Sunday, February 13 from 2-4pm the DeKalb Public Library is hosting an 80th Birthday Party for its home, the Jacob Haish Memorial Library. Dedicated on February 15, 1931 the historic building was made possible through a bequest of $150,000 from perhaps the greatest philanthropist in DeKalb’s history, Jacob Haish.
Haish immigrated to the United States in 1832, migrated to Dupage County and in about 1853 moved to DeKalb. He may have been the first Naperville builder to set up shop in DeKalb. One of the first of many business ventures in DeKalb was that as a carpenter. Family tradition has him building one of Isaac Ellwood’s earlier homes in the city as well as the Joseph Glidden brick house (current home of Glidden Campus Florists) on the west side. Of course those were not the only times the paths of Haish, Ellwood and Glidden would cross. Each worked on their ideas for barbed wire. Haish received the first patent in 1874. But his inventions went beyond barbed wire.
Success rewarded Jacob Haish and he rewarded his community in his success. Schools, hospitals, libraries and a university were built with help from his generosity and foresight for DeKalb. His philanthropy was felt long after his death in 1926 just shy of his 100th birthday. The new Kishwaukee Hospital received monies from the Jacob Haish Trust.
The Sunday celebration has music, cake and other treats, story times for kids and tours of the library’s most hidden and unique features including the secret staircase, the dumbwaiter and the Third Floor. The party also serves as the kicking off the DeKalb Public Library’s Anniversary Fundraiser. T-shirts, travel mugs, magnets, commemorative books, calendars and more will be sold to purchase more books, audiobooks, movies and music in all departments.
All ages are welcome to this free party.
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