Seeking funds for a public library, local women asked the philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, to donate "the price of a good cigar." He gave $50,000. With that and substantial local gifts, including land donated by Mrs. Sarah J. Jennings, the first city library opened on this site, 1901.
First librarian, Mrs. Charles Schevber, was active in parks movement and local art circles. She was Vice President, 1911-1917, American Federation of Art.
The old library was razed in 1938. This building in modern classic style is four times as large as the original library.