Map to Library

Library Staff

Library Board Members

Grants Received

History of the Library

Location and Hours of Operation:

The Jennie Trent Dew Library is located at 1113 Fisher in Goldthwaite. Our mailing address is PO Box 101, Goldthwaite, TX 76844. Our phone number is 325-648-2447, and is our e-mail address. Library hours are from 10:30 pm to 6:00 pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,and Thursday. On Friday,hours are from 10:30 am to 3pm, and on Sunday, the library is open from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.


The library is located next to the Mills County Museum.

Map to library and cemetery

For genealogy buffs: To Goldthwaite Memorial Cemetery - from the Mills County Courthouse, go south on State Highway 16 to the City Park. Continue on State Highway 16 by turning right or west towards San Saba. The cemetery is approximately 1.4 miles west of Goldthwaite on State Highway 16 on the north (right) side of Highway 16.

Library Staff

Susan Lindsay - Library Director

Library Board Members

The library board currently consists of seven members who are appointed by the city council to serve as an advisory board to the library at the direction of the city council, and one permanent member. They are involved in decisions on finances, policy and procedures, and staffing.

Barbara Carroll, Chairperson
Diane Jernigan
Dr. Mary Kretzer
Kay Bouse
Barbara Hood
Suzanne Smith
Nancy Speers

Ex Officio members are:
County Judge, Kirkland A. Fulk
City Manager, Rob Lindsey
Mayor, Mike McMahan

Back to top

Grants Received

1999-2001 - Library Establishment Grant of $30,000 a year for 3 years to bring our library up to state library standards.  This grant allowed the library to increase hours of operation from 9 hours per week to 20 hours per week, add equipment, books, audio books and software

1999 - Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Grant of $9,730 for computers and the hardware and wiring needed for the computers and Internet access

2000 - The library received a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant for 2 computer workstations, software and staff training

2002 - A grant from the Tocker foundation for $7,025 for adjustable steel shelving and a new library table and chairs

2002 - Loan Star Library Grant of $1605 from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission to purchase history and geography books

2002 - The library received a matching grant from the Libri Foundation Books for children programs.  The Friends of the Library raised $350 with a read-a-thon for a 2-for-one match from the Libri foundation.  $1050 worth of children’s books were chosen by the library director from the Libri Foundation

2003 - A Texas Book Festival Grant for $2500 to purchase audio books

2003 - Loan Star Library Grant for $1684 from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission to purchase natural science materials for  children and adults

2004 - Loan Star Library Grant for $1509 from the Texas State Library to purchase classic literature books and audio books

2004 - The library received a grant to automate the library from the Tocker Foundation.  This included a computer, printer and automation software as well as retrospective conversion of our records on existing books.

2005 - Loan Star Library Grant for $1505 from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission for 2 new computers and software.

2005 - $195.00 from the Tocker Foundation for a training stipend

2005 - $2500 from the Tocker Foundation for children’s non-fiction books

2005 - $2500 Texas Book Festival Grant for children's non- fiction books

2006 - Loan Star Library Grant for $1505 from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission for books, equipment and supplies

2006 - Tocker Grant for $7960 for technology

2006 - $3000 Texas Reads Grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for Spanish language materials and programs

2006 - $2,500 Gates Foundation Grant for computer equipment

2007 - Lone Star Library Grant for $1496 for books, equipment, and supplies

2008 - Lone Star Library Grant for $3707 for books, equipment, and supplies

2008 - $4,924.00 from the Tocker Foundation for computers

2009 - Lone Star Library Grant for $3668 for books, equipment, and supplies

2010 - Lone Star Library Grant for $4787 for books, equipment, and supplies

2011 - Lone Star Library Grant for $3951 for books, equipment, and supplies

2012 - Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Federal Grant for $11,178 for computer equipment and supplies.

2012 - Libri Foundation Grant for $1050 for quality children's books

2012- Tocker Foundation Grant for $380 for training travel expense

2013 - Tocker Foundation Grant for $48,948 for furnishings for our new location

2013 - LCRA grant for $12,943 for furniture and equipment for our new location

Back to top

History of Jennie Trent Dew Library

The Self Culture Club started the very first library in Goldthwaite in 1906. A Silver Tea was held in dedication and attendees were asked to please donate a book, which they graciously did. Soon, A bookcase was placed in Dr. M. L. Brown's Drug store, and Miss Kate Fairman served as the first librarian for two afternoons each week. When Dr. Brown moved his store and practice to Brownwood, the library bookcase was transported to the local variety store of Mr. & Mrs. Floyd Mullan. Unfortunately, after seventeen successful years, in 1923, the Mullans moved their store to Marlin and the Self Culture Club was unable to locate a new home for the library books. The Club voted to discontinue the library, and a commission was appointed to dispose of the books. Ninety books were shipped to the Prison Library at Huntsville, and the remainder donated to the local public school library. 

It was not until 1936 that the Art and Civic Club of Goldthwaite sponsored a new library project. The Self Culture Club endorsed the plan and agreed to cooperate, as did all the other clubs in town. It was to be governed by a Library Board made up of a member from each women's club, the Lion's Club, the mayor and county judge. Money and books were donated, and again a library was established in Goldthwaite. It resided on the third floor of the county courthouse, and the various clubs appointed a librarian to serve for a given duration of time. The books were later moved to a room in the basement of the courthouse, and Mrs. Addie Hudson Schooler accepted the position of librarian. This arrangement continued for fourteen years until 1950 when the present Jennie Trent Dew Library building was completed.

The current facility had its beginning in July of 1948, when at a called session of the city council, Sam Sullivan and Attorney E. B. Gilliam, Jr., executors of the estate of the late Mrs. Jennie Trent Dew, presented the city council with a check for $30,000 for the establishment of a new city library. The terms of the will specified that $15,000 of the money was to be used for the construction of a building and $15,000 for an endowment to maintain and operate the Library and Club Room. Mrs. Dew stated in her Will and is quoted here, "Being desirous of providing a gift for the people of the town of Goldthwaite where I have lived and made my home for the greater part of my life; and being desirous that such gift be a benefit and a blessing to my neighbors, friends, and fellow-citizens during the years to come, I do hereby give the bequeath $30,000 for the purpose of building and equipping and maintaining a Public Library in Goldthwaite, Texas. ------ I further provide that the said building include one large room to be used by the various Women's Clubs in town as a meeting place, -- and that each Club so using said room pay a moderate and reasonable sum to be used for the upkeep and maintenance of such Club Room."

Mayor Loy Long appointed a committee of citizens as an advisory body to the Goldthwaite city council to prepare plans and find a location for the new library. This committee consisted of Mrs. L. E. Miller, Mrs. Nora Hooks Berry, Mrs. Emily Anderson Gilliam, and W. C. Barnett, who all became permanent members of the Library Board.

A lot at the corner of Hutchings and Fourth Streets was purchased as the site for the Library building and a local contractor, Mr. M. F. Horton, awarded the contract for the erection of a red brick building. Completed in 1950, the Jennie Trent Dew Library was dedicated on September 17, 1950, at 3:00 P.M. in Goldthwaite, Texas.

Members of the Art and Civic Club conducted a tour of the Library building; the Self Culture Club presided over the registration of guests; the Garden Club handled the decorations, and the Tuesday Study Club displayed the library books.

The Jennie Trent Dew Library evolved into a facility to serve all the residents of Mills County, as the result of merging the resources of the new library with the former Goldthwaite Public Library, which had been housed in the basement of the Mills County Courthouse. In order to obtain state assistance for the library, arrangements had to be made through a county administrator, so the county judge of Mills County was made an ex-officio member of the Library Board. The Commissioners Court donated $5 per month for books for the library.

Prior to the physical opening of the library, a library board was set up by the city council. It consisted of the county judge of Mills County and the mayor of the city of Goldthwaite as ex-officio members; the members of the Building Committee were made permanent members and each of the following ladies' club was to have one representative: Self Culture Club, Art and Civic Club, Tuesday Study Club, and Goldthwaite Garden Club. Nominated by their respected clubs and approved by the City Council, each representative served a two year term. Representatives from the Young Homemaker’s Club and the Home Demonstration Club were later added.

During the second meeting of the library board, September 4, 1950, a committee was appointed to travel to Burnett to ask their cooperation in obtaining state library books. In a called meeting of the board on September 11, 1950, Mrs. George Reese was elected librarian and accepted the wage of $35 per month. It was decided that the library would be open from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday of every week. The Jennie Trent Dew Memorial Library opened for business.

The library services began in September, 1950, and the librarian's first report showed that in the first three months of operation, there was a circulation of 754 books and 150 books had been donated, however, in her next report she showed that for the month of April alone, a circulation of 307 books, evidencing the growth of the library service. Mrs. Reese worked for several more months until August 1951, with Mrs. J. M. Campbell as her assistant. The following ladies have served as librarian: Miss Lila Burney, appointed September 1951; Mrs. James Nickols 1952, Mrs. Jim Weatherby 1953, Mrs. Jon Schooler 1954, Mrs. Hazel Bradford 1955, Mrs. Fred Reynolds 1968, Mae Featherston, Monnie Conradt, Yvonne Bruce, Jan Laughlin, Peggy Ducote, Ella Ruth Hall, Theresa Strickler, Deb Flowers and currently, Kathy Venerable.

When the Jennie Trent Dew Library Building was built, there were 1,949 books on the shelves, and the planners never dreamed that by 1971, the library would own nearly eight thousand volumes. Those who work with the library have a great desire for its services to be used by all the citizens of the county. Without the help of the community, the success and continued growth of library services would not have been possible.

In 1998/1999 Jennie Trent Dew Library became a city/county library and received an establishment grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. At this time the library's hours of operation increased from 9 to 20 hours per week.

In 2011, the hours of operation were increased to 35 per week. The library now has eleven computer stations, including seven laptops, complete with Internet access for use by the public. Printing from these resources is available in both color and black and white. Access to WiFi is possible for business travelers without library cards, or for those patrons wishing to use their own laptops. There are copy and fax machines on the premises.

In April, 2013, property at 1113 Fisher Street was purchased as a more spacious location for the library. Renovation was finished in December, 2013, and the move completed in January, 2014.

The complete library collection is on computer, and has been accessible online at our web page since 2003. From this site, patrons may place holds, renew books, and request interlibrary loan materials. In addition, the library is a member of a digital consortium, and patrons can check out e-books and audio books that are downloadable to computers and mobile devices. For those who prefer the concrete experience of visiting our facility, in addition to books, there are scores of VHS and DVD video recordings, audio books, paperbacks, reference items and numerous Spanish offerings. Of course, none of this would be possible without the countless volunteers who have donated time and/or money toward helping with expansion. These people are invaluable.

Story time is held in summer in conjunction with the Summer Reading Program. Details along with dates and times are released at the end of May each year. Typically, there is a preschool story time and a designated time for older children's activities. Local businesses donate incentives to the programs, which encourage continued reading throughout the summer months.

The Friends of the Jennie Trent Dew Library group was formed in 2003 and is running strong. A 501c3 non-profit organization, they have provided more than $60,000 to maintain and grow the library. Details of this organization are available on the Friends' page of this site.

Back to top