The McKeough Local History Room is named for William McKeough (1824-1888), Mayor of Chatham in 1871 and founder of J & W McKeough in 1847, which later became McKeough Supply Inc.
William McKeough was a devoted member of the School Board. Shortly after his death, the Forest Street School was renamed the McKeough School. Until it closed in 2001, medals were given to children who achieved the highest academic standing in grades 5 through 8. After the school’s closure, medals (later watches) were awarded to those with the highest academic achievement in grades 9 through 12 at the Chatham-Kent Secondary School.
During this time, McKeough Supply Inc. and Darcy McKeough assisted in equipping the Local History room at the library in Chatham, which is furnished with the table formerly used by the Chatham City Council.
After 120 years, the awards for highest academic achievement were discontinued and a donation was made with the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation. Income from this donation goes toward the maintenance of the Local History Room named in William McKeough’s honour.
Local History Collection
Housed within the Local History Room is a comprehensive local history collection with a variety of resources that are only accessible within the library, including:
- Local newspapers on microfilm dating from 1841 to present, including an index of birth, marriage, and death announcements to approximately 1990
- Kent County Census records from 1851-1911
- Cemetery transcripts
- Chatham City Directories
- Black History Collection
- Books by and about the people of Chatham and area.
Ask for assistance from the Information Staff on the second floor of the Chatham branch.