The Lawson Community and School Library is dedicated in memory of Helen Risley Williamson on November 8, 1992...
A dedication plaque, with the following engraving, proudly hangs in the Library:
Mrs. Williamson wanted the City of Lawson to have a new community library. A $200,000 bequeathment from the Helen Risley and T.D. Williamson Estate was dedicated to this purpose.
Working with the Lawson City Council, estate executor Stephen Nolker concluded an agreement with the Lawson R-XIV Board of Education to incorporate the community library into the school library. The result of the collaborative effort is a facility which is larger and more serviceable to students and community.
Special thanks to the 1990-91 Lawson Board of Alderman: Stephen Nolker, J.D. Shores, Larenda Dravenstott and George Green; Mayor Gerri Anderson; City Manager John Tracy; and members of the 1990-91 Lawson Board of Education: Larry Kanning, Forrest Bertoldie, David Lewis, Paul Tipton, Dennis Smithmier and Mike VanWinkle. Special recognition to this group, without their wisdom, cooperative nature and foresight, none of this would be possible.
Most particularly, thanks to the generosity and vision of Helen Risley Williamson to whom this facility is appropriately dedicated.
Steve L. Sellers
(former) Superintendent of Schools
Helen Risley Williamson 1902-1991 Thomas Dudley Williamson 1899-1960
Other community members were instrumental with their contributions to our Library...
An additional dedication plaque, with the following engraving, proudly hangs in the Library:
J.S. Smith was a lifelong resident of Ray County and Lawson, Missouri. Mr. Smith was a successful farmer businessman and land developer. In addition, he was very influential in bringing new farming techniques to this area. Mr. Smith used his knowledge of farming and animal husbandry to help many area farmers improve their crop and stock production rates.
Mr. Smith was also a visionary, and recognized a need in Lawson, Missouri for a nursing home, land for that purpose was set aside. Mr. Smith's dream of a nursing home became a reality in 1977. Over the next fifteen years, the Lawson Nursing Home was operated under a lease agreement. In 1992, that changed. According to the details of the agreement Mr. Smith had worked out prior to the donation of the land, once the land was sold, the Lawson Nursing Home Association, under the direction of the current Board of Directors, would receive $45,000. The money was to be used for projects to benefit the community of Lawson, Missouri.
In November of 1992, the Lawson Nursing Home Board of Directors met to decide how the money would be allocated. After much deliberation and thought, the directors voted a sum of $30,000 to the new Lawson Community/School Library for the purchase of books, periodicals, resource materials and equipment. On December 3, 1992, President of the Nursing Home Board of Directors, Mary VanWinkle and Board Member Jytte Klarland presented a check for the amount to Superintendent of Schools Steve Sellers and Board of Education President, Dr. Larry Kanning.
Mr. J.S. Smith and his wife Mabel were both very interested in the Lawson community. They both spent their entire lives in this area, and while they did not live to see the new Lawson Community/School Library, the $30,000 was given in their memory and honor. Recognition is given not only to J.S. and Mabel Smith, but to all of those who have served over the years on the Lawson Nursing Home Board. Particular recognition to Board President Mary VanWinkle and members: Jytte Klarland, Kenneth Dossette, Barbara Hill, Helen Monroe, Carolyn Robinson, Bob Knutter, Nick Sloop, and Fern Nolker for their insight in providing the new library with such a generous donation.
Mabel Smith 1884-1976 James S. Smith 1891-1980