Ruth Hughes Memorial Library
211 North Almont Avenue
The library in Imlay City was established by the Women’s Study Club at a meeting in October of 1921. Money for the project was raised by putting on three plays in the town’s opera house. All the work was donated along with a large number of books and furniture.The first library opened its doors in January 1923 at the town hall on the corner of Fourth and Almont Avenue with 450 books.
After a few moves, a new building was built at 213 East Third Street to include the library and the township office.
In 1989 a new library was built from a generous trust left by Ruth Hughes. Ruth E. Hughes was born in Imlay City on October 24, 1898. After graduating from Imlay City High School in 1916, she attended and received her first degree from what is now Eastern Michigan University. After teaching in a country school for a while, she attended and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1926. Ruth spent the rest of her career teaching fourth and fifth grade for Center Line Schools, retiring in 1962. Upon her death in March of 1985, her Trust was read:
All the remainder of the trust property I bequeath to the Library of Imlay Township for the building of an Imlay Township Library in the name of Ruth E. Hughes. Some $350,000 was given to construct a library building. That building, the Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library, was dedicated and opened on January 27, 1990.
Those who knew Ruth say she was a gentle lady who loved motivating children to read. She generously donated money to build a library in the city where she was born, where there had been no library when she was a child. Her wish was for future generations to benefit from such a place in their community.