Robert Lee Williams Public Library

Robert Lee Williams Public Library

Durant’s first public library was in a frame house located on the corner of Beech and Fourth Avenue. Named in honor of Judge Robert Williams, former governor of Oklahoma, the library was formally opened March 31, 1927. A bond issue was passed in 1936 to construct a new library. Plans were drawn by Jewell Hicks. The new building was constructed of reinforced concrete and native stone with all the labor provided by the WPA. Native stone was quarried north of Mead and faced to make the outside walls smooth. The City of Durant was to provide $10,450 with the federal government providing the remainder of the $35,000.  Work started in April 1936 and was not completed until May of 1937. Over one thousand people attended the dedication on July 11, 1937.

Over the years the library building was expanded to the east and south, but more room was needed, leading to the construction of the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center and Library at 1515 W. Main Street in 2011. The Robert Lee Williams building was deeded to Bryan County and was renovated to house county offices including county treasurer, tax assessor, county clerk, and county commissioners’ offices.

Durant-Home of Robert Lee Williams, one of Oklahoma's foremost citiens.  Member Constitutional Convention; Chief Justice State Supreme Court; and Governor, 1915-19.  Later, was Judge on U.S. District Court, 10th Circuit at time of death, 1948.  Was President of Oklahoma Historical Society since 1938.
Historical Marker for the Home of Robert Lee Williams