Mary Sleeth, the first librarian, served from 1910-1935.
Library services in Rush County began with the private collection of Dr. William B. Laughlin in 1822. He loaned his books to city and county residents at a small fee per book. In 1910, a library was created thanks to the Rush County chapter of the D.A.R. The library was located in the County Courthouse.
Then, in the late 1920's, a combination of public and private monies funded the building of the present Rushville Public Library. The firm of McGuire and Shook designed our Gothic-style library (no, this building has never been a church) on the site where the depot of the I & C Traction Line stood. In August of 1930, builders laid the cornerstone and on January 16, 1931, the beautiful Bedford limestone library opened!
In 1988-89, our library underwent a complete renovation. New lights, air conditioning, flooring, and walls were installed and improved. Lower level rooms for meetings, technical services, and genealogy were created. Workmen excavated areas under the Library and made areas for the storage of periodicals and craft and cleaning supplies.
Today, the Rushville Public Library holds more than 35,000 books, over 1500 videos and DVDs, 1000 spoken-word cassettes and CDs, as well as collections of puppets and statues. Extensive genealogy and local and state history resources can be found in our Indiana Room. A special Wendell Willkie collection is also housed in our Indiana Room. Willkie, whose wife Edith Wilk was once a Rushville librarian, headquartered his 1940 presidential campaign in the famous Durbin Hotel here in Rushville!
Services at our Library include homebound delivery, color copier, laminator, meeting room, FAX, computers and access to the Internet, and interlibrary loan.
The old Traction Line depot, which once stood where the library is now.