top of page

Carnegie Libraries of Illinois
Cities P-R*

Pana, IL Carnegie library

This photo postcard was made several years after the Library was built. Its sharp focus shows the accumulation of dirt in the carvings around the entrance.
Fred Benke, photographer, had an office in a former creamery. According to Frakes, this building was sold in the 1980s. Although Benke was prolific, not much is known about this Salem resident.

Pana, IL Carnegie library

Both postcards are by Curt Teich.


1911 grant. Dedicated in 1913.
Charming take on the Carnegie style.
Now known as the Carnegie-Schuyler Library, and still in use.

Pana, IL Carnegie library
Paris, IL Carnegie library
Paris, IL Carnegie library
Paris, IL Carnegie library

Raphael Tuck & Sons' card
with entire back.

Curt Teich postcard,

mailed in 1955.

Floyd Mitchel chrome card.

This library is still officially named 'Paris Carnegie Public Library,' according to its website. It was established in 1904 with the help of an $18,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie. In 1992, it required an addition to properly serve the community.

Park Ridge

A late 1909 Carnegie grant funded this atypical, stucco, brick, and half-timbered library building, completed in 1913. The local women's club did the heavy lifting to obtain the grant. 
The building was replaced in 1958, and surprisingly, still stands. 

The postcard might be a late C.R. Childs postcard, and is annotated 1939.

Carnegie Library, Park Ridge, IL
Paxton, IL Carnegie library
Paxton, IL Carnegie library
Paxton, IL Carnegie library

E.C. Kropp card, mailed 1915

Unattributed photo postcard, with a plentitude of trees.

Some of the details include a postal letterbox, parking meters, and a multilevel house at far right. L.L. Cook cards are peachy keen.

Built in 1903, Paxton Carnegie Library is still in use, albeit in a gently remodeled state. A recent photo tops their blog, and their history reveals that the building was designed by a local architect, Paul O. Moratz, of Bloomington.

Raymond Bial and Linda LaPuma Bial chose this library to feature on the cover of their University of Illinois Press book, The Carnegie Library in Illinois. To me, it'd come down to this, or to Sycamore (also a Moratz design).


1903 - 1974​.  1900 Carnegie grant.
I can only describe this as 'Bertram and Carnegie drive to the Wadhams gasoline station.'
Although I know Wadhams never reached central Illinois, I can't say the same about Carnegie. Or Paul O. Moratz, who, according to University Studies, v.2 (1906), designed this elaborate library. The tile roof had an Asian feel, which is appropriate for the city. The dome had small windows, which was an unusual touch. Dentil trim is a common feature on Carnegie buildings, but not on every edge! I'm surprised it wasn't added to the steps.

Pekin, IL Carnegie library. Demolished.
Peoria (Lincoln Branch)

The main library's funding came from different sources, and is featured on a different page.

This card bears the CCCC trademark, as well as that of C.E. Wheelock and Company.


Late 1909 grant.

Head straight south about 1.5 miles from the Bradley University campus, and you'll find the only Peoria branch library funded by Mr. Carnegie. At one point it was considered endangered (just look how small it is!), but was recently renovated.

Lincoln Branch of the Peoria Public Library, IL
Peru, IL Carnegie library

Built in 1910: replaced some time after 1983.

I almost prefer the reverse of this card, mailed in 1944 with the message:


Dear Richard,
Do you know what there is in this building?
No, not monkeys.

Petersburg, IL Carnegie library

Deep in the heart of the Land of Lincoln.


Late 1906 Carnegie grant.

It's still in use, according to the city's web page, and appears newer than its 103+ years.


The E.C. Kropp card dates from early in the library's history, perhaps 1907 or 1908.

Pittsfield, IL Carnegie library
Pittsfield, IL Carnegie library

Neither postcard bears a statement of responsibility, but the photo card might be from L.L. Cook.


Both cards were made early in the Library's history.







The lefthand card has no attribution, either, but the righthand photo postcard is clearly from L.L. Cook.


Pittsfield, IL Carnegie library
Pittsfield, IL Carnegie library

Late 1905 Carnegie grant, still in use since 1907.

Nearly full history (lacking its architect of record) on the Library's new website. It's a beautiful library building that's beginning to show a little age.


R.E. Lincoln photo postcard of the Plano, IL Carnegie library

(L) This photo postcard was hard to locate. Its attribution is to an R.E. Lincoln, aka 'Ed,' dating before his 1935 death. (Source no longer online.) The typed caption, running vertically on the right side, is unusual and the signature is closer to the top border.
(R) This card was produced by C.U. Williams, and is in much better condition than other, similar cards. It may have been mailed in an envelope to Canada.

Plano, IL Carnegie library

Late 1904 grant. Still in use, but dwarfed by a huge addition.

Plano, IL photo postcard of its Carnegie library

(L) On this L.L. Cook photo postcard, some attempts at modernization have occurred. The superfluous railing above the door has been removed.


I estimate the photograph to date to the 1950s.

Polo. IL Carnegie library

(L) Photo postcard, image taken in early spring or late autumn. 

(R) L.L. Cook card, sharper, but with the front decoration obscured.



Polo. IL Carnegie library

Another Patton and Miller Carnegie Library, built between 1903 and 1904, and still in use. (Polo is not a large town.)
Not evident from the Real Photo card, but seen on the Library's website, is its red brick construction. 
(R) The printed card is quite ethereal and was mailed to collector Lotta Simpson of Albany, Illinois.


Polo, IL Carnegie library
Ridge Farm (Elwood Township)

Many Illinois libraries are Township Libraries, not district libraries or city libraries.

Ridge Farm, IL Carnegie library

1909 grant. Remarkably, the smallest Carnegie building in Illinois is still in use.


It took 11 of those years to find this postcard.

Robinson, IL Carnegie library

Message text:

Just robbing up on my neglected literature.


Multiview postcard of Robinson, IL


(L) RPPC mailed in 1907.
(R) Photo postcard from the 1940s.


1904 grant. Opened 1906. Replaced 1976. Fate unknown.

The Library's history page has some amusing sections, as did the Crawford County GenWeb.
1915 - The library is catalogued by Miss Fanny Hill.
1920 - The library is fumigated because of smallpox.

One of the communities of the district is Oblong.



You may wonder why the multiview cards are shown. First, each shows the library. Civic pride is a wonderful thing. Second, Robinson was a bit of a boom town, due to oil fields. Ohio Oil (now Marathon) has a heavy industrial presence locally. 

Robinson (never to be confused with Robbins) exemplifies the variety of Illinois industry.


Robinson, IL Carnegie library
Multiview postcard of Robinson, IL, with the downtown in the center.
*Rochelle (Flagg Township Library)
Rushville, IL Carnegie library

(L) L.L. Cook photo postcard.
(R) This looks like an RPPC, but it's not. It's a product of S.R. McQuown of Monmouth.

Rushville, IL Carnegie library

1906 grant.

The still-functioning Rushville library, with a very functional website, still resides in its functional Carnegie building. 

HOME     Public libraries     N-P,      Q-U     Rockford     NEXT

bottom of page