The Heintzelman Library

Heintzelman Home

On "West" Point.

Our Stories

Captain and Mrs.  Charles Stewart Heintzelman

and the Heintzelman Library

By Colleen R. Murtagh,   Town of Horicon Historian

    Although much is recorded about the Heintzelman library and the place the library holds in the heart of the village of the town, not a lot is known about Mrs. Emily Heintzelman and her husband, after whom the library is named.

    Captain Heintzelman was a graduate of West Point and served in the Civil War.  At the age of 35 he died in 1881 in Washington of tuberculosis.  He was a graduate of West Point, like his father before him.  Samuel  Heintzelman was a graduate of West Point and served as a US Army General through many wars, with the World War II Liberty ship SS Samuel Heitzelman, launched Sept. 30, 1942 named in his honor.

    Before the winter of 1899, Mrs. Emily Heintzelman was visiting Brant Lake.  As no connection can be found, it assumed that she was visiting with friends. According to Pat Greenwalt, as Mrs. Heintzelman was taking a boat trip around Brant Lake she inquired as to the name of the point on what is now Brant Lake Estates and was so enchanted to hear that it was “West Point”, being property owned by The Rev. John West, that she decided she wished to purchase it.   By February of 1899 she owned the property.  William Oliver was building the large stone home by October of that year and it was to be named “The Whims”.  Apparently, Mrs. Heintzelman was a dog lover and also built a building to hold her eight dogs.  By May of 1900 the house was nearly complete.  In August of 1901 Mrs. Heinzelman’s dog, Lux was taken ill and died.  She renamed her home Lux Holm after him

    By August of 1901 an addition was built on her home by A.E. Durkee, a local contractor. She hired Captain Austin Ross from the head of the lake to do occasional work   In the summer of 1902  she donated 150 books for the library and began making plans for a library in town.  Her love for the area and the residents here was shown by hiring a music teacher and organist to teach the area children.  In July of that year she held  a party at her home for  40 local children.    A week later, she suffered appendicitis and died.  The funeral service was preached in her home.  She was survived by one son, who was also in the army, and was buried in Arlington beside her husband.

    The town’s people continued Emily Heinzelman’s cause. She left another 175 books and money to the libray.   By 1903 a library was set up in OH Perkin’s home, on the site of the present-day town hall and library.  In the summer of 1905 a fair was held at the Palisades Hotel, raising $250 for the library.  By that fall books purchased with the money procured by generous subscriptions of different individuals, efforts of summer guests and local families had arrived.  Books were being shipped from New York from guests of the Palisades Hotel as well.  Scott and Laura Barton deeded the Library trustees  the land for the building with the stipulation that this building remain a library.

    Fundraising continued over the next several years.  A Library Association was formed. Picnics were held at Lux Holm, food sales were organized, supper and dance benefits were held, the Chester Dramatic Club came to town and gave a benefit performance and the Home Bureau held dinners. By November of 1906 “Old” John Bennett was building the library on the side of the Mill Pond.  It was reported that “it looked as though it would last” with a veneer of small stone. The library opened its doors in 1907.  For 25 ytears funds were raised yearly to keep the library running and then the Town of Horicon took over support of the library.

    As town historian whenever I go to this building to work, I think of Mrs. Heintzelman and the town’s people that created this wonderful place although  I am thrilled at the fact that we now enjoy it as a Historical Library and our current library is a much larger, handicapped facility. I love the story behind this building and would love to find out more about the insightful woman that it is named after.Type your paragraph here.