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Nebraska Public Library Founding Dates

(compiled from resources located in the Nebraska Library Commission Archives)

Town Founding
Date
Carnegie or other
Building constructed
Sponsored or assisted
by Women's Club
Notes
Adams       closed 2009
Ainsworth   1911 1911  
Albion 1900  1908   Carnegie Building, designed by John P. Eisentraut, library opened in 1908
Alexandria 1920      
Allen 1936      
Alliance 1909/1910 1912 1909 Carnegie Building
1909 - Nesbit; 1910 - Seavey
(Carnegie Building now serves as an Art Center)
Alma   1910 1911 1910 Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building is now vacant)
Designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Patton & Miller
Anselmo     1926 Closed 2015
Ansley   1916   1917  
Arapahoe   1920      
Arcadia   1917 1917   Carnegie Building
Arlington 1918      
Arnold 1913 1920 1920  
Arthur        
Ashland 1902/1904  1912   Carnegie Building
1902 -Nesbit; 1904 from the library
moved to new buidling in 2014
Atkinson 1922      
Auburn   1914 1914 founded Aug. 27, 1914 - from the library
Aurora 1908/1909   1909 Carnegie Building
1908 - Nesbit; 1909 - Seavey
(Carnegie Building now serves as Faith Community Church)
Avoca     1914  
Axtell   1925   1925  
Bancroft        
Bartlett        
Bartley 1976      
Bassett     1930 Bookmobile service offered
Battle Creek 1939      
Bayard   1919   1919  
Beatrice   1873 1904 1881 Carnegie Building. Started by Clara Colby in 1873 and Women's Christian Temperance Union formed a library in 1881. Carnegie Building has been renovated for occupation in September 2012 by the Chamber of Commerce, Gage County Tourism and Gage Area Growth Enterprise.   Beatrice Public Library Carnegie Restoration Project
Beaver City        
Beaver Crossing     1913  
Beemer     1925  
Belden     1924 (Cedar County), started as a combination school/public library
Bellevue     1929 Started in 1929 by the Bellevue Junior Woman's Club (now Aokiya Woman's Club) with a gift of 12 books from the Dundee Woman's Club
Belvidere     1926 (Thayer County)
Benkelman 1937   1913 organized by Una Richards
Bennington 1948      
Berwyn     1932 (Custer County), organized by local people
Big Springs        
Bingham       Sponsored by the Sandhills Rural Mothers Club, a traveling library
Blair   1916 1916 1877 Carnegie Building. Known as the "Ladies Library Association" in 1877, Blair's first library of 300 volumes was housed in the E.C. Pierce Furniture Store, with Miss Carrie Wiseman as the first librarian. On October 6, 1916 the dedication of the new (Carnegie) library was held. (Carnegie Building destroyed by fire in 1973)
Bloomfield 1908   1906 Carnegie Building. Building now houses the Bloomfield Historical Society.
Bloomington   1918 1916 no date started as a project of Women's Club
Blue Hill     1929  
Boelus     1925 (Howard County)
Brady 2007     (Lincoln County)  opened July 2007
Bridgeport 1929 1922 1912  
Bristow     1936 (Boyd County)
Broadwater     1936 organized through the influence of local people
Broken Bow   1910? 1916   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as a professional office building)
Bruning   1884      
Brunswick     1939 organized by a group of citizens
Burwell 1912 1914 1912 Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building is now vacant)
Butte        
Byron        
Callaway 1931   1931  
Cambridge        
Campbell     no date Started by Women's Club, Room, heat and light paid for by town.
Carleton     1922 (Thayer County) - closed
Carroll   1906   1904  
Cedar Rapids   1914      
Center       closed
Central City   1899    
Ceresco   1976      
Chadron 1918  1911   Carnegie Building
Chappell 1920/1935   1920 1920 -Nesbit;
1935 Pollak
Chester     1920 (Thayer County) closed 2013
Clarks   1919 1919   Carnegie Building
Clarkson 1960     Clarkson Public Library History
Clay Center   1910 1917   Carnegie Building
Clearwater        
Cody     1936 (Cherry County), started by several enterprising ladies
College View SEE: Lincoln 1905? 1916   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building is now used as a Union College Building)
Columbus   1878 1915 1901 Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as an office for insurance and law)
Bookmobile service offered
Cook 1936     Mrs. Floyd Chases assisted in organizing this library along with the Women's Club
Comstock 1925      
Cozad 1917/1923     Carnegie Building
1917 Nesbit; 1923 - Seavey
(Carnegie Building torn down sometime between 1991-1997)
Crab Orchard     1923 (Johnson County)
Craig       closed
Crawford   1912      
Creighton   1913   1913  
Crete   1878 1915   Carnegie Building. Founded by the Red Ribbon Temperance club
Crofton   1927   1920  
Culbertson     1915  
Curtis        
Dakota City 1922/1928   1922 1922 - Nesbit;
1928 - Seavey
Dalton     1929 (Cheyenne County), Mrs. J. W. Hardin President of the Women's Club was responsible for starting this library
Dannebrog        
Davenport 1921   1921  
David City 1891  1919   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as a private residence)
Banner-Press Article
Dawson        
Daykin        
Decatur     1936 (Burt County)
Deshler 1951     2016 renamed Jennifer Reinke Public Library
DeWitt 1902/1907     Carnegie Building
1902 - Nesbit; 1907 - Seavey
(Carnegie Building collapsed in 1963)
Diller     1922  
Dodge     1930 The dedication date of the John Rogers Memorial Library in Dodge is June 26, 1955.
Dorchester     1914  
Douglas        
Dwight        
Edgar     1927 closed
Elgin 1931   1928 Library made possible through the efforts of members of the Presbyterian Church.
Elkhorn 1925   1936 Library made possible largely through the efforts of Mrs. Rudolph.  Became a branch of Omaha Public Libraries in 2007.
Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch
Elm Creek     1931  
Elmwood     1915  
Elwood 1918   1918 Rev. Sweeney organized this library
Emerson        
Eustis       Started by combining High School and Community Books.
Ewing        
Exeter 1936      
Fairbury 1900/1909     Carnegie Building
1900 - Nesbit; 1909 founded in presented location, from the library
Fairfield   1914 1905 Carnegie Building. Original plans and construction started in 1903, doors opened
September 1909
Fairmont     1922  
Falls City 1902 1902    
Farnam 1943      
Franklin   1915 1915   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as an Art Gallery)
Fremont   1901 1903   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building torn down mid '70s)
Friend   1909 1909 1909 tax supported in 1915, first building given by Mr. Gilbert. Friend Sentinel Article
Fullerton   1911 1914 1914 Carnegie Building
Geneva 1906 1912   Carnegie Building
Genoa 1902/1911     1902 - Nesbit:
1911 - Seavey
Gering 1910       
Gibbon   1910 1913 1910 Carnegie Building, started by a combined committee of the Women's Club and the Commercial Club
Carnegie Building torn down nearly 90 years after it was built to make way for the new library.
Giltner       Sponsored by the Giltner Music Study Club, building donated by the Masonic Lodge
Glenvil        
Gordon   1922   1922  
Gothenburg   1915 1916 1916 Carnegie Building
Grand Island   1884 1905   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as a law office)
Bookmobile service offered
Grant 1922   1919  
Greeley     1937  
Greenwood 1976   1933 housed in Union Bank
Gresham     1909  
Gretna     no date started by a women's club
Guide Rock   1918 1918  
Haigler     1928 (Dundy County)
Halsey     1928 (Thomas County)
Hardy     1924  
Harrison        
Hartington   1914 1916 1914 Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as an Art Gallery)
Harvard   1916 1916   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building house the library and the city clerk's office)
Hastings   1903 1904   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building demolished in late 1960)
Bookmobile service offered
Havelock SEE:  Lincoln 1907 1907   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building  -Havelock location - demolished after 1971)
Hay Springs        
Hayes Center 1925      
Heartwell     1926 (Kearney County)
Hebron   1922    
Hemingford     1923  
Herman     1912 (Washington County)
Hildreth 1975      
Homer     1936 (Dakota County)
Holdrege   1895 1907   Carnegie Building
Hooper   1913   1913  
Howells 1926   1911  
Hubbell     1927 (Thayer County)
Humboldt   1884   1884 Began organizing 23 Feb 1884 and opened for business 16 May 1884
Humphrey        
Hyannis     1930  
Imperial 1931   1927 Started by the FWC - American Legion
Indianola 1940     Legion gave the free use of a room, Legion Auxiliary fitted it for the use of library, Boy Scouts also assisted in collecting books.
Inman       closed
Jackson        
Jansen     1924 (Jefferson County)
Kearney   1890 1905   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building demolished 1973)
Bookmobile service offered
Kimball 1919/1924     1919 - Nesbit:
1924 - Seavey
Laurel   1909   1909  
LaVista   1974     First library building was located at 8116 Park View Blvd. The new building constructed in 1999 is a joint library with Metro Community College.
Leigh 1921   1922  
Lewellen        
Lexington   1919 1919   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as a Law Office)
Lexington Clipper-Herald Story
Lincoln   1875 1902 - Main Library; 1909 NE Branch; 1910 - Havelock, College View and University Place Branches   officially incorporated as a city-owned, tax-supported institution in 1877.

Carnegie-assisted buildings in Lincoln total five:
Old Main - now Bennett Martin, (Old Main Carnegie Building demolished about 1960.) The former Northeast Branch Carnegie Library now houses Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach located on North 27th Street. Carnegie grants were also secured by the towns of Havelock, University Place and College View. When these towns were annexed by the city of Lincoln, their libraries became part of the Lincoln City Library system, bringing the number of Carnegie-assisted buildings in Lincoln to five.

Bookmobile service offered
Lindsay     1936 (Platte County)
Lisco       closed
Litchfield     1929 organized inside the school
Lodgepole     1930  
Long Pine     1921  
Louisville 1901/1917     1901 - Nesbit:1917 - Seavey
Loup City   1917 1917   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now owned and occupied by a software company)
Lushton     1926 (York County)
Lyman        
Lynch        
Lyons 1926   1926 Library started in 1926 according to  Edward McMonies, a long time Library Board member whose mother was one of the individuals promoting the concept and showing need for a library. The original board members of the Women's Club took turns as librarian. The first official librarian was hired January 1942 when the city passed ordinance #16 -from Mary Fritts, 2004.
Madison 1907/1910 1913 1907 Carnegie Building
1907 - Nesbit: 1910 - Seavey
(Carnegie Building now serves as Carnegie Learning Center as directed by the Madison County Historical Society)
Madrid     1929 (Perkins County) Mrs. F. A. Long was largely instrumental in leading the club women to organize a public library
Mason City        
Maxwell     1927 assisted by the American Legion Auxiliary  (Lincoln County)
McCook 1902  1908   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as High Plains Historical Society Museum)
McCook Gazette Story
Mead 1941      
Meadow Grove        
Merna   1916    
Merriman 1927   1927 started by the PTA
Milford     1930 organized by a committee of citizens
Milligan        
Minatare     1930  
Minden   1907   1907  
Mitchell   1916      
Morrill   1917 1917 started by the Twentieth Century Club
Mullen 1930      
Naper   2012    
Nebraska City   1896   started by Joy Morton of Arbor Lodge
Nehawka     1928 (Cass County)
Neligh   1904 1911   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as a community resource center)
Nelson 1896      
Newman Grove   1923   1923  
Niobrara 1971      
Nora     1935 (Nuckolls County)
Norfolk   1908 1910   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building was purchased by a planning and engineering firm)
North Bend 1908/1910   1908 Carnegie Building purchased in September 2012 by Jim Kruger.
1908 - Nesbit; 1910 - Seavey
New library opened 2012.
North Loup     1925 sponsored by the No Lo and Fortnightly Clubs
North Platte 1911  1913   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building now serves as a Children’s Museum) http://www.npchildrensmuseum.com/
O'Neill   1912 1913   Carnegie Building
Oakdale 1929   1925  
Oakland 1914/1916   1920 1914 - Seavey:
1916 - Nesbit
Oconto        
Ogallala     1926 sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary
Omaha 1877      History of Branches
Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch
South Omaha Branch (Carnegie Building) torn down 1953
Bookmobile service offered
Orchard        
Ord 1922      
Orleans   1917    
Osceola   1906   1901  
Oshkosh 1921      
Osmond 1937      
Overton        
Oxford        
Palisade 1966      
Palmer        
Palmyra   1921   1911  
Papillion   1921   yes- no date  
Pawnee City   1904/1907   1904 Carnegie Building, designed by John P. Eisentraut
1904 - Nesbit; 1907 from the library
moved to new building in 2011
Paxton 1932      
Pender 1904   1904  
Petersburg        
Pierce   1908 1912 1907 Carnegie Building, sponsored by the WCTU Association
(Carnegie Building was moved from original location and is now vacant)
Pilger        
Plainview 1908/1917 1916 1908 Carnegie Building
1908 - Nesbit; 1917 Seavey
Platte Center     1932 (Platte County)
Plattsmouth   1886 1916   Carnegie Building
Freemont Tribute Story
Plymouth        
Polk 1913   1911 started by the Culture Club of Polk
Ponca 1910/1913   1909 Carnegie Building
1910 - Nesbit; 1913 - Seavey
organized by business people
Potter     1921  
Primrose     1935 started by the Epworth League
Ralston   1922   1931 1922 (in a business)
1924 (by the city)
 
Randolph   1918 1917 1918 Carnegie Building, started by the citizens of Randolph
moved to new building in 2007
Ravenna   1918 1918 1918 Carnegie Building, started by interested citizens
Red Cloud   1918 1918  
Republican City     1924 (Harlan County), Organized through the efforts of Mrs. Oalcott
Rising City        
Royal       closed 2009
Rushville 1921     original building now a private house.
Ruskin     1927 closed 2011
St. Edward 1925 1925 1925 Started by the Delphians
St. Paul 1953      
Sargent   1921 1918  
Schuyler   1909 1911   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building is now vacant)
Schuyler Sun Story
Scotia 1927     supported by the Scotia Women's Club. Renamed now Scotia Public Library & Heritage Center in December 2015.
Scottsbluff   1917 1921   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building is now serving as the  Western Nebraska Art Center)
Scribner   1900/1902   1900 1900 - Nesbit; 1902 from the library. started with efforts of Charles Arnott and a committee
Seward   1890 1913   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building was sold 11/2003)
Shelby     1927  
Shelton   1907 1914   Carnegie Building
Shickley 1923   1923  
Shubert        
Sidney 1915/1917 1917   Carnegie Building
1915 - Seavey; 1917 Nesbit
(Carnegie Building now serves as the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce)
Bookmobile service offered
Silver Creek 1918     organized by Charles Wooster
Snyder   1936     started by the PTA
South Omaha SEE: Omaha 1904?     Carnegie Building - no year
(Carnegie Building - South Omaha Branch torn down)
South Sioux City        
Spalding 1911      
Spencer 1915/1916 1916/1917 1914 Carnegie Building, started by the B. K. Girls, an organization of young ladies
1915 - Seavey; 1916 - Nesbit
Springfield 1926   1929 May of 1928, the town board voted a mill levy for the maintenance of the Library
Springview        
Stanton   1915 1915   Carnegie Building, started by interested citizens
Stapleton 1939      
Stella        
Sterling   1904      
Strang       closed 2007
Stratton     1923  
Stromsburg   1918 1916   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie Building is now privately owned no definite plans)
Stuart 1948   1922 Organized by the Lions Club,
1948 - Seavey
Superior   1884 1908   Carnegie Building
(Carnegie building now houses businesses)
Designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Patton & Miller
Sutherland        
Sutton 1907/1908 1910   Carnegie Building
1907 - Seavey; 1908 Nesbit
(Carnegie Building torn down in 1969)
Swanton     1888 (Saline County), Twelve charter members of the Ladies' Library Society led by Mrs.. Rubleman and Miss Mulitz started a library in 1888
Syracuse 1901/1907   1909 1901 Nesbit:
1907 -Seavey
Table Rock   1917 no date started by a Women's Club
Talmage   1904      
Taylor 1962      
Tecumseh   1887 1907   Carnegie Building, designed by John P. Eisentraut
(Carnegie Building now serves as Eloise’s Fashion and Dollar Store)
Tekamah   1916 1915/1916   Carnegie Building, started by a group of citizens with a Lied Building Expansion.
Thedford        
Tilden   1922   1922  
Tobias     1928 Mrs. S. L. Muman with the aid of her Sunday School class started a library in the church basement. Closed 2016
Trenton 1923   1923  
Ulysses   1916   1915  
University Place SEE: Lincoln 1916 1916   Carnegie Building
(University Place Carnegie Building now serves as an office for M.E. Group Inc. engineers and consultants)
Valentine     1921 Started by the P.E.O. Organization. Taken over by the city in November 1935
Bookmobile service offered
Valley   1902   yes - no date  
Valparaiso 1916   1917  
Verdigre 1952      
Verdon        
Wahoo   1923   1923 founded April 23, 1923, by the Wahoo Women's Club - from the library
Wakefield   1902 1902  
Wallace        
Walthill 1922/1935   1920 1922 Nesbit:
1935 Seavey
Waterloo 1973      
Wauneta 1960   1931  
Wausa 1935   1920 Started by the PTA in 1920;
1935 - Pollak
Waverly        
Wayne 1902 1913   Carnegie Building. Funded by volunteers and donations until 1910 when the city assumed
responsibility and appointed the first library board in April of that year. - from the library
(Carnegie Building now serves as a  church youth center)
Designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Patton & Miller
Weeping Water   1917    
West Point 1917 1916   Started by the Girls Culture Club
Western 1922   1922  
Wilber   1968      
Wilcox       closed in 2016
Wilsonville 1947   no date Started by a Women's Club
Winnebago        
Winside   1911   1911  
Wisner 1903   1903 Started by a Women's Club in July 1903. Prior to that date, The State Librarian's Supervision served the community
Wolbach 1925     closed 2015
Wood River   1906 1906  
Wymore1917 1919   Carnegie Building
York1894 1902 1885 city funding began 1894, building opened 1902.  Old library now houses CPA firm.
Yutan1966     April 11, 1966, from Thelma Anderson, librarian

Carnegie Libraries information taken from A State of Readers:  Nebraska's Carnegie Libraries by Pollak: "Nebraska received $720,000 for sixty-nine libraries built between 1901-1922. Fifty-eight are still standing, of which twenty-six are still libraries."


Nesbit, Marguerite, Nebraska and Carnegie Libraries (typescript, 1930)

Galbraith, Mrs. F. R. Supplemental History of Libraries Sponsored or assisted by Women's Clubs.
Ainsworth, NE State Chairman Library Service N.F.W.C. 1935-1937

Pollak, Oliver B.  A State of Readers: Nebraska's Carnegie Libraries. J. & L. Lee Publishers. 2005

Seavey, Charley - notes provided from research conducted at the Nebraska Library Commission

Carnegie Libraries in Nebraska photographs of Nebraska's Carnegie libraries