William B. Ogden was born here, in Walton, in 1805. Mr. Ogden grew up in Walton and worked as a postmaster. Later he traveled west and helped establish the city of Chicago, Illinois. He served as Chicago’s first mayor. When William. B. Ogden died in 1877, he left some money to his hometown. Mr. William Wheeler, one of the trustees of Mr. Ogden’s estate, traveled to Walton in 1892 and talked to a few people in the community about the best way to use the money. They suggested that the money be used to build a library.
So, it was built. Native bluestone was taken from the stone quarries on Marvin Hollow and on Shepard Hill, at a cost of $13,500. Construction began in 1896 and was completed in 1897. The library was designed by the firm Morris and Walker, of New York City, and was built by Alexander Carman, of Binghamton. The library first opened on January 29, 1899.
For more information about our library, please see our local history page.