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
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,
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.
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. Touch 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 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elkhart.
Categories. • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 17, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 374 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 17, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.