Woman bequeaths house and land to Jennings Carnegie Library

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's probably not often that someone receives an inheritance they never expected. Well it's happened, this time to the Jennings Carnegie public library.

She was a mother of five children who loved books and had a passion for learning so when you stop to think about it, it makes sense that Mrs. Ethel Bowman would bequeath her house and land to the Jennings Carnegie Public Library right next door. Library Board President Dana Williams.  "Ethel was a force of nature that's how I would describe her. She had a sparkling wit and intellect, just always very lively, very involved in the community and in the church, civic organizations, just someone who had a love of learning and a love of conversation."

Still the gift caught library board members by surprise says president Dana Williams. "She was obviously always a lover of the library and a lover of books, but to stop and think about making such a donation was just really incredible to us."

Ethel Bowman's generous spirit is reflected not only in her gift to the library but in her decision not to try to tell the officials how best to use the house and land. "We've been really gratified in that all of her children indicated as did Ms. Ethel that they had no preconceived notions about how we would use the space. They just wanted us to use it to benefit the library and its patrons."

Library Director Harriet Schultz, "I know she was worried, always worried that we were land locked and we needed more parking space and she wanted to make sure we had the ability to do that. She died at the age of eighty six."

We'll let you know when the library board members decide what they will do with Ms. Ethel Bowman's house and land.

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