Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America
Nebraska Carnegie Libraries

Main information source: Nebraska Public Library Founding Dates.
More library photos at Nebraska Memories.

Albion

Albion, NE Carnegie building

April, 1907 grant, per Bobinski; 1908, per 'Nebraska Public Library Founding Dates.' Still in use.

New library web site, and the city's site shows the Carnegie building.

'Litho-chrome' American card, probably a Curt Teich product. Mailed in 1915.
It shows Albion Public Library, and 1908 in a disc, above the entrance.



Aurora

Aurora, NE Carnegie building Aurora, NE Carnegie building

One of two Carnegie buildings in the city: Seavey is the other. No longer in use as a library.

(L) Don't know who produced this, but whoever did, this is the 52nd of the series.
(R) L.L. Cook photo postcard, without the tell-tale print caption. Mailed in 1949.





Aurora, NE Carnegie building

(L, below) It almost seems as if there is a little bit of Deco influence on this post-1909 building.
It's an early 'C.T. Photochrom, mailed in 1915. I wonder who the two children were?





Beatrice

Beatrice, NE Carnegie building Beatrice, NE Carnegie building

(L) Real Photo Postcard mailed in 1911. No attribution.
(R) Public Library and Central School, Beatrice, Nebr.
Card postmarked 1915.

Confirmed as a 1904 Carnegie library, but don't discount the ladies of the WCTU.
In 1881, they began to fund the library founded by Clara Colby in 1873.

The Carnegie building was replaced in 1991, and used by the school system from 1991-1999 and 2002-2004, per Carnegie Center, Inc.

Possibly vacant. Renovation funding sought, beginning 2005.



David City

David City, NE Carnegie Building

One of the last Carnegie building grants: November 22, 1916.

Among some of the challenges facing the David City Library: insufficient electrical power (in the pre-Carnegie days) resulting in a four hour week; a flu epidemic delaying the 1918 opening of this building until 1919; and an inability to meet the ADA requirements of 1991.

Replaced by the Roman L. and Victoria E. Hruska Memorial Public Library, dedicated in 1996.

The Carnegie library now serves as a house.

Fremont

Fremont, NE Carnegie Building

1903 - 1971

Curiously decorated entry, resembling that of Sigourney, Iowa's Carnegie building.

This is likely a C.U. Williams 'Photoette' postcard and was mailed in 1910.




Fairbury

Fairbury, NE Carnegie building Fairbury, NE Carnegie building Fairbury, NE Carnegie building

(R) 1939 (dated by book jackets for Danger Signal and Frost Flower) photo post card. Pencil date on reverse: May 22, 1948.

Christmas Eve grant, 1907. Expanded, 1988.
Still in use, but only for the children's section.

The library's web site is attractive, and it looks like the facility is well-maintained.

Geneva

The library (lower right corner) received a 1911 grant. The card is by Harritt Photos.

Gothenburg

Gothenburg, NE Carnegie building

1915 grant; built 1916. Unusual configuration.

Grand Island

Grand Island, NE Carnegie Building

1902 grant. Still standing, but replaced.

Lovely card, probably produced by Curt Teich.






Hastings

Hastings, NE Carnegie building

Replaced by Keene Memorial Library in 1963.

Holdrege

Holdrege, NE Carnegie building Holdrege, NE Carnegie building Holdrege, NE Carnegie building
H.G. Zim postcard. Mailed in 1908. L.L. Cook photo postcard.

Late 1904 grant. Still in use.

Kearney

Kearney, NE Carnegie building Kearney, NE Carnegie building

1903 grant.
Library replaced: demolished in 1973.

(L) I'm always taken aback by postcards that feature a quite state-of-the-art library building, and ...
a dirt street. I also notice screens on the windows. The attractive card bears an unevenly divided back, but no publisher's information.
(R) The Walraven Brothers publishers ran a bit amok with the 'Blue Sky' concept.



 Lincoln

Lincoln, NE Carnegie building Lincoln, NE Carnegie building


'Old Main,' 1902-1960.

Other Lincoln Carnegie libraries included those of Havelock, University Place, and College View; all towns annexed to Lincoln in the 1930s.

(L) Double-sized postcard, possibly by the Massure Co. It was mailed in 1910.




Lincoln, NE Carnegie building

(R, above) Card, with an entire back, was published by the Lincoln Book Store.
(R, below) Postmarked 1914. City (Carnegie) Library. Divided back, 'Superior Quality, Famous Throughout the World.'
Undoubtedly.
However, the foliage in the summer photograph seriously obscures the entrance.




Northeast Branch

Pawnee City, NE Carnegie library

Built 1909, in use until 1982, then moved.
Card mailed in 1911.

Norfolk

Norfolk, NE Carnegie building Norfolk, NE Carnegie building

Library founded in 1906 and then received a late 1907 grant. Built in 1911. Replaced, and serves as offices.

(L) Card has scanning artifacts. Occasionally one will 'strobe' on me.
(R) Black and White brand card shows a building which looks much like the Carnegie building of Neillsville, Wisconsin.





North Platte

North Platte, NE Carnegie library

1910 Carnegie grant. C.T. Photocrom card (A.28770).

 Omaha

South Omaha Branch

Unusual architecture: slightly Romanesque, but the roofline is Prairie school.

1901 grant. Construction date uncertain: probably 1904. Demolished in 1953.
A bookmobile provides library service to this section of the city.

Postcard published by the Omaha News Company, with excellent print quality similar to Rotograph cards.






Pawnee City

Pawnee City, NE Carnegie library


Ethereal, yet firmly rooted, this Carnegie Library was designed by John P. Eisentraut and built in 1907. Still in use.

In 1924, Carolyn S. wrote:
Having a wonderful time out here. Every day is perfect, only a little too warm a 103 in the shade.



Schuyler

Schuyler, NE Carnegie library

From a 1911 Carnegie grant.

Superior

Superior, NE Carnegie library Superior, NE Carnegie library

Another Christmas Eve grant, 1907. Now in use as the Chamber of Commerce and as law offices.

This may be the farthest-flung of the Patton & Miller library buildings.

The photo card on right was mailed in 1961 to the Sociology and Business Department of Denver Public Library.



Sutton

Sutton, NE Carnegie library

Card mailed in 1914.

Plaque reads, 'Gift of A. Carnegie 1910.'
This building was one of those that rather grew on you. I don't know how they combined Deco, Prairie, and Craftsman styles (especially when Deco hadn't been coined as a style), but the resulting library must have given Carnegie a warm feeling in his frugal heart.

After 50 years, the warm feeling started to give Sutton residents heartburn. Because of structural issues, it was condemned in 1967, and in 1969, the library moved on an emergency basis into a former jewelry store. It took until 1986 for a dedicated replacement to be built.

The city web site, showing the library beside a waterway, shows one of the problems with which it had to contend.

Tecumseh

Real Photo Artist's rendering

Nebraska Memories also displays a similar card (R).

Built in 1907: designed by the architectural firm Eisentraut-Colby-Pottenger. Replaced in 2000: fate unknown.

(L) Spectacular photo card. Notice the subtle differences in the roof line.
(R) These cards feature the architect's drawing. Perhaps Williamson-Haffner Publishers added the sky, with puffy clouds.




Wayne

Wayne, NE Carnegie library

Asymmetric, Prairie-style building, built courtesy of a 1911 grant. The card has 1915 written on the back.

Replaced.

© 2003 - 2014 Judy Aulik
Updated 02 April 2014.
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