Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s First Public Library (WLA 125)

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, January 29, 2016 in WLA 125
The first public library established under Wisconsin’s 1872 public library law was the Black River Falls Public Library which was established in the fall of 1872.  This library met the three criteria for being defined as a public library under Wisconsin law: 1) it was established by a governmental unit (the Village of Black River Falls); 2) it was free to the users of the library; and it was supported by public taxation. The newly established public library was preceded by an association or membership library established in 1868 that was supported by fees that were paid by members. The Black River Falls Public Library was housed in a number of locations in its early years. In 1882 the library was moved to Mrs. P. H. Howell’s dress making and millinery shop when she became librarian. The photograph above shows the library at this location. Black River Falls was one of sixty Wisconsin communities that received a grant from Andrew Carnegie. It received its grant on March 11, 1914 for $10,000.  The Carnegie building which is now houses a historical museum is shown in the photograph below.  The library moved into a new building where it is now housed in 1995.


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Saturday, August 24, 2019


Popular Tags

American Library Association James Duane Doty Postcards WLA 125 Sandra Friedman Dolnick Bob Bochfer Hall of Fame 2015 Hall of Fame 2016 John J. Jax library memorabilia Library e 28 Lutie Stearns Library Buidlings Wisconsin Historical Society Peter G. Hamon Manitowoc Public Library Lutie Eugenia Stearns Milwaukee Public Library Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library state historical society Black River Falls Public Library Library Systems hall of WWI Library War Service Black River Falls 21 Cooperative Children's Book Center School libraries T. B. Scott Free Public Library Hall of Fame 2015 Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends Meter mail slogans Hall fo Fame 2012 Wisconsin State Law Library Academic Libraries Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Wisconsin Library Bulletin Digital Collections John Miller Chancellor 10 Clarence Brown Lester Centennial Amer School of Library and Information Studies WLA 125 Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs Hall of Fame 2012 Elroy Public Library cam State Law Library ca National Library Week WLA 125 Jerome P. Daniels Hall of Fame 2008 Hall of Fame 2012 Wisconsin Free Library Commission anniversaries membership libraries Frank Avery Hutchins Robert Bocher Soughton Public Library 14 Hall of Fame 2010 World War I Events & Meetings Gilbert H. Doane Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Anniversaries Rusk County Community Library Hall of Fame 2012 Library Trustees White House Conference on Library and Information Services Klaus Linderfelt Delia Ovitz WLA 125 Wisconsin Free Library Commission Carl Spitzweg campa Nolan I. Neds William J. Wilson Gertrude Thurow Library celebrations National Bookmobile Day Ice Storm Wayne A. Wiegand Public libraries Irene W. Newman Eratus Swift Wilcox Ripon Public Library Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends trav Madison Public Library 24 Hartford Public Library Richard E. Krug campaign Hall of Fame 2009 Parcel post Academic Librarians Publications Carnegie libraries caly film Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries American Library Association Library War Service Clinton Public Library J. D. Witter Public libraries Pewaukee Public Library Wisconsin Library Association Portage Public Library 23 caly film Edward Asahel Birge Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Milwaukee Art Museum Evansville Wisconsin McMillan Memorial Library Bookmobiles Dorothea M. Krause Hall of Fame 2011 Anniversaries 11 Sarah Janice Kee background 27 archives campaign Inform Wisconsin Campaign Hall of Fame 2017 Hall of Fame 2015 Gerald A. Somers Hall Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries library exhibit Hall of Fame 2015 Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Campaign Events Matthew S. Dudgeon bed and breakfast 22 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries WAAL Bernard Schwab Superior Carnegie Libraries Hall of Fame 2014 Capitol Fire 1904 Appleton Public Library Brown County Library Council on Library and Network Development Library People UW-Madison school of library and information studies Beaver Dam Public Library Cornelia Marving Pierce Zona Gale S. Janice Kee I Love Libraries Public library systems CCBC Louise S. Robbins Hall of Fame 2018 Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Brown Deer Public Library traveling libraries COLAND Woman's Congress Helen Adams Wisconsin Rapids Larry T. Nix Oshkosh Public Library Ruth Ann Montgomery Eager Free Public Library Dianne McAfee Hopkins Hall of Fame 2015 DeForest Area Public Library Brown Deer Public Library Campaign Wilbur Lyle Eberhart WHCLIS James Huff Stout Suring Area Public Library Tower Hill Wisconsin Uncategorized Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Historical Register Lucy E. Smith Morris presentations books-by-mail Increase A. Lapham buil Library people campaign Buttons People Events & Meetings Postcards Postcards Hall of Fame 2013 Marketing-Publicity Library Buildings Hall of Fame 2018 Orrilla Blackshear Beloit Public Library Middleton Public Library Special libraries Library people Postcards caly film Library Artifacts library education Milwaukee Public Library Katharine MacDonald Jones Jane K. Billings Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee 20 Cam library legislation Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services Library History Lowell W. Wilson Charles Bunge UW-Milwaukee Libraries Exhibits Pinback buttons Ruby Roeder bookworm

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo