Have you ever wondered how our library got it’s name?
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting our namesake, Ella Johnson. Read on to learn more about this book-loving woman who was quite progressive for her time.
Ella May Farrell owned and operated one of the longest running businesses in Hampshire, supported herself, contributed to the town, controlled her legal/financial affairs and did it all in a time before women had the right to vote!
Born March 4th, 1860 in Dundee, Illinois she was the oldest of four children. In 1885 she moved off of the family farm and set up a Millinery Shop (she made hats) at 153 S. State St. in Hampshire.
Briefly married to Andrew Richard Johnson, she lived behind her shop and managed her own livelihood, before, and after, women got the right to vote in 1913. She continued to run her business until her passing in 1935.
Shortly thereafter, her sister Bertha endowed a library in honor of Ella who always had a book or two in the front window of her shop.