Rebecca Eaton was born on December 16, 1826, in Windham, Vermont. She married David Eaton in1845, and together they had eight children. In 1871, the family moved to Eaton, Colorado, where David Eaton was one of the town's founders and served as its first mayor. He was also a strong supporter of education and donated land for the establishment of Eaton High School.
Rebecca Eaton was a well-respected member of the community and was known for her philanthropy. She was involved in many charitable organizations and was a member of the Congregational Church. Her kindness and compassion were highly valued by the people of Eaton.
In 1908, Rebecca Eaton founded the Eaton Public Library. The library was originally housed in a small room in the back of a local store but quickly outgrew the space. Rebecca Eaton donated land for the library and contributed $5000 towards the construction of the library building. The library officially opened on January 7, 1909, with Rebecca Eaton serving as its first librarian.
The Eaton Public Library was an important addition to the community, and Rebecca Eaton's contribution to its establishment was significant. The library continues to serve the community to this day and has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years. In 2009, the library celebrated its 100th anniversary, and a new addition was added to the building to accommodate the growing needs of the community.
Rebecca Eaton passed away on January 4, 1911, at the age of 84. Her legacy in Eaton, Colorado, extends beyond the library. She was a generous and active member of the community and made a significant contribution to the development of the town. The Eaton Public Library and Eaton High School are lasting testaments to the Eaton family's commitment to education and the betterment of the community.
In the spring of 1900, Mrs. Willis Eaton started a movement for the organization of Eaton Public Library. At that time a reading room was maintained by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union WCTU; however, Mrs. Eaton and other progressive women felt that it was time to organize a library for the benefit of town citizens, rather than the transients. The village Improvement Society came into being and started soliciting funds for the library. The library opened in July 1901, and during the first months it was located in several places. The first small, white, frame building was erected in 1904 on the corner of 2ndStreet and Maple Avenue, where the present library stands. It initially had 1000 books donated by the WTCU.
In 1910, as the town population increased, a larger library was needed, and Mrs. Rebecca Eaton proposed to build a new, modern brick library as a memorial to her husband, Benjamin Harrison Eaton. Her proposal provided that the library property be deeded to the Town of Eaton. The new library was built and opened its doors on December 11, 1911.
After World War II, the mood of the people changed, and a brighter future looked apparent, and prosperity was just ahead. The 50’s brought in a new era, the Eaton Library joined the Weld County Library System, now called the High Plains Library Many different librarians have served through the years, with Miss Edith Coffman serving the longest tenure, from 1907 until her death in 1960. Mrs. J. C. “Bessie” Carlson served on the library board of directors for 58 years. Many other good men and women, too numerous to mention here, have served either as librarians or on the board of directors.
Experience the transformed Eaton Public Library, twice remodeled in 1990 and 2015, boasting a spacious 13,000 square feet. With a collection of 30,000 items, state-of-the-art makerspace, computer lab, and public meeting rooms, we offer a dynamic space where knowledge meets innovation. Discover the latest bestsellers, embrace your inner maker, enhance your digital skills, and collaborate in our versatile meeting spaces. The Eaton Public Library is your gateway to a vibrant community of learning and creativity. Come explore today!