DEWITT MEMORIAL BUILDING HISTORY
In 1945, Mrs. Earl Pierson, assistance librarian, invited non-profit organizations in DeWitt Township to come together to discuss raising funds to build a combination library and community center on the West
Washington Street property donated by Mr. and Mrs. Rogerson. The groups formed a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, named the Memorial Association, to oversee the construction of the building and to maintain the building in future years.
Once completed, the building was dedicated to all veterans of all wars. A bronze plaque placed in the building by the DeWitt Blue Star Mothers reads: “Lovingly dedicated to the men and women who served in all branches of military service and to those who gave their lives to their country.” The plaque also lists the names of the eight local men who gave their lives in World War II.
The building was opened for partial use in 1947 for the second annual Ox Roast and was dedicated at the 1948 Ox Roast.
When the building was first built, the intent was to rent the east side to the Library with the west side being used by non-profit organizations and rented to locate residents and businesses for meetings and parties. While income for the operations of the building would be derived from the rentals, the revenue from the Ox Roast would be used for maintenance and repairs.
The DeWitt Memorial Building continues to be owned and managed by the DeWitt Memorial Association which is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of local business leaders and residents who volunteer their time and efforts.
This dedicated group of volunteers is diligently working on a plan to repair and update the building to encourage residents to once again utilize this historic building by using one of the three spaces available for meetings, parties, showers, and family gatherings.
The DMA’s volunteer Board of Directors is also responsible for the planning, implementation and operation of the annual Ox Roast.
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