Penwern: Summer home of Fred Bennett Jones of Pittsfield and Chicago, IL


Fred Bennett Jones (1858 – 1933) was the son of George Watson Jones who served as Pike County Circuit Clerk from 1860-1864, and 1874-1876.
Fred was also the grandson of Nathan Watson Jones, who surveyed and helped found Griggsville, IL.

Fred moved to Chicago as a teenager (around 1877) and began working as a stock clerk for a manufacturer of railroad supplies. He retired as Vice President of that company and was its largest stockholder. (When he died, he remembered Pittsfield Public Library in his will and left us his personal library and enough money to build an addition on to the rear of our original Carnegie building.)
In 1900, Fred Jones commissioned a summer home on Delavan Lake, WI. The architect of that home was the now-famous Frank Lloyd Wright. This book tells the story of that home.

“Frank Lloyd Wright is best known for his urban and suburban houses. Lesser known are the more than 40 summer “cottages” he designed in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Many of the early summer cottages have a rustic feel and are not as easily recognized as Wright’s prolific year-round domestic designs. Among them is a stunning estate on Delavan Lake in southern Wisconsin called Penwern. Commissioned by Chicago capitalist Fred B. Jones around 1900, Penwern has received both national and state recognition. The home’s current stewards have dedicated themselves to restoring the estate to Wright’s vision, ensuring its future. Featuring beautiful color photographs, plus vintage black and white pictures and original Wright drawings, this book transports readers back to the glory days of gracious living and entertaining on the lake.”

New book on New Philadelphia

Local History:


New Philadephia


The library is pleased to have a copy of Gerald A. McWorter’s book on the local historical site of New Philadelphia

(Information taken from back cover) New Philadelphia, Illinois, was an abolitionist town just 20 miles from slavery, inhabited for more than 100 years. Town founder Frank McWorter bought a total of 16 family members out of slavery, starting with his pregnant wife. Thanks to the efforts of local activists and others, New Philadelphia has been recognized:

1988 — Frank McWorter gravesite on the National Register of Historic Places

2002-2011 — Archaeological dig funded by the national Science Foundation

2009 — National Historic Landmark

2013 — National Park Service Network to Freedom

2017 — In the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and National Museum of African American History and Culture

2018 — Under study to become a National Park

Gerald A. McWorter is a great-great-grandson of Frank McWorter and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Kate Williams-McWorter is associate professor at the same university


Local Author Thomas Mavity

T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U

Everyone grows up in different environments, and the messages we see and hear shape them either positively or negatively. What is important is anyone can achieve success if they choose positive words and actions and want to better themselves. When we mentally discipline and train our mind to positive thinking, physically create a healthy body and lifestyle, emotionally manage our emotions controlling our tongue, and spiritually develop a grateful and loving relationship with God, many self-perceived barriers are eliminated. What is in our thoughts and words comes from our heart.

Heartfelt gratitude, no matter where we are in life, is an ingredient that takes our mind off ourselves and makes us serve others. Act as a leader and not a follower. Speak up for those who cannot help themselves. Use positive words and actions to build a model for success which others will follow. Please and thank you go a long way in life, so when we generate all these qualities and accept God’s grace, there is no stronger ally for life!

We are not alone as we all have made mistakes and hopefully learn by example. Let our positive words and actions bring happiness, love, joy, and creativity into our lives to help others succeed. Are we doing all we can to develop ourselves with the skills God has granted us? Are we mentoring those who are struggling in life who need guidance? Will we leave a positive legacy for our family and society to use as a pillar? The book T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U. will provide powerful, positive words and examples that will help lead to success. If you can visualize, stay focused, work like no other, and give it all to God, your positive life will arrive.

Library Christmas Ornament

Are you looking for a unique, regional Christmas decoration or gift?

How about an ornament commemorating the 110th anniversary of our community’s Carnegie Library?

Christmas ornament

You’ll also be supporting your local library.

Only $5.00.

The Vanishing American Adult



In an era of safe spaces, trigger warnings, and an unprecedented election, the country’s youth are in crisis. Senator Ben Sasse warns the nation about the existential threat to America’s future.

Raised by well-meaning but overprotective parents and coddled by well-meaning but misbegotten government programs, America’s youth are ill-equipped to survive in our highly-competitive global economy.

Many of the coming-of-age rituals that have defined the American experience since the Founding: learning the value of working with your hands, leaving home to start a family, becoming economically self-reliant―are being delayed or skipped altogether. The statistics are daunting: 30% of college students drop out after the first year, and only 4 in 10 graduate. One in three 18-to-34 year-olds live with their parents.

From these disparate phenomena: Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who as president of a Midwestern college observed the trials of this generation up close, sees an existential threat to the American way of life.

In The Vanishing American Adult, Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can’t grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body―and explains how parents can encourage them.

Our democracy depends on responsible, contributing adults to function properly―without them America falls prey to populist demagogues. A call to arms, The Vanishing American Adult will ignite a much-needed debate about the link between the way we’re raising our children and the future of our country.”
 Click here for title availability.