Parlin-Ingersoll Public Library

205 West Chestnut
Canton, IL 61520

Public library service for Canton, Illinois was initiated in 1892 thanks to the beneficence of William Parlin, Sr., inventor and founder of the P&O Works, a plow factory that was later sold to International Harvester. Parlin bequeathed $8,000 for the construction of the Parlin Public Library, as it was initially called, in his will, under the stipulation that the City of Canton would contribute a sum of $5,000. Two short-lived controversies ensued, which involved: 1.) The level of tax mill to be levied; and 2.) An initial stipulation from the three Parlin heirs (William H. Parlin, Jr., Clara Parlin and Alice (Parlin) Ingersoll). According the Canton Daily Register, the initial stipulation stated "in the event of the city failing to keep said building in good order and repair, and use same for public library and art building, then in that event the property is to revert back to us to the extent of said bequest." Once these two issues were clarified, the donation was accepted by the city, city taxes were levied to raise $5,000 and the library was completed in 1896.
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