Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hiram E. Deats (1870-1963) of New Jersey Revisited

I have written two previous posts about Hiram E. Deats (click HERE and HERE), but a recent addition to my postal librariana collection (shown above) has prompted me to write another. The reason I am so interested in Deats is that he played a prominent role in both the library world and the philatelic world, two of my passions. Deats was a true "Renaissance man". A farmer by vocation, he was a prolific collector of stamps, coins, bookplates, and books. He held key offices in national organizations that promoted these collecting interests. His interest in libraries led him to become the first president of the Flemington (NJ) Library Association, a predecessor to the Flemington Free Public Library. The postal card above is addressed to Deats at the Flemington Library Association. The postal card which was mailed on March 6, 1905 is an acknowledgement for his payment to The Publishers' Weekly for subscriptions (including Library Journal) for himself and for Elizabeth Van Liew, the first librarian of the Flemington Library Association. It was good that Deats paid for Liew's $2 subscription to Library Journal since she only received $1 per week as salary. Deats served as President of the New Jersey Library Association in 1909-1910. He donated the land for the first Flemington Free Public Library building. The Hiram E. Deats Reference Library, a genealogical library, in Doric House in Flemington, NJ is named for him. I also have a page on the Library History Buff website with more information about Deats.

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