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Carnegie Libraries of St. Joseph, Missouri

It's uncommon to find postcards of the branch libraries of a smaller city. Between 1900 and 1910, its population dropped by nearly a quarter. Yet, Andrew Carnegie (and likely, James Bertram) showed faith in the city by making at least two grants.

Downtown Library

Built in 1902, the Library's web page does not state that this was built from a Carnegie grant. Indeed, the $50,000 came in 1901, making it unlikely to be a true Carnegie building, As it was meant to also house the School District administration, which would flout Carnegie's rules, this building is unlikely to be a Carnegie building.

Of the 'Greetings from Picturesque America' series.

I noticed two exciting things about this postcard:
1) The last name of the sender is 'Egermann,'the surname of noted Naperville (IL) librarian Matie Egermann.
2) The postmark of the receiving post office is Naperville.
Might this have been mailed to one of Matie's family members?

This postcard is slightly more recent, judging from the amount of ivy twining up the outer walls. I believe this card to be one of Curt Teich's earlier efforts.

Interior of the library.

The collections seem to be in a glassed-off room,
but there are closed stacks behind the service desk.

Note the rotunda.

St. Joseph North (Washington Park Library)
Caption: North St. Joseph Library Building, Washington Park, St. Joseph, MO

Opened in 1910 on a land donation honoring Washington Jones.

It is still in use as a library.

The entrance seems grander on this American Calendar postcard (likely printed by Curt Teich) than it does on the library site.

South Street Branch

Although the card calls this the South Street Branch, I believe that it's actually located at 316 Massachusetts Street.


This branch was also built in 1902. It has been kept up very well. In reality, it is red brick with dark brown trim, not the wan ochre color that Curt Teich's artists gave it.

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