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Through old newspaper articles notes and documents saved over the years, you can catch a glimpse at the beginning of the Shepherd Public Library. Started in 1963 as the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library, we have Mrs. Bessie Tisinger to thank for her vision, a vision of having an established library for the people of Shepherd. From a small library, started in the back rooms of Mrs. Bessie's home, to the City's adoption of the library and its subsequent name change to Shepherd Public Library, to today's technology of an automated library complete with public access computers - our library has grown into something we can all be proud of.

Take time to read these articles and discover where it all began!

The Shepherd Public Library began in the early 1960's in the home of Bessie and Roland Tisinger (pronunciation: Tie-singer). The Tisingers housed the library collection in the back of their home and eventually purchased a metal building behind the house to move the growing number of books into. In the 1980's, the library became a department of the City of Shepherd. The Friends of the Library were instrumental in buying the old McClain's store and renovating it to become our present library, at which time the name was changed to Shepherd Public Library. From its conception to its present state, the Shepherd Public Library has gone far in fulfilling the dreams of a woman and a community. A History of the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library Historical Items from Past Newspapers

A History of the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library

(From conception of idea in Dec. 1962 to Open House, June 1963)

(This history was saved along with all the old articles and board minutes before the library became the Shepherd Public Library. There is nothing to tell us who authored the piece. The library was visited by Mrs. Tisinger's grandaughter, April Brahinsky, and on viewing the article she believed it to have been written by Mrs. Tisinger herself, based on the handwritten corrections that were on the article. We reprint it here for you with pride and affection.)

In September of 1958, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Tisinger purchased the "Old Dixon" home in Shepherd, Texas and named it "Orchard House", with the hope that it would be fruitful in it's blessings for family and friends.

The Roland Tisinger Memorial Library had it's beginning in December, 1962, during the Christmas season, a year and a half after the passing of Mr. Tisinger. It is an appropriate testimonial to his life, for he was a gentle man, who loved children, who loved books, who loved wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

One of the truths that Mr. and Mrs. Tisinger had always lived and taught their daughters was the beauty and joy of giving and sharing. It was natural then, that the darkness of loneliness which followed the passing of her husband was pierced for Mrs. Tisinger by the illumination of an idea of giving and sharing. The angel thought of establishing a memorial library in Orchard House for the use of the Community of Shepherd, came to one of her daughters, and when presented to Mrs. Tisinger, was eagerly and gratefully received.

The birth of the library was made possible through the enthusiasm, energy, and prayerful devotion of Mrs. Tisinger, who bore the initial expense and responsibility, and who from the conception of the idea worked selflessly for the correct and harmonious unfoldment of the idea.

Through the help and encouragement of another daughter, and son-in-law, the library was begun on a correct basis. Established libraries were visited, experienced librarians were consulted, books on proper procedure were studied.

The library idea was early shared with three Shepherd friends, whom Mrs. Tisinger felt would be interested in the project; Mrs. Evilee Diamond, Mrs. Earline Jones, and Mr. Jimmy Carrier. Soon others in the community knew of the project and were interested. The interest was keen, because Shepherd had previously had the use of a book mobile, which served the community for only one year. Efforts to have this service continued were unsuccessful, but it had served to whet the reading appetite, and stimulate the desire for Shepherd to have it's own library.

Much credit should go to Mr. Jim Carrier. Through his heartfelt interest, careful planning, artistic ability, and desire to work with Mrs. Tisinger on the project, the "play room" at the back of Orchard House was transformed into a library. The shelves were built and arranged to gain a maximum of book space in the small area provided by the narrow room and side porch. The wisdom of his planning was confirmed when Mrs. Schultz, field representative of the State Library visited for the initial inspection. She had much praise for the construction as well as for the operation of the library.

The library was a community project, and through community interest and work, the project grew. Ladies of the community, high school girls, and elementary school children processed the books which had begun to pour in from many sources. No books were purchased, but on opening day, about 2000 books had been donated.

On May 23, 1963, books were checked out for the first time, and on June 30, six months after the inception of the idea, the official "Open House" was held. Thus, the idea of a library for Shepherd, supported by the shining example of family and community unity and devotion to a cause all considered worth while, has culminated in the establishment of the "Roland Tisinger Memorial Library".

Historical Items from Past Newspapers

A long awaited dream in Shepherd for a public library is about to come true.

A resident of Shepherd, Mrs. Roland Tisinger, who has been working on this project since Christmas announces that the library will open sometime in May.

Shepherd has been in need of a public library for a long time since there is no public library in San Jacinto County. The only libraries in the county are the school libraries. In the summer when children have more time on their hands, Mrs. Tisinger feels is when a library is really needed.

She has worked tirelessly and with much enthusiasm to get the library ready by the time school is out for the summer.

Mrs. Tisinger and the later Mr. Tisinger were former school teachers and since Mr. Tisinger spent much of his time working with children and books, it is Mrs. Tisinger's greatest desire to start the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library.

At present there are approximately 1,000 books in the library and Mrs. Tisinger would like for anyone having books they would like to give to bring them to her home or call her and she will have someone pick them up.

The library at present will be located in a room in her home, but she feels that as it grows, more space will be needed. As things progress, there will be a board of trustees chosen, also a Friends of Library club organized.

All persons interested in this worthwhile project are asked to join and work for the library. Many High School and Elementary students have been helping to get the library opened to the public and it looks like their efforts are paying off.

When open, the books will be free to all to enjoy, but will be run on a business like basis. If a book is overdue there will be a charge of 2 cents per day.

Remember, this is your library and help is needed for mending books, etc.

News from your Chamber of Commerce

Friday, May 31, 1963

Reports have it that the opening of the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library on last Friday was well received. The Shepherd Chamber of Commerce wishes to say "Thank You" to the family of Mr. Tisinger for such a worthy project and wish to urge the use of the bountiful knowledge and entertainment contained in the many books already in the shelves.


by Bill Dove

If you haven't already taken time to visit the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library, we strongly urge you to make plans to attend the Open House Sunday. You will have an opportunity to see the tremendous progress made. You will see the results of neighbors working together on a community project. This newspaper joins with Mrs. Tisinger and a lot more Shepherd people in hoping that this library, quartered in Mrs. Tisinger's home, will some day be a full-fledged library standing on its own. This library is really something of which we can all be proud. Make plans to be there Sunday and, as Mrs. Tisinger prefers, see YOUR library.


by Bill Dove

Mrs. Tisinger of the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library in Shepherd (the only public library in the County) has sent out a request for folks to save their old newspapers for her. The Library committee plans to save old newspapers, sell them and use the money toward the Library building fund. You know, old newspapers are worth money. No doubt there are several tons of old newspapers worth hundreds of dollars thrown away by residents of Shepherd each year.

You can help your community by saving these old newspapers for the library building fund. Mrs. Tisinger will tell us more later on how the papers will be picked up or where they can be delivered.

Library News

Helping this week at the Roland Tisinger Library was Sandra Carrier, April Abraham and Reggie Richmond. Theresa Thomas of Cleveland, niece of Cedric Cronin, gave the Library "Masters of Deceit" by J. Edgar Hoover in honor of Cedric Cronin's birthday. We think this was a wonderful birthday gift for Mr. Cronin. We think a book donated in someone's name makes a wonderful birthday gift, also would make a wonderful Christmas gift. If there is anyone on your Christmas shopping list that you just can't decide what to get for them, give a book to the library in their name.

To date the following amount of books have been donated to the Library by local people: W.C. Jones Family - 13; Sharon Jones - 9; Cynthia Johnson - 27; Mrs. Blanche Neill - 65; Royce Howard Family - 9; S.D. Oldham Family - 6; Mr. and Mrs. E.W.Lewis - 7; Mrs. Lucy McMurrey and Miss Marion McMurrey - 22; Donna Page - 6; David Page - 6; Robt. J. Buchanan Family - 5; Susan Marsh - 3; Judy Emanuel - 1; David Griswald - 10; Lawrence Finger - 30; Joe Marsh Family - 24; Evilie Diamond - 14; Zelda Mae Rowell - 4; Mrs. Harriet Manuel - 3; Bob McClain and Kirby Kelly Families - 144; J.D.Page Family - 5; Jenny Page - 1; Joan Page - 2; Brenda Olin - 13; Ragsdale Family - 2; Jim Carrier Family -50; Mr. Harry B. Sims - 2; Sharon Williams - 11; C.R. Cummings Family - 163; Ousler Family - 30; Brown Family - 4; Mr. and Mrs. Warren Griggs - 6. We apologize if we have left anyone out and ask that you please call it to our attention.

Shepherd Library News

Friday, May 8, 1964

At a recent meeting of Board of Trustees gratitude was expressed for the diligent work of members of Friends of Library Club and for the support given by folks in adjoining vicinities in effort put forth for the first money raising campaign, the object of which is to start a fund for a library building; no-one can deny that your library rates a modern building to house the many valuable books now in shelves and the ones yet to come - there are many who have expressed the intention of sending more books for you use in library. The need for a more spacious building for all to enjoy and use is necessary; Reading is the key to education and is such a rewarding past-time!!! It is vitally important that our young folks have access to a well-equipped library - No one can possibly doubt this. An invitation has been and is again being given to all who live in adjoining or near by vicinities to use Library; a special invitation is extended to girls and boys who wish to join the Summer Reading Club being sponsored by Texas State Library; the only requirement is that you have a properly filled out application card, signed by parent and that books be returned after two weeks, in good condition. If books are kept longer than two weeks a fine of 2c per day for each book is charged; this money is used to help defray incidental expenses of library.

On request for application cards will be sent to any teacher or other interested person so that they may be ready to use on first visit to library; we shall be happy to send requested number of cards, no charge!!! We are grateful for checks sent from former residents - some have been most generous. There is still time to mail check if you desire to contribute to this most worthy cause. Our Board of Trustees and Officers of Friends of Library Club are a group of consecrated men and women whose foremost thought and interest is for the betterment of all mankind who realize that the value of inspiration and uplifting thoughts that can be derived from good books and the atmosphere of a properly conducted Library is far greater than the material things purchased with money - so any amount contributed to support of library will bless all concerned. Your librarian is most grateful for capable assistants who are willing to keep library open during my absence and may I add my sincere thanks to each and every one who has so lovingly contributed in any way to the development of this Memorial library which will continue to bless many in the years to come.

Basic history - written by Mrs. Tisinger; Historical Items from Past Newspapers