"When I was 14 [b.February 22, 1894], I went to work at the Childs Building, known
earlier as the Darby Building. At that time, the Crescent City News was published there. There was
a library and reading room, a billiard room a gymnasium, a dance hall, and lodge rooms under the
The news library and reading room was a pretty busy place. Anyone who subscribed to the
Crescent City News was a member of the gymnasium or a lodge member and could take out books from the
news library. And any number of people came into the reading room for the latest news in town.
This reading room contained six tables about 16 feet long that contained daily and weekly
papers from all over the state, and a large assortment of magazines. The three big dailies were the
San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Call. Nearer home were
the Humboldt Times, Standard and the Eureka Herald. The weeklies were nearly all exchanges. Some
of the magazines were Scientific American, Literary Digest, Cosmopolitan, Hearsts, Saturday Evening
Post, Popular Mechanics, McClures and many others.
One of my chores was to keep the reading room in order and to serve as part-time librarian.
I had to open all magazines and papers when they arrived and put them in their proper places, and to
discard papers that had been read to make room for later issues. I also had to put the papers in
order at the end of the day when the readers were through with their quest for information.
We didn't have radio or TV then, and this center was the Mecca for a lot of people who wanted
to know what was going on in the world." (pp 145-146)