The Carnegie City Library of Emporia

THE CARNEGIE CITY LIBRARY OF EMPORIA is one of the best patronized institutions of its kind in the state. It is in reality deeply rooted in the early cultural activities of that interesting city.

It was in 1869 that a library association was organized in Emporia, and for many years this association maintained a collection of books and a more or less adequate library service. The members of the Library Association took the leading part in 1904 in securing the $22,000 from Andrew Carnegie's Library Fund, with which the present handsome structure was erected. The two lots on which the library stands at East Sixth Avenue and Market Street were donated by Mrs. Preston B. Plumb. The total number of books now housed in the library approximate 15,200, well distributed among the various classifications of fiction, history and biography, essays, art, politics, etc.

Besides the gifts from Mr. Carnegie and Mrs. Plumb which brought about the construction of the present building on the present site, the library is, of course, maintained by a library tax imposed by the city, and another important contribution was that furnished by the late Capt. L. T. Heritage, a former president of. the library board, who left, when be died in 1912, the sum of $10,000 on interest and $2,000 for immediate use of the library.

This brief sketch should not fail to mention some of the citizens, all members of the old Library Association, who were especially active and influential in the old organization and who laid the foundation for the present institution. The following names are mentioned: Mr. and Mrs. P. B. Plumb, G. M. Steele, who was secretary of the old Library Association, C. H. Riggs, E. P. Bancroft, Mrs. Perly, Jacob Stotler, T. T. Wibley, J. S. Watson, E. P. Bruner, J. W. Trueworthy, W. W. Hibben, E. W. Cunningham, E. R. Holderman, W. D. Peyton, George Newman, L. B. Kellogg and S. B. Riggs.

The library board today consists of the following: L. A. Lowther, president; Conrad Vandervelde, vice president; Mabel Edwards, secretary: Mrs. Howard Dunlap, chairman book committee; Mrs. G. W. Newman, E. A. Perrine, George Borderkircher, H. E. Peach and R. M. Hamer, mayor and ex-officio member.

The librarian is Miss Mildred Berrier, who was born in Americus, Kansas. Miss Berrier was reared in Emporia by her grandparents, and graduated from the library department of the State Normal School at Emporia, following which she became librarian of the City Library. She is a member of the State Library Association and belongs to the Presbyterian Church.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March 9, 2000.

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