Friday, October 3, 2014

Carnegie Public Library, Abilene, Kansas

[LIB11133] In 1904 the women circulated a petition to vote on a tax levy of one mill to support the library.  The question was favorably voted upon in the city election of 1905.  Soon after this action a board of trustees for the Abilene Public Library was formed and Mayor H.L. Humphrey wrote to Andrew Carnegie asking for a grant to erect a public library for Abilene.

There was great difficulty in securing a location after the Carnegie grant of $10,000 was obtained.  At the time, the location decided upon was an eyesore to the whole town, covered with rubbish, an unsightly livery barn, four or five rickety buildings used for blacksmith shops and second hand stores.  The property was condemned for park purposes and therefore cleared to build the library.  Andrew Carnegie agreed to increase his grant to $12,500 if the library board would agree to levy annually not less than 10 percent of his gift. [Website]

No comments: