Anna Ruth Slade Meyer: The Mother of Monroe’s Public Library System

The above painting hangs in the Anna Meyer branch of the Ouachita Parish Public Library. It was created from an actual photo of Anna currently housed in the Library’s collection. Anna was a philanthropist whose legacy still impacts today.

Anna grew up as an orphan. She found employment as a maid in one of the local Monroe homes. She met and fell in love with Herman Meyer, one of the wealthy Monroe businessmen who co-owned Meyer Brothers store. Anna converted to Judaism and the lovely couple were wed. They were blessed with no children of their own. When Anna died as a widow, she left behind many bequests for the benefit of Monroe. One of them was her home on Jackson street. She requested that it be used as a new facility for the fledgling Monroe Public Library. She also left behind some money for the upkeep of the home. For many years, the home on Jackson street was a welcome place for all to come in and find the knowledge they sought. When the new main branch was built on 18th street in the 1950’s, the new building that had been built on the site of the old home was renamed the Anna Meyer branch. The Jackson street site became unfeasible, and a new building was built on Hwy 165 South. It is now known as the Anna Meyer branch.

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