Rev. George Chaney Former President of Atlanta’s Young Men’s Library

Great Prosperity of the Institution—The Property Largely Enhanced in Value—
Who Will Be President?

The annual meeting of the Young Men’s Library occurs tonight, and the indications are that it will be a full one.

Besides the annual election of officers there will be many matters of interest.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Tue, May 13, 1890  Page 8
The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Tue, May 13, 1890 Page 8

The library is decidedly on the upgrade, and its affairs are in excellent condition. Recent handsome additions have put a comfortable surplus into the treasury, and the close of the year finds a comfortable cash balance on hand. During the past twelve months a floating debt of several hundred dollars has been paid, and about three hundred volumes of the best literary out-put of the year, with some renewals of standards, have added to the library. This has told handsomely on the circulation, and the reading of the past year has been so wide and comprehensive that the directors and the library committee feel greatly gratified.

The persevering efforts of the entertainment committee through the year in the direction of taking attractions that were at once interesting and instructive, have tended much to popularize the library and bring it into its old-time favor with the people of Atlanta. The improvement in the reading-room, giving it better light, has made it a more cheerful place. This is so much so that the effect is marked by the increase of casual readers, who drop in, perhaps, out of curiosity, become impressed with something on the shelves and get in the habit of going back and finally into a habit of regular and profitable reading.

The general growth and prosperity of Atlanta have also-told in favor of the library a few years ago a good deal was said about the location as a bar to the popularity of the institution, but very little is said about that now, because the directors feel that all objectionable surroundings will soon be washed away by the tide of improvement that is rolling over the city. Already large and handsome improvements have been begun in that vicinity. Immediately opposite the library building a handsome store goes up, and the almost vacant ground beside the library building cannot long remain without solid improvements when business houses are commanding such handsome rents.

The fact is the improvements are crowding down below Pryor street, and the library building is already vary desirable property. One of the directors remarked last night that it would probably bring $800 a foot without difficulty. That would make the seventy-five feet worth $60,000.

The library is fast getting to be a wealthy institution, and the weight of the $13,000 of bonds is becoming lighter and lighter.

By the way, it is likely that these bonds will be lifted next spring. A gentleman said SO to one of the directors the other day. “When the time comes,” said he, “you may put me down for $500 of it.”

The important business for tonight is the annual election of officers. The meeting will select a board of directors for the ensuing year.

A president, also, is to be chosen to succeed Dr. George L. Chaney, who now presides over the board. Prof. W. M. Slaton is the present vice-president, and it has been suggested by some that he would be the proper man for president. Besides being in line of promotion, his energetic ability has made him prominent in the library. It is said that Professor Slaton has brought in more new members than almost any man connected with the association. He has made himself felt on the board, and attention has naturally fallen upon him in connection with the office of president.

But there is no lack of good timber for the meeting to select from, and a good president is a certainty.

A feature of the meeting tonight will be a sort of reunion of ex-presidents. These gentlemen make a brilliant galaxy of business and professional men, and their presence will add interest to the proceedings.

A number of pithy, short speeches are expected. Among others, Captain Harry Jackson, Mr. J. H. Lumpkin, Judge Marshall J. Clarke, Judge Howard Van Epps, Captain George B. Forbes and Mr. Julius Brown have been booked for speeches.

There is no telling what an impetus will be given to the library by tonight’s meeting.

Let everybody come.