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Public Libraries of Illinois
Cities V-Z

Villa Park

This card dates from either 1928 or 1929. The street sign reads 'W. Central Blvd.'

Why is this small detail so crucial? According to the Library's history page:

Villa Park, IL public library

In August 1928, with 400 books, the Villa Park Woman's Club opened the Villa Park Library in one room of the J.C. Sterett real estate office at 317 S. Ardmore, the northeast corner of Ardmore and Central.
...By 1929, it was apparent that more room was needed. The library moved into a twenty-five by thirty-two-foot room on the second floor of the new Villa Park Village Hall.

Therefore, this photograph was taken during a very small window of time.

Warsaw, IL public library

The only information I have found online is an image on the Library's web site showing an attractive new library building.


The photo postcard was mailed in 1942: the architecture of the building and the brick sidewalk lead me to believe the building dates from 1915-1925.

Washington, IL public library

(L) Morton Wholesale House postcard, probably the latter of the two.
(R) L.L. Cook photo card.


Replaced, and has a branch.

Washington, IL public library
Watseka, IL library and club house

(L) The card was mailed in 1916, but has an unevenly divided back.
(R) An even older card has an entire back.

Watseka, IL public library

This rather dismal postcard has two interesting features:
Watseka is misspelled as 'Wateska,' and, the caption also notes (NOT CARNEGIE).
The publisher was F.E. Foster, local to Watseka. I can't find any further information about him.


No history on the library's site, but this building has been replaced.

Watseka, IL (NOT CARNEGIE) library
West Chicago
W. Chicago, IL public library

West Chicago has nothing to do with the Second City whatsoever. It's a suburb near St. Charles and Geneva. Built in 1954. A wing was added in 1958; completely replaced in 1994.


L.L. Cook postcard of surprisingly poor quality. Never mailed. 

West Dundee

Along with Carpentersville, merged to form the Dundee Township Public Library District in 1959.

Yes, I know, this card features the city hall. It did house the library at one point in time. I remember it, and I remember a hellacious number of steps for a youngster.
Or an oldster.


In 1962, the library collection moved to an 1870s house on West Main Street (IL-72). That soon required an annex, which housed the non-fiction collection. In turn, both were demolished in the 1970s to make way for a bank.

Wheaton (Adams Memorial Library)
Adams Memorial Library, Wheaton, IL

(L) L.L. Hialt's Sons' postcard.
(R) 1949 Curt Teich linen finish card.


This library was built in 1891 as the Adams Memorial Library and was superceded in 1965. 

Adams Memorial Library, Wheaton, IL

Information came from the Wheaton Public Library website's history page (no longer extant). The Adams building still stands and is today used as the DuPage County Historical Museum. It has been restored and maintained with tender loving care.

Unfortunately, there's not much inside, especially when compared with McHenry County's Historical Museum in Union, Illinois.

(R) A very difficult card to date, as the cars in the background aren't quite visible. Its publisher is truly obscure: Phototone brand from Northwestern Printing Service of Chicago.

Adams Memorial Library, Wheaton, IL
White Hall
White Hall, IL public library

Caption: Public Library, Whiteside Park, White Hall, Ill.

Built in 1922 as the Whiteside-Griswold Memorial Library. Resembles the Delavan, IL Carnegie library.
It is still in use as the 
White Hall Township Public Library.


The card was never mailed and has no manufacturer's identification. It has a feel about it from the late '30s or early '40s.
No, the strobing scan artifacts is not the feeling.


I had never known that the famous Opera House had housed the library (1891-1959), but Curt Teich left in a detail at the base of the tower on the 1951 linen finish card. If you were wondering, the store at right was an A & P.


Historic photographs on Flickr.

Woodstock' IL Opera House, City Hall, and library
Woodstock, IL public library

Card postmarked 1966.
Photo credit to Don Peasley, chronicler of McHenry County history. Card by Dexter Press of West Nyack, New York.

Pretty as it is, it shares that Lutheran church architectural flavor with the current Ripon, WI library. It has been expanded in 1966 and in 1987.

Info from card:

Located in a beautiful, restful setting, the Woodstock Public Library is an outstanding asset to the city of nearly 10,000 citizens. Founded in 1880, the library today has 20,000 volumes. It moved into this building in 1959, and features many periodicals, a reading room, and children's department.

Zion-Benton Public Library, Zion, IL

Zion Publishing card, mailed 1969.


Not to be confused with Mt. Zion Public Library.
Today, it's the Zion-Benton Public Library.
Apparently, the building also housed a recreation facility.


A person could go broke collecting cards of historic Zion.

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