Matson Building in Princeton,Illinois

March  03, 2014

      The former library in Princeton, Illinois might one day become a research and history center. Last month, the owner of the Matson Public LIbrary Building gave it to the Bureau County Historical Society.

      Society president, Kathy Cartwright, says it was built in 1913 with a gift from local author and historian Nehemiah Matson. And it served as the town library until 2007 when the library moved elsewhere, and the building was sold at auction. 

      "It's been empty for the last six years, and been sort of sad and neglected, sitting there waiting for new life to be breated into it. And we're hoping we can do that.

      Cartwright says the Matson building is in pretty good shape, but will need new plumbing, electric, and other systems, plus an elevator. 

      "Our biggest consideration is to make the building accessible, and that will be costly. We know it will be a long slow process and we're just going to be patient and try to do a good job in deciding the best use for that building."

      The Bureau County Historical Society is now located across the street in Princeton, but she says it's run out of space for its records, pictures, and artifacts.