Born in Chillicothe in 1872, Burton Stevenson's life was devoted to the written word as a prolific author and anthologist, and as a librarian. Following stints as a journalist while a student at Princeton University and then at newspapers in Chillicothe, Stevenson became the librarian of the city's public library in 1899. He held the post for 58 years. Stevenson helped secure a Carnegie Library for Chillicothe, completed in 1906, and became prominent for his service during World War I. He founded a library at Camp Sherman (an army training camp north of the city), which became a model for others nationally.
Stevenson then went to Paris as the European director of the Library War Service. After the Armistice in 1918, he established the American Library in Paris and directed it until 1920 and again from 1925 - 1930. In addition to accomplishments as a librarian, he wrote or compiled more than 50 books, including The Mystery of the Boule Cabinet (1912), the Home Book of Quotations (1934), and many works for young people. Stevenson died in 1962. Stevenson Center, at Ohio University-Chillicothe, is named for him.