Ida Day Holzapfel

Ida Day
Ida Day Holzapfel

1888 - Ida Miranda Day was born on April 20 in Colony, KS.

1916 - Ida Day was hired at Hutchinson Public Library, with a salary of $75 per month and two weeks paid vacation.  Until she left in 1926 to attend the University of Kansas, her work included developing a complete catalog & classification system, initiating reference help, mobilizing books for WWI soldiers, starting outreach to shut ins, and introducing Sunday hours. 
 
1946 - Returning to Hutchinson Public Library as Ida Day Holzapfel, she oversaw the library move from the Carnegie building to the present location at 901 N. Main in 1951. 

1953 - Ida resigned from Hutchinson Public Library.

The Ghost of HPL

Ida Day stairs

The October 31, 1975, issue of The Hutchinson News included a story of library workers who reported seeing and hearing a ghost in the library.  Supposedly, it was the ghost of Ida Day Holzapfel.  Ida Day was described as totally dedicated to her job.  Her dedication frequently made her difficult to work with, especially if fellow employees did not demonstrate the same dedication to the library that she did.  

Ida Day was considered a proper woman, who had tea with employees promptly at 3 p.m. every afternoon.  She resigned in 1953 and took a position as a reference librarian for Tulare County in Visalia, California.  She never filled that position.  She was killed in an auto accident on her first day of the job.

On one occasion, library employees Angeline Welch and Rose Hale were working in the basement.  Hale went upstairs and when she returned, she heard Welch talking to someone.  Welch denied she had said a word, but Hale heard footsteps leaving.

Hale said the next day she stopped below the stairs and saw a lady standing there.  Hale did not know the woman’s name, but when she later described the woman to another library employee, Hale was told she had just described Ida Day.  Since that time, other employees claimed to have heard footsteps in the basement, and it became a shared joke that whenever anything was misplaced or missing, Ida Day took it.

The feeling that Ida Day returned to watch over the library, and sometimes rebelled when she thought it was not being run correctly, was reinforced by the local paper.  In the News story, published when Ida Day resigned to take the job in California, the article stated, “She plans to retain ownership of her home, and will eventually return to Hutchinson….”