Howard in Miner County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Howard Public Library
First Chartered Library in Dakota Territory
The Howard Public Library was the first public library chartered in Dakota Territory. Charter No. 1 was issued to the Ladies Library Association of Howard on January 8, 1886, by M.L. McCormick, Territorial Secretary. In 1889, the City of Howard assumed ownership.
During its first six years, the library was housed briefly in the Methodist Church and then in Boles General Store. It had only a large bookcase, open a few hours each week. The librarian’s salary was 25 cents a week. On September 26, 1892, a disastrous fire swept away the Boles Store, destroying the library furnishings, its records and all but 11 books which were out on loan.
Within three months, on January 21, 1893, the Library Board reopened the library in a corner of the city jail and gradually expanded into the City Council room. The library remained in this building for 74 years.
In the early 1900’s efforts were made to build a Carnegie Library. A public election was held, plans were under way when World War I intervened and Carnegie grants were discontinued.
The new Main Street location with enlarged holdings resulted in renewed public interest, and by its centennial year of 1986, the book collection had grown to exceed 12,000 volumes. One hundred years of continuous service to the community was celebrated with a year-long series of public events.
With the same spirit and dedication of the original founders, the library was moved again in 1999 into the east end of the Municipal Building. The move tripled the size of the library to provide patrons with a more useful working environment. Computers and new technology, along with books, are now resources for the 21st century.
This marker serves as a memorial to the vision of the pioneers and those who have diligently worked to improve the quality of life throughout the history of the City of Howard.
Erected 2001. (Marker Number 691.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these Charity & Public Work • Education. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 8, 1886.
Location. 44° 0.49′ N, 97° 31.55′ W. Marker is in Howard, South Dakota, in Miner County. Marker is on 233rd Street (State Highway 34) west of South Maple Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, in a pull-out on the north side of the highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Howard SD 57349, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lake County / Miner County (approx. 7.7 miles away); Town of Epiphany (approx. 13.1 miles away).
Also see . . . First Chartered Library in South Dakota. Chartered in 1886, 3 years before South Dakota statehood, The Howard Public Library became the first chartered library in the state. Today, Howard boasts one of the best public, small town libraries in the state. Although the library is now located in a modern building, the original structure has been preserved at Prairie Village in Madison, SD. (Submitted on October 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 14, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 66 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.