The DeWitt Memorial Association is a non-profit organization created by a few individuals for the benefit of many.
It all began, October 16, 1945 when Mrs. Earl Pierson, Assistant Librarian issued a request to every organization in DeWitt Township to send two representatives to discuss the possibility of building a community building. A piece of property on West Washington Street had been donated by Mr. & Mrs. William Rogerson for the purpose of building a library. However, they were agreeable to the construction of a community building, provided a library was accommodated.
The first donation was a pledge of $1,000 given by Mr. and Mrs. Verne Walker. All the organizations agreed to raise money for this purpose. They formed a non-profit organization to erect and maintain a building; they named their group the “Memorial Association.”
A fundraiser was held in the spring of 1946, thus the first Ox Roast. It became an annual event to provide funds for the operation and maintenance of the building. Jack Lenneman and Don Reed were the principle chefs and became known as the “barbecue kings” of Central Michigan.
The original building incorporators were L.J. Griswold and J. B. Vincent, Leo Spayde, Leon Blizzard, Mildred Carris, Hazel Norris, Verne Walker and Mr. and Mrs. William Rogerson.
The building was opened for partial use just in time for the 1947 Ox Roast and was dedicated at the annual event in 1948.
A bronze plaque “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” was placed in the lobby of the library by the DeWitt Blue Star Mothers.
The plaque also lists the eight names of local boys who gave their lives in World War II.
In the beginning, this building was home to one of the most modern libraries in the state when compared to like size communities. However, overtime the library outgrew the space and moved to larger quarters.
The intent of the Community Building was to provide a place where people and groups could host meetings and social events. Over the years the building has fallen on hard times and lacks appeal it once held. However, the Board of Directors (a volunteer group of residents and business owners) are anxious to see this building restored to its original vibrance, so it can once again be utilized as intended.
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