Ahern, Mary Eileen

Mary Eileen Ahern

Mary Eileen Ahern, a State Librarian of Indiana, was a lady thoroughly equipped by intimate knowledge of books for the care of the library. To the requisites of ability she added those of temperament and all patrons of the library will agree in acknowledging her painstaking and uniform consideration and courtesy in rendering assistance to those pursuing any particular branch of inquiry. This lady removed with her parents to Spencer in 1870 and there she attended the public schools, graduating from High School in May 1878. In October 1878, when but seventeen years of age, she was teaching school at Bloomfield and was thus engaged for two years, meeting with success in that capacity. Returning to Spencer she taught in the high schools of city for four years and in the fall of 1884 she removed to Pern, IN, where she made her home until the spring of 1889. On the 1st of April of that year she became assistant librarian and on January 23, 1893 she was elected by the Legislature as State librarian which role she filled in a very able manner. Possessed of rare culture and attainments, Ahern discharges her duties with highly commendable zeal and ability. Of the three born to her parents Miss Ahern is second in order of birth. Her parents were of Ireland; her mother was an O'Neill of County Clare, a very noted family of that county, and she was a lady possessed of great force of character and remarkable ability. She died when Miss Ahern was but twelve years of age. The father Ahern was a native of County Cork, and like many of his native countrymen his dream was for liberty and the right to cope with his fellow men. As a consequence, he emigrated to the United States in 1852 and two years later came to Indianapolis where he was married. He was later a resident of Spencer and is a man possessed of many qualities of mind and heart. The children born to this estimable couple are named as follows: Johanna, wife of W. S. Johnson, county clerk of Owen County; Mary E., and James. Mary was a delegate to the National Library Association, held at San Francisco in 1891, and was secretary of the library section of the National Library Association. She was the founder and secretary of the Library of Indiana of, and was secretary of the high school section of the State Teachers Association for two years.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers, 1893. "Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Indianapolis and Marion County, IN"