Bertolet Memorial Library District

705 South Main Street
Leaf River, IL 61047

History :

The Bertolet Memorial Library has two histories to its existance, first the name Bertolet and then the Library named after the generous man whos name is very familar to everyone in the Leaf River area even today, that of Charles D. Bertolet. He was the son of Joel and Matilda (Reber) Bertolet, Mr. Bertolet's came from Berks County, PA. in 1859 to Ogle County, IL., where he married Matilda Reber May 16, 1861, they settled in a little village called Lightsville that was also developed by another PA. gentleman John Light. Joel Bertolet moved from Lightsville according to a letter from the desk of Charles D. Bertolet in 1954 around the year 1878, he built a general store there, the first building to exist in the young railroad town (was latter known as Leslie Kretsinger's Garage) the building was destroyed by fire in 1991. By 1881 Leaf River was in full swing. Charles D. Bertolet was born to Joel and Matilda Bertolet in Leaf River in 1871. He grew up in the area then went to college at Northwestern University in Evanston where he graduated, then after graduation he became employed by a firm in Chicago called "Lord and Thomas" who were involved in the early stages of advertising. His position there was to contract advertisers and soliciting new accounts.
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