Ohio Public Libraries

3 of Dayton's public libraries

Ohio is traditionally considered to have the best public library service among the states.

Note that the Dayton card (left) shows two Carnegie branch buildings plus its signature Romanesque main library.


Cedarville, OH library

Very plain library, similar in appearance to many Carnegie libraries. Now in use as an arts center.

'Black & White' brand card. This one was a salesman's order record card, stamped Jun 6 1921, and signed R.E. Wenger.
R.E. Wenger Company was a postcard publisher, probably based in Dayton. However, evidence does point to the imprint being used as one of many Curt Teich trademarks.


Officially known as 'The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.'

Vine Street (Main Library)

Original Cincinnati library

High Italianate building, built in 1874: replaced in 1955. Can you imagine bringing books to other floors in pre-elevator days? The fate of the original building is unknown.

Strangely textured (ribbed) paper stock on the postcard. It's the only 'Tom Jones' card I have. It was mailed in 1910. In case you're wondering, that's the 'New Misfit Clothing Company' nestled on one side, and the 'Volksblatt' building 2 doors down on the other.

The replacement 1955 building is incorporated into current main library. No postcard yet for it.


Cleveland Public Library

1925 main building. Although Cleveland received a lot of Carnegie funding, none seems to have been used in this main location. For a Cleveland Carnegie library, visit my Ohio Carnegie Library page.

The Louis Stokes wing was built in 1995, and the rest of the facility has been restored.

To the right is a Cleveland Library overdue notice, mailed in 1950. It begs the question, 'Why would someone hang on to a library notice for over 50 years?'
The unspoken one is 'Why would anyone buy it?'


Dayton public library Dayton public library Dayton public library
Public Library, and McKinley Monument
Not just Romanesque. It's French Gothic Romanesque.

The above was replaced by the Dayton-Montgomery County Library in 1962. Apparently, there's a new moniker: Dayton Metro Library.

Dayton-Montgomery County Library


Apparently this was the Eidson home before its 1906 conversion into the Library. It also housed the water department, a curious juxtaposition.
Oddly, a Carnegie grant was rejected in favor of this mansion. The arrangment continued until 1955, when the water department got its own building, and in 1959, the property was transferred to the Preble County District Library, and the house demolished in 1973, for the Brooke-Gould Memorial Library.

When you wonder why librarians are a little reserved, here's a cautionary tale. Librarian Mrs. Lida Griswold, in the summer of 1909, was shot by a rejected suitor, in the library, in front of her son.

The postcard came from the Straw Bros. Printers, and has a 1907 pencil date on the back. It might have been trimmed along the way.

 Fremont (Birchard Library)

Birchard Library, Fremont, OH Birchard Library, Fremont, OH

Is the building Beaux-Arts, or not?
(Probably not, given the red brick.)

Did you know that President Rutherford B. Hayes' uncle gave the money to build the Birchard Library? And did you know that Hayes served on the library board at the same time he was president? Strangely, the monument in front only says something about Fort Stephenson.
No-one respects poor Rutherford.

(L) The cannon 'Old Betsy' stands in the park fronting the library.
(R) The linen finish card is a product of E.C. Kropp of Milwaukee.

 Hamilton (Lane Free Library)

Hamilton, Ohio library

The oldest library (1866) west of the Alleghenies.
According to the Lane Library's history page, the poor building has had floods, fires, and six renovations. How those all relate to each other is uncertain. The latest renovation was in 1995-1996.

The Litho-Chrome brand post card was mailed in 1908.

 Lisbon (Lepper Library)

Lepper Library, Lisbon, OH Lepper Library, Lisbon, OH

Lovely Romanesque building dating from 1897, founded by the widowed Virginia Lepper.
Still in use. Happily, the obscuring ivy is now gone.

(L) W.F. Ball card, printed by Weixelbaum in Lima, Ohio.
(R) Newer Dexter Press card, never mailed.


Public Library and Museum, Massillon, Ohio

The library that put the 'Mass' in Massillon.

This is the second library building, dating from 1937. At the time, it was also used as a museum. But doesn't that look like a TV monitor in the pillar at far left?

The Curt Teich linen finish card dates from 1938.

 Medina (Franklin Sylvester Library)

Medina, OH Franklin Sylvester Library

Still in use: heavily renovated, and thrice (1958, 1976, 2008) expanded. Now part of Medina County District Library System.


Mentor, OH Library

Complex history best read on the Library's page. Using Google maps discloses the building on a street corner, but its signage is illegible.


Newark, OH Library

In 1997, this 1950 building was replaced.

 Painesville (Morley Library)

Morley Library, Painesville, OH Morley Library, Painesville, OH

Built in 1899. Additions in 1937 and 1978. Replaced in 2004.
Both cards predate expansion.

Its current use is unknown.

 Perrysburg (Way Library)

Way Library

The not entirely satisfying history on the Way Public Library's web site could be interpreted a number of ways (heh-heh). It appears as if the ca. 1892 building was renovated in 1959 and 1983; and was demolished between 1983 and 2001 for a new building, which was enlarged in 2001.

Google Street View shows a very long, single storey red brick building that just can't be the Romanesque building on the 1907-1917 card.


Evidently, there is a lot of confusion about this town's library history. Information comes from the Library's web site.

Schmidlapp Free School Library

Free School Library, Piqua, Ohio

Opened in 1890, in a store/home donated by Jacob Schmidlapp to the city's board of education.
(Beats an old Sears store hands down.)
The library moved in 1931 and was renamed to The Piqua Public Library.

Although this card has an unevenly divided back, it was mailed in 1930, slightly before the library's move.
Makes you wonder about the business climate for about 40 years or so.

Flesh Public Library

Flesh Public Library, Piqua, Ohio

Doesn't this Library look like the (Piqua) Men's Club it once was? The library spent from 1931 until 2008 in this Tudor buiilding.

(L) Although this card was attributed to the S.L. Company of Sturgis, Michigan, it looks much like those produced by Wayne Printing and Box.


Branch of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County. According to the postcard, this was built in 1965.

According to a news release found at the Library's web site, the new building engulfs the old...
...1846 Poland Union Seminary Dormitory.
However, the fate of this nondescript building is undisclosed.

Wilbur Evans card mailed in 1973.


Evidently replaced.
Card by the Tecraft Company

 Shelby (Marvin Memorial Library)

Shelby, OH library Shelby, OH library

The 1867 house was converted to a library sometime after 1897. In 1981, it was renovated and enlarged. It's still in use.

(L) Card mailed in 1911.
(R) Hugh C. Leighton post card.

 Springfield (Warder Public Library)

Springfield, OH Library Springfield, OH Library

Tres Gothic.

This 1890 building, in memory of Jeremiah and Ann A. Warder, was not replaced until 1989, but lives on as the Warder Literacy Center.

(L) Early rendition without greenery.
(R) Glamorous 1939 Curt Teich linen finish card.


Old Toledo Library Old Toledo Library Old Toledo Library
Old Toledo Library Old Toledo Library Five sequential cards illustrate
how Romanesque buildings
could reach total creepiness.

Main Toledo Library

Toledo, OH Library Toledo, OH Library

Built in 1940. Renovated and expanded in 2001.

Now known as the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

(L) Spiffy linen card from the '40s.
(R) Later, chrome card.


Twinsburg, Ohio

Photo postcard shows a street view, which divulges that the Library had to share a building with a barber!

 Van Wert (Brumback Library)

Brumback Library, Van Wert, OH Brumback Library, Van Wert, OH

Could any other two postcards of the same building look less alike?

The Library, dedicated in 1901, was built with monies from the estate of John Sanford Brumback.

This exemplifies Gothic/Romanesque architecture, and according to the library's site, the building has a Ludowici tile roof. Still in use, but renovated twice (1917 and 1991).

(L, above) Wayne Paper Box and Printing card.
(R, above) R.C. Holmes 'chrome' card in vertical format.

Interior scene in Brumback Library, Van Wert, OH Interior scene in Brumback Library, Van Wert, OH

Interior views of its huge reading room. With a barrel vaulted ceiling and tile floors, even dropping a pencil could cause an uproar.
There are magazine racks toward the back, and the reference desk to the right. A small card catalog is at the back of the staff area.

(L) There is no clue as to the identity of the card's publisher.
(R) The similar C.J. Haven card reveals that this may have been a closed-stack arrangement of books.


Captioned: Blume High School and Library, Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Now the Auglaize County District Public Library.

The Blume Memorial Public Library opened in 1925. Instead of enlarging the building, extra service comes from bookmobiles and five branches.

Linen finish Curt Teich card, mailed in 1951, does not clarify which building has which function, but I suspect the building at right is the Library.

 Wellington (Herrick Public Library)

Herrick Public Library, Wellington, OH Herrick Public Library, Wellington, OH

Attractive dark brick building featuring large windows containing diamond panes.

Donation by Myron T. Herrick in 1902. Renovated in 1929, after another Herrick bequest, and in 1986. Still in use.

(L) Photo postcard from the 1940s.
(R) Monochrome card.

© 2008 - 2013 Judy Aulik
Uploaded 09 February 2008.
Updated 30 December 2013.