Willard Library

21 North 1st Avenue, Evansville, Indiana, USA – MAP


This, the oldest library in Evansville, was an idea seen to completion by Willard Carpenter. The library was finished in 1885, two full years after Willard died from a stroke. It was completed in his honour.

Willard Library, Evansville, Indiana, USA

Respect for the man by town council and local media didn’t extend to the public. After his death, local papers spoke of hatred towards Willard in the man’s obituary, stating…

“No man in Evansville, living or dead, has had as many unpleasant things said of him…”

These enemies came from Willard’s many unethical business dealings.


One of the most active ghosts of the library is Willard’s daughter. Louise Carpenter was estranged from her wealthy father due to a fight so bad he removed her from his will. She returned to the library after death and became the legendary Gray Lady.

Legend states that until the library is turned over to the rightful family heirs, the Gray Lady will continue to appear.

A janitor was the first to see her in the 1940’s. Since then she’s been seen in the children and research rooms.