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Souvenir of the Charles Larned memorial and the Free public library, Oxford, Massachusetts, 1906 online

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over $18,000.

A letter just received from Mr. Larned may mod-
ify these conditions by relieving the town of the
necessity of raising even the $1,800, and placing at
our disposal for better and more complete equip-
ment the funds already on deposit.

The letter is as follows : —

Boom 1025 Tremont Building, Boston, Mass.,

April 3, 1903.

To the Voters of Oxford :

Gentlemen, — Whereas the town has generously
secured and purchased a more expensive and eli-

37



gible lot for the Free Public Library building than
was at first anticipated, said lot being devoted ex-
clusively to the library building, and on which said
building is now in process of erection, and
whereas said library building will, when completed,
cost largely in excess of the original sum men-
tioned, $18,000, after due consideration I have de-
cided, with the consent and approval of the town,
to modify my original proposition, to wit : —

To assume and bear the entire expense and cost
of the library building up to the sum of Twenty-
four Thousand Dollars ($24,000), thereby enabling
the town, through the Building Committee, to fur-
nish and equip the library in a more liberal manner
than they would otherwise feel like doing.

Very truly yours,

Charles Labned.

Perhaps the Building Committee might consider
its duty discharged when the building was com-
pleted, and leave the matter of equipment and
adornment of grounds to other hands ; but the
comprehensive plan upon which we have labored
covers every detail inside and outside the building,
all of which should be harmoniously wrought . out,
and it would be more in accordance with the fitness
of things, not to say our own views, to turn over
the property finished, equipped, and ready for use.

Therefore, we submit the following recommenda-
tions : —

I. That the proposition embodied in the accom-
panying letter of Mr. Charles Larned be accepted
with appropriate acknowledgments.

II. That the proceeds of the sale of buildings
and other property on the library premises be ap-

38



propriated to the grading and laying out of the
grounds.

III. That all funds in the town treasury or on
deposit available for library purposes be turned
over to the Building Committee, to be used, or such
portion thereof as may be necessary, to properly
furnish and equip the new building.

Building
John E. Kimball, Committee
0. F. Joslin, > of the

A. M. Chaffee, | Charles Lamed
J Memorial.

Oxford, Mass., 6 April, 1903.

The report was supplemented by the statement
that the property on the Hyde lot had been sold for
nearly $700, and that the Building Committee this
day had voted to refund to the town the $2,250
license money set apart for their use on 6 May,
1902.

By a unanimous vote the report of the Building
Committee was adopted, and thanks tendered to Mr.
Charles Larned, of Boston, for his generous additional
gift, which the Town Clerk was instructed to enter
upon the records and communicate to Mr. Larned.

At the Annual Town Meeting held on 3 April,
1905, after the completion and dedication of the
building, the following resolutions were unanimously
adopted : —

Resolved, That the inhabitants of the Town of
Oxford desire to place upon record an expression of
their appreciation and gratitude for the munificent
gift of the



Charles Larned Memorial

recently dedicated to the use of the Free Public
Library.

It will stand through the years to come a monu-
ment of rare public spirit guided by wisdom and
intelligent foresight, while presenting to old and
young an ever-abiding object-lesson inspiring loy-
alty and filial gratitude and beckoning to higher
planes of thought and life.

While thus voicing the sentiment of every resi-
dent of Oxford, coupled with the hope that the gen-
erous Donor may long be spared to witness and
enjoy the fruits of his noble benefaction, we trust
he may find satisfaction and reward in the reflection
that such acts are not bounded by the span of a
single life, but are self-perpetuating and immortal.

Resolved, That the claim upon Mr. Charles
Larned for $1,000, pledged for a High School
Building to forestall the adoption of a plan whose
unwisdom is now universally recognized, is hereby
voluntarily relinquished.



40



LAYING OF THE CORNER-STONE.

Excavation having been made and the founda-
tions completed, the 20 May, 1903, was designated
for the ceremony of Laying the Corner-stone. An
invitation had been extended to the Masonic
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to take charge of
this ceremonial, whose acceptance and willing ser-
vice were highly appreciated by the citizens and
invited guests. Weather conditions were most
favorable, and when at 2.30 p.m. the representa-
tives of the Grand Lodge, consisting of Most
Worshipful Grand Master Baalis Sanford and fif-
teen associates, escorted by the local lodge and led
by the Pulaski Cornet Band of Webster, reached the
site of the building, they were welcomed by a con-
course whose number and enthusiasm were in keep-
ing with the significance of the occasion.

The exercises were opened by the following
hymn sung by the Worcester Masonic Quartet : —

Great Architect of earth and heaven,

By time nor space confined,
Enlarge our love to comprehend

Our brethren, all mankind.

Where'er we are, whate'er we do,

Thy presence let us own ;
Thine eye, all-seeing, marks our deeds,

To Thee all thoughts are known,

41



While Nature's works and Science's laws

We labor to reveal,
Oh! be our duty done to Thee

With fervency and zeal.

With Faith our guide, and humble Hope,

Warm Charity and Love,
May all, at last, be raised to share

Thy perfect light above.

The formal request for the service of the order
was extended by the Chairman of the Building
Committee in these words :

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Quests and
Friends :

A former resident of this historic town, actuated
by a sentiment of filial gratitude and regard for the
well-being of the people of his early home, is erect-
ing upon this spot a permanent abode for an insti-
tution which is typical of New England community
life in the twentieth century.

It means much to us, it is even more significant
to the nation, the corner-stone of whose fabric rests
upon the intelligence of the masses and whose insti-
tutions open up the avenues of wealth to the private
citizen, native and foreign born alike, at the same
time prompting the consecration of wealth to no-
blest uses.

We are here to-day publicly to inaugurate the
enterprise so auspiciously begun ; and in recognition
of your ancient and honorable order, whose tradi-
tions are linked with some of the most notable
structures of the Old and New Worlds, past and
present, we have invited you, sir, and your asso-
ciates, as representatives of that order, to come hither
and, in the presence of an appreciative public in

42



whose interest the work is done, to officiate, accord-
ing to established forms, in laying the corner-stone
of the

Charles Larned Memorial,
the permanent home of the

Free Public Library of Oxford.

The response of the Grand Master was as fol-
lows :

Mr. Chairman and Brethren :

From time immemorial it has been the custom of
the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and
Accepted Masons, when requested so to do, to
lay, with ancient forms, the corner-stones of build-
ings, both public and private, devoted to learning,
to benevolence, to religion, and for the purposes of
the administration of justice and free government
and the commemoration of great and humane bene-
factions to mankind.

And we are assembled here to-day to lay this
corner-stone in accordance with our law ; and thus re-
newedly testifying our reverence and love for Him
whom we worship as the Giver and Guardian of our
souls, and our respect, loyalty, and allegiance to the
laws of our country, we shall proceed in accordance
with ancient usage.

Let us first give our attention to the contempla-
tion of a lesson from the " Book of the Law," and
in accordance with the usual Masonic custom at
the commencement of every undertaking unite with
our Reverend Grand Chaplain in an invocation to
the Great Architect of worlds, that his mercy and
favor may be with us, and with the whole brother-
hood of man.



43



The following selections with responses by the
brethren were then read by Rev. Albert Tyler, Chap-
lam of the Oxford Lodge : —

Chaplain. Bless the Lord, my soul. Lord
my God, thou art very great ; thou art clothed with
honor and majesty. Psalm civ. 1.

Brethren. But thou, Lord, shalt endure for
ever ; and thy remembrance unto all generations.
Psalm cii. 12.

Chaplain. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy
upon Zion : for the time to favor her, yea, the set
time, is come. Psalm cii. 13.

Brethren. For thy servants take pleasure in
her stones, and favor the dust thereof. Psalm
cii. 14.

Chaplain. Where wast thou when I laid the
foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast
understanding. Job xxxviii. 4.

Brethren. Who hath laid the measures thereof,
if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line
upon it? Job xxxviii. 5.

Chaplain. Whereupon are the foundations
thereof fastened? or who laid the corner-stone
thereof? Job xxxviii. 6.

Brethren. When the morning stars sang to-
gether, and all the sons of God shouted for joy ?
Job xxxviii. 7.

Chaplain. Is it time for you, ye, to dwell in
your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste ? Thus
saith the Lord of hosts : Go up to the mountain,
and bring wood, and build the house; and I will

44



take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the
Lord. Haggai i. 4, 7, 8.

Brethren. Ye also, as lively stones, are built
up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. 1 Peter ii. 5.
Chaplain. Therefore thus saith the Lord God,
Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a
tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure founda-
tion : he that believeth shall not make haste. Judg-
ment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to
the plummet. Isaiah xxviii. 16, 17.

Brethren. Open to me the gates of righteous-
ness : I will go into them, and I will praise the
Lord. Psalm, cxviii. 19.

Honor and majesty are before him, strength and
beauty are in his sanctuary. Psalm xcvi. 6.

Chaplain. Except the Lord build the house,
they labor in vain that build it : except the Lord
keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
Psalm cxxvii. 1.

Brethren. One generation shall praise thy
works to another, and shall declare thy mighty
acts. They shall abundantly utter the memory of
thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteous-
ness. Psalm cxlv. 4, 7.

Chaplain. come, let us worship and bow
down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Psalm xcv. 6.

Brethren. For he is our God ; and we are the
people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Psalm xcv. 7.

Chaplain. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name ;



45



show forth his salvation from day to day. Psalm.
xcvi. 2.

Brethren. All thy works shall praise thee,
Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. Psalm
cxlv. 10.

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord : for
great is the glory of the Lord. Psalm cxxxviii. 5.

Prayer was offered by the Grand Chaplain, Rev.
Charles A. Skinner, after which a list of articles
deposited in the copper receptacle enclosed in the
corner-stone was read by the Grand Treasurer,
Henry G. Fay, as follows : —

1. Documentary History of the Charles Earned Memorial.

2. Sealed Package from Mr. Larned, the Donor of the
Building.

3. A Copy of the Town Eeport for 1890, containing a His-
tory of the Free Public Library.

4. Catalogue of the Free Public Library — 1895.

5. Daniels' " History of Oxford."

6. Freeland's " Records of Oxford."

7. The Assessors' Report for 1902.

8. Town Report for 1903, with the Present Board of Select-
men and the Building Committee.

9. Oxford and Auburn Directory — 1903.

10. Copy of The Mid-Weekly for Wednesday, 11 August, 1897.

11. History of Masonry in Oxford from 1795 to 1903.

12. Collection of Forty or Fifty Photographs and Local
Views in Oxford, including a View of the Foundations of
this Building.

13. Miscellaneous Local Documents, Business Cards, etc.

14. The McKinley Memorial.

15. Copies of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the St.
Louis Republic, containing an account of the Inauguration
Ceremonies of "The Louisiana Purchase Exposition."



46



16. A Set of Silver and Minor Proof Coins for 1903, from
the United States Mint at Philadelphia, Pa.

17. Specimens of Fractional Currency issued during the
War of the Eebellion.

18. Copies of The Worcester Telegram and The Worcester Spy
for 20 May, 1903.

The corner-stone in place, the imposing ritual
was continued by the Application of the Jewels, the
Libation of Corn by the Deputy Grand Master,
J. Gilman Waite, —

When once of old in Israel,

Our earthly brethren wrought with toil,

Jehovah's blessing on them fell

In showers of Corn, and Wine, and Oil. —

the Libation of Wine by the Senior Grand Warden,
John A. McKim,—

When there a shrine to Him alone
They built, with worship, sin to foil,

On threshold and on corner-stone,

They poured out Corn, and Wine, and Oil. —

the Libation of Oil by the Junior Grand Warden,
William H. H. Soule, —

And we have come, fraternal bands,

With joy and pride, and prosperous spoil,

To honor Him by votive hands

With streams of Corn, and Wine, and Oil.—

an Invocation by the Grand Chaplain, the Presen-
tation of Working Tools to the Architect, and the
closing address by the Grand Master : —

47



May this undertaking be conducted and com-
pleted by the craftsmen according to the grand
plan in Peace, Harmony, and Brotherly Love ; and
by the skill and taste of the architect may an edifice
here arise which shall render new service and honor
to this ancient town.

May it be blessed with Wisdom in the plan,
Strength in the execution, Beauty in the adorn-
ment ; and may the Sun of Righteousness enlighten
those who build, the generous Donor, and the com-
munity for whose benefit this structure shall be
erected.

Proclamation was duly made by the Grand Mar-
shal Frank W. Mead, and after the singing of the
hymn, —

Lord! Thou hast been our dwelling-place,
Through years of old and ages past;

And still Thy laws we seek to trace.
On Thee our trust we humbly cast,

Father of Light! Builder Divine !

Behold our work, and make it Thine, —

the address of the day was delivered by Rev.
William H. Rider, D.D., of Gloucester, Mass.

As this address by force of circumstances was
largely impromptu, it cannot be reproduced, but was
listened to with close attention and deep interest.

The flowering beauty of the opening spring-time
suggested to the speaker the more beautiful sen-
timent of maternal and filial love from which
emanated this project and this occasion. By a
natural transition it was declared most fitting that
a fraternity seeking light and "More Light," thus

48



leading to the Source of all knowledge, should par-
ticipate in the consecration of a building sacred to
tender memories and all best thought and life.

Familiar as is the dedication of libraries in New
England, we shall never see too many of them.

The victories of the twentieth century are to
be intellectual, victories of science and education.
The war-drums are muffled, and a new song, the
song of peace and good will to men, is heard in
the land. The prophecy of this peace is to be
fulfilled by just such buildings as this.

There is nothing to be compared with the lasting
effects of a public library in a community. It is
the privilege of everybody in such community to
keep company with the ages.

Not one of all the marvelous things that have
come to us through modern improvements — the
trolley car, the electric light, the telephone, the
telegraph — is to be compared in real value to a
good book. It transformed Abraham Lincoln from
an ignorant boy into the First American.

Books are light-houses erected in the great sea of
time. He who gives, gives also guides for finest
conduct and inspires with greatest hope.

In conclusion, the speaker made among other
practical suggestions this excellent recommendation,
that the library which was to be here installed
should be made complete in some one fine, be it a
department of history, of science, or of literature, so
that it should be known far and wide as possessing
an exceptionally rich, if not exhaustive, collection in
that special department.

The singing of " America " by the assemblage

49



and the benediction pronounced by the Grand
Chaplain concluded the exercises of a day memo-
rable in the history of the town.

In response to the following invitation, at the
hour appointed the auditorium of Memorial Hall
was filled with an expectant assemblage made up
of present and former residents of Oxford, invited
guests from all parts of Massachusetts and neigh-
boring States, including names prominent in literary,
professional, and public life.



50



DEDICATION.
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BORN

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MA^jjpED

29 April, 1817, J<M iLuHierh of €|Hrd, Massachusetts



through

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from

Rev. John 1 Robinson, of Leyden

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61



Sutlnhtn,
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IrMratum

Program.
5 (irtote, 1004.

invocation.

Vocal Music, "Jehovah Reigns." Mendelssohn.

Double Quartet.

Untroonctors.
IResponses.

"Hon. Ira M. Barton, Founder of the Free Public Library."
EDMUND M. BARTON, American Antiquarian Society.

"Public Libraries in Massachusetts."

C. B. TlLLINGHAST, Chairman of Free Public Library Commission of

Massachusetts.

"The Public Library as a Public Educator."

SAMUEL S. GREEN, Free Public Library of Worcester.

"The Robinson Family."

Hon. David I. ROBINSON, President of the Robinson Family Genealogical
and Historical Association.

Vocal Music, "The Old Arm-chair," Eliza Cook, music by Henry Russell.
Oxford Male Quartet.

H)eli\>erp ot H)eeo ano Iftess

To Town Authorities — To Trustees of Library.

H>eoicatorp prater.

Rev. Charles M. Carpenter.

Booress.

Hon. Carroll D. Wright.

Singing, "America."
The Audience, led by the Quartet.

Benediction*

52



The exercises conformed to the above program,
John E. Kimball, Esq., Chairman of the Building
Committee presiding.

Chairman : The divine blessing will be invoked
by Rev. I. A. Mesler, of Oxford.

Invocation.

We are very grateful, our Heavenly Father, for
that which brings us together to-day. We recog-
nize the fact that every good gift and every perfect
gift cometh from thee. We pray for thy blessing
upon it. We pray for thy blessing upon all the ex-
ercises of this day. May the Holy Spirit rest upon
those who shall speak to us, and guide in every
thought and every word ! In Jesus' name we ask it.
Amen.

Singing.

Jehovah Reigns.

Chairman :

Ladies and Gentlemen, — In behalf of the
Building Committee of the Charles Larned Memo-
rial I extend to you a cordial welcome and thanks
for the interest manifested by your presence.
There are scores, perhaps hundreds, who would like
to be here, but cannot, and I am constrained to
read, in their behalf, a sample letter of regret expres-
sive of the sentiments of those who, from age or
infirmity, distance, or other engagements can be
with us to-day only in spirit : —

53



I am very grateful for the invitation so kindly
sent me the 25th to attend the exercises in Memo-
rial Hall October 5, and regret that I cannot be
present at that time. Certainly, my native town is
to be congratulated that the generosity of her pub-
lic-spirited son — Mr. Charles Larned — has taken
such a beautiful form, one which not only adds at-
traction to her main street, but which will furnish
her residents pleasure and profit so long as the
memorial shall stand. May it be a "joy forever!"

It was a happy thought of Mr. Larned to asso-
ciate his mother's name with the building, and I trust
this silent witness of a son's filial love and respect
will be a lesson to all the young people who fre-
quent the Library, and be an aid in making them
also noble sons and daughters.

Friends, we have met to dedicate to public uses
a building typical of what is best in New England
civilization, — filial reverence and gratitude, intelli-
gence and character in the masses, and public spirit,
which is but another name for patriotism.

It is not for us to know what tender memories
and cherished associations are built into this me-
morial temple, imparting a touch of peculiar grace to
this happy combination of utility and beauty. That
belongs to the sacred privacy of the domestic circle,
which we may not invade; but we do know the
value of such sentiments in molding character and
shaping destiny, not alone of individuals, but of
nations; we do know that loyalty in the home
begets loyalty to the State, the logical outcome of
which is individual and social betterment.

This simple ceremonial may fade from the mem-

54



ory and be forgotten ; methods and usages will
change, grow old, and be superseded by that which
is better, but the lessons of yonder structure will
deepen with the years, they can never become obso-
lete, for they are vital to our continuance as a people,
and, happily, in their very nature are self-perpetu-
ating.

The conditions which render this gift timely and
most acceptable are the growth of more than a gen-
eration. A flourishing Free Public Library has long
been the protege and pride of the people. Oxford
has been fortunate in her benefactors ! We con-
gratulate the recipients of Mr. Carnegie's bounty,
and all honor to that broad philanthropy which has
given us a new lesson in the uses of great wealth,
while doing so much to cement the brotherhood
of the nations ! But we count ourselves more fortu-
nate. Our benefactors are a to the manner born"
and bred among us, and their benefactions are evi-
dence not only of successful endeavor and generous
impulses, but of affection and gratitude as well.
Especially is this true of the honored Founder of
our Free Public Library, who in his will remem-
bered the inhabitants of his native town by a gift
for that purpose "as an inadequate return for the
kindness and patronage of their fathers" and it
will be a special pleasure to hear a word from the
representative of Hon. Ira M. Barton in the person
of his son, Edmund M. Barton, of Worcester.



55



Mr. Barton:

Mr. Chairman, — My duty is strictly filial, it
seems to me, to-day. On beautiful Oxford plain
there were born into the family of which my
honored father was the head four sons and one
daughter; while Worcester was the birthplace of
three sons and one daughter. Among the papers of
the first-born — William Sumner Barton, born in
Oxford, Sept. 30, 1824 — is a brief sketch of the
founder of this library, to which I call your atten-
tion during the few moments allowed me.

The Hon. Ira Moore Barton, of Worcester, first
named Ira, was born in Oxford, Oct. 25, 1796, and
in 1839, by act of the General Court, was authorized
to take the additional name of Moore in memory of
his revered maternal grandmother, Dorothy Moore,
and of his great-great-grandfather Moore, the first
magistrate of his native town. He was a grandson
of Dr. Stephen Barton, who was born at Sutton,
June 10, 1740. Dr. Barton's father and mother,
Edmund and Anna Flynt Barton, were married in
Salem, April 9, 1739, and probably moved to Sutton
soon afterward. Mr. Barton graduated with high
honors at Brown University in 1819, and at the
Cambridge Law School in 1822. He practised law


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