JESSE JACKSON (1886-
)


I am Mrs. Jesse Jackson and I helped to start the very first Yucaipa Library
.
Most people don’t know this, but it was Maude Fox who first suggested Yucaipa should have its own library.

After the May Day picnic in 1912, a group of us gals were gathered at the home of Mrs. Hudson, who was the president of the Yucaipa Woman’s Club at the time. We were sitting on her front lawn together. Maude had had this idea buzzing around under her hat and had shared it with Mrs. Hudson, so she proposed the idea of a circulating library to the ladies. When suggestions were asked for, no one said a word, but then agreed it was a fine idea. On that day, we started the Yucaipa Valley Library. The whole town was talking about it the next day. The more we talked the more sponsorships we got.
 
The next morning, Maude and her husband headed to Redlands was able to bring back books from their basement and later they headed to Balboa and brought back a load. The owners of the Yucaipa Hotel actually gave is a business suite on the bottom floor rent free for a year. We found curtain material, mopped and scrubbed.

The Woman’s Club had earned a nice sum of money from dinners and a show we put on in the new school house. Ours was the first show to be put on there.
 
With the Yucaipa Library a going thing and well attended, the new school house dedicated and talk of electricity coming to town, we were becoming a community.
 
The club ladies operated as volunteers. After our first year, we moved to an old bicycle and shoe repair shed by 1913 behind my home on the corner of California Street and Beech Street. The library stayed there for 35 years. Yes 35 years.

In 1914, our library became a branch of the county library – and as it happens the second library in the whole system. Miss Carolyn Waters was the new county librarian gave us the guidelines to follow and the benefits. Which were questionable at first, but the biggest benefit is a larger amount of books to be in circulation. Miss Waters, just by happenstance, is the daughter of Bryon Waters, old time resident in Dunlap.

The library was open in 1916 on Monday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. We had 151 of our books and 199 of the county’s. When new books arrived, the Yucaipa News would announce the titles.

In 1922, the Woman’s Club built their clubhouse and included a library wing. Hurrah!!
I finally retired at the librarian in 1949. I had been a county librarian for 33 years and seven months. I was called a branch library assistant since 1915, Ha!

Many people wonder about how old I am, and just so you know I was born in 1886 in Iowa. My husband Everett was a real jewel. His dad John also lives here in town. He was two years older than me. We both loved this town and I know the local children were smarter because of what we did.