Side A: As a shareholder of the United Library Association in Pomfret, Connecticut, General Israel Putnam amassed a large collection of books, which was called the Putnam Family Library. The collection was divided among his heirs after his death in 1790. His son, Colonel Israel Putnam brought part of that collection with him to Washington County, Ohio, in 1795. Education was a foremost concern to settlers in the Ohio Country and was reinforced in article three of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Accordingly, the Putnam family’s collection circulated among neighbors and provided the means of education for the people of Belpre and surrounding communities. By 1796, a group of subscribers, paying ten dollars a share, fully organized a public library. Later known as the Belpre Farmers’ Library, it was the first library established in the Northwest Territory. The library operated under the management of the shareholders until 1815.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Belpre Historical Society, Washington County Public Library, and The Ohio Historical Society