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Public Libraries of Missouri

There is a large gap in my collection: I have very few cards from the St. Louis suburbs. I am also seeking the Daniel Boone Regional Library (Columbia) postcards, if extant.

Columbia, MO Gentry Building

I am not losing my mind, nor have I branched into another collecting obsession.


This is the Gentry Building, which first held Columbia's library, then its post office, and currently, its Parks & Recreation Building. It still resembles this E.C. Kropp postcard image.

Glasgow (Lewis Library)
Lewis Library, Glasgow, MO

Either the oldest or second oldest library building west of the Mississippi, Lewis Library was endowed in 1866. The Italianate building is still in use.

The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce issued this MWM Color Press postcard, likely in the 1970s.


They seem proud of their tiny budget. The Library is now housed along with the J.C. Penney museum.


The 1921 building shown was funded significantly by Penney. It was in use until 1976.

Hamilton, MO public library
Hannibal (John Garth Memorial Library)

Squabbling denied Hannibal Carnegie funding, but John Garth came through.

John Garth Memorial Library, Hannibal, MO

PSC Co. card.


Founded in 1845; in 1889, this became the first free tax-supported public library in Missouri, per its web site.


Replaced the Carnegie building in 1980, on the grounds of the Connor Hotel. It was expanded to include the Rosemary Titus Reynolds Children’s Library in 1995. This postcard, from the Friends of the Joplin Public library, does not show

this portion, but does include the Post Memorial Art Reference Library.

In 2011, Joplin was nearly erased by a powerful tornado. Yet, the library remained open. In 2013, a second library building was built in part of the demolished area.

The postcard was printed by the Missouri stalwart, MWM Dexter.

Joplin, MO public library
Kansas City

S.H. Knox postcard.
I don't have a card ot the very first library building, which was superceded by the building shown in 1897.

This building was too small by the 1950s, according to the library's web site, and the tall building shown below was its 1960 replacement.
Still standing, as of a June, 2011 Google Street View.

Kansas City (MO) Public Library in Beaux-Arts building
Kansas City (MO) Public Library in high-rise building

(L) 1961 Curt Teich chrome card,
mailed in 1964.
(R) J.E. Tetrick card, likely newer.

Kansas City (MO) Public Library in high-rise building

The Library's history page led me to believe that this building was replaced due to condition issues,
but it's still standing, albeit in a neighborhood which looks even worse than it does.

The Plaza Library

Either replaced, or intensively renovated.


Tetricolor postcard.

The Plaza Library, Kansas City, MO
Kirkwood, MO public library

According to the library website (2022), the Library is 95 years old. This building still stands, and appears to have had several additions over the years.

The card, photographed by Clara Beerman, states this was built in 1940.


'Historic Old Library.'


The current library is housed in a downtown storefront.
I do not know if this building is still standing.


L.L. Cook postcard.

"Historic Old Library" of Lexington, MO

Founded in 1912. This beautiful red brick library was built in 1917, and is still in use. 


Curt Teich 'Blue Sky' brand card, mailed in 1951.

Macon, MO public library


Monett is served by the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library.


This is an MWM linen finish postcard. Since they were printed in Aurora, MO, this style postcard pops up occasionally for midwestern libraries.

Monett, MO City Hall & Public Library
Pleasant Hill (Booth Public Library)
Booth Public Library, Pleasant Hill, MO. Mid-Century modern building.

International style building which many Americans might call 'Mid Century Modern.'


The postcard caption reads 'Library Building Given City of Pleasant Hill, Mo., by Eden C. Booth. Booth appears to have been notable as a poultry breeder.

The donation was not chicken feed.

Poplar Bluff
Poplar Bluff, MO public library

(L) Curt Teich 'Blue Sky' card, never mailed.
(R) Photo postcard, mailed in 1939.


The 1936 building was renovated in 1998, and is still in use.

Poplar Bluff, MO public library
Puxico, MO public library as sketched

Drawn by Elizabeth Ruser.


The cute li'l thang is still in use, with an upcoming addition. 

Rich Hill
Rich Hill, MO Memorial library

Annotated as Rich Hill, with the right hand building being the American Legion hall.

If the lovely photo on its Facebook page is corrent, this brick building is still in use,

Publisher unknown.

Salisbury (Dulany Memorial Library)
Dulany Memorial Library, Salisbury, MO. Mid-Century Modern building

Still in use. I swear the building looks smaller on its website than on the L.L. Cook postcard.

Savannah, MO High School and Public library

Now part of the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library. Somewhere along the line, this small building (right side, by tree) was replaced.


Black and White brand postcard with salesman's notation. These sold for $4.50 per thousand, wholesale.

Sikeston, MO public library

Still in use, although it took me a bit of time to figure it out from the Library web site.


Curt Teich chrome card, a reprint of a 1942 postcard. If I remember correctly, I have seen this as a linen finish card.

St. James (Lucy Wortham James Memorial Library)
Lucy Wortham James Memorial Libray, St. James, MO

Ms. James' contributions, and later her bequest, kept the library free of public funding until 2013, when this 1953 building was gifted to the community, and therefore became a civic responsibility.

It is now known as the James Memorial Library, and the building is still in use.




Trenton (Jewett Norris Library)
Jewett Norris Library, Trenton, MO on miscut postcard

(L) Don't drink and slice postcards. 

Many scenes comprised a printing run for a publisher. They were divided mechanically, but obviously, there was a lot of room for error.

(R) Card produced for S.H. Kress, possibly by Curt Teich.


The 1891 building is still in use as the Grundy County Jewett Norris Library.



(R) Don't drink and caption postcards. This photo postcard was inscribed:

Public Liberary Trenton Mo.

Jewett Norris Library, Trenton, MO
Trenton, MO public library in Romanesque/French Revival building

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