Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Public Library, Arkansas City, Kansas

[LIB8024] N. D. Sanders, “an enthusiastic advocate” of a library, entered into correspondence with Andrew Carnegie who responded with a generous offer of $16,000.00 for a building.  This was on April 10, 1906.  (The amount was later increased to $18,400, provided that “Council guarantee a corresponding increase in the maintenance fund.”)  On June 28, 1906, the electorate voted to support a public library.  The first Library Board was established July 11, 1906.

A site at Second Street and West Fifth Avenue was chosen and six lots were selected and purchased.  The architectural firm of Smith and Shenck of Fort Worth designed the building.  The contract was let for no more than $16,000.00 to George E. Hopper, but the building was finished under the supervision of J. Y. Davis.  The plumbing was done by James Bays, and decorating and interior finishing was contracted by Cooper & Heydorf Bros.  The library board spent $2,600.00 on the grounds, and the building cost was $18,400.00.  The Fortnightly Club donated 600 volumes to the 3,000 volumes purchased by the board, thus the library was opened with 3,600 volumes.  The dedication was held August 5, 1908. A. J. Hunt, president of the New Era Mill, gave the dedicatory address. [Website]

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