Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2

Emilius Oviatt Randall

Emilius Oviatt Randall.              97






It is not without emotion that I approach the subject, "Mr.

Randall and the Library." The intimacy of my relations with

Mr. Randall during the thirty-five years he served as Trustee of

the Public Library, was such that the personal note cannot be

excluded. However, a Johnson can well afford to have a Bos-

well. The estimate of Mr. Randall as a factor of the Library

does not suffer, even though written by a librarian who was

devotedly attached to him.


"And so I trust, tho' I perchance may strike Love's chord with clumsy


You'll feel the melody I tried to play- you'll understand."


To E. O. Randall the Library was more than a trust. He

regarded it as an object of love to be affectionately cared for.

And through all the years that he was one of its Trustees, he

lavished upon it the best of his time and thought. To one who

knows the relation of Mr. Randall to the Library, there cannot

but occur the inscription that adorns the north transept of St.

Paul's over the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren, builder of that

famous edifice, "Si monumentum     requiris circumspice"-

"Reader, if thou ask for a monument, look around thee!" If

any one wishes to see the most enduring monument of E. O.

Randall, he need but look at the Library. It is his building, for

it was largely through his influence that it was made possible. It

is his spirit that constitutes the most precious treasure house


Mr. Randall's love of books flowed largely from his love of

humanity. To him, knowledge was not a spade to dig with, nor

a crown wherewith to adorn oneself, but power-power over

the forces of darkness and its attendant evils and sorrows. He

wanted every one to have a chance to better his lot and improve

his life, and that chance he saw in the Library where all the

people might drink at the fountain head of knowledge. He had

a Herculean task before him. He had to educate the city gov-

Vol. XXIX- 7.