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Kansas Libraries
Cities N-Z

Neal (Wildwood Park Library)

According to A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Volume 5, this was founded by a Mr. Robb, on whose farm the park and library was made.


I believe that this card was produced by A.A. Shilkett, builder of the Lyons Carnegie Library and its photographer.


Captioned by Kaeser & Blair as Library and Museum. Its image, from the Bill Belt Studio, shows a wonderful fieldstone building with its plan resembling 20th century Carnegie buildings.

The library has moved, but the museum remains in its original home.


Apparently still in use, with a huge addition.


The photo postcard was never mailed.

Osage City (Lieber Public Library)

Charming history.

Its original collection was gathered in baby buggies by the Sorosis Club in 1922. Lieber, first name unknown, contributed this building prior to the 1929 crash, but the volunteer library was finished anyway. Its volunteer status and management by the Sorosis Club ended in 1968.
Beginning in 1970, two staff members ran the building. The 1998 bond issue provided for the 2000 replacement building.

Another photo card from W. C. Pine


(L) CCCC (Chicago's Commercial Colortype Co.) postcard, showing a church next door.

(R) Fairly early Curt Teich postcard, not showing anything next door.


Replaced by the Carnegie library.

This quaint building was restored in 1927, and it was moved right next door, to serve as a museum.


The photo postcard was mailed in 1907.


Phillipsburg's community functions, including its library, were to have been housed in a WPA project building. The straightforward construction has been repurposed, perhaps as a factory. The library has been rehoused.

Photo postcard, mailed in 1940.

Sabetha (Mary Cotton Public Library)

Postcard mailed in 1941.


I'm not finding a great deal of information on the Library. Although it has a website, its 2009 renovation photos are behind a Picasa wall. However, a 2002 city page showed a rather bedraggled ochre brick building, sans trees. I suspect these were lost in a 1998 tornado.

Smith Center

Moved from one combination building to the Srader Center, another combination building.


Curt Teich card.

Stafford (Nora E. Larabee Memorial Library)

(L) Tinted 1908 A.H. Roby card.. Not mailed until 1930, however. It lacks the stained glass portrait.

(R) This photocard shows not only the portrait, but 'LIBRARY' on the side window (now replaced by an addition). Two little girls sit on the front steps.Not visible on either card are the gargoyle rainspouts the building supposedly features.

Larabee is the correct spelling.
You don't often know the background, and especially the cause of death (TB), of the person memorialized by a library.  (My original source is no longer online.) Her stained glass portrait still hangs in the same window as it did in the card at right.

Built in 1906, the local newspaper, for some insane reason, railed against the city accepting the memorial library. Finally, it was accepted under one weird stipulation: that in perpetuity, the Stafford Courier editor and descendants could never serve on the library board.


Mercifully, the Tonganoxie Public Library is in better quarters than the old F.U. Henry & Son building. According to the library's historic slide show (2008), this was Henry's second grocery store.


This is an amazingly photographed postcard, which caught a 1930s auto and a woman walking up the sidewalk.


(L) Unidentified  tinted postcard.

(R) Charming Hall Stationery Co. card, showing an Aesthetic Movement background.


This is the second library building.

In 1870, the men and women of Topeka disagreed about the purpose of a library. The ladies' vision won. By 1872, they were gracious enough to let the men attend their board meetings.
In 1883, the featured building was built on the grounds of the statehouse, and in 1885, some yahoo tried to burn it down. Hooray! for Romanesque architecture.
He failed.
By 1925, the state governor tried to oust the Library from the state property.
He failed.
After the successor building was opened in 1953, the state legislature voted to demolish the old library.
They succeeded.

(L) 1954 Curt Teich "Photochrom," with rather artsy retouching.

(R) Postcard, with typed message, mailed in 1968 to the Bibliographical Center for Research, in Denver.

This building was expanded in 1976. The second expansion (1998-2002) was designed by noted architect Michael Graves.

History from the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library web site. Kudos to its author!


Postcard annotated as:

First Library in Kansas.


Still signed as the Coal Creek Library (1859), a subscription library.


1/2 right.


Replacement for the Carnegie building. Still in use; possibly renovated.


Dexter Press chrome card.

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