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Carnegie Libraries of Texas

I have only a few Texas Carnegie library postcards. The general scarcity could have its roots in the number of defaults on the agreements for community support alluded to in the handy site, Handbook of Texas Online.
More cards exist, and I must direct you to another excellent site, Texas Escapes, to see cards and photos.


A 1908 Carnegie grant, obtained by the City Federations of Women's Clubs, helped fund this 1909 building, which was torn down in 1958.
Finding additional details has been difficult.
Supposedly, a book, Report of a survey of Carnegie Library, Abilene, Texas, by Schenk, exists, but I haven't gotten a copy yet.


Tinted card.


Grant dates from 1903.


Card, mailed in 1910, published by Geo. A. Gray, Belton, Texas and made in the U.S.A. Its quality is quite inferior to the German cards of the times, but the postmark in the sky does not improve appearances.


Today the Carnegie building is in use as the Bell County Museum.


1903 grant: currently a museum.

(L) Fred Harvey postcard.

(R) Chrome 1975 Curt Teich card states the building house both the library and the Layland Museum, so there must have been a gradual transition.



1904 grant: replaced, then demolished in 1967, according to a historical marker whose photograph I found on Flickr. A Rootsweb page shows several more postcards, which reveal a far deeper building than this card appears to show.


The card dates between 1907 and 1909.


Beautiful Tuck's card from Great Britain. Neither Tuck's nor Detroit Publishing made many library postcards, so it's a pleasure to find one.


Early Carnegie building, from 1899, according to the Texas Escapes site. This is another of the Carnegie buildings that have credit to Andrew carved over the entrance. It was not rare, albeit not officially encouraged.

Donated to the City of Dallas by
Andrew Carnegie
Erected in the year MDCCCC.

Demolished in 1954 for a very Mod building.

El Paso

1902 grant, demolished in 1968.

(L) Tinted card from a bleak winter.
(R) Some of the details on this C.T. Art Colored card are amazing. The big red building behind is a hotel. The sign can be read (reversed) when magnified. On another building is a billboard with a picture of a 1930-ish car.

Bird's eye view of El Paso includes its Carnegie library, now demolished.
Fort Worth

Postcard printed in Holland in sepia tones. Very attractive!


Demolished in 1937. Its replacement is very Deco/Moderne.


1912 grant.

Built prior to 1916, of cream colored brick and steel, according to the Texas Handbook. This was a library in the vanguard. It now is the Butterfield Stage.
Note the signpost in the lower left corner.

Graycraft Card chose a nice, Deco design for this card. For monochrome, this is an attractive card.

Art Deco postcard of a near-Deco Carnegie library in Gainesville, TX.

(L) Mock 'Blue Sky card.
(R) The reverse of this civic booster card has the unfortunate addition:

"Blackest land"
"Whitest people"

Blame R.A. Crawford, the local publisher; but Colourpicture, of Cambridge, Mass went along with it.

1903 grant. Demolished in 1953. Replaced by the W. Walworth Harrison Public Library.


1899 grant. I don't know when it was demolished, but apparently it was replaced in 1926. Causing ever-so-much confusion, there is now a Carnegie Neighborhood Library which looks like it was built in the '90s. 

The 1990s.


Tinted postcard displays a lot of ornaments, plus what looks to me like a radio mast.


(L) Photo postcard implies that the Library also had an operatic function.
(R) Auburn Post Card with interesting details. Propped against the porch are 2 wooden struc-tures that resemble sidewalk segments, as the path  was decidedly rutted.
In the foreground is the fanciest horse trough ever, with a young boy in the horse-drawn wagon.

1906 Carnegie grant. Surprisingly, still in use. Presumably, sans opera.

San Antonio

From the card:

The Carnegie Library at San Antonio is one of the finest edifices in the city. Mr. Andrew Carnegie gave Doll. 50,000 for the building, and the site cost Doll. 15,000. It has an endowment fund, the income of which, together with a special tax levied by the city, maintains its work. It is under the control of a Board of Trustees.

Mrs. E.E.M. agreed in 1909, adding in her message to Miss May Millis of the Leavenworth (KS) Public Library:

This endowment fund should be started in Leav. even tho' it be very small at first-

Now you know what librarians do on vacation.

1900 Carnegie grant: possibly demolished in 1929.


1912 Carnegie grant. Now a museum.


E.C. Kropp linen finish postcard, never mailed.


1902 grant. Surprisingly, this library building was not demolished by the local burghers. 

It burned in 1918.


The postcard is from an unknown publisher.


1903 Carnegie grant. Now a heritage museum.


Curt Teich 'C.T. American Art' card, possibly as old as 1911, mailed in 1934.


1903 grant. Built 1904. Expanded in 1936.Smith County Historical Society's museum is in the Carnegie History Center. The building was added in 1979 to the National Register of Historic Places.

(L) Unknown manufacturer: more useful picture. The building resembles several in Iowa.
(R) Postcard by Curt Teich.



Library built in 1902 and demolished since. My estimate is that it bit the dust in the early 1960s, if you look at the current central library building.

(L) Nekkid. Also shows the Kyle Family Hotel. 
(R) Commercialchrome postcard, mailed in 1918.


Hokey smokes! Ivy or kudzu?


1908 Carnegie grant. Demolished, 1967.
There is some information on the Texas A&M University-Commerce Digital Collections page on Flickr.


Photo postcard shows a mysterious door occupying the area beneath the entry.

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