Mary U. Rothrock

Knox County Library Pioneer

Mary Utopia Rothrock became the head of Lawson McGhee Library in 1916.  During her tenure she directed the creation of the library branch system, which greatly extended service throughout the region.  She was instrumental in establishing the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at the library.

Rothrock supervised the Tennessee Valley Authority libraries from 1934 to 1948, receiving the Joseph W. Lippincott Award for her efforts.  She wrote and edited historical articles about East Tennessee.

Born in Trenton, Tennessee in 1890, Rothrock attended Vanderbilt University and the New York State Library School.  She received an honorary doctor of letters degree in 1948 from the University of Chattanooga.

Mary Utopia Rothrock was named a Pillar of Support by Mrs. Joseph W. Sullivan, Jr.