Edward F. Endicott Mini-Biography
Edward F. Endicott, a former practicing attorney, was the first person in Missouri to run a library for the blind. Endicott, who was blind himself, became the head of the Department for the Blind of the St. Louis Public Library upon its creation in 1924. Within his first nine months on the job, Endicott increased the circulation of braille books by 2,500 percent. Endicott became successful in his new role because he understood the importance of access to braille books.
Endicott did much to encourage readers. When people wrote him for material, he responded back in the same writing format, whether in braille or with a typewriter. He even wrote to individuals he learned faced blindness to let them know about the service. Endicott also personally visited many of St. Louis’ blind residents in an effort to promote the services and connected those who wanted to learn braille with the Missouri Commission for the Blind, which would provide an in-home teacher.
Endicott would go on to serve on the board of the Henry L. Wolfner Memorial Association. When the Henry L. Wolfner Memorial Library opened, Endicott served as the supervisor of the reading room. In that role, Endicott ensured that accessible books were available in house, and with the help of librarian Martha Stark, saw to it that books were mailed to patrons throughout the region.