Glimpse of the Past: 22 Jan 2015
Hillsboro Library Building Marks Centennial
Glimpse of the Past, The Hillsboro Reporter, Thursday, January 22, 2015, Page 4B
The Hillsboro City Library at 118 South Waco Street is one of the historic architectural gems in the City of Hillsboro. The building opened as the new United States Post Office in 1915, and served the community until declared surplus after the new postal facility was constructed in 1967 at 100 West Franklin Street. The building was designed by architect James Knox Taylor of the Treasury Department and E. C. Heard was the structural engineer. Plans for the new post office were developed in the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.
The building was modeled after the Foundling Hospital for Children in Florence, Italy, constructed in 1419 by Italian architect Brunelleschi. The Hillsboro City Library contains 12,382 square feet in rectangular shape with a hipped tile roof. The front facade faces east and has five arches that emphasize the recessed entrances and windows. The cornerstone for the building was laid in January, 1914, and with no public ceremony the post office opened for business on January 13, 1915.
On February 14, 1968 the Federal Government presented the deed to the building to the City of Hillsboro, and on February 14, 1971 the old post office building was dedicated as the new Hillsboro City Library. The building is a Texas Recorded Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A City ofHillsboro state historical marker stands in front of the building.
Hillsborough was established in September, 1853, and the first post office was opened on August 2, 1854 with Cincinnatus Ney Brooks serving as the first Postmaster. Brooks was a key player in the creation of Hill County, and served as the first County Clerk and District Clerk and Justice of the Peace. The first building constructed in Hillsborough was a frame building on the SW corner of Waco and Elm Streets, later to be the site of the Sturgis and Citizens National Banks. By 1885 the post office operated from Herman Eastland's stationery/book store at 110 South Waco, and in the 1890's was on the NW corner of Waco and Franklin Streets. The spelling changed to Hillsboro on July 25, 1888 when James G. Buck was postmaster by appointment of President Grover Cleveland.
In the early 20th century the Hillsboro Post Office was located in the Wear Building on the NE corner of Franklin and Covington Streets (current Eastland Title). John Jasper Cypert served as postmaster at that location (served under Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft) and was in office at the time the new post office on South Waco Street opened in January, 1915. On March 13, 1915 President Woodrow Wilson named William A. Fields as the new Hillsboro Postmaster.
For additional information contact Will Lowrance at [redacted]. Membership in the Hillsboro Heritage League is open to the public and dues are $20 for individual and $25 for family. Student membership is $5. Dues are payable to HHL, P.O. Box 2, Hillsboro, TX