Libraries established in Indian Territory before 1907 were of doubtful legality since the white population had no civic rights. However, this did not prevent a determined and daring Ardmore woman from starting a movement for a public library in 1903. She had come to the area from Colorado where her husband, Judge Hosea Townsend, had been in the practice of law for many years. He was appointed by President McKinley to be U.S. Judge for the Southern District of Indian Territory in 1897, and served until statehood in 1907, having been re-appointed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902 and in 1906.
Anna decided that the library was so important that she contacted Andrew Carnegie to request funding for it. She then arranged for C. L. Anderson of the First National Bank to complete negotiations with Mr. Carnegie for the $15,000 grant. Ground was broken for the building in 1904, and was formally opened on October 1, 1906. Anna and her husband donated 800 volumes to the library. She died in 1915.
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