This is a photo of the Victoria Evans Memorial Library when it was located at what is now the Ashburn-Turner County Chamber of Commerce (238 E. College Avenue, Ashburn, GA 31714).
Although the date is unknown for the photo, we can date it before 1987. The new location of the library at 605 North St. in Ashburn, GA has a plaque that says, “In honor of Netta Jacobs Shingler, charter member of Library Board, the property for this library site given by her son Georgia Jacobs Shingler, Sr. May 15, 1987.”
The woman in the photo has been identified as Madge Rouse, former Librarian.
(October 4, 1876 – May 19, 1955)
Victoria Evans, also commonly called Miss Vic, moved to Ashburn at age 13 with her family. Much like the rest of the Evans family, she was very active in the community. She never married so she devoted her time to the betterment of the area. At an early age, she stepped in as a Sunday School teacher to a class of unruly boys. She was a charter member of the Ashburn Women’s Club and was president for 6 1/2 years. She was Ashburn’s first librarian from 1932-1952 which earned her the honor of the library to be named after her. On an interesting note, according to the 1940 census, her salary for the year was $618.00.
According to her obituary posted in The Wiregrass Farmer on May 26, 1955, “Throughout her life, she shared abundant knowledge and wisdom with others through community work. When the Ashburn Women’s Club was organized in 1921, Miss Vic served for six and one-half years as the club president, undertaking and succeeding in carrying out some of the organization’s most outstanding achievements. She was really the inspiration of Ashburn’s library founded by the Ashburn Women’s club. For twenty years Miss Vic was librarian at the Ashburn public library. In 1954, the library was named Victoria Evans Library in honor of her service to the library and the community. Because of her love for education, she was mainly responsible in building the librarian from a small beginning to a worthy institution, serving often without renumeration… Her most outstanding characteristics was her love for the church, and her wit, charm, and warm friendship which remained bright even in her twilight years.”
To read more about “The Library Story” by Madge Rouse that is featured in the Turner County Diamond Jubilee book of 1980, click here and go to page 83-86!