Iowa Carnegie Libraries, P - Z

Buildings of Spencer, IA

Part of the Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America site.

Probably I have more chutzpah than brains to put up my offerings, given these great pages that have beaten me to Iowa library history:

CLIP: Carnegie Libraries in Iowa Project
State Library of Iowa's list of Carnegie library construction dates.
Fairfield (Jefferson County) library was the first Carnegie library west of the Mississippi.

The non-Carnegie buildings are on a new page.
A-C is on another page. D-L is on a new page. This page was split off from M-O in October, 2009.

Pella (Carnegie Viersen Library)

Pella, IA library

1905 grant.
According to the card, built in 1907. Replaced in 2000; additions in 1957 and 1977. No one could argue the necessity.

Now used as City Hall storage.

KRUXO photo card with message and address, but never mailed.


Perry, IA Carnegie library (L) L.L. Cook photocard, probably from the 1940s.
(R) This rather abused card was mailed in 1910.
Perry, IA Carnegie library

The 1903 building houses a museum and special collections. The new library was built in 1993. Its architects were Brown, Healey, Stone and Sauer of Cedar Rapids.

Red Oak

Red Oak, IA library (L) Bedraggled card, probably a Curt Teich product.
(R) L.L. Cook photo card.
Red Oak, IA library

Late 1906 grant.
Beautiful Tudor-style building, still in use.

Rockwell City

Rockwell City, IA Carnegie Library

Built 1908. Ground was broken for the replacement library in 2007.
Pictures of the move are also on the library site, as are pictures of the new building, opened in 2008.

Good news, everybody! As of March 2010, Carnegie Antiques & Gifts occupies (occupied?) the Carnegie building.
A late 2014 search doesn't find any newer reference to this business, however.

This is the only colored RP in my Iowa collection. It bore a 1 cent stamp, but the postmark does not bear a year.

Sac City

Sac City, IA Carnegie library

1911 grant.
Replaced, and now used as a combo police station and Chamber of Commerce.

Card was mailed in 1952, but looks a lot older/cruder. However, the trees in front look mature enough that the card might have been contemporaneous.


Sanborn, IA library

Built in 1911; heavily remodeled in 1964, including a children's library.
Still in use.

Sterling Quality photocard by L.L. Cook is postmarked 1916. Interestingly, L.L. Cook was located in Lake Mills, Wisconsin at the time.


Sheldon, IA Carnegie library Sheldon, IA Carnegie library Sheldon, IA Carnegie library Sheldon, IA Carnegie library
L.L. Cook postcard (Milwaukee)
mailed in 1948.
Nice, sharp photo.
E.J. Brown card copyright 1909,
showing six people on the front steps.
AZO photo postcard,
probably older than the Cook card.
'Lithochrome' brand card.

Built 1906, replaced 1969. Currently in use as a museum, according to the State Library of Iowa site.


Shenandoah, IA Carnegie Library (L) RPPC, probably from the 1940s. The licence plate is not quite clear enough to read its date.
(R) I rather think Beckwith and Beauchamp overdid it with the red ink. Not an attractive card.
Shenandoah, IA Carnegie Library
Shenandoah, IA Carnegie Library (L) Photo postcard, never mailed.
(R) Black and White brand card.
Shenandoah, IA Carnegie Library

Built 1903, addition built 1950. It was supposed to have been replaced in 2004, but in 2010, the web site shows the old building, with plans for another addition.


Sibley, IA Carnegie Library (L) Co-Mo Foto card, precursor to L.L. Cook.
(R) The picture shows a small, accessible wing attached at the right side of the library.
Sibley, IA Carnegie Library

On an Osceola County website is the confirmation that this library is a Carnegie building, funded in 1917, and renovated in 1985.


Sigourney, IA Carnegie Library (L) This is a Dexter Press card, but I cannot date it, either. Given that the maples look to be 30 to 40 years old, I'll give an estimate of just post-WWII.
(R) Photo postcard, never mailed.
Sigourney, IA Carnegie Library

Built 1913. Resembled the Fremont, Nebraska Carnegie building, now demolished.
This building was supposed to have been replaced in 2001, but was not until 2008 or 2009. Today it appears to be available to rent as a 50 person meeting room.

Sioux City

Sioux City, IA Carnegie library (L) A Curt Teich card, mailed in 1914, features a strangely large traffic cop and at least one added auto.
(R) Natural Color Postcard by E.C. Kropp of Milwaukee, published by Olson News Co. of Sioux City. Not Jimmie, I presume.
Sioux City, IA Carnegie library

One of Sioux City's two Carnegie buildings. I don't know which one this was. Both have been replaced. The main library has been demolished.


Spencer, IA Carnegie library Spencer, IA Carnegie library Spencer, IA Carnegie library Spencer, IA Carnegie library Spencer, IA Carnegie library

1903 - 1970

(L) The publisher of this card is unknown, but is nearly certainly the same one as published the Arcadia (WI) library post card.
(CL) The monochrome card reveals some unusual window details, such as 'Carnegie' on the window over the door. There are also treatments that make the side windows look arched.
(C) Monochrome card, mailed in 1921.
(CR) Long low building in the background of another photo card.
(R) German card with publisher name beneath the stamp.

Spencer is the library with the famous resident cat. He roamed a new building, however.

Storm Lake

Storm Lake, IA Carnegie library Storm Lake, IA Carnegie library Storm Lake, IA Carnegie library
Dated 1926 in red felt-tip ink. A.M. Simon postcard. Unknown publisher.

1903 grant.

Reminiscent of the Harvey, Illinois and the Adrian, Michigan Carnegie buildings.

Its hunh? retirement occupation, since the 1960s, is as Santa's Castle.
In contrast, the current library building is a little nondescript.


Stuart, IA Carnegie library (L) Rexall card, printed in Germany.
(R) Lithochrome brand card.
Stuart, IA Carnegie library

Built in 1908 from a 1906 grant; still in use.


Tama, IA Carnegie library

Built in 1904; now serves as a woodworking shop.

To the left of the library is either cords of obsessively cut stovewood, or books.

Amazing how the flag looks as if there's a 30 mph wind, and the trees are not bent at all. Thus is the glory of the collaboration between H. Soleman and Sons, and an unknown German printer.


Tipton, IA Carnegie library Tipton, IA Carnegie library Tipton, IA Carnegie library
L.L. Cook photo postcard. Commercial Colortype Sky-Tint card. Photo card, mailed 11/11/11.

Who flipped the negative?

Carnegie building dating from 1902 and still in use (2014).

The library's website details the building's history.


Traer, IA Carnegie library

1914 grant; still in use with a slightly awkward addition.

The postcard photo was taken during construction. You can see sawhorses at the right of the card.

The Black and White branded card is also attributed to the Iowa Calendar Company of Marshalltown.


Villisca, IA library

1907 grant.
Still in use, as is, except for the addition of an elevator.

No attribution on the slightly ochre card.


Vinton, IA library Vinton, IA library Vinton, IA library
Black and White brand card,
which may be a Curt Teich product.
Excelsior card, mailed in 1909. Gilmore & Ullom card.

Somewhat similar to the Charles City library.
1903 grant. Still in use, with an addition.


Waterloo's Carnegie Libraries Waterloo, in some ironic twist, marks the beginning of my search for the branch libraries of larger cities, although I don't really think of this city as large. It began with two remarkably similar postcards. Even though the first is only sepia monochrome, I like it a little better. The plant in the background is not corn. Maybe it's some type of prairie grass. Waterloo's Carnegie Libraries

West Side

Waterloo's west side Carnegie Library (L) The card was made in Germany and mailed in 1909.
(R) Colors differ on the attractive Curt Teich card.
Waterloo's west side Carnegie Library

Built 1906.
Exhibits the Georgian revival style we think of as classic Carnegie.
Currently serves as law offices.

East Side

Waterloo's east side Carnegie Library Waterloo's east side Carnegie Library Waterloo's east side Carnegie Library
Complete with a handy fire station.
The card has an unevenly divided back,
a code number 65455 in the lower left corner,
and no other publishing information.
Curt Teich 'C.T. American Art' postcard, clearly a newer issue.

Built 1906.
Currently used as city offices.


Built in 1907: now serves as offices.

Waverly, IA Carnegie Library (L) Charming winter scene on a card that was possibly produced (Giles Bros.) before the library's opening day. Unevenly divided backs were no longer au courant after February of 1907.
(R) Summer view with considerably less charm. You'd think that by the time that the evenly divided back was legal, someone at the Pearson Ullberg Company--or even the Giles Brothers--would get a clue that perhaps folks would want to see a library larger than their thumb.
Waverly, IA Carnegie Library
Waverly, IA Carnegie Library (L) One publisher, Wheeler & Meyer, for the Rexall Store, dared to take a front view photo of the Waverly Carnegie Library. It's a bit reminiscent of the Antigo, Wisconsin Carnegie building.
(R) Photo postcard mailed in 1912.
Waverly, IA Carnegie Library

West Liberty

W. Liberty, IA Carnegie library (L) Rose monochrome card, mailed in 1908.
(R) Monochrome card, unattributable.
W. Liberty, IA Carnegie library

Built in 1904, it has had at least one large addition. Note the curved window tops on this card. There are still lingering traces of Romanesque design on this predominantly Tudor-style building.


Winterset, IA Carnegie library Winterset, IA Carnegie library Winterset, IA Carnegie library
Postcard logo:
Intertwined U and S in a shield.
Pearson-Ullberg card. This is an M.L. Metrochrom card that looks to be an imitation of the C.T. Artchrom Curt Teich line. It was mailed by Merdeth, who was recuperating from measles in 1916.
Gah, I hope she didn't lick the stamp.

1904 grant. Built in 1905, replaced by a huge single storey building. The somewhat plain Carnegie building now serves as City Hall. Maybe they have a real American flag by now.


Woodbine, IA Carnegie library Unknown publishers. Woodbine, IA Carnegie library

One of the smallest Carnegie grants, $7,500 in 1909.
Built in 1910, expanded in 2001.

The municipal web site is nearly impossible to navigate, but the library's history page is here.