Wisconsin Rapids Public Library History


This postcard shows the public library building for Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids). It was completed in 1892. The library shared the building with the city council and the fire department initially, but the library took over the entire building in 1900. The library was named the T. B. Scott Free Public Library at that time after T. B. Scott who donated $5,000 to the library. The library was located in this building until 1948.  

The folks at the McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, formerly the T. B. Scott Free Public Library,  have done an especially good job of telling the library’s story on their website. A recent addition to their website is a Google map of the previous locations of the library with photos and descriptions.  Also on the website is an online version of Centennial Story 1890-1990 : McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
by Alice McCaul Hayward.  There is a section devoted to the traveling libraries initiated by J. D. Witter in Wood County. Information about other Wisconsin traveling libraries can be found here. Finally there is a section that includes digitized newspaper articles that were written in 1921 about the early years of the library. A mural showing the history of the library is located near the entrance to the library. This mural is shown as part of the new Google map feature. 

2 Replies to “Wisconsin Rapids Public Library History”

  1. Dear Sir, Madam:
    Please assist me in regard of the following.
    I do research about US servicemen that were killed in WW 2 in and near Holland and are/were buried in the US Military Cemetery in Holland, near where I live.
    I am searching information about and in particular a picture from:
    Alvin G. Jacoby.
    Died November 22nd, 1944, as results of wounds in Holland.
    His Army service number: 36228567.
    He was from Wood County, Wisconsin, born 6-3-1918.
    In particular I am seeking a picture from him. There may have been some kind of article in a newspaper in 1944 or yearbook.
    Any info/help will be welcome.
    Can you help?
    Thank you in advance,
    best regards from Holland,
    Antoine Nouens
    See also:
    “Dies Fighting
    in Holland
    The joy of receiving Christmas
    cards Wednesday from one of their
    sons in service was short-lived for
    the Frank Jacoby family, 1351 Irving
    street, as a war department telegram
    came to the house at 1 o’clock
    this afternoon notifying the parents
    that the same son, T/5 Alvin G.
    Jacoby, died on November 22 of
    wounds received in action in Holland.
    T/5 Jacoby was born in Wisconsin
    Rapids, June 3, 1918. He attended
    SS. Peter & Paul Catholic school,
    Lincoln high school and the Witter
    Vocational school. Before entering
    the armed forces, he was employed
    at Consolidated Water Power and
    Paper company.
    He entered the service of his country
    on November 17, 1941, and received
    training at Fort Knox, Ky.,
    Fort Benning, Ga., Louisville, Ky.,
    and Fort Bragg, N. C., before moving
    to New York, to go overseas.
    He landed in North Africa on Christmas
    Day, 1942.
    The Wisconsin Rapids soldier took
    part in the campaigns of North Africa
    for many months and then moved
    to England a few months before
    D-Day. He took part in the invasion
    of France and was in action on the
    European mainland until mortally
    In addition to his parents, he is
    survived by three sisters, all living
    at 1351 Irving street. They are Mrs.
    Marvin Westover, whose husband is
    a seaman second class at Tiney
    Point, Md., Margaret and Kathryn.
    Three brothers also survive: Pfc.
    Franklin Jacoby, serving in Italy;
    Virgil Jacoby, a machinist’s mate
    second class, serving on Lake Michigan,
    and Lester Jacoby, who is employed
    in a shipyard in Vancouver,
    —Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune;
    Thursday, December 7, 1944”

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