Shawano Library History

Published August 1, 2023

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Shawano’s Library History

On March 7, 1889, a group of local citizens interested in a public library met at the home of L. D. Roberts.  Subsequently, the Shawano City Council passed a resolution “for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a public library and reading room.”  Mayor D. E. Wescott appointed the first library board: L. D. Roberts, M. J. Wallrich, Marion Wescott, H. C. Hayter, W. V. Seyner, Antone Kuckuk, H. Naber, Mrs. H. W. Partlow and Mrs. F. W. Humphrey.  The first meeting of the library board was held April 1, 1899 at the Murdock House to confer about “governing a public library.”

In 1901, the library was housed in one half of the Fire Department space at the city hall free-of-charge.  It was an old frame building with a covered stairway leading upstairs to the library. The jail and the fire department were down-stairs.  This building was located on the northeast corner of Fifth and Washington Street.

In 1907, the library board rented a room in the Oddfellows Building on the corner of Main and Division Streets which was occupied by the Shawano County Journal.  When the Journal needed this space, the library was moved in 1909 to the first story of the First National Bank, formerly Shawano County Bank.

On April 27, 1914, the City Council passed a resolution designating property, at a cost of $756, at 121 E. Green Bay Street for the location of a library for the City of Shawano.

It was completed in November and dedicated in December of 1915.  The construction was made possible by an Andrew Carnegie Grant. Shawano finally had its first building dedicated as a library. This building was replaced by the library in the 1960’s at the current location at 128 South Sawyer Street.