Before the town of Bremen had a proper library (which was established in the town hall in the 1920s before a proper library building was built in the 1950s), it had the People’s Circulating Library, run by the Koontz brothers, Frank and Charles, who also ran a drug store and who would, in 1899, establish a telephone system in Bremen.

Koontz library books - 1897
Koontz library books – 1897

The books mentioned here were popular novels of the time, some romances and some boy’s adventure.

Sant’Ilario, by F Marion Crawford (1888)
The sequel to Crawford’s popular Saracinesca, a romance between Italian aristocrats in the 1860s.

Lorna Doone, by Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1869)
A romance based on a group of historical characters and set in late 17th century England.

Dan the Newsboy, by Horatio Alger (1893)
A poor-boy-makes-good juvenile fiction story of a New York lad who makes his way up in the world thru a combination of pluck and, in typical Horatio Alger fashion, a great deal of luck.

The Second Wife, by Eugenie Marlitt (1874)
A romance by popular German author about upper class intrigues, attempted murder, and visitors from India.

Silence of Dean Maitland, by Maxwell Gray (1886)
A tale of intrigue in which an ambitious clergyman on the Isle of Wight accidentally kills the father of a young woman he has made pregnant, and another man gets the blame.

Walford, by Ellen Warner Olney Kirk (1890)
A romantic novel about a noble heroine married to the wrong man.

Imaginative Man, by Robert Smythe Hichens (1895)
Thrilling tale of a cynical man who gives in to morbid impulses and becomes a maniac.

Frank Fowler, the Cash Boy, by Horatio Alger (1887)
Another boy’s adventure story in the Alger idiom, this time featuring a boy who discovers, upon being orphaned, that he was adopted and must make his own way in the world.