Iowa Carnegie Libraries, M - O

Marshaltown IA library with Christmas trappings

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.

A-C is on another page. D-L is on a new page, as is P-Z.


Malvern, IA Carnegie Library

Autumn, 1915 grant: opened, 1917. With a substantial addition, still in use.

Standard Carnegie Type A design, without the Prairie influence generally seen on the last years' buildings.

L.L. Cook photo postcard, mailed in 1949, as part of a postcard exchange. Part of the lengthy message reads, 'They don't have colored view cards here.' I don't think I have seen any other cards of the town, come to speak of it.


Manchester, IA Carnegie Library Manchester, IA Carnegie Library Manchester, IA Carnegie Library Manchester, IA Carnegie Library

1902 grant; built 1903. Addition built 90 years later. Still in use, per CLIP.

(L) Excelsior monochrome mailed in 1910.
(LC) Commercialchrome mailed in 1916.
(RC) This building's not so much Neapolitan, as it is rainbow sherbet. The card, by an unknown publisher, was mailed in 1908.
(R) Pearson-Ullberg card. There's a black dog in the lawn.


Maquoketa, IA Carnegie Library Maquoketa, IA Carnegie Library Maquoketa, IA Carnegie Library

Jackson County.

Maquoketa's Carnegie library was also built in 1902.
After renovation, it is still in use.

(L) The card was printed in Germany and is part of the PCK series.
(C) D.N. Loose card.
(R) L.L. Cook card, mailed in 1970.


Marengo, IA Carnegie Library Two photo cards, one from 1907, the other from 1911. The writing on the 1907 card is in German script. Marengo, IA Carnegie Library

Patton & Miller come to Iowa: 1904. Resultant library still in use, with an addition. A Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant provided for its web site.


Marion's librarians? Marion's librarians? Marion, IA Carnegie library Marion, IA Carnegie library

(L) Could this be the staff of the Marion library assembled near the entrance? Could they be growing hemp for the war effort? Castor beans, more likely.
(LC) That plant must have been a subject of great pride, as it also appeared on a photo postcard, mailed in 1913.
(RC) Over the doorway reads, 'Carnegie Library Free to the People.'
(R) Another anonymously published card, mailed in 1908.

The 1903 building has been replaced, and now serves as Methodist Church offices.


Marshalltown Carnegie Library Marshalltown Carnegie Library Marshalltown Carnegie Library
Curt Teich card. J.B. Simmons card,
printed in Germany.
E.C. Kropp product, never mailed.

Late 1901 grant, renovated since. Replaced in 2008. This was quite the large library for its day. Its corner lot location results in a building that begins to look a bit 'Western.'

L.E. Herring, whose stamp appears on the center card, appears to have been a miller and merchant, according to jots of info across the Internet.

Mason City

Mason City Carnegie Library Mason City Carnegie Library Mason City Carnegie Library
Was this rock a remnant from 1902 Carnegie building,
or is this some type of Mason City monument?
Possibly the same photographer and publisher.
(perhaps C.U. Williams)
as the Waverly, IA winter scene on the next page.
Rather battered card, a few years newer. Not much to see here, except some truly grand 1940s cars.
Then the South exacted its revenge.
Mason City Carnegie Library Mason City Carnegie Library Mason City Carnegie Library
New front added
sometime prior to the 1944
postmark on this Curt Teich card.
L.L. Cook card, mailed in 1955. Chrome era card shows the Denison Adult Reading Room
and the Kinney Patio.

The original Carnegie building was built in 1902, and is now used as offices for a construction firm.

Missouri Valley

Missouri Valley, IA Carnegie Library (L) Card published by the Pike's Variety Shop of Missouri Valley, Iowa. Carries a plate number 3816: whose I know not.
(R) L.L. Cook photo card.
Missouri Valley, IA Carnegie Library

Harris County.
Built 1909, renovated 2000, according to the State Library of Iowa website.

Resembles the Rhinelander, WI, library before its renovation.


Monticello, IA Carnegie Library


1903 grant. Built 1906; replaced ca. 2006.

Who'd expect a Mission-style library in Iowa? Well, Mission with a single Gothic window.
One of the buildings in the background appears to have been built in the mid-1950s, but I can't date this L.L. Cook photo card more closely.

Mt. Pleasant

Mt. Pleasant, IA Carnegie Library Mt. Pleasant, IA Carnegie Library Mt. Pleasant, IA Carnegie Library Mt. Pleasant, IA Carnegie Library

1903 grant. Now used as an educational center.

This building is rather transitional between Romanesque (reflected in the tower by the arched entrance) and the more modern style (rectangular windows).

(L) Even the German printers liked to add red striped awnings!
(LC) Assertive monochrome card.
(RC) Another monochrome, rather lacking.
(R) German card from Central Post Card Agency.


Nashua, IA Carnegie Library (L) Photo card.
(R) Real photo card, at the corner of Woodridge and 8th. Bleak photo, taken proximate to a rainstorm.
Nashua, IA Carnegie Library
Nashua, IA Carnegie Library (L) Photo card, mailed in 1931.
(R) Poor quality card, possible by Massure. I'm not one of those who soaks off stamps to see the markings in the postage box.
Nashua, IA Carnegie Library

1905 grant. 1986 addition.
Strange ornament that looks like a bath towel on a rod.


Newton, IA Carnegie Library (L) Unusual postcard whose back bears a Japanese lantern logo with MS Co.
(R) The Real Photo Postcard documents a building that still bore traces of Italianate architecture. Weirdly, the new building either has some Italianate features, or else was built in front of an impressive home.
I think that its odd sculpture is of a cricket.
Newton, IA Carnegie Library
Newton, IA Carnegie Library This 'Litho-Chrome' brand card was mailed in 1908. It shows a back wing and what I believe to be an outhouse at left.
Of the two men resting on the sidewalk, one appears to be African-American. Although I have seen RPPCs with Carnegie libraries and African-American visitors or staff, I have never seen a printed library postcard with such.

This 1902 library was demolished in 1994. In general, Iowa was not as hasty as some states to demolish its aging Carnegie buildings.


Odebolt, IA Carnegie Library Odebolt, IA Carnegie Library Odebolt, IA Carnegie Library Odebolt, IA Carnegie Library
Unattributable card has a 1909 Seattle
World's Fair postmark.
How this card wound up there is a mystery.
Photo card mailed as a Christmas card in 1913. I doubt that this photo was taken later than 1914,
but the card does have an entire back.
RPPC with 1907 postmark.

Built 1904, recent addition. Still in use.


Onawa, IA Carnegie Library (L) 1914 Minneapolis & Omaha RPO postmark.
(R) Unattributed card, mailed in 1911.
Onawa, IA Carnegie Library

Built 1907: renovated and enlarged 2005. Celebrated its centennial.
Maybe it's the unusual architecture--a stunning hybrid of Japanese and Prairie style called Chicago Style-- but this library looks larger than the average Iowa Carnegie building. The library's history page hints at Louis Sullivan's influence.


Osage, IA Carnegie Library (L) Closeup view which unfortunately captures a Ladies Rest Room sign at left. (R) L.L. Cook photo card. Osage, IA Carnegie Library

1905 Carnegie grant. Dedicated in 1911.

Something about the proportions of this typical Carnegie building strike me as the architectural equivalent of hoisting one's khakis up to one's armpits. It's been replaced, which is one way to solve an aesthetic problem.

Personally, I would have tried peonies.


Osceola, IA Carnegie Library (L) Very surprising photographic view: I have owned the card at right for many years, and never knew that the building has nearly a full basement storey, plus a side (staff?) entrance. Might be why it's still in use.
(R) Early (mailed 1913) E.C. Kropp card.
Osceola, IA Carnegie Library

Built 1908: also dedicated in 1911.

Goth version of the Charles City library.


Oskaloosa, IA Carnegie Library (L) Unevenly divided card #2801 from the Acmegraph Company of Chicago.
(R) Card #12053 published by A.L. Black of Oskaloosa and printed in Germany. Mailed in 1912.
Oskaloosa, IA Carnegie Library
Oskaloosa, IA Carnegie Library (L) E.C. Kropp card. Duncan Distributers is stamped on the left edge of the reverse.
(R) Of course, Curt Teich entered the Osky scene later on. Notice the additional foliage.
Oskaloosa, IA Carnegie Library

Built 1902: renovated.


Ottumwa, IA Carnegie Library Neither post card gives publishing information. Ottumwa, IA Carnegie Library

According to Iowa State Extension's Ottumwa Walking Tour site,
this is one of 101 Iowa Carnegie libraries, and was built in 1901. CLIP adds that there has been renovation and an addition added, but does not give the date.