In the will of Fred G. Frothingham, who died in Boston in 1896, $2,000 was given to the town of Paullina to be used for the construction of a library. (He had come to Paullina in 1881) The town accepted the money in 1897. It was not until 1907 that nine trustees were appointed to look into the possibility of a library building. The citizens of Paullina, after favorably voting to purchase a lot for the building, made donations of over $2,800. Five hundred dollars was used for the purchase of books and the remainder went to the construction of the building.
The Frothingham Free Public Library was dedicated on March 5, 1908 with Governor Albert B. Cummins giving the Dedicatory address. The building was a combination library and gymnasium. The gymnasium was the scene of all community and school athletic events with seating for six hundred people.
The Frothingham Free Public Library served the community for many years. There was some extensive remodeling done in 1962. It was not until 1963 that the Board of Trustees met monthly. Prior to that time, meetings were called as needed. In January 1969, the Board of Trustees was reduced from nine members to seven members.
On September 30, 1972, the trustees of Grace Methodist Church of Paullina signed a proposal giving the land lot and $5,000 to the city of Paullina for a new library building, on condition that it be accepted before January 1, 1975. Later an additional $3,000 was given.
Construction on the library began in 1974 and was completed in 1975. The name of the library was changed to the Paullina Public Library when construction began.
Some of the library materials were moved to the new building by the library staff and others during the month of September. On September 27, about 1000 library books were moved from the old building to the new library, one block East, by a "Living Line" of approximately 150 men, women, and children from the community. The Paullina Pubic Library was dedicated on October 10, 1975 with Governor Robert D. Ray giving the Dedicatory address.
Interested in more history? Check out the Iowa Historical Society.