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SCHEUBER, JENNIE SCOTT

SCHEUBER, JENNIE SCOTT (1860–1944). Jennie Scheuber, pioneer librarian and civic leader, daughter of Maurice and Louise (Imlar) Scott, was born near Plaquemine, Louisiana, on January 6, 1860. About 1873 the family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where the elder Scotts engaged in the hotel business. Jennie took part in amateur theatricals and served from 1877 to 1880 as secretary of the El Paso Literary and Music Society (named after a hotel in Fort Worth). She was married on November 17, 1881, to Charles Scheuber, a prominent local businessman; they had a son. In the late 1800s Jennie Scheuber renewed her involvement in the public affairs of Fort Worth. She became a charter member of the Woman's Wednesday Club in 1889 and served as vice president of the Associated Charities from 1890 to 1895. In 1892 she helped found the Fort Worth Public Library Association, a group that sought to establish a "public library and art gallery" for the city. As its vice president, Mrs. Scheuber was a leader of the FWPLA in its efforts until the death of her husband in March 1895. In late summer of 1895 she moved with her son to Massachusetts, where she worked in a bookstore and a public library to further her practical knowledge of the book trade and library management. A $50,000 Carnegie grant to the FWPLA in July 1899 enabled the group to realize its plans, and when the Fort Worth Carnegie Public Library opened in October 1901, Jennie Scheuber, who had returned to Fort Worth, was the librarian. For the next thirty-seven years she ran the library with single-minded devotion, adding over the years children's, branch, and countywide library service. She was also an active member of the Fort Worth Art Association, a group of private citizens organized to promote the arts in Fort Worth. This group, many of whose members also belonged to the FWPLA, established the Fort Worth Museum of Art (see MODERN ART MUSEUM OF FORT WORTH), which was housed in the library under Mrs. Scheuber's directorship from 1910 to 1937. In spite of the pressure of her library duties, Jennie Scheuber found time to serve as president of the Texas Library Association for two terms (1907–08), and as vice president of the American Federation of Arts (1911–17).

She successfully countered Mayor William Davis's attempts to reduce library funding in 1910 and 1920, and she steered the library through the financial problems of the early years of the Great Depression. But in 1937 she found herself at odds with the library board over issues relating to a proposed new library building and the location of the art museum. The library board judged the seventy-eight-year-old librarian to be out of step with modern library administration and ordered her to retire in March 1938. Mrs. Scheuber was active in the movement for women's suffrage and was a member of the Fort Worth Equal Suffrage Association. Once enfranchised, she joined the League of Women Voters of Texas, became a Democrat, and served as a delegate to the state Democratic conventions of 1918 and 1920. After her retirement from library service, she continued to serve as chairman of the board of the Fort Worth Children's Hospital, an institution she had helped establish in 1919. She held this post until a few months before her death in Fort Worth on May 2, 1944. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Fort Worth. She was an Episcopalian.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Buckley B. Paddock, History of Texas: Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest Edition (4 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1922). Robert Noel Taylor, Jennie Scott Scheuber: An Approach to Librarianship (M.L.S. thesis, University of Texas, 1968). Who's Who in Library Service, 1933.

Robert Noel Taylor

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Robert Noel Taylor, "SCHEUBER, JENNIE SCOTT," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsc39), accessed July 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.