McClun, Carrie

Source: West Liberty Heritage Foundation, McClun home, photo taken about 1900. Carrie McClun is probably the lady on the left.

Caroline H. McClun

Caroline (Carrie) McClun had been associated with the library in West Liberty  before it became a public library.  When one of the seven original members who started the “Y” Library moved away, she filled that vacancy.[1]  She was appointed a trustee when the Free Public Library was established in 1900.  Board president H. H. Hughes paid tribute to her at the dedication of the Carnegie Library when he said “her genial temperament, tactful disposition and loyal devotion make her a valuable member.  She helped nurse the library in its infancy, watched its growth with pride and is now secretary of the board.”[2]  Miss McClun had an interest in the study of birds and organized a Bird Club at the library for others with the same interest.[3]  She regularly attended Library Association meetings in other cities.[4]  In the early years on the board she had held offices of vice president and secretary.  After 1905, she was most often on the book committee.[5]  She retired from the Library Board of Trustees in October,1935 after more than 40 years of service to the library.[6]

Caroline Hickman McClun, daughter of William and Mary Bolles McClun, was born at Marlboro, Ohio Nov.17,1866.  At age eleven, her family moved to West Liberty, IA.[7]  Her father was a prominent merchant and co-owner with his brother of McClun Brothers Clothing Store.[8]  She attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts from 1888-1890.[9]  In addition to her longstanding service with the library board, she had been an officer of the Christian Church, a charter member of Fortnightly Literary Club and a member of Chapter AH P.E.O.  Since 1880, she and her family had resided at the West Liberty home on Calhoun Street where she died on Jan.16, 1942.[10] She had an active role in the community but was described as “modest and unassuming”.[11]  Miss McClun never married and her parents and brother, Charles, preceded her in death.  She was survived by a cousin, Edward McClun of West Liberty.  Burial was at Oak Ridge Cemetery in West Liberty.[12]

– Pam Schnittjer


[1] West Liberty Index, West Liberty, IA, Jan. 19, 1905, p. 1.

[2] West Liberty Index, West Liberty, IA, Jan. 19, 1905, p. 12.

[3] Iowa Library Quarterly, Jan.-Mar. 1907, p. 140.

[4] Muscatine Journal, Muscatine, IA, July 19,1907, p. 8

[5] West Liberty Library Board of Trustees Minutes, Vol. 1, p. 1, 58, 104, 143.

[6] West Liberty Index, West Liberty, IA, Oct. 10,1935, p. 1.

[7] Iowa City Press-Citizen, Iowa City, IA, Jan. 16,1942, p. 9.

[8] Muscatine Journal, Muscatine, IA, Dec. 15,1900, p. 15.

[9] U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Wellesley College Record, 1875-1900, p. 199.

[10] West Liberty Index, West Liberty, IA, Jan. 22,1942, p. 1

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.