Envisioned by Dr. Charles Ray King, physician, farmer, and grandson of Constitution signer Rufus King, King Library was designed to be a place where the surrounding community could gain access to King’s private collection of books. Modeled after the John Quincy Adams Library in Massachusetts, construction began on the gothic style building in 1882. In 1888, the library opened its grand red doors as the first public library in Bensalem, Pa.
After King’s death in 1901, the library continued to expand to accommodate the community. In 1914, Nancy King, Dr. King’s wife, added the King Hall to the rear of the building. Since its completion, King Hall has served as a social meeting place and has hosted events such as theater productions, musicals, weddings, school recitals, community meetings, and elections.
Dr. King’s vision of a community building where adults and children alike could learn and participate in social activities is still with us today. Though in need of restoration, the magnificent building is alive with King’s spirit and will continue to serve Andalusia, Bensalem, and Bucks County in the coming years.
King Library 1915