|Lora Hussey as a young woman|
Lora Hussey, the only child of Milton and Ella Hoffman Hussey, was born in 1888. Lora graduated from Zionsville High School and Butler University in Indianapolis and began her teaching career in Johnson County, IN; she taught in various schools and colleges, culminating in her final position in New York City. Lora never married and retired to the family home in Zionsville, IN at the time of her father’s death.
|The Hussey family home, which served as the Library for 31 years|
|Lora Hussey late in life|
Olive wrote newsy “dittoed” letters to friends and family each of the first six years the privately-endowed Hussey Memorial Library was open, reporting on the Library’s activities, its circulation, card holder numbers, programs, involvement and support by volunteers, etc. Olive, who also never married, continued to stay interested and supportive of “Lora’s Library” until her death in February 1993; she gave the bulk of her estate to the Library upon her death.
By this time, the Hussey Memorial Library, in its need for more funding to support a growing community, had become a “true” public tax--supported library in 1989 and was renamed the Hussey Memorial Public Library.
We would be remiss if we did not mention a third woman who contributed both monetarily and actively as a Friend of the Library. Mary Mayfield was one of the first Friends of the Hussey Memorial Library, a group formed in 1978, and her husband, Jim Mayfield, approached the Library Board in 1990 with the desire to give a substantial sum of money to the Library in memory of his wife, Mary, who had passed away.
The Library is no longer housed in the 1400 sq. ft. Hussey home on Hawthorne Street. A new 25,000 sq. ft. building on three floors was built about eight blocks away on Fifth Street and opened in 1994. An expansion was added in 2006, bringing the current total square footage to over 53,000.
|Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library in 2012|
Without the generosity and foresight of our benefactors, our Library would not be the success that it is today. Lora Hussey, Olive Hoffman and Mary Mayfield would be proud of the legacy they have left the residents of Zionsville, Indiana.