History of the Library
In 1913 the Study Club of Andalusia was organized to establish a library for Andalusia. Led by founder Miss Ethel Darling the club held a book shower
resulting in $5.50 and 15 books which became the embryo of the library.
After World War I the club acquired 100 books from soldiers' libraries to place in the Milligan Building and in 1920 they opened the Covington County Free Library in the Masonic Hall with 200 books. The first library board was formed in 1921 with Mrs. Oscar M. Duggar as president. In 1934 Library Board President Mrs. A. C. Darling, Sr., Mayor John G. Scherf, Senator Lister Hill, and club members campaigned to construct a building. The city donated a corner of the grammar school property at Sixth Avenue and College Street. In 1937 the ladies petitioned the Public Works Administration and the government contributed $3000. Construction began in 1938. After 26 years the vision of the Study Club came to fruition. In March 1939 the new home of the Covington County Free Library opened to the public with Mrs. O. M. Duggar as the librarian.
FOUNDERS of the Study Club: Miss Ethel Darling (Mrs. D. D Chapman)
Mrs. A. L. Gresham, Miss John Glen (Mrs. J. L. Mixon), Miss Martha
Riley (Mrs. Warren Hunter), and Mrs. C. N. Wharton. CHARTER MEMBERS
of the Study Club: Mrs. George Adams, Miss Trudie Ballard, (Mrs. W. C.
Payne), Mrs. L. E. Broughton, Mrs. T. A. Broughton, Mrs. L. E. Brown,
Mrs. S. B. Milligan, Mrs. Henry Opp (Mrs. J. H. Guy), Mrs. T.F. Plummer,
Mrs. L. M. Studstill
Andalusia Post Office becomes Public Library
The first library building served Andalusia citizens for twenty-eight years. In 1963 the Andalusia Post Office relocated to a new building. Mrs. D.D. Chapman led a movement to secure the old post office for the public library.
Members of the Study Club of Andalusia, Library Board President Mrs. M.S. Hooper and Mrs. Chapman began a letter writing campaign to Senators
Lister Hill and John Sparkman, Congressman Bill Dickinson, Governor
George Wallace, and federal officials. After two years, the old post office property was transferred to the city. The citizens of Andalusia banded together to make plans for ftnancing and renovation. Mayor Howard Ham, City Councilmen Jimmy Utsey, Reltys Powell, Nat Waller, Manny Russo and City Attorney Albert Rankin selected Architect Douglas Baker and Contractors Reid and Henry Merrill. Funds were secured by the City of Andalusia, the Board of Education the Coterie Club, and the Study Club with the help of seventy-five individuals and clubs who donated funds for the project. The El Martes Garden Club financed the landscaping. Boy Scout Troop 46 helped shelve the books. Study Ciub members and Librarian Mrs. Hoke Smith planned the formal opening. On Sunday, April 26, 1967 hundreds of Andalusia citizens visited the facility to celebrate the new Andalusia Public Library and view the 15,000 volumes of books. in February
1975 another milestone of library history occurred with the completion of the new Assembly Learning Center which was buit as a memorial to the late Charles Dixon, made possible by his widow Thelma Chapman Dixon. The Dixon Memorial doubled the square footage of the main library.