Ohio Public Libraries, A - O

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.

Ashtabula (Topky Memorial Library)

Topky Memorial Library

Now known as the Harbor-Topky Memorial Library. Actually located in the Ashtabula Harbor.

O.C. Topky funded this location in 1958. It was expanded in 1984.

'Lusterchrome' brand card by Tichnor Bros.


Bluffton, OH library

Silvercraft Dexter Press card is captioned 'High School & Public Library.' It's not clear if the library is contained within the high school building or not.

Moot point, as it seems there is a newer building.

Canal Dover

Canal Dover, OH library

Canal Dover is now legally 'Dover,' and the Library is the Dover Public Library.

This postcard was mailed in 1913.


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, some 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 dedicated library building

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 the current main library. No postcard yet for it.

800 Vine Street (Main Library)

Photograph of model of new Cincinnati Public Library

Although this is not quite the 1955 library building, it is close.
This is a © 1950 model of the library by F.W. Barber & Samuel Hannaford & Sons, architects. The picture of the 1955 library on the Library's web page is not radically different from concept. However, five years from concept to fait accomplit seems long to me.

The postcard is printed on photographic paper.


Cleveland Public Library (L) Linen finish card likely dates to the 1930s.
(R) Post-1962 chrome postcard gives the 325 Superior Avenue, N.E. address.
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.

Cleveland library overdue notice

To the left 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?'

When you think about the usual fine of 2¢/day, this was hardly cost effective.



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

Dayton-Montgomery County Library

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

(L) Chrome postcard from the 1960s.


Eaton, OH library, now demolished

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.

Fairview Park (Cuyahoga County Public Library--Fariview Park Regional Branch)

Fairview Park, OH branch library

Shares a library system with Cleveland.

Replaced. A highly remodeled building stands at the 4449 W. 213th (sic) St. site.

The photo was taken by Frank Leslie, and printed on a Dexter Press card.

Fremont (Birchard Library)

Birchard Library, Fremont, OH (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.
Birchard Library, Fremont, OH

Was 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.

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


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 by a much more distinctive building.

This system has 5 branches and a bookmobile.

North Baltimore

North Baltimore, OH Library

This building, which looked as if it could house Amalgamated Standard Lisle Hosiery & Buggywhip-- or a high school--is no longer in use. The current building, as seen on Facebook, seems smaller.

Eiseman Studio postcard, collected in 1948 by a traveler. I have several cards annotated by this anonymous man.