. 

'^ I therefore propose to donate the sum of twenty- 
five thousand dollars additional, to be furnished as 
needed, and used under your direction in the furnish- 
ing of the building and the purchase of new books. 

^'Very truly yours, 

'^Charles H. Hackley. 

^^ Muskegon, Mich., July 30, 1888. 


This met with that response of gratitude from our 
citizens which might naturally have been expected, and 
added to the debt we already owed. This communica- 
tion was laid before the board at a meeting held on 
the 31st day of July, 1888, referred to the library com- 


mittee for appropriate action, and at a special meeting 
of the board held on the 3rd day of August, upon mo- 
tion of Mr. Robert E. Bunker, chairman of the library 
committee, the following preamble and resolutions were 
unanimously adopted : 

"Whereas, Charles H. Hackley has supplemented 
his munificent gift of one hundred thousand dollars 
for the erection of a library building, and a permanent 
endowment of a library, with the further sum of 
twenty-five thousand dollars for the furnishing of the 
building and the immediate equipment thereof with 
new books ; and, 

"Whereas, The sum so donated constitutes a gift 
without precedent in the history of philanthropic bene- 
factions in this State, the magnitude and importance 
of which can only be appreciated with the lapse of 
years, a gift which secures to the people of the city of 
Muskegon a magnificent library at the outset, which 
reaches every home and every inmate therein, not alone 
of the present, but of ages to come, and which consti- 
tutes an imperishable monument to philanthropy and 
to the donor's generosity ; 

" Resolved, By the board of education of the city of 
Muskegon, that the princely supplemental gift be and 
the same is hereby accepted in the terms and on the 
conditions incorporated in the donor's proposition of 
May 25, 1888, and that the thanks of this board and 
of the constituency by it represented, be and the same 
are hereby extended to the donor therefor. 

" Resolved, further. That the cards displayed in the 
books of which the library shall be made up, shall con- 


tain some suitable recital to commemorate the entire 
gift, to the end that the public, for whom the library 
is designed, shall have a constant reminder of their 
obligation for the generous gift." 

On the 15th day of August, 1888, the two amended 
sketches called for by the board were taken under con- 
sideration. Both showed great study, beauty and origi- 
nality of design and architectural adaptation, and, 
after full consideration, the board, by an unanimous 
vote, accepted the design of Messrs. Patton & Fisher, 
of Chicago. 

The preparation of the specifications and working 
plans involved great expenditure of time and study, 
and it was not until early in the year 1889 that any 
of the work was ready for letting to contractors. The 
first contract was awarded on the 12th of February, 
1889, to the Hallowell Granite Company for furnishing 
all the granite used in the building. And in March, con- 
tracts for the mason- work, carpentry, etc., were awarded 
to John Griffiths, and the firm of Grace, Griffiths & 
Hyde, of Chicago. Ground was broken on the site on 
or about the 1st day of April, 1889. The corner stone 
was laid on the 25th day of May, 1889 — the first an- 
niversary of the gift — which occasion was observed by 
appropriate exercises, the chief feature of which was a 
scholarly and masterly address by Prof. Andrew C. Mc- 
Laughlin, of the University of Michigan. The work 
thenceforward proceeded uninterruptedly until the build- 
ing was completed, and accepted on or about the 18th 
day of July of the present year. 

The building itself testifies to the genius and study 


of the architects, and speaks more in that regard than 
I am able to express. 

From beginning to end the work has ' had the im- 
mediate, careful, thorough inspection and supervision 
of Mr. Louis Kanitz and his associates of the building 
committee, Messrs. Wilson and Hackley, and under 
them, of Mr. Timothy Cramer, superintendent of build- 

The following contractors and sub-contractors are 
represented in the work, furniture and fittings : Henry 
Furst & Sons, John Griffiths, Grace, Griffiths & Hyde, 
The Low Art Tile Company, Winslow Bros. Company, 
Clark, Rafflin & Co., The Almini Company, The North- 
western Terra Cotta Company, The Hallowell Granite 
Company, Healey & Millett, and Burke & Co., of Chi- 
cago ; The Ketcham Furniture Company, of Toledo, 
Ohio ; The Muskegon Hardware Co., John J. Howden, 
Kelly Bros. Manufacturing Company, William Schoen- 
berger, Fred Engle, and The Muskegon Electric Light 
Company, of this city. 

It is believed that in every respect the workmanship 
and- material have been honestly and faithfully con- 
formable to the plans and specifications. For the past 
twelve months, or nearly that, the work of furnishing 
the library and reading room with suitable literature 
has been going forward under the immediate charge of 
Mr. Robert E. Bunker, chairman of the library com- 
mittee, and his associates, Messrs. David McLaughlin 
and Louis Kanitz, and under them, of Mrs. Sarah H. 
Miner, librarian, and her assistants. 

To properly expend twenty thousand dollars in the 
selection and purchase of suitable literature is not an 


easy task. It involves not merely the selection of good 
books, but a proper distribution amongst the many 
classifications of literature so that all may be propor- 
tionately and fairly represented, in accordance with the 
needs and demands of the community. The library com- 
mittee were enabled to make a very fortunate arrange- 
ment in this regard with the great publishing and book 
house of Messrs. A. C. McClurg & Co., of Chicago, 
Illinois, by which lists were prepared and submitted 
by Mr. H. H. Cooke, the able manager of their library 
department, thus very much facilitating the work of 
the committee in selections to be made. None of you 
can adequately realize the work involved in the recep- 
tion, examination, classification, and cataloguing of the 
twelve thousand volumes which have been acquired 
during the past year. It involves the examination, 
analysis, and digest of nearly every volume received, 
with the exception of the literature known as ^'fiction" 
and '^juvenile/' including, however, many of these. 
The work has bt^n carried on in the most thorough, 
comprehensive and intelligent manner by Mrs. Miner 
and her assistants. Miss Julia S. Wi>od, Miss Jessie 
Seals, Miss Lulu Miller, Miss Maggie Clark, and Mas- 
ter Robert Livingstone, and latterly. Master Frank 
Trott. In addition to the reception, classification and 
cataloguing of the new volumes, the librarian and her 
assistants have also had imposed upon them the work 
of re-cataloguing and classifying the volumes of the 
old public school libmry, which have become j>art of 
the llackley Public Library. It will take several 
months yet to complete this j>art of the work, but it 
is alreadv so far advanceil that many thousand vol- 


umes after this day will be ready for public use. The 
reading room from now on will be supplied with all 
the prominent English and American periodicals in 
literature, science and art. 

In compliance with the wishes of the founder, the 
building will be open to the public for use every day 
in the year, during reasonably appointed hours. 

And now, in conclusion, fellow citizens of Muske- 
gon, it may be said that it is in your power to do 
much to add to the value and utility of this great 
public benefaction. It will be an appropriate depos- 
itory for rare books, prints, manuscripts, autographs, 
photographs, pamphlets, files of papers and magazines, 
preserving them for use and inspection years after they 
would otherwise be lost to use or destroyed. 

Mr. Griswold T. Jones, one of our citizens, has set 
a most laudable example by tendering us an almost 
complete file of the New York Daily Tribune, com- 
mencing April 1, 1844, an invaluable historical record 
of the period covered. 

May we not rely upon your hearty and efficient 
cooperation in making the collection worthy of the 
structure ? 



It is a somewhat threadbare criticism of the archi- 
tectural profession, that however complete the specifi- 
cations may seem, the owner must be prepared for the 
inevitable *' extras.^' The committee on this building 
seem to think that ^'it is a poor rule that does not 


work both ways/' and after I supposed my last official 
visit had been paid they requested me to deliver this 
address. This is clearly an ^^ extra/' and I begin to 
realize that the '^ extras'' appear more formidable than 
the original contract. 

Most of you have seen the building. You have 
formed your own opinion as to its utility and beauty. 
Many favorable comments have been expressed ; those 
of an opposite nature will, out of kindness, be post- 
poned until a future date. I will therefore not weary 
you by a minute description of what you can see for 
yourselves, but shall limit myself to a few suggestions 
explaining the architectural significance of the building. 

And first let me define the position which an archi- 
tect should occupy in regard to the design of such a 
building as we dedicate to-day. An artist, with a small 
outlay of money, may purchase canvas, paints and 
brushes and produce by his unaided efforts a master- 
piece of art. 

The architect may, in a similar manner, produce a 
design for an imaginary building, and then wait in 
vain for a client to build it. The picture will avail 
him little ; nothing but the completed structure will 
bring him fame or money. When the ambitious archi- 
tect at last secures a client sagacious enough to appre- 
ciate his genius he discovers that the man who pro- 
poses to pay for the building has ideas of his own 
which he expects his architect to carry out. Some- 
times there is a building committee, each of whom is 
a man of ideas, and the architect is expected to please 
them all. This is but natural and proper. The archi- 
tect is often called upon to originate the plans as well 


as the design, but his first duty is to develop and give 
form to the ideas of his clients. Thus it often hap- 
pens that the thoughts of many minds are embodied in 
one building. It is the place of the architect to give 
unity and symmetry to these thoughts. As the ideas 
converge towards the architect, so they again diverge 
from him. One man only may appear to the public, 
but there are skillful helpers who contribute each his 
share to the complete result. Whatever compliments 
may be bestowed upon the designs of this building, I 
must share them with the partner who has given 
abundant evidence to the building committee of the 
important part he has borne in this work. And there 
are the draughtsmen, who have done their part faith- 
fully and well. Nor does the division of honor stop 
here. The contractors and mechanics, many of them 
your own townsmen, take a just pride in the beauty 
of their work. Without their skill the best of plans 
would have been marred in the execution. Nor is the 
work of various artisans confined to mechanical execu- 
tion. Under the suggestions and directions of the 
architects the beautiful decorations and the glories of 
the stained glass were designed and wrought by those 
whose skill is the result of years of practice. The 
carving that adorns the entrance, and which is repre- 
sented on the programmes before us, was designed by 
an architect, but it would have had no value had it 
not been executed by an artist. 

It will be a convenient division of our subject if we 
consider the building under the two aspects of utility 
and beauty, or the plan and the design. This build- 
ing should be of more than ordinary interest, for we 


are now in the midst of a period of library building, 
and this means not simply the erection of so many 
buildings a year ; it is a time of development of new 
types of building. There is probably no more active 
professional association in the country than that of the 
librarians. They meet in convention each year and 
discuss every detail of library administration, and one 
regular topic of each convention is '' Library Build- 
ings.'' Indeed, I know of no other association of men, 
other than of architects, that regularly discusses the 
subject of architecture. Whatever the public may think 
of the libraries of a decade ago the librarians are prac- 
tically unanimous in their condemnation. The objec- 
tion is that the convenience of the public has been 
considered, but that of the librarian overlooked. Xow 
the librarians, following the tendency of the age, have 
organized and demand their rights. They say, not 
without reason, "You come into the library to draw 
books and stay ten minutes once a week, but we spend 
here six days each week.'' It is little wonder that the 
president of the American Library Association should 
have said, "It is a pity that there should be such an 
antagonism between utility and beauty in architecture 
that we cannot liave a handsome library building with- 
out sacrificing the comfort and convenience of those 
who occupy it most." 

I need not argue to prove that there is no real an- 
tagonism between these two inseparable qualities of a 
good design. The perfect building must unite beauty 
and utility. If this building has been made beautiful 
at the expense of its utility, then it has so far failed 
of the highest excellence. If on the contrary we find 


that the wants of every one have been met, so as that 
the librarian will think the building constructed for 
his special benefit, and at the same time the public 
will see that none of their rights have been curtailed, 
and that the design is a natural development of a con- 
venient plan, we will have the only form of beauty 
that is lasting and satisfactory in architecture, a beauty 
that is the expression of the character of the building — 
that can be compared not to the handsome clothes and 
jewels with which a lady of fashion may adorn her- 
self, but rather to that beauty of countenance which 
is the reflection of the soul within. 

To see a library of the olden time one would think 
that it had been built for a museum, and that after- 
wards books had taken the place of minerals and 
stuffed birds. In a museum it is pleasant to wander 
in and out of alcoves, climb pretty corkscrew stairs to 
galleries and meet quaint surprises as we turn each 
corner; but suppose that each specimen were a book 
and had to be brought down to the desk one at a 
time, it would soon tax our patience and the librarian's 

The question for a library of moderate size has been 
settled that all the books must be on one level, and com- 
pactly arranged so as to be most easily reached from the 
delivery desk. The librarians have accomplished this by 
their united efforts, and architects and building com- 
mittees alike have been converted; but some librarians, 
emboldened by their success in gaining recognition, 
have gone to the other extreme, and think that the 
books must be kept away from the public as much as 
possible. Said one able librarian to me : " If I had 


mv wav I would have the book room shut off bv a 
wall from the delivery room, and have doors between. 
The public has no business to see what is going on in 
the book room/' I protested against this view, and 
said that in any library whose arrangement I could 
control, the books will be in sight of every one who 
enters. When you, citizens of Muskegon, enter the 
building erected for your benefit, a door from the 
vestibule will lead you directly into the central hall. 
Your eye will first meet the hospitable fireplace and 
the tables of catalogues. K the view stopped with the 
catalogues it would seem rather dry, but you will in- 
stinctivelv turn toward the end of the room. There 
you see row after row of shelves, each filled with vol- 
umes that seem ready to leap from their resting place 
if you will but put forth your band and take them. 
Can such a sight fail to whet your appetite for a taste 
of their treasures ? The arches between vou and the 
books are widespread, as if to say, we are not to keep 
you from the books, but to let the books come to you. 
The counter is no barrier against you, but is rather 
the refreshment table upon which you are served with 
whatever viands you may order. 

You advance a few steps and your eye is attracted 
by another scene. Did you ever pause of an evening 
opposite a home where the window shades have been 
left up, revealing the family seated around the library 
table, reading by the lamp-light ? Did you ever view 
such a scene without wishing that you could be ad- 
mitted to the circle ? The glass that separates you 
from the group gives that sort of halo to the scene 
that often makes a picture seem more wonderful than 


nature itself. Not unlike this will be your first glimpse 
of the reading room through the windows on the right. 

Every building material is good in its place, but 
the best and noblest material is bad when out of place. 
On the stairway, where there is no need of a strong 
light, and where you do not care to look through the 
windows, you will find stained glass of the richest col- 
ors. To put such glass between the reading room and 
the central hall would be an impertinence. You would 
say to the glass : ^^ Take your gaudy self away ; you 
are less worthy than the view you hide.^^ Therefore it 
is that yoii find the clear plate that gives you a 
glimpse of the books and magazines and the group of 
readers, and you yield to the impulse to join this home 
circle to which you know you are welcome. The read- 
ing room should be made to look homelike. Even in 
a public library there should be some place where the 
reader may have privacy. Whether the nook marked 
on the plans ^^ ladies^ alcove " will be reserved for ladies 
I do not know ; but when a lady shall stray into the 
building some morning or afternoon, when the readers 
are few, she will be most likely to find her way to this 

As you leave the reading room you see directly op- 
posite you the reference room, and enter. The ma- 
hogany finish seems to indicate that here are kept 
treasures too costly to be handled by the public. You 
are right as to the treasures, for there are ponderous en- 
clycopaedias and dictionaries; but see them on open 
shelves ! Seat yourself, draw the volume from the 
shelf above and read. You help yourself as if you 
were at home, remembering only to treat the books as 


well as you would your own. If any one should enter 
with other than good intention he will not be long in 
discovering that the same plate glass that gives him a 
view of the reading and reference rooms also gives the 
librarian the same opportunities, and this is not the 
result of accident, but rather a wise precaution to pre- 
vent ^'accidents/' 

But to pass over the large reading room in the sec- 
ond story and the various smaller apartments and come 
to the subject of design. If there is to be any mean- 
ing to the architectural forms in which the structure 
is moulded they should express something. Here mod- 
esty forbids that I should be too positive. I will de- 
scribe what was the intention of the designers. You 
will judge whether their efforts have been successful. 

First, the general form of the building expresses its 
character. You would not need the inscription over 
the entrance to tell you it is a library. If no other 
feature should give the clue, the high windows on the 
sides of the rear wing would hardly be adapted to any 
apartment except one for book storage. It is not al- 
ways possible, or desirable, to make each external feat- 
ure reveal its purpose to strangers ; but those familiar 
with the plan should recognize in the design an adap- 
tation of the external forms to the uses of the interior. 
Thus the corner tower contains the main stairwav. The 
tower was not intended to shout ^' stairs ^^ to every 
passing stranger, but to those who know the location 
and arrangement of the stairs the tower is an appro- 
priate expression of their existence. The entrance to 
a public library should be prominent and inviting. 
The tower serves as a beacon to guide by day or night 


to this entrance. In like manner the smaller tower 
indicates the private stairs and entrance. The style of 
architecture, which may with propriety be called ^ ^Amer- 
ican Romanesque/^ is of interest as being preeminently 
the American style for important buildings. It would 
seem as if the Eomanesque of the olden time had been 
arrested in its development, that after the lapse of 
eight centuries it might be taken up by the people of 
this great republic. When we speak of Romanesque 
we do not mean the dead style by that name, but the 
style of the present and the future. The true signifi- 
cance of the building we dedicate cannot be under- 
stood unless we consider it in its relation to the pro- 
gress of the age. If this building has made any step 
in advance along the line of library development, then 
all who have labored in any way for its success have 
wrought a benefit not for Muskegon alone, but for the 

The interior would be unmistakably a library, and 
not a museum, if there were no vestige of a book or 
bookcase in sight. Perhaps it is not as handsome as 
a museum, but the vista from the front to the great 
window behind the books, a hundred and eight feet in 
length, is certainly no mean sight. 

The fireproof character of the building would hardly 
be evident in the interior were all the finish of wood 
and plaster. Therefore we have the marble floor, 
great stone fireplace, and stone columns in the central 
hall to give expression to the solidity the structure 
justly claims. 

I have already suggested that the use of stained 
glass is purposely avoided in some of the windows of 


the interior. There is none in the reading room. 
Where a good light is of the first importance, and in 
the large interior transoms^ the glass is arranged in 
decorative forms, hut without color, as that would de- 
tract from the wall decorations. At the sides of the 
hook room the glass is purposely white, while the end 
windows, which alone are prominent from the stand- 
point of the public, and which are located where there 
is light to spare, are made rich with color. 

Thus Ti-ith all details of this or any building we 
should consider each in its relations to the demands of 
utilty and as subordinated to the effect of the whole. 

But this building expresses more than the bare fact 
that it is a librar}\ It speaks in a language hardly 
less definite than that of words of the character of him 
to whom it owes its existence. When on my first trip 
to this city a fellow traveler remarked : " Muskegon 
is all right as long as the lumber lasts, but what will 
it be when that is gone?^' As I walked your spacious 
streets I could not repress a certain feeling of sadness 
at the thought that in a few years the prosperity then 
apparent might decline — that perhaps before the library 
then proposed would be filled with books the readers 
would grow less in number. But those thoughts were 
soon dispersed when I learned that it was Mr. Hack- 
ley's special desire that the library should be of gran- 
ite. Here was one man at least who had faith in the 
future of Muskegon, and this building stands as a 
monument to that faith. There is nothing accom- 
plished in this world without faith. The men who 
have faith in God, in their fellow men, and in them- 
selves, are those who move the world. 


Citizens of Muskegon, you doubtless feel due gi'ati- 
tude for, this magnificent gift, but do not forget that 
it conveys a compliment to you of the most unmistak- 
able nature. A man is not apt to prepare a costly gift 
for a recipient who cannot or will not appreciate it. 
Princely gifts are reserved for those worthy to be 
princes, and to judge from this gift this must be a 
city of princes. Whatever service the architect may 
perform, if he be wise, and withal modest, his part 
will not disguise or obscure the personal expression of 
the man who calls the building into being. If it had 
been the desire of the donor to make a great display 
at small expense, you would have seen what glories 
could be made with galvanized iron and paint. But 
if you find the building to have an unpretentious worth 
and dignity — if you find that cheap shams and tricks 
have there no place, then know that ^^By their works 
ye shall know them ; '* that the kind of building a man 
erects often speaks his character as plainly as his 

I cannot close these remarks without a reference to 
the board of education and the building committee. 
Honored by the people as their chosen representatives, 
they were again honored by Mr. Hackley when he com- 
mitted to them this trust. They have held the helm 
that has guided this enterprise to the end. They have 
shown a wisdom and a fairness that may well serve as 
a model to other committees. 

I can pay the citizens of this city no higher com- 
pliment than to say that I judge of you by those I 
have met in the board of education. 

And now in conclusion I have only one thing to say. 


It is no secret that the cost of the library has far 
exceeded the original limit. This is a great and 
grievous fault, and is usually laid at the architects^ 
door. I pray you do us no such wrong. AVould you 
know who it was that changed the wooden floor to 
marble, the wooden stairs to marble and iron, who 
said when future enlargement was suggested, why not 
enlarge it now ? who for every dollar asked gave two ? 
Then know that it was he who first put his generos- 
ity and his faith on record when he directed to build 
with granite that will last for ages. 

The following selection was beautifully sung by Mrs. 
H. A. DeShetley, a niece of Mr. Hackley. 


Word^ by F. E. Weatherly. Music by Stephen Adams. 

It was the eve of Christmas, the snow lay deep and white, 
I sat beside my window and look'd into the night: 
I heard the church bells ringing, I saw the bright stars shine, 
And childhood came again to me, with all its dreams divine. 

* * * 

Then, as I listen'd to the bells, and watch'd the skies afar, 
Out of the East, majestical, there rose one radiant star; 
And ev'rj* other star grew pale, before the heav'nly glow, 
It seem'd to bid me follow, and I could not choose but go. 

* * * 

From street to street it led me, by many a mansion fair, 
It shone thro' dingy casements on many a garret bare; 
From highway on to highway, thro' alleys dark and cold. 
And where it shone the darkness was flooded all with gold. 

* * * 

Sad hearts forgot their sorrow, rough hearts grew soft and mild, 
And weary little children turn'd in their sleep and smil'd; 
While many a homeless wanderer uplifted patient eyes, 
Seeming to see a home at last beyond those starry skies. 


And then methought earth faded, I rose as borne on wings, 
Beyond the waste of ruined lives, the press of human things; 
Above the toil and shadow, above the want and woe, 
My old self and its darkness seem'd left on earth below. 

Hf Hf * 

And onward, upward, shone the star, until it seem'd to me, 
It flashed upon the golden gate and o'er the crystal sea; 
And then the gates roll'd backward, I stood where Angels trod; 
It was the star, the star of Bethlehem had led me up to God, 
The star, the star, had led me up to God. 

Miss Hattie B. Haight, Accompanist. 

HON. THOS. W. palmer's ADDRESS. 

Mr. Palmer introduced his speech by a brief, off- 
hand prelude full of happy references and appropriate 
observations. He doubted if any other invitation but 
one like this would have sufficed to call him at this 
time from a very busy life. But he could not decline 
this invitation. When he knew that a particularly 
good thing had been done, when a man in the active 
pursuit of making money had paused to draw from his 
working capital so vast a sum to be devoted to pur- 
poses other than money making : when he had set so 
illustrious an example, so contrary to the ordinary run 
of mankind, and so full of blessing for the people, he 
(the speaker) believed it was time for the farmer to 
leave his plow, the mechanic his workshop, the mer- 
chant his counter, the lawyer his brief, the lumberman 
his gang-saw and lumber piles, and all come up as one 
man to celebrate the occasion. This is the first bequest 
of its kind in Michigan, and it is the largest ever 
made by any citizen of Michigan, living or dead. It 
has been made by one who knows how to make money, 
and who, if he did as most men, would have wanted 
this, money to keep on using it to make more. 


For these reasons, Mr. Palmer said, if he had had 
to walk all the way here, at the rate of ten miles a 
day, he would have been here on time. He believed 
this was the beginning of a new era. It would set 
men of wealth to thinking about spending their money 
for such purposes while they were living. 

Mr. Palmer expressed his delight with the archi- 
tectural beauty of the building, and said that in all 
his travels he had never seen a more fitting and beau- 
tiful structure for its purpose than this one, and he had 
traveled a good deal. He thought he knew good archi- 
tecture when he saw it, and he could not say enough 
in praise of the architectural beauty and richness of 
this building. With these remarks Mr. Palmer pro- 
ceeded .with hisformal address, which is here given in 


When a proposition is made to a business man to 
induce him to invest his money, the first question to 
the exploiter and to himself is. What per cent, will it 
pay ? The parable of the talents is nothing more 
than the application by the Great Teacher of mankind 
of an economic truth to spiritual things. The servant 
who buried his talent in a napkin was condemned 
because he had not applied it to proper uses, that it 
might have grown withal. In that parable is involved 
man's obligation to his Maker and his fellows. 

All men are trustees — the poorest as well as the 
rich. We all hold in our hands means which may 
inure to the good or ill of mankind and ourselves. 
The rich have wealth, which, if rightly applied, encour- 
ages virtue, promotes reforms, rewards industry and 


concentrates ten thousand hands at a given point, at a 
given time, for a given purpose, which otherwise might 
have slept undeveloped and unaccomplished. Gold can 
relieve suffering, allay anxiety, stimulate enterprise, feed 
the hungry, clothe the naked, nurse the sick, raise the 
despairing eye, smooth the wrinkled front, garnish the 
home with things of beauty, educate the ignorant, and 
make glad a thousand hearts. It can do all of these 
things ; but how seldom is it done in any one benefac- 
tion I 

The poor have their talents, for which they are 
equally as responsible as the rich. The good order of 
society, the security of government, the training of 
children, the selection of the right men for public 
trusts, the daily help, which, I am sorry to say, is more 
general among the poor than among the rich; all these, 
which they hold in common with the rich, they are 
accountable for. 

The query which must assail every contemplative 
soul — as to the inequalities of human life — has never 
been satisfactorily answered. Why one man of merit, 
having every quality, apparently, which should com- 
mand success, should meet with continual reverses and 
die poor, if not discouraged, and another should arrive 
at the goal of his hopes, every breeze wafting him to 
the desired haven; and still another may beat his way, 
against adverse winds and under stormy skies, trium- 
phant to the gardens of the Hesperides, has never been 
told, and probably never will be. 

The invisible forces are the potent ones, and we 
probably shall never have the data from which we may 
draw correct conclusions. It is enough to know that 


such is the case, and will be as long as the right of 
private property is conceded. The most unpropitious 
beginnings have led to Fortune and to Fame from the 
time when Joseph passed from the pit to sit upon the 
steps of a throne and feed an Empire, down to Jack 
Whittington and his cat, and still farther, to Jay 
Gould and his mouse-trap. 

In most cases, however, fortunes have been the re- 
sult, not onlv of favorable conditions, but of certain 
qualities of the possessor, good judgment, fair dealing, 
steadfastness of purpose, economy — not stinginess, but 
that ability to adapt the means at hand to the end 
desired — imagination restrained by reason, the quality 
which enables one to see into the future and accuratelv 
judge of the relation of things, and an appreciation of 
values; but, with all these, the deflection of half a 
degree early in the process may render fruitless all the 
above-named aids, and end a career, often on the rocks 
of a financial lee shore. 

Men, however, like generals, are judged by their 
victories or defeats; so that the unfortunate undertake 
no explanation of their reverses, and the successful, as 
a rule, admit of no factor in their success save their 
own personality. Successful men generally assume that 
the world is and has been their oyster, and with their 
own good swords they have opened it, forgetting — 
conceding all their merits — that an accident in direction 
might have rendered them the oyster, and others the 
fortunate ones. In acknowledging no responsibility and 
conceding no obligation, they are unlike the men of 
2,000 years ago, who, returning laden with booty, 
their chariot wheels heavy with the chains of captives. 


made sacrifices to N emesis the first act of their home- 

Men starting out in life with an ambition to be 
rich, almost always want money as a means. Their 
object pursued too closely becomes an end, and soon, 
instead of being master and commander, they become 
sentry and slave to that which should be their servant. 

No man that I recall has become immortal by the 
volume of his wealth, and if it has been transmitted 
intact through more than two generations, it has owed 
its safe keeping to a dynasty wherein the interests of 
outsiders held it together. I believe it will be found 
that the successful pursuit of wealth, with the intensity 
sometimes seen, unrelieved by giving — from generous 
impulse or sense of duty — projects the mind so far in 
one direction that mental balance is lost, and the suc- 
ceeding generation shows physical or mental decadence, 
and perhaps both. I think this will be recognized as 
a physiological fact by scientists before long, and the 
careful observer will wonder at the number of coinci- 
dences of very rich fathers and weak-minded children. 
This does not apply where men, in their hot pursuit, 
stop at times to do a beneficent thing, or distribute 
blessings from their overloaded wains as they pass, or 
keep steadily in mind, like Stephen Girard, the aim he 
had in view, of founding an institution which would 
confer blessings on a commonwealth. And yet I be- 
lieve it would have been better for mankind, and bet- 
ter for Girard himself, if, in that hard, relentless life, 
he had stopped to create smiles, had lifted burdens 
from the weary, inspired hopes, and given away one- 
half of the six millions which he left, thus receiving 


the reflected sunshine he could have dispensed. To 
him the six millions brought nothing — but a tomb, 
prouder in architecture and more beneficent in purpose 
than the Taj Mahal, or that of Cecilia Metella — but it 
is left the world to wonder — as in their cases — whether 
it was a monument of his philanthropy or his pride. 
George Peabody did well, but how much better for 
him if, earlier in life, he had enjoyed the pleasure of 
giving, instead of at threescore and ten, distributing 
his nine millions. Johns Hopkins did well, but he 
held the purse until death released his grasp. 

I would not say one word in derogation of these 
benefactors of the race. I only regret that they, indi- 
vidually, could not have experienced the pleasure of 
giving, and not have made death their almonera. 

It seems to me that a man who waits for death to 
prompt him to give is very much like a strong man on 
a heavy road, who desires to benefit his fellows laboring 
through the sloughs, by putting up a big house of 
entertainment for them at the end of the road, which he 
or they may never reach, when he might have helped 
many a poor fellow sure to fall by the way unless 

Ptolemy Philadelphus left three hundred millions; 
no one knows what became of it, or cares ; but the 
library he founded and the scientific experiments he 
made, which were one of the factors in inspiring 
Columbus to seek a western pathway to the Indies, 
have made his name immortal. 

Haroun Al Raschid left four hundred million dinars; 
no one knows or cares what became of the money, but 
his name is associated with the Arabian Nights, which 


have fed the mental cravings of childhood and gilded 
the last hours of expiring age by their creations. 
Although he was a brute, those stories have cast an 
atmosphere around him that have made him appear a 
kind and beneficent ruler. 

Not one of the Koman proconsuls who plundered 
provinces and brought home to the Eternal City the 
spoils of kingdoms, has left a name, save Verres, who 
owes his rescue from oblivion to his prosecution by 
Cicero for extortion. 

The Medici, who laid the foundation of their fort- 
unes in Florence by dealing in wool, owe their fame 
to their patronage of art and letters. 

In Athens a rich man was of no account unless he 
utilized a portion of his wealth for the public good. 

N"ow, I do not wish to convey the impression that I 
deprecate money making — money making is as pleasant 
to me as to any other, but I think the most of us 
forget the uses to which money should be applied, 
save the one of making more money. 

The intelligent use of money is the part of a child's 
education most neglected. Some are permitted to be 
lavish, others are taught to save without reference to 
anything to be accomplished, and others have to pick 
up their education in the school of necessity. A child 
should be taught that so many pennies mean so many 
hours of the work of a strong man; so many dollars, 
so many days. Money should be rendered into bar- 
rels of flour and works of art, miles of fencing, and 
the comforts of home, and thus the relative values of 
these things impressed. These lessons, when brain and 
heart are in the plastic state, make lasting impres- 


sions, and money when gotten will be interpreted 
accordingly, and stand for, not a big bank account, 
or the old-fashioned horde — a heap of gold to gloat 
over — but, rather, for uses to make happy his fellows. 

Now, the question comes, how may mankind best be 
benefited by the expenditure of money ? There are 
instances of suffering which come to all of us and 
appeals for help to which most of us feel bound to 
respond — and we are happier thereby. Unintelligent 
aid, however, does but little good — it pays a very small 
per cent. — just the same as money thrown into a busi- 
ness which has not been investigated and which re- 
ceives no care. 

Hospitals endowed do good work, although I believe 
that the present time should take care of its present 
ills, and that money given for public use by private 
individuals, save what common humanity demands, 
should, to have its fullest fruition — in other words, to 
pay the biggest per cent, in its highest sense — be given 
to education, to elevating the ideals of men, women, 
and children, and then giving them aid, or showing 
them the way to draw near to those ideals. This is 

The unrest, the struggle for a new environment, the 
protest against present surroundings, the effort for re- 
adjustment of conditions, is nothing but the impulse 
of the soul that labors and lives, and the changes born 
of it are the ever-varying processes which, when on 
the upward trend, lead to what we call civilization, 
and when downward, to barbarism. 

How can this best result be accomplished ? In my 
opinion the world has not as yet discovered any means 


equal to libraries open to all. Picture galleries cer- 
tainly contribute to that end, and are a valuable aux- 
iliary, but they do not and never will reach all condi- 
tions of our people as libraries will, where all may 
enter, and whose external lines all are compelled to 

When, as in this case, the library is the generous 
act of one man, who has made his money in their 
midst, it serves a treble purpose. It speaks to the 
people of struggles, trials and anxieties common to 
all, and then of sympathy — that God-given gift that 
makes the world akin. It brings the millionaire and 
the poor close together, although they may never clasp 
hands or speak to each other. The fact that this 
building and these books are for them and their chil- 
dren, and that it was given by one who has strug- 
gled as they are struggling, brings a ray of sunshine 
into every household. Secondly, the sight of its books 
stimulates curiosity — the mother of progress — and cre- 
ates a desire for knowledge. It helps the imagination 
to paint fair pictures of the future. Thirdly, it shows 
the way to their attainment and realization. 

We are all painting pictures on the canvas of the 
future. With books to inform and stimulate, we have 
the whole universe for a background. Books to the 
young are a means of development; to the old they 
bring consolation and repose. In that exquisite story 
of Paul and Virginia the old man says: ^^ Literature, 
my dear son, is the gift of Heaven, a ray of that wis- 
dom by which the universe is governed, and which 
man, inspired by a celestial intelligence, has drawn 
down to earth. Like the rays of the sun, it enlightens 


us, it rejoices us, it warms us with a heavenly flame, 
and seems, in some sort, like the element of fire, to 
bend all nature to our use. By its means we are 
enabled to bring around us all things, all places, all 
men, and all times. It assists us to regulate our man- 
ners and our life. By its aid, too, our passions are 
calmed, vice is suppressed and virtue encouraged, by 
the memorable examples of great and good men which 
it has handed down to us, and whose time-honored 
images it ever brings before our eyes. Literature is a 
daughter of Heaven, who has descended upon earth to 
soften and to charm away all the evils of the human 

In another town where a library had been donated, 
a friend said to me: ^^That library has fallen dead; 
few persons ever go there, and few books are drawn 
out.^^ I replied: ^* My friend, that building is an edu- 
cator if no one ever goes in. It sets people to think- 
ing, and the dullest mind is stirred to wonder why so 
much money is put into books — what purpose is to be 
subserved. ^^ That very thought may be the birth of a 
new life. Should he enter, he sees rows of books on 
the shelves ; he wonders what they contain which is so 
powerful to rivet the attention of men, and further, 
that buildings should be built for their lodgment. He 
commences to read ; he may be interested and he may 
not. If yes, a new world is open to him — the wealth 
of recorded time, the triumphs of heroic virtue, the 
achievement of earnest effort, the unselfish sacrifices 
of martyrs to the truth, the accomplishment of benefi- 
cent ends through patience and long-suffering. His 
being is quickened and he feels a new life within him. 


It may not affect one in twenty in this way, 
directly, for all men cannot get mental food at first 
hands; but enough will be affected thus in every 
community. Through those who read, as through a 
prism, will the light be transmitted, in rays of dif- 
ferent colors, so that each member of the community 
will receive a modicum of light. 

Education has been defined as ^^the development of 
the faculties or germs of powers in man, and the 
training them into harmonious action in obedience to 
the laws of reason and morality. ^^ It is also the 
means by which every rising generation is put in pos- 
session of all the attainments of preceding generations, 
and becomes capable of improving and increasing this 

There are many agencies essential for the accom- 
plishment of the first, but, in the absence of traditions 
and monuments, books are the only agency capable of 
supplying the last; and even with traditions and mon- 
uments, books are absolutely necessary. 

Histories of men and of science are the stepping- 
stones on which we advance. The imagination, con- 
trolled and inspired by those factors, furnishes the beacon 
light toward which humanity steers, whether the wind 
over the quarter fills the bellying sails, whether it 
beats up against the storm or buffets the billows. 

The efforts of the race are to that end, although 
individuals may seem to work on diverse courses. The 
sailors meet at the masthead, although they leave the 
deck at different points. The mission of books is not 
only to show the way, but also to give correct maps to 
the mariner — man. As I have seen many pilots, after 


getting their bearings, steer the ship by taking land- 
marks astern, so is humanity pushing forward on a 
boundless and unknown sea, kept on the course by the 
pilot watching the peaks and landmarks behind. 

As to what people should read, I believe no one but 
the individual can decide. It would be as difficult to 
give general directions as it would be to prescribe a 
line of diet for all men under the sun. The man at 
the equator must have a different regimen from that 
of the Esquimaux, and a man on the desert a different 
one from a man in the forest. 

To the young, it seems to me that biography is 
most instructive, because events are utilized and made 
impressive by being grouped around a man or a woman 
like themselves. Their sympathies become involved ; 
they march with Xenophon and his ten thousand 
through a hostile and unknown country to a happy 
deliverance; they ride with Sheridan down the valley 
of the Shenandoah, or meet him when he arrives to 
turn disaster into victory. Around Moses as a central 
figure they weave the bondage of the Israelites, the 
court of the Pharaohs, the spoiling of the Egyptians, 
and the drowning of the hosts in the Eed Sea ; with 
Washington and Nathan Hale they associate the martyr- 
doms and the triumphs of the revolution; with Peter 
the Great building ships at Saardam, they connect the 
rising greatness of Kussia; with Ericsson the monitor 
appears, revolutionizing the naval warfare of the world. 
They couple the downfall of the Koman republic with 
Caesar crossing the Kubicon ; and Lincoln, the immortal, 
with the great civil war and the emancipation of four 
million men and women. 


Biography is to me the framework of history and 
the life of literature. Interlaced among these pillars, 
the first to catch the rays of the rising sun, musical as 
Memnon to the youthful ear, the less dramatic and 
sympathetic parts of history became the warp and woof 
of a fabric which has life, interest, and proper rela- 

The only fault to be found with biography is, that 
in the great majority of cases, the lives are written by 
friends and admirers; that being the case, characters 
are stilted and unnatural, and the young feel that such 
characters are beyond their emulation. They must re- 
member, however, that the stock subjects of biography 
are on parade, and that, until late years, it was con- 
sidered due to posterity, and to their heroes, that 
faults should be suppressed and blemishes concealed. 
Although I regard that fact as unfortunate, no one can 
blame the writers for a weakness we find in everyday 
life — the concealing or condoning of the faults of 
friends. It is creditable to human nature that hate 
and bitterness are not transmitted, and seldom appear 
in literature. 

To me the biographical in poetry has a great charm, 
and has given me landmarks which have been of great 
assistance, because of their metrical charm and heroic 
attitudes. The last battle of the Tarquins for the 
throne they had lost, when Titus, the best of the race, 
was killed, was early and eternally imprinted on my 
memory by the fight of Mamillius of Tuscany and 
Herminius of Kome, on the horses black and gray. The 
two horses seemed to me to represent the crowning act 
of the day — Both riders killed, the horses became the 


Fast, fast, with heels wild spurning, 

The dark gray charger fled ; 
He burst thro' ranks of fighting men, 

He leaped o*er heaps of dead. 

His bridle far out streaming, 
His flanks all blood and foam, 

He sought the Southern Mountains, 
The Mountains of his home. 

The pass was steep and rugged. 
The wolves they howled and whined; 

But he ran like a whirlwind up the pass 
And left the wolves behind. 

Through many a startled hamlet 

Thundered his flying feet; 
He rushed thro' the gate of Tusculum, 

He rushed up the long white street. 

He rushed by town and temple. 
And paused not from his race. 

Till he stood before his master's door 
In the stately market place. 

And straightway round him gathered 

A pale and trembling crowd. 
And when they knew him, cries of rage 

Brake forth and wailing loud; 

And women rent their tresses 

For their great prince's fall; 
And old men girt on their old swords 

And went to man the wall. 

But like a graven image 

Black Auster kept his place, 
And ever wistfully he looked 

Into his master's face. 

The raven mane that daily. 

With pats and fond caresses. 
The young Herminia washed and combed 

And twined in even tresses, 

And decked with colored ribbons 

From her own gay attire. 
Hung sadly o'er her father's corpse 

In carnage and in mire. 


Works of fiction which were once ruled out of 
houses, fearful of their effect upon children, have 
great and lasting uses. 'No one can read Dickens or 
Thackeray without being better for it. The curricu- 
lum of colleges is generally considered impractical in 
character, and calculated chiefly for mental exercise. 
I do not see why the emotions should not have their 
exercise. The fact is that education hitherto has con- 
duced to suppress the emotions and not to regulate 
them. I believe it is just as essential to exercise them 
as the mind. 

It is from the emotions that we get our happiness, 
and, when properly regulated, the motive power to 
impel us forcefully forward. Hitherto, in most of our 
colleges, the course of study has been the same for 
all aptitudes, all tastes and all inclinations. Children 
have been made up, educationally, six to the pound, 
and the result has been short weight, poor wicks, and 
imperfect light in many cases. 

I am not myself prepared to say how the system 
shall be remedied, but I believe in the matter of read- 
ing each one can select the pabulum best suited to 
his or her needs. Advice should be given and then 
taste should be permitted to determine the mental 
diet, subject alone to the censorship of good morals. 
Dieteticians say that food which is not relished does 
but little good — that the osmazone is essential to nu- 
trition. I believe it is so with mental food. There 
is no use in taking literary food which is not agree- 
able. It may be said that if this discretion is allowed 
the young will only read trash. As to that I would 
say that if they do not grow out of it, then trash, so- 


called, as long as its tendency is not immoral, is the 
best that thev can assimilate. 

It does not follow that individuals who prefer 
light reading may not develop by other methods and 
become good and useful members of society any more 
than that judgment would apply to persons who do 
not read at all. Many good and great examples have 
been given to history of men who did not read at all, 
or very seldom. It merely shows that the storehouses 
of the past are not to their taste — that they would 
rather deal with live issues and active surroundings. 
I have sometimes thought that compulsory education 
should go no further than reading, writing, arithme- 
tic, and geography. That gives every child the means 
whereby the education best suited for it can be ob- 

I believe the State should maintain a great univer- 
sity, like ours, where tliose who hunger and thirst 
after knowledge can find an opportunity to satisfy 
their cmving. Without this craving, this hunger, 
knowledge is of but little use. Knowledge is but a 
mass of undigested food ; wisdom is knowledge in 
grain or worked into the fibre by mental assimilation. 
Bacon said, *' Knowledge is power.'' It is in some cases; 
wisdom is power in all. Proverbs hath it, '• My son, 
with all thy gettings, get understanding, '^ and this 
should be the aim of education — not to make men's 
heads storehouses, but workshops — to give them under- 
standing to know approximately their relative j)osition 
amoncr men and thinjjs, to teach them where thev can 
best apply their faculties, for their own happiness and 
that of their fellows. If every man, woman and child 


could only find the place the Great All-wise intended 
them for, there would be no more discord, no more 
friction. That will be the quest of the race for many 
generations ; whether it will ever be attained is doubt- 
ful. We may no sooner come near that point than 
new agencies will appear which will require another 
cycle of aspiration and effort ; still we shall ascend 
and life will be happier and more restful on each suc- 
ceeding plane. It is the effort and the pursuit which 
make life worth living. 

How to read is as difficult to advise as what to 
read. Some are voracious readers ; some, like Dr. 
Johnson, read with their fingers^ end^, skimming, swal- 
low-like, over page after page, having the bird-like 
faculty of picking up their food upon the wing ; some, 
like the ruminating animals, take only mouthfuls at 
long intervals, and then, in quiet, masticate, digest 
and assimilate. I have seen oxen in a field of ver- 
dure take a mouthful, sleepily survey the landscape, and 
then, espying a tuft some distance away which ap- 
pealed to the eye, walk to it and secure it, never in 
a hurry, and never apparently eating much, and yet 
they were the fattest oxen in the herd. They had 
the instinct of selecting the food best suited to their 
taste, and to them the most nutritious. They did 
not worry ; they made no mistakes in selection. 

I have often observed men who read as these oxen 
fed — getting what was conducive to their growth, and 
yet apparently reading very little. 

Then, too, I have seen men who read as a hungry 
horse eats his oats — plunging his nose into the grain, 
taking in mouthful after mouthful and swallowing them 


before they were properly masticated. It always 
seemed to me as though neither horse nor man got 
the fnll value of what he was taking in. This 
matter of reading much or little, slow or fast, is for 
each one to determine for himself, or rather, I might 
say, it is a matter of constitution. It is deeper than 
rules or regulations. It is in the nature of the indi- 

There are some who read continuously, never stopping 
to analyze or compare ideas advocated with their own. 
This kind of reading always seemed to me like intel- 
lectual gormandizing, which must lead to mental pleth- 
ora. An hour a day, from good authors, I believe 
better than ten, unless one is engaged in special work. 
I believe the hour is better for mental growth than 
the ten, which may lead to mental distension, but not 
to muscle. I have heard men laugh at the uncut 
leaves of a book which had been ten years in a pri- 
vate library. The laugh was uncalled for. A thou- 
sand books, the entire contents of a library, with leaves 
all uncut, create an atmosphere which refines and ele- 
vates. Children should be taught that books are a 
necessary adjunct, and a small case of them should 
come before the carpet in every house. 

They are silent agencies, but more powerful than 
an army with banners. The very labels on their backs 
are teachers whose influence will be felt when those 
children shall have come into the sere and vellow leaf. 

When libraries originated no one can tell. The 
first writings were monumental, and as the name 
hieroglyphics implies, originated with and were under 
the control of the priests. The library of Sardanap- 


alus, at Nineveh, comprised ten thousand distinct 
works and documents on tables of clay burned to 
hardness like brick. Sardanapalus is about being sent 
by scholars to join William Tell and Eoland of Eon- 
cesvaller in the land of myths, but the library on 
tablets remains. Some of the cuneiform characters 
are so small as to require a magnifying glass to de- 
cipher them. The names of the writers and their 
contemporaries, the history of their peoples, owe their 
rescue from oblivion to these silent witnesses un- 
earthed from the debris of centuries and now within 
the walls of the British Museum. 

The great libraries of Alexandria, the Bruschium 
and Serapion, were destroyed by accidental fire, and 
probably by the fanaticism of the monks, although 
it has been reported for centuries that the Caliph 
Omar destroyed them when he took the city. It 
would appear that literature and art received greater 
damage at the hands of the early Christians than 
from the Saracen or Barbarian — a damage they in 
part repaired by preserving the classics in their mon- 
asteries through the dark ages and assisting in the 
revival of learning. 

As strange as it may appear, the followers of Ma- 
homed were always great patrons of literature, and 
Bagdad, Damascus and Cordova were the seats of po- 
lite learning when Christian Europe was in the dens- 
est ignorance. The only hope of scholars for the 
recovery of the lost books of Livy, and possibly other 
classics, lies in the libraries of Fez, Morocco, and 
other Mohamedan cities, for all works of ancient 
learning were translated into Arabic when the Moors 


were in the ascendant. They were distributed along 
the north coast of Africa, and were undoubtedly aug- 
mented by additions from Spain on the expulsion of 
the Moors. Cordova, at the time of the Moorish oc- 
cupation, contained forty-five colleges, and students 
flocked to it from all parts of the then known world. 
There is now in Spain an immense amount of ma- 
terial, connected with the early history of America 
and of the Moorish wars, which is unclassified. As 
the government is now completing, in Madrid, a 
very large, imposing and elegant building for the Na- 
tional Library, it is hoped that these books and manu- 
scripts will be arranged, catalogued and shelved for 

France has, it is said, in her National Library 
over 2,000,000 books, and in the British Museum 
there are 1,600,000 volumes. The library of congress 
has 396,000 volumes and 130,000 pamphlets. The lat- 
ter library is increasing very rapidly by purchase, by 
exchange, and by the provision of law that every 
American publisher of a copyrighted book shall con- 
tribute two copies for its use. Our government is 
now constructing a library building which will contain 
2,000,000 volumes. 

The refinement of peoples may be measured by 
the interest they display and the care they exercise 
in the accumulation and custody of books. 

An incident showing the humanizing effect of books 
occurred during the first French Revolution. M. Barto- 
lome, an assistant librarian under the Due de Choiseul, 
and a highly educated man, had written a work called 
the ^^ Travels of Anarcharsis,^^ a Scythian, who jour- 


neyed through Greece 2,000 years ago. The travels 
were supposititious. Bartolome, having all the classics 
at command,' created Anarcharsis and visited in fancy 
all the famous places, and talked with all the famous 
men of the golden age of Greece or with friends who 
knew and described their characters and traits. He 
fortified all he said by citations from works of un- 
doubted authority. It reads like a veritable book of 
travels, and its tendencies, like all good books, are hu- 
mane. Bartolome was at his post, the client and pro- 
tege of the Due, when the revolution broke out. The 
Due fled from France to save his life. Instead of be- 
heading Bartolome, however, during the reign of ter- 
ror, when any one suspected of attachment to a ducal 
house was hurried to the guillotine, a committee of 
those sanguinary men in charge of his section waited 
upon him, complimented his erudition, eulogized the 
high humanity allied to so much learning, and begged 
his acceptance of the high office of National Librarian, 
which he held for many years thereafter. 

It seems to me an evidence of man^s immortal des- 
tiny, and to establish the distinction between and the 
preeminence of spiritual over material things, that 
men will labor for a lifetime, suffer contumely, neg- 
lect and penury, being fed and sustained by a hope 
that mankind will read and cherish some idea which 
they have developed, some figment of the brain which 
they have outlined, some prophecy they have penned. 
Unlike the man who works for and hoards his wealth, 
and who tries to surround it with every safeguard, 
the man who makes lasting literature only asks that 
men will read without price what has cost him so 


much labor, and possibly what has given him in turn 
so much anguish and delight. When superadded to 
this, men who have, through toil, worry and anxiety, 
made money, who have capacity with that money to 
make more money, cheerfully and largely give, from 
generous hearts or from sense of duty, that their fel- 
lows — their kind to untold generations — shall enjoy 
more, live better, have a wider horizon and higher 
hope for this world and the next, we have two object 
lessons to enlighten and bless mankind — the store of 
mental food to educate the mind and the act of a 
generous soul to educate the emotions. 

The act of giving wealth is just as educational as 
the tomes which that wealth may purchase. 

The story of a boy, denied the resources which in 
after years he was able to tender to others, coming 
to manhood through adverse surroundings, unconscious 
himself, possibly, that the germ of a great benefaction 
lay dormant in his soul, the working of his way, 
friendless, to a town where the surroundings then 
were not propitious to the development of that germ — 
how the growth of his fortune did not suppress, crib 
or confine its exfoliation, how it grew and expanded 
in summer^s heat and winter^s cold like the sighing 
pines under which its bearer had slept and whose 
whispering he had heard — how, finally, the ripe fruit 
of a great purpose fell unheralded and unexpected 
into the laps of 25,000 men, women and children — 
the story of that life, my friends, will educate more 
than many books. It will inspire the souls of boys 
and girls, and, that done, the means for their educa- 
tion is at hand. It will stir and warm the blood of 


the old, and give a brighter tint to the sunset of their 

I said 25,000 men, women and children. Ah! more 
than that — more than that five-hundred-fold ! Generation 
after generation will drink at this fountain and be filled. 
A library is like a fixed star, which even if destroyed 
to-night would send its light down to brighten the 
world, charm the eye and give the mariner his bear- 
ing for a thousand years to come. 

We might envy the man who had done this thing, 
were not admiration a far sweeter sentiment. He 
stands, modest and without ostentation, in our midst 
at that point of time which we call the present, while 
shadowy hands from the past wave their thanks that 
he has given them a perpetual audience, and adown 
the future generations are coming to keep his mem- 
ory green. 

Many to-day may ask what was the motive of the 
gift. There can be but two motives — one the desire 
of doing good, the other the desire for increased re- 
gard and affection among his fellows. Both are 
equally laudable. The man or woman who does good 
to mankind is entitled to affection and respect, and the 
world, sooner or later, gives it ungrudgingly and un- 
stinted. The venture will be profitable, and the re- 
turns from this investment, though the donor may 
not ask it, will be large. Neither the capital nor the 
profits will come in the coin of the realm. It will 
be something far more precious, and of which he can- 
not be robbed. 

The merchant who sends his ships with gold and 
silver to the Orient does not receive gold and silver in 


return, but an exchange of far more value. The 
ships bring back the silks, the cashmeres, the spices 
of Cathay. So will it be with him who sends out 
such an argosy as this. It will not return in mate- 
rial wealth, but it will in ^^ jewels richer than all his 
tribe ^' — regard, affection, and the consciousness of not 
having lived in vain. 

The services closed with ^^Hackley March,'^ by Prof. 
Koelbel, and benediction by Eev. S. M. Cramblet. 

Letters of regret received and read from the President 
and Vice-President of the United States, the Secretary 
of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of 
the Navy, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary 
of Agriculture, Judges J. W. Champlin, A. B. Morse, 
C. B. Grant and J. W. McGrath; Charles Merriam, 
Boston, Mass.; Eev. L. E. Fiske, Albion, Mich.; Hon. 
W. 0. Hughart, Grand Eapids, Mich.; Hon. B. M. 
Cutcheon, Manistee, Mich.; Hon. H. C. Potter, Saginaw, 
Mich.; Hon. C. A. Kent, Detroit, Mich.; Mr. J. Potter, 
Cleveland, Ohio ; Eev. David Swing, Chicago ; Hon. 
0. S. Spalding, Washington, D. C; Hon. Wm. L. 
Webber, East Saginaw ; Hon. Hugh McMillan, Detroit, 
Mich.; Hon. I. M. Weston, Grand Eapids, Mich., and 
many others. 


Exercises at the Laying of the Corner Stone op 
THE Hackley Public Library. 

ON the afternoon of Saturday, the 25th day of May, 
1889, the first anniversary of the founding of the 
Hackley Public Library, the corner stone of the structure 
was laid. 

The exercises were in the immediate charge of the 
Board of Education, and were participated in by the 
officials of the city and county, the teachers and pupils 
of the public schools, the members of Phil Kearney 
Post, No. 7, G. A. R., and citizens generally. 

They were opened by prayer by the Eev. J. N. Eip- 
pey, followed by an anthem by the High School choir. 
The address which follows was delivered by Prof. An- 
drew C. McLaughlin, of the University of Michigan, 
himself a graduate of the Muskegon High School and 
of the University, and formerly principal of the High 
School. Prof. McLaughlin is also the youngest son of 
Hon. David McLaughlin, of Muskegon, who for upwards 
of a quarter of a century was a member of the Board of 

The address was followed by a song and chorus by 
the pupils of the seventh and eighth grades. The exer- 
cises concluded with the placing of the corner stone by 
the President of the Board of Education. 




It is a well worn saying of Talleyrand's that words 
were invented to conceal ideas. And every one must 
think that on this occasion there will spring involun- 
tarily, into the mind of each one of us, ideas, so many, 
so clearly defined, so instructive, that any words of 
mine will serve only to conceal my ideas from you, or 
to obscure your own from your inner vision. And yet 
if words can express ideas, on no occasion would one 
rather call them to his aid than on such a one, when 
he is asked to give utterance for himself and for others 
to some of those thoughts that inevitably will come to 
him. Words of thanks to the benefactor I need 
scarcely repeat ; they will but conceal the gratitude 
and the satisfaction that this very assembly makes 
known more clearly. Words of congratulation seem 
but to repeat an idea that loses force and grace by 
repetition. Words of warning and admonition it 
would be unbecoming to speak when all recognize that 
the future is planned by those who have done so much 
for education and culture within our city, by men 
whose names are but synonymous with careful manage- 
ment of our highest interests. Words of auspicious 
prophecy would but conceal the idea of the beneficent 
influence of free books, whose coming is more surely 
augured by the stone and mortar below us, than by 
flight of singing birds or the twisted incantation of 
Delphic priestess. 

May I not more fittingly call your attention to past 
and present in the development of our country on lines 
of thought that this occasion naturally suggests ? The 


ordinance of 1787, for the organization and government 
of the Northwest Territory, has among its immortal 
clauses this sentence : 

^^Eeligion, morality and knowledge being necessary 
to good government and the happiness of mankind, 
schools and the means of education shall forever be 
encouraged/' Who was the author of this ordinance 
may be still greatly a mooted question. North and 
South have vied for the honor of its authorship. But 
whoever it may have been, he was one who accepted 
the teachings of our early history and was anxious to 
establish those teachings as the foundation of common- 
wealths to come. 

From the revival of learning, when the mists of the 
dark ages were rolled aside at the awakening of knowl- 
edge, republicanism and intellectual vigor have gone 
hand in hand. The advocates of the New Learning 
were the opposers of absolutism. Scholarship in the 
person of Milton guided the footsteps of opposition to 
Stuart Tyranny, and pleaded for unlicensed printing 
and freedom of expression. It was not alone Cromwell, 
the man of iron if not of blood, or the Ironsides of 
Lincolnshire, who battled for freedom, but Vane, the 
political philosopher, pointed to heights of popular 
sovereignty not yet attained and showed vistas of popu- 
lar control not yet reached. It is a task calling for 
truthless invention rather than historical research to 
prove that the book-learned have at all times been 
leaders in the progress of liberty, or that their voices 
have at all times called for the recognition of the peo- 
ple's privileges. But it requires no invention and very 
little research to see that popular education, popular 


enlightenment, popular breadth of view and firmness of 
grasp have in the past been the prerequisites for last- 
ing constitutionalism or progressive liberty. England 
is the creator of the tenets and doctrines of modem 
constitutional government. Her constitution slowly de- 
veloping has formed the model, more or less slavishly 
and consciously copied, for every constitutional state 
in the world. And even where the night of absolutism 
still shrouds a stagnant and oppressed people, there is 
occasionally seen the faint glimmering from the bor- 
rowed lamp of Anglican constitutionalism. A view of 
English history will teach that premature liberty, pre- 
mature popular control, is unhealthy liberty, is un- 
healthy popular control. The spirit of liberty is not a 
jealous one. She takes advantage of every opportunity ; 
she transforms a seeming calamity into a permanent 
advantage ; she stands in readiness to encourage the 
faint-hearted, to strengthen the weary, to place a mar- 
t}T's crown on an Eliot or a Hampden who has fallen 
by the way. But she gives her votaries one inflexible 
commandment. The recipients of her bounties must 
be consecrated to receive tliem, prepared for an intelli- 
gent conception of the rights and duties to be assumed. 
If this commandment be not observed, libertv can find 
no abiding place, her favor is withdrawn, and the last 
stage of that j)eople will be worse than the first. I 
say that the whole course of English History will prove 
the truth of this statement. When the people have 
not been enlightened, vigilant, thoughtful, liberty has 
bestowed her gifts in vain. The laws of Alfred and 
Edward the Confessor are followed by the absolutism 
of William the Conqueror and William the Red. The 


constitutionalism of the Lancastrians is followed by the 
oppressive and repressive suiTeillance of Edward IV 
and Henry VII. It is because these lessons are old 
and oft repeated that we forget their ever forceful 
presence. Absolution cannot exist where education has 
freed the mind of man from the mists of superstition 
which would see in a . crowned king a descendant of 
Woden, or deify an Octavianus into a divine Augustus. 
But an affirmative capacity is as necessary as this 
negative enlightenment ; and this can come alone from 
thought in self government, practice in self government, 
an appreciation of the dignity of freedom. 

I have said that English liberty is the liberty that 
has guided the world. But the foundation of the Ee- 
public of the United States put the capping stone on the 
growth of English liberty. Eepresentative government 
given full expression in our political system is the ideal 
of freedom. Our country^s mission is a definite and a 
necessary one in the growth of the consciousness of free- 
dom till there is a complete freedom in a harmony with 
the divine will. It remains for me and for you to de- 
termine what impetus we will add to obtain this desirable 
consummation. Popular enlightenment, I repeat, is nec- 
essary for actual popular sovereignty. Every aid to 
popular enlightenment, every help to popular appre- 
ciation of the needs of government, of the state, is an 
aid to the realization of complete and ideal freedom. 

Between 1620 and 1640 some 21,000 emigrants from 
England settled on the eastern coast of America. These 
men were the founders of New England. The fact that 
New England has influenced our politics and moulded 
our history is too palpable for statement. Union, self 


government, constitutional liberty, local education, are 
the bequests of Puritan New England to our country. 
Were these men ignorant and superstitious who laid the 
foundation of free states so broad and so deep ? Can 
you so much as imagine the noble political inheritance 
of New England descending from ignorance, vice, athe- 
ism, recklessness and thoughtlessness ? They were men 
of thought as well as men of action, graduates of the 
English universities, students of law, of medicine, and 
of metaphysics, practiced in political controversy, skilled 
in the arts of peace; ^^ they reverenced the symbols and 
instruments of learning/^ Hardly had the streets of a 
village been cleared or the commonest comforts of civili- 
zation secured, when preparations were made for the 
founding of an university. Means were provided for 
the education of all. They deplored that learning 
should be "buried in the graves of their fathers.'^ On 
such a foundation grew up political equality. The town 
meeting of Boston was a reasonable result. When edu- 
cation was common, the right to rule became common. 
Those who recognized intelligence and learning as the 
emblems in the coat of arms of a real nobility might 
well hope that self-government would be a reality, and 
liberty a present good. Not in the forests of Ger- 
many, nor in the mountains of Switzerland, have dem- 
ocratic ideas more completely prevailed than in these 
town meetings of New England. The sturdy citizen 
studied the science of politics and practiced the art of 
statesmanship. He did not simply vote for bridge or 
school house, or accept some humble office. He inter- 
ested himself in abstract questions of law and politics 
— theory and practice were happily commingled. But 


these wise builders, who were laying slowly and securely 
the foundation stones of American independence and 
of American democracy, never forgot that the school 
house, the library, the debating society, were necessary 
elements in the evolution of the popular state. These 
founders of our commonwealth were thinkers — energetic 
thinkers. He was first among those whose reasoning 
was most logical, whose thought had the broadest basis, 
the most penetrating power and influence. Learning,^ 
I have said, was the true title to nobility. But so 
general was education that class distinctions were im- 
possible, and a democracy, a fellow feeling, a common 
rule, a common interest in the affairs of state charac- 
terized these settlements in the rocky, stumpy wilder- 
ness of New England. On such a basis were New 
England institutions reared. Is it not our duty to 
ponder these things well ? To worship an old civili- 
zation, or an old custom, simply because it is old, is 
to make a god of senility anxi a demi-god of decay. 
But every advancing year has added force and vigor, 
youth and vitality to the truth that common education 
is the rock foundation of free political institutions. 

Turn your attention for a moment to another por- 
tion of our country. The first settlers in the south- 
ern States were, with few exceptions, of what rank and 
character ? Were they men filled with a noble idea, 
imbued with a definite and inspiring, purpose, hardened 
to endure bodily suffering from nature and from man, 
in the forests of America, by spiritual hope and satis- 
faction ? They were broken down tradesmen, ruined 
gallants, exiled convicts, gold hunters, adventurers, the 
lawless and the lazy. Happily for our country, later 


immigrants had other characteristics. The later set- 
tlers in Virginia came from the middle class of Eng- 
lish land owners, from those in whose veins flowed the 
blood of the English nobility. The course of English 
history proves no fact more clearly than the capacity of 
the English nobleman for government. Virginians his- 
tory shows the same capacity in the men of this de- 
scent who became the great land owners and slave- 
holders in the fair Mother of States, quickly spreading 
their vast and hospitable plantations from her blue and 
beautiful mountains to the sunlit sea around her. 

Few in Virginia, or in the other southern States, 
were qualified to rule. The few ruled. An aristoc- 
racy was established as complete, and nearly as defi- 
nite, as if the title of landgrave and cacique, duke 
and earl were in constant use among them. An oli- 
garchy, not a democracy, was the natural result of 
Virginians settlement and development. The slave was 
there, the background of the picture, not always ab- 
ject, not always beaten and distressed, but degraded 
and dehumanized. But even with slaverv as a for- 
mative element, the history of the South might have 
been different had there been a basis of equality among 
the whites. We hesitate, in this centennial year, to 
lament at all over the past conditions of a State that 
gave us Washington, and Jefferson, and Madison, and 
Monroe, and Henry, and Mason, and Marshall, and 
Eichard Henry Lee. But true democratic institutions 
found an uncongenial soil in Virginia. Common edu- 
cation was unknown. The rich planter, in early days, 
could send his son to Europe; the poor white saw no 
gleam of learning's light. Forty years after the 


founding of Harvard College, Governor Berkeley, of 
Virginia, thanked God there were no free schools in 
Virginia, or likely to be for a hundred years to come. 
And, down to our revolution, the education of the 
common people, in the colonies south of Virginia, was 
even more neglected; in South Carolina not a free 
school existed, not a college. The rich were educated 
in Europe, and returned to live dissipated and unsym- 
pathetic lives on the products raised by their degraded 

I have said that the town meeting was a possibility 
where there was a common education. No town meet- 
ing, no local democracy, no development among the 
people of the highest concepts of government and of 
the spirit of the laws were possible in the South, The 
township system and the town meeting were impossible. 
The farther south one goes, even at the present time, 
the larger becomes the unit of government. The 
county takes the place of the township ; local pride is 
enveloped in state pride. But the district school is 
making its way into the southern States. Its influence 
is felt at once. It is becoming a center for local self- 
government, a centralizer of local influence, and a 
developer of local intelligence. Of local vanities and 
piques our country has enough. Of local selfishness 
and greed, of local assertiveness and prejudice, of nar- 
rowed perception and dwindling sympathy no patriot 
would pray for more. But local pride, local generous 
emulation clustering around local schools and libraries, 
at whose fountains young and old drink in broader 
conceptions, wider sympathies, less restricted thought- 
intercourse and nobler ideas, of such local influences 


we have all too few. And so we see the dawn of a 
new morning in the introduction of the district school 
as a center for local pride and progress in the States 
of the South, still blighted as they are by the history 
of the past, by oligarchy, by slavery, by popular igno- 

Turn to the wooded fields of Canada, and see 
another example of the truth I am repeating. At the 
very beginnings of American history, Canada received 
in her cold embrace the explorer and the trader. The 
French with gracious ease seemed to insinuate them- 
selves into the country, and permanent settlements were 
quickly made along the yawning banks of the St. 
Lawrence. A new France was established in America 
at the very time when the hard and cunning hand of 
Eichelieu was crushing from Old France all the vapors 
and juices of popular sentiment. Louis XIV could say 
with truth that he was the state ; and the state-absorb- 
ing monarchy stretched itself over the forests and lakes 
of France in the New World. A feudalism which lacked 
the vitality of its early youth was forced on a repellant 
country. Power was centralized. Tyranny reigned 
supreme. A French Canadian peasant could scarcely 
sow or reap or fold his hands to slumber without 
special permission from the king-appointed intendant. 
His eyes continually turned toward France, the Mecca 
and the Jerusalem of his hopes; he took no interest 
in his surroundings, had no hope for a better, purer and 
free France on the banks of the Ottawa or Saguenay. 
He had no ambition to rule the state himself, but called 
upon the king for aid in the smallest matter of indus- 
trial interest. One need not say that the people were 


ignorant. The common school was unknown. Ignorance 
was looked upon apparently as undoubted bliss. Self- 
government could not exist, and resistance to tyranny was 
impossible. Lawlessness, drunkenness and carousal were 
frequent figures in a panorama of evils. The Indian was 
laden with brandy and his beaver skins bought for a 
song. And without schools and without books the 
overgoverned French Canadian was the lawless, the 
abject and the degraded. 

Such was the condition of early Canada under the 
iron heel of Louis XIV. Flight from the laws, flight 
in spite of the laws, was a release from the weariness 
of imposed obedience. The couretir de hois, the bush- 
ranger, traversed all these northwestern lands, barter- 
ing with the Indians, marrying among them, taking on 
their very habits and appearances, degrading himself to 
a savage. Michigan, the home of the beaver, was the 
home of the coureur de hois, if he can be said to have 
a home who runs and stays not. Over these lakes and 
rivers around us the French voyageur and trapper 
took his way ; his only knowledge was wood-craft ; his 
poetry was his boat song. Losing himself perhaps in 
contemplation of the very trees and hills that we can 
still see in the distance from where we stand, he lost 
sight as well of human ambitions, of ennobling ideas, 
of aims higher than the advantageous purchase of bea- 
ver skin or otter. 

Against the oppressive rule of France in the new 
world, ignorance, I have said, could make no headway. 
When the enlightened English colonists were arrayed 
against such citizens as these, the struggle was not a 
doubtful one. But it has taken years and years for 


English constitutionalism to find a wholesome- abiding 
place in Canada. Education must precede self govern- 
ment and the bequest of early Canadian ignorance and 
state oppression is still a problem confronting the wise 
and thoughtful statesmen of England and of Canada. 

Let us see if we can bring the lesson even nearer 
home. The French were the first settlers of Michigan. 
Sault de Ste. Marie was taken possession of before 
South Carolina was settled. Detroit was permanently 
settled by Cadillac but twenty years after the Quaker 
Penn was laying out in prosaic squares the fair " City 
of Brotherly Love.'^ I need not speak of Hennepin, or 
Marquette, or Nicollet, or La Salle, or Du Luht, or 
Joliet, who traversed these western lakes and rivers 
fifty years before an unusually adventurous English 
Governor forced his way through the wilds of Western 
Virginia to drink his wine in the heart of the Alle- 
ghanies. Detroit, Fort Gratiot, Green Bay, Chicago, 
St. Joseph, Michilimackinac, Sault Ste. Marie, were 
centers of French influence and control. And from 
those early days down to the time within the memory of 
men now living, the history of Michigan has been shaped 
and fashioned by French ideas and influences. The 
early history of Michigan Territory is a history of those 
settlers of Canada who, having been restrained by tyranny 
and kept in ignorance from policy of state, had no con- 
ception of American education and liberty. Their only 
conception of liberty was license. Of education they had 
not sufficient to enable them to support themselves when 
the game had been hunted from the forests. You may 
well know that Michigan developed late and tardily 
entered into statehood. Her inertia was largely due to 


un-American, unprogressive bequests of Louis XIV and 
medieval absolutism. Michigan is proud of her wealth 
and her progress in industry. The fields about us are 
green with wheat and maize ; vessels are carrying to 
less gifted states the material for homes of the settler^ 
of the West. Her mines of copper, of iron, and of 
gold, her wells of salt, the flocks and the cattle on a 
thousand hills, tell the tale of plenty, of comfort, of 
happy homes guarded by the .^gis of Liberty, But 
Michigan is prouder of her schools and her university 
and her libraries, which open to all the opportunity of 
becoming intelligent citizens of a free republic. Michi- 
gan is proud of all this, and well she may be ; her 
struggle has been upward and onward with magnificent 
energy. But in no state in the union can you find a 
surer, truer proof of the statement of that noble ordi- 
nance whose words should be as familiar to a Michigan 
citizen as that of home or country; ^^Keligion, moral- 
ity and knowledge being necessary to good government 
and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means 
of education shall forever be encouraged." 

It is always well to recall to our minds such lessons 
as these. It has been well said that two things are 
necessary for the preservation of liberty and free gov-r 
emment — hope and fear, trust and distrust. Has 
America anything to fear? Can we not sleep in calm 
assurance that the blessings of liberty and enlighten- 
ment are ours without let or hindrance ? If you are 
asking yourselves those questions, there is danger. 
Distrust and fear are the guardian dragons of peace. 
Inheritors of English law and English constitutionalism, 
we have presented to us conditions that are unique in 


the history of the world. The Anglo-Saxon's reverence 
for law, his desire for order, and his progressive con- 
servatism have been boons to our country. But we 
sometimes ask ourselves if in the American people these 
attributes are to predominate. The American people 
are not Anglo-Saxons. They are a mixture of English 
and Scotch and Irish and French and German and 
Italian and Eussian and Swedish elements ; they are of 
all races and of all peoples. In the development of time 
and in the evolution of society, what new problems are 
to be presented ? Will this new race show itself adapted 
to our inherited forms and usages, or must new ideas of 
law and social customs be formed to meet the demands of 
the occasion ? Do not understand that I am laying 
down a platform for a second " American " party — that 
would in all likelihood be the most un-American of 
parties. I firmly believe that this American race, which 
is being made up of all others on the globe, will be 
the grand, highly organized, delicately constituted, capa- 
ble, noble race of the future. But a new race and 
new surroundings demand new laws, new usages, new 
sympathies. They offer new dangers and new chances 
of destruction. We read of ^* White Caps" and lynchings, 
of anarchy and redflagism ; and we wonder if respect 
for authority and reverence for law are to be charac- 
teristics of this new American race. Statistics show 
more suicides, more murders, more recklessness of hu- 
man life in this land of the free than in Italy, the 
home of the poniard, or in Spain, the home of the 
stiletto ; and we wonder if humanity is to have an 
abiding-place among us. We read of embezzlements 
and forgeries, of theft and kleptomania ; and we won- 


der if utter disregard of the sanctity of property is to 
be characteristic of this race of to-morrow. We see 
the law^s delays and proud wrong^s contumely, many a 
'^ corrupted current of this world where offense^s gilded 
hand may shove by justice"; and we wonder if justice 
is to be noble and free and blind, or truckling and 
bound, lifting her bandage with one hand while she 
feels furtively with the other for the heavy purse that 
is offered to her grasp. 

There is cause for fear but not for despair — 

"Despair may wring men's hearts and fear 

Bow down their heads to kiss the dust, 
Where patriot memories rot and rust 

And change makes faint a nation's cheer 
And faith yields up her trust." 

There is no cause for despair when scenes of this 
kind are presented to our view ; when almost under 
the eaves of a building dedicated to the education of 
the young, is rising another to contain books freely 
given to an eager public. There is no cause for de- 
spair when schools and the means of education are 
thus encouraged, assuring us that religion, morality and 
knowledge, the requisites of happiness and good gov- 
ernment, are within the reach of all. 

It is an interesting transformation that has taken 
place in this Michigan. Not long ago the trees of 
Michigan sheltered, in his wanderings, the ignorant, 
lawless, fugitive coureur de hois. The lofty monarchs 
of the forest;, towering toward the canopy of heaven, 
were often his only companions; the velvety turf at 
their feet was his resting place. He has been pictured 
wandering in the ^^ stern depths of immemorial for- 


ests, dim and silent as a cavern, columned with innu- 
merable trunks, each like an atlas upholding its world 
of leaves, and steaming perspiration and moisture down 
its dark and channeled rind/' But this companion 
and guardian of the wandering bushranger — this atlas 
that seemed to uphold the dome of heaven — has been 
attacked by the energetic American of these later days, 
has been humbled and brought low, to take to itself 
new duties and new grandeur, to furnish the roof-tree 
of cottage and cabin throughout all this western coun- 
try — the guardian of an American home, of law, order, 
and peacefulness. And see! in the course of this 
wondrous transformation, in this marvelous develop- 
ment of western civilization, have come, as well, these 
rocks and stones around us ; the trees of the forest 
have, at the touch of the magician's rod of business 
enterprise and civic generosity, transformed themselves 
into books, free books, blessings bestowed upon a thank- 
ful people. 

He who has wielded this magic rod is our bene- 
factor. Muskegon brings, I am sure, her gratitude 
sincere. He may know that he has given an impetus 
to the development of true freedom. His name will 
be chiseled into the lasting stone. But more, it will 
be carried in the grateful memories of all. It will be 
known and honored on these streets when those who 
now are grateful are gone to their long home. Free 
books, thus freely given, perpetuate gratitude. He must 
have in his inmost heart the quiet and peaceful satis- 
faction that he, as an American citizen, has given an 
encouragement to schools and education, which are the 
necessary foundations for good government and the 
happiness of mankind. 


A Triumph of Solidity, Convenience, Durability 

AND Architectural Art. 

n^HE Hackley Public Library building now stands 
-*- complete, one of the most substantial and beauti- 
ful buildings in this country — solid, massive, enduring, 
and architecturally perfect. Located on the corner of 
Webster avenue and Third street, its front to the for- 
mer and its tower rising at the corner like a stone 
index figure pointing upward to higher things, it is a 
conspicuous landmark, and one that can be shown to 
friends or strangers with justifiable pride. Its outward 
appearance is familiar and needs little description, yet 
it is worthy of notice and intelligent study as it rises 
from the green borders within . the granite terracing, 
in stately magnificence and delightful harmony of pro- 
portion and effective design. 

Inside it is a palace, an artistes dream materialized 
in wood, metal and stone; a marvel of beauty and 
convenience, to which modern ingenuity has contrib- 
uted everything needful and the luxuries of life as 

Entering the massive portal through heavy oaken 
doors, ornamented with large oxidized silver hinges and 
ornaments, the visitor finds himself in a vestibule within 



the tower. For a height of about a yard the walls are 
of finely polished veined marble, with frescoing above. 
Just to the left the spiral iron staircase winds upward, 
the steps of marble, the posts and ballustrades of 
bronze, the fine ornamental work of iron cunningly 
wrought and devised to please the most fastidious eye. 
High above the dome arises, terminating in conical 
arches, and frescoed in blue, a small firmament dotted 
with silver stars, while from it is suspended a bronze 
chandelier of special design, well supplied with the 
usual electric light bulbs and gas jets concealed in porce- 
lain candles. 

To the right from the vestibule you enter the receiv- 
ing-room, with windows fronting Webster avenue. In 
this are large tables of oak, and stands holding the 
drawers and cabinets containing the card catalogues. 
In the rear of this room, under the archways leading 
to the great book-room, are the counters and desks 
behind which are stationed the librarians and assist- 
ants. Under these counters are numerous drawers sup- 
plied with card catalogues, duplicates of those kept for 
the use of the public in the cabinets aforesaid. This 
is the best and most approved method of cataloguing 
now used, the cards sliding upon rods, each book hav- 
ing many cards indicating its title, author, etc. In 
this way a book may be found by either of these, if 
other points have been forgotten. At one side of this 
room is a massive fireplace of carved sandstone. 

Opening from this room to the right as one enters, 
and also fronting Webster avenue, is the general read- 
ing-room, with a ladies' alcove leading out from it in 
front. These rooms are also paneled in oak, highly 


finished, and frescoed above, the frescoing in the alcove 
having sprays of roses and other flowers to lighten its 
general effect. A beautiful fireplace opens at one side 
of the alcove, and pictures adorn the walls. Around 
pillars which rise in the center are circular tables, and 
square tables in sufficient number are disposed at con- 
venient distances throughout the room. 

Opening out from the other side of the book-receiv- 
ing room, its windows looking out on Third street, is 
the reference-room, paneled in dark mahogany, with a 
huge mantel of the same at one side. In this room the 
cases are also of mahogany, and the great arm-chairs 
are upholstered in dark red leather to harmonize. A 
huge terrestrial globe stands at one side. The books 
upon the shelves are for reference only. 

Between these larger rooms are doors with panels of 
beveled plate glass, circular fan-lights of art glass above 
them, and great beveled glass windows, with similar 
arches above, flanking these doors on either side. 

Kunning back from these rooms in the rear is the 
great book-room, reaching from side to side of the rear 
extension of the building, its ceilings beitig laid under 
the rafters and rising high above the floor. This ceil- 
ing is laid out in squares, with stucco ornaments and 
frescoing in simple and chaste designs. The bookcases 
are arranged in rows, one with its back to the wall 
around the room ; the others in rows having the ends 
of the cases toward the side walls, with passages be- 
tween. The cases are of oiled oak, strong, durable, and 
handsome. Near this room, at one side, is the libra- 
rian's room, and another stairway running to the story 
above, and in the other direction to the basement, the 
Third street door opening from this passage-way.