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Elkhart in Elkhart county, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Elkhart Carnegie Public Library

1903 - 1963

 

—Elkhart, Heritage of the City With a Heart —

 
Elkhart Carnegie Public Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2014
1. Elkhart Carnegie Public Library Marker
Inscription.

Elkhart Carnegie Public Library
1903-1963

Second and High Streets
Local Financial Supporters: A.H. Beardsley, G.B. Pratt, Sr. And the City of Elkhart
Head Librarian: Katherine Sage

In February 1901, backed by a promise from the Elkhart City Council of property and on going financial support, two Elkhart businessmen, A.H. Beardsley and G.B. Pratt, Sr. secured a promise of $30,000 from New York industrialist Andrew Carnegie to construct the first Elkhart public library. Mr. Carnegie, a long-time supporter of libraries nationwide, later upped his support by $5,000.

Contractor W.H. Maxwell of Angola, Ind. Began on the building in September of 1901 and the project, buildings and grounds, eventually cost $37,000, a true bargain considering what the library is now worth to the community.

When the Elkhart Public Library opened its doors for the first time, in 1903, it boasted of “more than 7,000 books” acquired by donation from various school, church, and private libraries. In the first year of operation, librarians circulated 58,080 titles to the Library’s 3,393 registered borrowers – roughly one-fifth of the city’s 17,000 residents.

By 1961, because of the library’s growth and the fact that the existing building could not have been expanded,
Elkhart Carnegie Public Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2014
2. Elkhart Carnegie Public Library Marker
Site of library behind marker
a new Elkhart Public Library was erected on the southeast corner of Second and High Streets.

The Carnegie building continued to serve as classroom facilities for the Elkhart High School until it was demolished in 1970.

Reprinted by permission of the Elkhart Public Library. Michael Ehret, author.

(Photos Caption)
Elkhart Carnegie Library (above photo) Exterior of library facing Second St. at northeast corner of Second and High Streets. (bottom photo) Interior of main lobby area with marble columns. (photos courtesy of the Elkhart Public Library)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Carnegie Libraries marker series.
 
Location. 41° 41.098′ N, 85° 58.43′ W. Marker is in Elkhart, Indiana, in Elkhart county. Marker is at the intersection of S. 2nd Street and W. High Street, on the right when traveling north on S. 2nd Street. Click for map. Marker is located at northeast corner of intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Elkhart IN 46516, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Elkhart County Revolutionary Soldiers Memorial (a few steps from this marker); E. Hill Turnock (within shouting distance of this marker); Elkhart High School
Elkhart Carnegie Public Library image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2014
3. Elkhart Carnegie Public Library
Close-up of upper image on marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Gordone (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Franklin L. Miles (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bucklen Opera House (approx. ¼ mile away); Elkhart River Wharves (approx. 0.4 miles away); C.G. Conn Company (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Elkhart.
 
Categories. Education
 
Interior of Lobby of<br>Elkhart Carnegie Public Library image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2014
4. Interior of Lobby of
Elkhart Carnegie Public Library
Close-up of lower image on marker
Site of Elkhart Carnegie Public Library image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2014
5. Site of Elkhart Carnegie Public Library
At northeast corner of intersection of
S. 2nd Street and W. High Street
Present Elkhart Public Library image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2014
6. Present Elkhart Public Library
Located across High Street south of marker location and site of former Carnegie Library
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 313 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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