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.


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

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 Red Oak, IA library

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

(L) Bedraggled card, probably a Curt Teich product.
(R) L.L. Cook photo card.

 Rockwell City

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 the Carnegie building.
Thank you, Randy and Cindy Patterson!

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

 Sac City

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.


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

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


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.

(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.


On an Osceola County website is the confirmation that this library is a Carnegie building, funded in 1917, and renovated in 1985.
The pictures show a small, accessible wing attached at the right side of the library.


Built 1913. It 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.

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.

 Sioux City

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 turned into apartments.

Natural Color Postcard by E.C. Kropp of Milwaukee, published by Olson News Co. of Sioux City. Not Jimmie, I presume.


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.
(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

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.


Built in 1904; now serves as a woodworking shop.

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


Carnegie building dating from 1902 and still in use (2010). The city's web page is chock-full of information.

The library's website details the building's history. It also has a nice blurb on its Grant Wood collection.

Note, if you can see it, the baby carriage and infant to the left of the library steps.


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

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

(L) Black and White brand card, which is probably a Curt Teich product.
(R) Excelsior card, mailed in 1909.


Waterloo's Carnegie Libraries 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.

West Side

Waterloo's west side Carnegie Library Waterloo's west side Carnegie Library

Built 1906.

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

(L) The card was made in Germany and mailed in 1909.
(R) Colors differ on the attractive Curt Teich card.

East Side

Waterloo's east side Carnegie Library Waterloo's east side Carnegie Library

Built 1906.
Currently used as city offices.

(L) The card has an unevenly divided back, a code number 65455 in the lower left corner, and no other publishing information.
(R) Curt Teich 'C.T. American Art' postcard, clearly a newer issue.


Waverly, IA Carnegie Library Waverly, IA Carnegie Library

Built 1907: now serves as offices.

(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.

 West Liberty

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.

Card bears no publishing information.


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.

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.


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

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

© 2006 - 2013 Judy Aulik
Go on to my Non-Carnegie Iowa Libraries page.
Divided again: 10 October 2009.
Updated: 01 June 2013.
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