There was absolutely no doubt that Ida Day (later, Ida Day Holzapfel) was a hard worker. When she was hired by the Hutchinson Public Library in Hutchinson, Kansas, she spent the next ten years dedicated to making some MAJOR changes. Among her accomplishments, she developed a new cataloging/classification system, introduced Sunday hours for the library, and was instrumental in making sure that everyone had access to books, especially World War 1 soldiers and shut-ins.
But, life goes on and in 1926 Ida left the library to attend the University of Kansas. She also got married and became Ida Day Holzapfel. However, the Hutchinson Public Library would eventually call her back. She started back in 1946 and helped oversee the library move out of the old Carnegie building and into it’s current location on Main Street. During this second tenure, she developed quite a reputation as being a very prim and proper librarian, having daily tea with staff at 3pm. She also developed the reputation of being so highly dedicated to the library that she could be difficult to work with at times. She definitely had her own ideas about how things at HER library should be ran, and would do what she needed to do to make sure things went the way she wanted.
Again, life would move on and Ida would step away from the Hutchinson Public Library. In 1953, she took a job as a reference librarian in Tulare County, California. A newspaper notice about her resignation included the following: “She plans to retain ownership of her home, and will eventually return to Hutchinson.”
|Ida Day Holzapfel
Unfortunately, the new job in Tulare County was never meant to be. Ida was involved in a car accident on her way to her first day on the job and passed away from her injuries. That quick line in the newspaper before she left, however, would be eerily prophetic.
It seems that Ida Day Holzapfel made good on her promise to return to Hutchinson, and to the Hutchinson Public Library system to which she dedicated so much of her life.
Paranormal activity at the Hutchinson Public Library was so common, that the local paper covered the story in 1975, and its been featured many times since in other articles, news stories, and websites on haunted locations. Even the official website for the Hutchinson Public Library
has a page dedicated to Ida and the hauntings!
Ida prefers to haunt the area around the basement. Staff and visitors have reported hearing disembodied footsteps in that area, as well as items that will occasionally go missing or seemingly move to different positions when no one is looking. In once incident, librarians Angeline Welch and Rose Hale were working in the basement. Hale had to run upstairs a moment, but when she returned, she heard Welch speaking to someone, and then heard footsteps walking away. When asked who she was talking to, Welch claimed that she hadn’t been talking to anyone—no one else was even down in the basement.
The next day, Hale had an even weirder experience when she saw a lady standing by the stairs, who then vanished into thin air. She didn’t recognize the woman, but when she described her to a colleague, it was apparent that Hale had seen Ida Day Holzapfel.
*Theresa’s Note: When I was researching the information for this blog, I perused the Hutchinson Public Library’s website and noticed that they were CLOSED ON SUNDAYS. I wonder what Mrs. Holzapfel would have to say about that!*
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