Historical Marker #1369 in Franklin notes the Goodnight Memorial Library’s founding and long service to the community.
One never knows how many lives may be impacted through charitable giving, but almost always, good comes from giving. Such was the case when Ella Hoy Goodnight’s bequest was combined with funds and labor provided by the Works Progress Administration to construct Goodnight Memorial Library in Franklin in 1936-37.
Ella Hoy was raised in Franklin. She graduated from the Franklin Female Academy in 1874 and promptly married Isaac Herschel Goodnight, a Franklin lawyer at the time. Shortly after marriage, Isaac Goodnight, turned to politics and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives for one term. In 1888, Goodnight was elected to the US House of Representatives and served two terms. Goodnight returned to Kentucky in 1894 to resume his law practice and served a circuit judge. He died on July 24, 1901.
After losing her only son in shooting accident in 1913, Ella Goodnight wished to honor the family name in a suitable manner. She envisioned a full service library that would serve Franklin and Simpson County. Although she died in 1935, and thus did not live to see the building completed, her legacy has impacted the lives of many of the county’s citizens.
Today, Goodnight Memorial Library still proudly operates in Franklin, promoting literacy and providing facilities that foster creativity and learning.