Carnegie Legacy in Kansas logo: Link that takes you to the home page  
  Table of Contents about Andrew Carnegie About Allen Gardiner, author of The Carnegie Legacy in Kansas Further information about Libraries featured in this book Carnegie Legacy in Kansas logo: Link that takes you to the home page  

EUREKA

EARLY LIBRARY HISTORY
 
The library was begun in 1899 by members of the Entre Nous Club, a women's music and literary organization. To raise funds for the library a number of ventures were tried. A chain letter netted $25.00. A series of waffle suppers proved to be a successful fundraising method. (J. D. Clark began to complain about the odor of waffles, so many suppers were hosted, but Mrs. Clark reminded him that he liked to read and the waffle suppers continued.) Mrs. Allie Guess Bailey had made a beautiful handkerchief of Battenberg lace and had given it to Mrs. Mary L. Branson. Mrs. Branson gave up the handkerchief for a raffle to benefit the library. Chances were sold at fifty cents each, and, although it was a lot of money, "the prize was lovely and the cause worthy," and $35.00 was raised.
 
Carnegie Library: Eureka, Kansas

 
The Entre Nous Club opened the first library in Eureka on April 24, 1901, in two rooms in the Crebo Building. The library existed here until 1914. By 1913 the collection had grown to 2,500 volumes and the quarters were outgrown.
 
THE CARNEGIE LIBRARY
 
Mayor D. C. Johnson was requested to write to Andrew Carnegie, who responded on May 21, 1913, by offering $9,000.00 for a library building. In the meantime, on April l, 1913, the voters had agreed to establish and maintain a public library under the laws of Kansas, by a vote of 429-179. The first library board was appointed on April 22. On April 28 the board of trustees accepted the gift of books and furniture from the Entre Nous Club. On June 26, 1913, the city council agreed to provide the annual maintenance sum of $900.00.
 
Some controversy existed over the selection of the site of the new library. The Eureka Herald of June 19, 1913, stated that the library board had purchased four 50-foot lots from Mrs. Ella Christy for $2,000.00, and 10 feet from Dr. Huss, but this was apparently not so. The library's minute books and deeds recorded in the Register of Deeds office indicate that the library board had chosen a site at the southeast corner of Sixth and Main Streets, known as the Paulson and Jones lots. On August 30, 1913, the library board purchased lots 17 and 18, Block 39, from Paul and Eliza Paulson, husband and wife, and on the same date, purchased lot 16, Block 39, from Henry S. Jones. Jones apparently donated the lot as the price was recorded as $1.00, and the Paulson lots cost $500.00.
 
The George P. Washburn Co., of Ottawa, was chosen to draw up the plans and specifications for the library, and on October 13, 1913, George E. Teegardin, of Eureka, was awarded the contract for $6,775.00. Subcontractors were Southwestern Electrical Co., of Wichita, and the Lampe Plumbing Co. Work began on the building in November and the library was formally opened to the public on September 25, 1914.