Iowa Carnegie Libraries, D - L

Iowa City Carnegie building 4 views of Dewitt

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

Some of the 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.

A-C Carnegie buildings are on a new page.


Davenport, IA Public Library Davenport, IA Public Library Davenport, IA Public Library

Davenport, along with Rock Island, Bettendorf, and Moline, constitute the Quad Cities.
1904 grant. Razed in 1965.

(L) Rock Island Postcard Co. card, never mailed.
(C) A.C. Bosselman & Co. card, mailed in 1908.
(R) C.U. Williams postcard, also never mailed.


Denison, Iowa Public Library Denison, Iowa Public Library

Its roots date back to 1874. 1902 Carnegie grant: this building was built in 1904. Today the Carnegie section is used as meeting space, and the expanded building has been renamed Norelius Community Library.

(L) A.C. Bosselman German card, mailed in 1911.
(R) Mundane Curt Teich card.


DeWitt, Iowa Public Library DeWitt, Iowa Public Library

1907 building superceded in 1989, then reused as City Hall.

(L) The whole background was so horrifying that the E.C. Kropp Co. cropped it right out of the picture.
(C) Enlargement of the bottom half of the card atop this page, also showing an interior view of the library.
(R) I don't know what the scary looking contraption is to the side of the library on this photo card, but two moppets are contentedly propped against it, reading. Another tiny detail is the Women's Rest Room sign with pointer hand.


Dubuque, Iowa Public Library

In 1905, Miss Flora von Wackerbarth of Chicago is admonished, 'Read and digest.'

I would think that this library would scare her into doing just that.
The building is just as foreboding today as it was in 1901.

 Eagle Grove

Eagle Grove, Iowa Public Library Eagle Grove, Iowa Public Library

1902 building that currently serves as the Eagle Grove History Museum.

(L) This is another highly detailed photo post card, but not to the level where I can tell what the notice on the door says.
The neighbors were immortalized in the process of doing some building maintenance.
(R) FREE PVBLIC LIBRARY around the entry frieze. There is a C in a decorative circle just above the door.


Eldora, Iowa Public Library

1901 building that has the design that's rather standard for Iowa (Marengo) and Missouri (Louisiana, but rendered in stone) Carnegie libraries.
Replaced in 2000.

This is a rather underexposed Kruxo photo card with an evenly divided reverse.


Estherville, Iowa Public Library

Built 1902: addition sometime before 2004.

Quite an attractive library. Similar to the Freeport, Illinois library, but on a much smaller scale. Portholes have leaded glass inserts, and the fountain out front is a nice touch seen in few of these cards.

 Fort Dodge

Ft. Dodge, Iowa Public Library Ft. Dodge, Iowa Public Library Ft. Dodge, Iowa Public Library

Formerly endangered.
Built 1901; replaced 2000 and now privately owned. Sold in early 2008 for renovation into apartments.

(L) A.C. Bosselman card, never mailed.
(C) The card is unevenly divided and mailed in 1907. It was a product of the Souvenir Post Card Co. of New York, and was printed in Germany.
(R) Linen finish card, mailed 1938.


Glenwood, Iowa Carnegie Library Glenwood, Iowa Carnegie Library

1903 grant: still in use.

(L) Message on the L.L. Cook card, mailed 1966:
Big Mary

Seems like too nice a photo card for such a mundane message.

(R) In 1908, the sender used both the back and part of the front of the L.S. Robinson card for his message.

 Grinnell (Grinnell College Library)

Grinnell College Library

Built 1904; dedicated 1905. Its architect was H.D. Rawson, and his modified Classical library is now called Carnegie Hall.

As early as the 1950s, its library days were numbered, and it was replaced in 1959.

It serves various functions on campus; housing classrooms, a book store, and faculty in economics, sociology, and political science.

 Grundy Center

Grundy Center, Iowa Carnegie Library

L.L. Cook photocard.
If I counted correctly, the flag has 46 stars, which would place the photo to the 1908-1912 range. (If 47, it's not an official flag.)
There appears to be a complementary cement block garage to the rear of the photo.

Built 1907, demolished after replacement by the Kling Memorial Library.


Hamburg, Iowa Carnegie Library

No mention of the Carnegie grant on the library's nano-site. However, it states it was established in 1919: this was four years after the grant was made.
It's still in use, I believe.

L.L. Cook card with a message dated 1950, showing a distinctly atypical Carnegie building.


Hampton, Iowa Carnegie Library

Not to be confused with the New Hampton Carnegie Library.

1902 grant: still in use.

According to the 1907 sender:
This is a beautiful pressed brick and marble structure. The picture does not do it justice.

Its photographer was V.L. Olney.


Humboldt, Iowa Carnegie Library Humboldt, Iowa Carnegie Library

(L) Lovely YorKolor card, printed before 1962.
(R) Much less lovely, unattributed card from about 50 years prior.

The Humboldt Carnegie building, according to the CLIP site, was built in 1906. It must have been built one molecule at a time, because the later card states that it was dedicated on February 9, 1909.
It fails to mention the Carnegie funding, but there's some evidence not everyone liked the man the way I do. One more big hurrah! for philanthopy!


Indianola, Iowa Carnegie Library Indianola, Iowa Carnegie Library

(L) No information about the card, except that it was never mailed.
(R) This card was mailed in 1911, and sent to a sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan.

The library building was built in 1903 and replaced in 1985. It now serves as an opera office.

The new library is in dire need of some windows.

 Iowa City

Iowa City Carnegie Library Iowa City Carnegie Library

Built 1902. Now an apartment building.

There are a lot of wonderful things to be said about Iowa City, and its library. I was familiar with the 1981-2004 incarnation, and spent a lot of time there in the 1980s. There's an interesting construction sequence shown on the library's history page.
Anyway, the new building is huge and looks a lot like UW-Madison's Memorial Library. Don't tell them that in Iowa City, however. It'd only make some very nice librarians sad.

 Iowa Falls (Carnegie-Ellsworth Library)

Iowa Falls, Iowa Carnegie Library

1903 building now serving as the Carnegie Art Museum and History Museum. Wonderful history on the National Park Service's Hardin County web page.
Replaced in 2000 by the Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library.

Card imported by C.C. Bartlett. Outside of a few early Milwaukee library postals I own, this is the only library card that specifically adds the 'U.S.A.' to the caption. 1907 card mailed in 1910.


Jefferson, Iowa Carnegie Library Jefferson, Iowa Carnegie Library

A Lincoln Highway Carnegie building, built from a 1903 grant, and still in use.

(L) A.M. Simon card, printed in Germany. Did you notice the fountain? It's also present on a pre-1907 card.
(R) Most likely this is an L.L. Cook photo card. Most of these have a certain look, especially in the captioning.
Uncharacteristically overexposed, but chosen and mailed in mid-1955.


Laurens, IA Laurens, IA Carnegie Library

1907 grant. Replaced in 1975. Now serves as the Pocahontas County Historical Society Museum.

(L) St. Paul Souvenir postcard, mailed in 1914. Both vignettes are photographic: the top features a Church of Christ.
Some doggerel for your day:

Just a little tender thought
For my friend to greet;
Merry hours and merry hearts
May you always meet.

(R) Unattributed card, mailed in 1913.

 Le Mars

Le Mars, Iowa Carnegie Library Le Mars, Iowa Carnegie Library

Spiffy style mashup of Georgian and Romanesque. 1903 Carnegie grant, a little late for the remnant style. It was replaced in 1976.
What looks like shutters is brick, but the colorist for the upper left card may have enhanced the effect.

Today the building is an art and civic center. The library is now in a former Red Owl grocery store.

Le Mars, Iowa Carnegie Library

(L) Another of those cards so common in the upper midwest has dreadful tinting.


Received a late 1915 grant. Remodeled in 1967; new section in 1988 yielded 4,800 square feet of space in total.

L.L. Cook card shows the petite brick building with a house in the background.

© 2006 - 2014 Judy Aulik. Part of the Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America web site.
Updated 05 April 2014.
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